How do “Republicans” vote?

On Tuesday afternoon in Omaha, Chris Jerram, Pete Festersen …and Rich Pahls elected the guy from this video —  who angrily shouted down a constituent, calling him a “fool” —  to be the new President of the Omaha City Council.

He is also the guy who called Mayor Jean Stothert a racist.

And for a short time (until he wanted to be Council President) refused to meet with the Mayor at all.

That’s your City Council President, Ben Gray.


Your new Omaha City Council Vice President is this guy who posed grinning with a t-shirt depicting the city’s first female Mayor as a stripper, in her underwear, hanging on a stripper pole.


And he recently referred to the Mayor as, “Sneaky Jean”.

This is the guy who is going to “…temper Gray’s passionate style.”

That’s your City Council Vice President, Chris Jerram.


Just to note, Democrat Pete Festersen voted for Democrat Gray and Democrat Jerram.

And then Republican Rich Pauls cast the deciding vote for Gray.

Pahls did not return phone calls and an email asking him about his vote.


Over to The Facebook, Bryan Baumgart, a staunch Ron Paul follower and former Chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, wrote a post where he called it “unconscionable” and “detestable” that the Nebraska Republican Party is renting out office space …to a group which supports a plank in the Republican Party Platform.

Capital Punishment

We support the judicious use of capital punishment and we urge the passage of laws that will limit endless appeals in capital cases. We also support changing the method of execution to lethal injection or any other constitutionally acceptable method of carrying out the sentence of death to ensure justice can be carried out.

Baumgart doesn’t like Nebraskans for the Death Penalty, and if you DO then , according to him, you are deserving of intense dislike and have no conscience.

He goes on to say that Party “Leadership” chose a “divisive issue”.


Baumgart joins a club, but then when he disagrees with a rule, he accuses those in charge of being “divisive” for supporting that rule he disagrees with.

Which isn’t surprising, seeing as this is the same type of tactic the anti-Death Penalty peeps use.  When they block the system with appeal after appeal, they then claim the Death Penalty is too expensive because of all the appeals.

National Review writer Jonah Goldberg noted a similar idea when he pointed out that liberals are constantly trying to force their new values on conservatives, and then shriek that conservatives are accosting them:

Liberals are the aggressors in the culture war. The only shocking thing about that statement is that it ever shocks liberals. On their own terms, they take pride in being “change agents” and “forces of progress.” But the moment anyone attempts to defend themselves against the social-justice warriors, they are treated as the aggressors in the culture war. “Don’t impose your values on me!” should be translated as, “Stop trying to defend yourself as we impose our values on you!”

(Of course Baumgart didn’t feel it was divisive to the party when he supported defeating the sitting Republican Congressman. Why, that was just being open to differing opinions!)

And Republicans, this is what happens when you don’t show up at the meetings…


Democrat Congressman Brad Ashford (who, by the way, defeated Republican Congressman Lee Terry, after a bruising primary where Terry was forced to fight a certain someone’s favorite candidate) decided to sit on the sidelines when it came to government transparency and an ethical issue affecting HIM.

As noted by Deena Winter at Watchdog, Ashford has had conflict of interest issues hounding him for quite some time regarding his time at OHA and his lobbying efforts on behalf of them before HUD.

According to the NRCC:

In yesterday’s bill that directly affects HUD, Ashford could have pushed to use Congress’ oversight powers to compel the Obama Administration to release the audit in question and ensure transparency for Omaha families. Instead, Ashford chose to hide behind government bureaucracy and save his own tail.

Brad Ashford had the chance to be honest about his potential shady deals as CEO of Omaha’s Housing Authority but instead sat on the sidelines in order to protect his political career. With a simple move to use Congress’ oversight powers to release information, Ashford could have shown he is serious about fighting for transparency and accountability in government. Now we know Brad Ashford is only concerned with hiding the truth about his past.

Oh but hey, isn’t it awesome that Lee Terry is gone?

Yeah, “Republicans”?


  1. Black and White says:

    When Doug Emery in Lincoln tells a crazy person like that off everyone gets a good chuckle out of it and talks about how much of a no-nonsense guy Doug is. Everyone loves him. When Ben Gray does it it becomes a scandal because people are afraid of the “angry black man.”

