Honeymoon memories

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 9.31.26 AMWelcome to your honorary Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday!

Many commenters think EVERY day on Leavenworth St. is a day to opine about whatever they want (but they would be mistaken). But have at it today!

(And follow the rules…)


Well, Governor Pete Ricketts honeymoon isn’t so much over, as the bedroom door has been slammed and Pete is sleeping on the couch, while his clothes are being dumped onto the front lawn.

The Legislature passed their Gas Tax increase safely over his veto on Thursday.

Up next, drivers licenses for DREAMers, with Death Penalty repeal and medical marijuana all steaming ahead.


But it is worth noting that the legislature thinks they can really get along with the Governor, he is a super nice guy and a good listener.


For those of you keeping track, here are the Legislature’s Republicans who voted to override the Governor’s veto, and increase how much you pay in taxes:

Roy Baker (Lincoln)
Kathy Campbell (Lincoln)
Colby Coash (Lincoln)
Al Davis (Hyannis)
Curt Friesen (Henderson)
Mike Gloor (GI)
Galen Hadley (Kearney)
Dan Hughes (Venango)
Jerry Johnson ( Wahoo)
Mark Kolterman (Seward)
Bob Krist (Omaha)
John Kuehn (Heartwell)
Brett Lindstrom (Omaha)
John McCollister (Omaha)
Jim Scheer (Norfolk)
Paul Schumacher (Columbus)
Les Seiler (Hastings)
Jim Smith (Papillion)
John Stinner (Gering)
Matt Williams (Lexington)

Now you can watch them down the road, and see if there are any repercussions from their vote(s).


It was noted here the other day that the Nebraska prisons — particularly in Tecumseh — have an employee retention problem (which may or may not have contributed to the prison riot in Tecumseh).

A reader noted that one of the big problems in this area is the Nebraska Public Employees Union.

“They prevented the prison administration from moving to a scheduling system more favorable for employees that would help with recruitment and retention.”


Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fischer voted in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016.

She noted:

“The NDAA fully funds STRATCOM’s operations and increases funding in support of its mission. It also includes the $21 million requested by the Air Force for a new dormitory at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. I’m proud to support this year’s proposal and will continue to ensure the brave men and women of our armed services have the tools they need to protect the United States and ensure our strength leads to peace at home and abroad.”


Our thoughts and prayers go out to former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey and his family, upon the death of his son Pat.

On a personal note, Pat was a high school classmate of mine and a friend way back when.

He had an infectious smile for everyone he met and was a guy everyone liked. His family should know that Pat’s former classmates have found a place (something that Facebook is good for) to gather and share their love for Pat.

Requiescat in pace.


  1. Gary and Ace says:

    We saw that Mayor Jean Stothert was rated as the 5th Hottest Mayor in America. While we don’t necessarily disagree with her being on the list we do believe Mayor Black of Papillion should be on the list as well. That mustache of his is hot!

  2. Henry Robert says:

    Does anyone know if there is a big giant party after the 90 day legislative session? Like a banquet with all the senators where they give out awards like “Senator of the Year” or “Best Debater” or “Funniest Senator”? Just an odd thought.

    I think Governor Ricketts just had a bad luck of the draw with the Unicameral this year. The next chance for him to set an agenda and get stuff done will be in 2017. It’s just a shame. Pete is an honest guy who tried to strong arm a few senators earlier this year and it didn’t work.

    Ryan-Sasse 2020?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Henry, yes there is a session end party called Sine Die where they all pat themselves on the back. For most Insufferable Freshman of the Year I nominate Patty Pansing Brooks. Is there anyone more condescending in their remarks to other Senators (besides Ernie, but he’s not a Freshman.)

  4. Ed Stevens says:

    Two words, Sweepster … “spell-check” … and yeah, I know that is like two words and a hyphen …. and yeah it wouldn’t have worked anyway on proper nouns … and …. and …. never mind.

  5. buck turgidson says:

    Here’s the deal: until you raise the pay for state senators, thereby increasing the number of candidates able to take the job, you’ll continue the flood of central and western Nebraska retirees to the Unicameral. These guys aren’t elected, but coronated, and they view the legislature as a social club where they can pontificate to applause from their wives, old guard lobbyists and colleagues because they’ve got nothing better to do.

    The NEGOP is hamstrung by the candidates able to seek this office because most real conservatives can’t afford the pay cut.

  6. Math Counts says:

    It looks like that hit list Sweeper has drawn up contains the names of MORE than half of the Republicans in the Legislature. They just look like old time main stream Republicans to me. They understand that being a fiscal conservative means limiting spending AND paying the bills when they come due.

    If we’re going to have roads we’re going to have to pay for them. Not all taxes are equal, and some are necessary. Taking the position that ALL taxes are bad and they’re ALL too high isn’t conservative, it’s just plain extremism.

