A last minute change of heart

**UPDATE at 2:10pm **

Ben Gray elected Council President and Chris Jerram elected VP.


Rich Pahls, Mayor Jean Stothert, Franklin Thompson and Aimee Melton
Rich Pahls, Mayor Jean Stothert, Franklin Thompson and Aimee Melton

Today (Tuesday) the Omaha City Council votes for its President.

The City Council President has the authority to unilaterally change days of garbage pickup, un-dig certain filled potholes, AND reverse the direction of the middle lane of Dodge Street, at will.

OK, the Council President has pretty limited responsibilities. He or she is the face of the Council, and is expected to work with the Mayor on issues before the city.

Which is ironic, considering that just a few weeks ago, City Councilman Ben Gray sent out the following email to his fellow Council-members:

Council members

As your vice president you should know I will NOT be attending any more meetings with this Mayor.


And according to the OWH:

“Gray eventually stopped attending biweekly meetings with Stothert and Council President Pete Festersen.”


This is the same guy who has within the past week been trying to “mend fences” with Mayor Jean Stothert — so that he can get the votes to become City Council President.

You know, the same Mayor who he called a racist.

See, Gray has had his undies bunched because the Mayor decided that an individual from Gray’s district isn’t doing the job that he was contracted by the city to do.

And said guy is African-American so…voila! Stothert is a racist!

Fast forward to a few weeks later, and Gray wants to be the Council President.

And, whoops!, he has lost support from one of his fellow Democrats. BUT, he can get a Republican on his side — which maybe or maybe not comes with the caveat that he try to mend fences with the Mayor.

Note that in today’s OWH, while the Mayor didn’t thumb her nose at the guy who less than a month ago called her a racist and said he’d never meet with her again — she did note,

“I thought it was curious to me why right before the City Council election there was an email to me offering to make amends.”

And, the OWH notes,

“…(Gray) acknowledged, though, that his new positive attitude (to meet with the Mayor) was only a few hours old.”

So THIS is the guy that Pete Festersen, Chris Jerram — and let’s go ahead and get this out there — potentially Republican Rich Pahls think should be the face of the City Council to work with the Mayor?

Gray thinks Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert is racist.
Gray declared he would never meet with the Mayor again, and stopped going to meetings with her.
And then when a political position is open, Gray suddenly changes his mind.

Really? That’s your guy?

The vote, which (for now) pits Franklin Thompson — and Democrat Garry Gernandt as the vice president — against Gray, comes later today.


Caught this one in a story by Lincoln’s 10/11 regarding the Death Penalty petition peeps.

The interviewed Stacy Anderson of “Nebraskans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty” (by the way, note that “Alternatives” is plural. All they’ve put out there is “life”. Are there some other “alternatives” out there we don’t know about?)

In any case, she doesn’t believe that a majority of Nebraskans want the Death Penalty…because she has heard from hundreds of her supporters that they don’t want it.

But it’s funny because Leavenworth St. recently got some numbers that said 99% of Nebraskans polled like Indian food. 99%! It seems pretty clear from those polling numbers that Indian food is the way to go almost every time.

Of course the polling universe used was people at an Indian restaurant, (one guy got dragged there by his office-mates and only ate the bread). But still.

By the way, note again a recent poll that showed 62% of likely voters in Nebraska opposed replacing the Death Penalty with Life without Parole.


And the Lincoln Journal-Star is full-throated in their support for the repeal and defeat of the ballot initiative.

And they want to see some national money come in to “educate” the voters on this.

See here, Simpleton Nebraskan, accoding to the LJS, most of you have “never thought much about the death penalty“.

Ohhhhhhh, but the LJS has!
And they think it’s bad!

And once you’ve been to the Re-Education Camp — er, been “educated” — why you’ll think just like them.

Until then — and until the national money starts pouring in — you stupes will stay “un-educated”.


  1. Anon says:

    Why does Nebraskans for the Death Penalty get to use NEGOP office space when clearly not every GOP member in Nebraska supports them? And I’ve heard they’re using the office space free of charge? Is that true?

  2. Because.... says:

    if every Republican had to agree 100% with NEGOP then the NEGOP would sit on their hands and do absolutely nothing.

  3. The Eye Ball says:

    To TexasAnnie, here is where about a third of you don’t get it. The petition could get on the ballot, get passed by voters and there will not be an execution ever again. Why? Nebraska can’t get the drugs. Don Stenberg mentioned Texas but he does not know is that Texas is or has now run out of drugs to carry the next execution. Too much to explain about this petition but know this, it is blind passion with no tactics or strategy.

  4. It's euthanasia. Not execution. says:

    Who needs these drugs nobody can pronounce? With morphine, you feel no pain, go to sleep, and with enough, just never wake up. Terminal bliss. Squishy Omaha senators like McCollister, Hilkemann and Lindstrom can feel good about using it because it’s not an execution; it’s euthanasia like for your beloved sick, aging pet. So let’s reframe the discussion by talking about putting prisoners to sleep. For the long dirt nap.

  5. Macdaddy says:

    I’d be fine with whatever. I say get it reinstated and then let’s work on the method. Oklahoma and Utah allow firing squads. I know Nebraska’s Supreme Court has ruled against the electric chair but why not use a combo of morphine and the electric chair? How is that “cruel and unusual punishment?” Lots of morphine around.

    All I hear is a bunch of bitching and moaning about how we can’t get drugs. Good to know you people give up so easily. You know what you call a conservative who won’t resist liberal advances? A liberal.

  6. TexasAnnie says:

    Hey, Eye Ball! I do get it. And you are quite right about Texas running out of execution drugs.

    I recommend that folks sign the petitions(s?) and GO VOTE! It’s the closest thing you’ll get to democracy, and with the representation y’all have, you do need more democracy.

    I am intrigued by the idea of using a Schedule 1 drug to ‘er euthanize bad, bad people. If we could do that, then surely we could use such drugs for relieving pain…

  7. No problem says:

    The NEGOP should give office space as this should be a GOTV push. If the GOP was smart they should push the heck out of the DP petition and get Repubs out to vote. Maybe pick up LD 31 and CD2.

  8. Joe Bob says:

    The unavailability of sodium thiopental is a red herring that death penalty opponents are using to discourage the people from supporting the petition drive. If the state can’t obtain sodium thiopental, then all that needs to be done is for the Dept. of Corrections to change the protocol so a different drug or combination is used. It’s not rocket science, and it takes no involvement from the Legislature. Let the people decide, and then change the protocol.

  9. The Eye Ball says:

    Joe Bob, not so. Many of these drugs used for executions are no longer being supplied for execution or are being challenged in court.

  10. Red Herring says:

    You use a red herring as a distraction to take away from a truthful fact. Please show me any evidence that you can actually execute someone in this state. Unless you admit that you are woefully inept at doing your job because dude you have had like 20 years. Epic fail!

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