  2. Rich Pahls Big Disappointment says:

    As a constituent of Rich Pahls I am extremely disappointed that he voted for Ben Gray as city council president. Franklin Thompson is a very honorable and conservative council member. He should have been the new president. Rich Pahls has been widely known to be a moderate at times but this is a big slap in the face to Mayor Stothert and his constituents.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Rich is a nice guy however his vote for Gray was a huge lapse in judgement. He should come out and tell us why he did such a thing! Unless he doesn’t run again who is running against Rich Pahls in 2017?

  4. Ed of Days says:

    To above. Be consistent. Y’all called for heads when Repubs voted for the death penalty with your outrage but if it is someone you like. Meh. He is a nice guy. Ben Gray is a huge racist but hey Rich is a nice guy

  5. Hesdeadjim says:

    Staahhp with the “who’s running against Rich Pahls” talk. Good grief folks. Trust me I am as disappointed in Rich Pahls right now as anybody, but his vote for the fairly inconsequential position of Omaha City Council President is not the kind of thing that you oust a guy for. BFD, Ben Gray is the City Council President. I have a Beta Fish. You know what those two sentences have in common? Neither one matters.

  6. The Eye Ball says:

    Streetsweeper, your attack on Baumgart is out of line. The idea of using the petition process to bring back the death penalty is legally dubious. If you have followed death penalty law, you would know this.

  7. Eye Ball says:

    Clearly needs to lift the shades… If you have followed the death penalty debate you would know this is what Nebraskans want.

  8. Macdaddy says:

    I suppose that when you have a situation where one party rule is so lol-sided that wolves in sheep’s clothing are inevitable: Lindstrom, Pahls, Hilkeman, Baumgart.

    I don’t live in Omaha but I do have to put up with the shoddy way this city is run, so I feel I get to say that Pahls is not a nice guy. His vote to elect Cry Baby Ben Gray as council president is a poke in the eye to all of us. Right now, the city bureaucracy is out of control. Violent crime is out of control. Ben Gray gives cover to the moles in city government who do not have the interests of Omaha’s citizens at heart. This is what Pahl’s vote means. How is that nice? It isn’t. Paul’s vote is a big FU to the citizens of Omaha and everyone who has to do business there. Quit trying to defend his sorry actions.

  9. Anon says:

    I followed the DP debate, there was no proof Nebraskans wanted to repeal it, it only passed by one vote of 49. Substantiate how many people contacted senators, you can’t and they wont. Bloomfield said his was 3-1 in favor, any others were vague. This should have been a ballot measure but people like you know why it wasn’t

  10. Bumgart says:

    Bumgart has an excellent track record of defeating Republican objectives and candidates. Along with Scott Peterson, Dan Frei, Bruce Dickes, and John Tucker, they engineered a Brad Ashford victory thinking that, “we just have to get Lee Terry out, and then we’ll have no problem getting a REAL conservative in there.” Clearly, this was a ruse. (Didn’t they try to sell that same theme with now State Sen. Lindstrom? Same idea wasn’t it? That’s working out really well in the unidumberal now isn’t it? Matt Sakalosky before that?) So NOW Bumgart has his panties in a bunch because the NEGOP is helping to enforce its stated platform of being pro capital punishment. Here’s the bottom line for those of you wondering what it is: The DCRP has been taken over by operatives who have been running a trojan horse operation, ousting the actual conservatives by planting the seeds of conservative discontent. So far, they’ve been very successful, and Ashford is squarely on track for another term with Jeremy Nerdquist at the helm as his chief of staff.

  11. The Test says:

    The Mayor showed up with a big surplus today. Surprise! Let’s see how Council President Grey and his minions spend our surplus.

  12. The Eye Ball says:

    To “Bumgart” above. Lee Terry had numerous warnings over the last two years. His defeat amounted to about 5 votes he did in Congress and never understood the gravity of the votes. I confronted him numerous times and he dismissed my concerns as silly but in the end, the funds from the right people moved away from him and with the move of funds, do did the voters.