    • “Math”,
      That’s not a “hit list” that I “drew up”.
      That’s a list of registered Republican Senators who opposed the Republican Governor on something he declared as a priority. (There will likely be another after the final Death Penalty repeal vote.)
      THEY made the list. I just reported it.
      And I’m asking what the Governor — or other like-minded Republicans — plans to do.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Buck, While there are plenty of “central and western retirees” among the GOP, there are also a good number of renegades from the east and Omaha. Is the Tea Party going to Primary Laura Ebke? What about Douglas County GOP and John McCollister? Brett Lindstrom flipped out on them too on a few. It’s not all on the out-staters though the NEGOP would do well not to encourage any Republican with a pulse to run just because they can’t find someone in some of these districts.

  8. Toothless Pete says:

    I would say it’s time to clean house at the NEGOP, but it looks like the liberals and RINOs in the Legislature have already taken care of that.

  9. Math Counts says:

    If the Governor is losing more than 50% of the Republicans in the Legislature on important votes, it’s probably not that the Senators aren’t as responsive as they should be, but that the Governor has lost touch with where the pulse of the Party is at.

    Pete doesn’t seem to be able to get the general population to follow him either. He might be wise to see if the radio stations would let him do the kind of regular call-in programs the last guy did. If something doesn’t change pretty soon it’s going to be one term and he’s out.

  10. A Very Unique Carnival says:

    I am thinking perhaps this gas tax increase is more the fault of bloggers here, rather than Petey Ricketts or either of the state parties. You are, after all, concerned NE politicos. You pay the taxes. How are you using your voice? It certainly isn’t directed against the legislature being nonpartisan or a unicameral.

    Some demand a veto magically have the legislative check power that only exists in a bicameral second house. Others demand political parties magically hold to account senators who by law are non-partisan.

    Ricketts won a GOP primary and his veto mirrors the GOP aim of less taxes. If a Democrat was governor, he’d be party-correct to not veto a tax increase. However, every veto can always be overridden, just as every new law born in a unicameral can always be killed dead as a doornail by a second legislative. We don’t have that safeguard.

    So what’s your gripe? You gave a donation to a wannabe in a party context while he was running for an officially non-partisan senate job? And he then ignored your party? That’s your fault.

    I get it why Democrats don’t mind this. They are fewer and thus currently benefit by the stupidity of Republicans who seem to want to blame everyone and everything except the NE state senate being a nonpartisan unicameral. Either NE Republicans have a suicidal fondness for lawmaking being this way or they have an equally unhealthy focus away from it being the central problem in lawmaking.

  11. Lil Mac says:

    Sweeper, thank you for the list of GOP Senators who voted for the tax increase. It is useful.

    There is a big difference between saying “a lot of Republicans voted for it” and whipping out your copy of the exact names.

  12. Half Full says:

    There have been huge impressive victories that conservatives have had this session that took a lot of political capitol. The GOP should take pride in protecting cigar smoker rights and business ability to descriminate against gay employees. Well done – you have earned a victory lap.

  13. RECALL says:

    I wonder if people (if they cared) would start thinking about recall petitions against their senators, if they can even recall them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Half Full. We cannot find your word “descrimination” in any dictionary. We would not usually be so picky but it is after all the central idea of your accusation against others. You accuse others of promoting cancer and workplace discrimination, apparently because they are not members of your party. Or perhaps you are jealous of their spelling skills.

    When you come from a party that has a jackass as its symbol, you are obliged to make more of an effort to not so literally appear so.

  15. Unique Carnival says:

    How is recalling or replacing anyone in a nonpartisan unicameral going to make a difference?

    Lawmaking is like a highway system. Lots of drivers all going in different directions to different destinations; some intent on getting there, some just out for a joy ride, many distracted; some want new roads, others want to repair the existing roads; but all driving different vehicles to difference places for different reasons. And yet, all look at the road signs offering them guidance and each are aware that their every move can end in arrest by a cop who is there to reduce fender benders and hopefully keep the really crazy ones from plowing into a gas tanker and taking out the entire neighborhood.

    If you take away the road signs (partisan oversight) and you eliminate the traffic cop (a second house) you are left with nonpartisan unicameral; i.e. a lawmaking highway devoid of traffic signs and police.

    Can you still drive state lawmaking on it? Sure. But don’t expect too much. You can recall the drivers on that systemic mess and replace them with new drivers, but it won’t be any less of a mess.

  16. TexasAnnie says:

    Oh, and since y’all like lists, the vote was 33-13-3. The three who were present and not voting were Campbell, Friesen and Howard. Y’all enjoy your property tax relief!!!

  17. Half Full says:

    Thanks for the correction anonymous. Sister Margaret would be disappointed. No accusations, just congratulations. Those two conservative victories have put us steps closer to our vision for Nebraska.

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