  13. TexasAnnie says:

    Lee Terry is a has-been. Forget about him.

    The death penalty in Nebraska needs a vote. After that, we’ll all really know whether a majority of (voting) Nebraskans want it reinstated.

    I know who Ben Gray is; I didn’t know he is on the city council. He used to dabble in education issues at OPS. I did respect him. Now what is the objection to his being council president? Because he lost his temper? Because he’s “an angry black man?” Or perhaps because HIS constituents question his integrity?

    When my family was brought to Omaha (under guise of “economic development” for y’all) in 1989, we purchased a home in a historic district. I learned from the realtor that storm water is a problem in basements there. But not to worry, the basement of my prospective home was known to stay dry. During the entire sixteen years my family remained there (to shore up y’all’s tax base) we heard about the need to fix the problem of storm water run-off in the city. And when your darling Lee Terry “served” on the city council, he was gonna get the problem resolved.

    Has Ben Gray worked on this issue? That’s the real bottom line: storm water in basements is a public health issue! And it should have been a higher priority than: the convention center, the music hall, TIF, the parks, pools and libraries, and even the Christmas lights in the central mall that Hal Daub was so proud of. If y’all still have storm water flowing in basements then you should be questioning whether your ENTIRE city council, Democrats and Republicans alike, have failed you…

  14. KHDS says:

    Is Jerram still voting on liquor licenses?

    How this is allowed is a mystery to me.

    Has his status ever been put to the Nebraska Political Accountability Commission?

  15. Loxidonta says:

    “Lapse in judgment” my butt. Remember the old film “Greatest Show on Earth” about the circus where the elephant is almost made to step on and crush the unfaithful woman’s head?

    The fact that the Nebraska donkey is or is not kicking the crap out of its own faithless lovers has nothing to do with the apparent need for a few local Pahls and Baumgarts and other’s to have an elephant foot scalp massage. For no matter how full of donkey shit Democrats are, the entire bunch of jackasses don’t amount to the damage that can be done by one faithless elephant.

    If that seems harsh to you, reregister as an Independent.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Eye Ball (screwball). So the petition process is legally dubious?

    We have a Unicameral, you dumbass. There is no second house check on law making. Vetos in every state can be over ridden. Courts cast down only unconstitutional laws but not laws passed against the will of the people. The only check on lawmaking in Nebraska is the petition process.

    Read our Declaration of Independence. We are free because of our demand for the petition process.

  17. To 8:40 says:

    OMG let it go. You are like High School girls who did not get asked to the prom. Bunch of babies. Matt Sak was years ago. Lee has moved on and is probably doing well. We get it that you worked/volunteered for him for years but move on. It is over. This is what happens when you give a bunch of nerds a little power.

  18. "The Eye Ball"" at 11:35 above says:

    Careful planning, and primary opponent recruiting are what ELECTED Brad Ashford. You won’t get Ashford out now. Hope you enjoy the ride. (BTW how’s that death penalty vote working out for you on Lindstrom?)

  19. Reality Check says:

    “Dang straight. I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college.”

    Make no mistake, friends. THAT is what got Lee Terry beat. Well, that and getting rid of pros like Boomer and Fischer to hand the campaign reigns to Lloyd & Harry. Let’s not apply credit for that defeat where it hasn’t been earned.

    And while we’re on that subject…has anybody as insignificant as Bryan Baumgart ever received this much attention in the history of ever? He’s done nothing that’s had an impact on anything. Even those desperately attempting to blame him for the Terry loss know deep down that’s not even accidentally true.

    But Baumgart keeps trolling y’all and ya keep taking it because you can’t believe how imbecillic his Facebook rantings are. It’s not an act, folks. The clock expired on his 15 minutes long ago. Pull the plug, please.

  20. Chris Scott says:

    To Bumgart @ 8:40

    The people you mention had no involvement in any of Lindstrom’s campaign. Neither directly or indirectly. They certainly were not recruiting him against an incumbent. I had one meeting with Scott Peterson when he was very clear that he can not help in any way, resources or otherwise, against Terry. I can not speak about Frei or Sak’s campaign as I had nothing to do with either. As for Rich Pahls, I like him a lot. I supported him when he ran and helped him find a campaign manager. I will continue to supprt him. Do not agree with many on certain votes or issues but that is life. There was probably many contributing factors to the CD2 election.

    I am also confident that this petition drive might be the best thing in a while to drive up turnout. Was not going to say anthing but when “facts” about people’s involvement are made up, I will speak. So as Ben Gray would say check your facts fool!

  21. Rightiousindognation says:

    I once had a dog who could do long division and who constantly licked his own butt. I valued his math skills but not enough to let the mutt lick my face.

    Let’s paraphrase Street Sweeper’s main question to Republicans, “Why do GOP incumbent lawmakers in Omaha and in state lawmaking voluntarily promote Democrats to positions of power?” And to that we add this question. “What can you do to make their lives so miserable, reasonably within the law, that they will never do it again?”

    Republicans here respond by talking about a former GOP Congressman and a former GOP Chairman, as if what? Their political ghosts might rise up and channel through Brad?

    Granted, Sweeper also mentioned these people. But don’t let that lick your face.

    The calculus level question Sweeper almost asked is the original one about how Republicans in this mostly GOP state can get their mostly GOP lawmakers to act like GOP lawmakers, i.e. to uphold the party and platform you gave them your money to uphold. Yet before you can shovel a load of dog crap onto their front porch, you need to quit focusing on the people who aren’t in office anymore.

  22. Anon says:

    Defending Pahls makes me puke, now we have a weasel like Krist in the council, Bumgart has a point, you so called NEGOP, DCRP” leaders” are the problem, you stand for nothing, losers

  23. TexasAnnie says:

    I pondered that question myself for many years while living there, Righteousindognation! And I had vast experience observing the unicameral and the city council. With the unicam, observers were advised to look for urban v. rural ties, and with the city council it was pro-business v., well, neutral (because there was no anti-TIF expenditures evident at that time. Still that way?).

    And like many disgruntled voters I signed on with the Libertarians. That was until they sanctioned the denial of a free and appropriate education to children with disability, and/or, they sanctioned tax expenditures for private business expansion. You couldn’t tell them apart from the Republicans and Democrats who had already run amok with their party platforms. (Seems to some, constitutionality is only important in a relative way…)

    I am now convinced that we need to move toward direct democracy, such as your death penalty issue going up for a vote. And to convince our “leaders” to do our bidding, we must register ‘Independent” to keep ’em guessing…

  24. Bumbgard says:

    I stand with the ACLU! I’m the former DCRP Chair. My name is in the paper! Pete Ricketts is a blood thirsty governor. I’m right and your wrong. How many times can I post the same thing on Facebook…….blah, blah, blah

  25. Dang Straight. I love Ashford. says:

    Just love the Republican fratricide on here. Lee Terry? Boot him. Keep it up Mr. Ashford. You’re the perfect politician and the local republican leadership is your best group of supporters. Good for us!

  26. The Eye Ball says:

    To Chris Scott, these ballot initiatives do nothing but appeal to single issue voters who are largely already registered and voting. Also, they can actually help the party which actually opposes the initiative. Everyone tries to fault the minimum wage initiative for Lee Terry’s lost but the liberals spent so much time and effort on getting minimum wage jacked up, they neglected their candidates and Republicans won big time.

    Now with the DP penalty initiative, too many conservatives are throwing time and money in to the effort and neglecting the need to run candidates. The end result is the Democrats will have the upper hand for funs, can claim to be pro-death penalty, while choosing to do nothing on the issue.

  27. Lauren Ekdahl, a becollared charlatan disguised in the robes of a United Methodist minister, published a rabid attack on the Governor in today’s LJS. Bryan reposted the attack on his facebook page, and then defended Ekdahl, although anyone who’s paid the slightest attention to politics in this state knows Ekdahl is a pro-abortion wingnut.

    Eventually, I think, he was convinced, after multiple postings of legal briefs that included Ekdahl’s defenses of Leroy Carhart.

    The boy’s not just off the reservation; he’s wandered so far he needs to learn Mandarin.

    BTW, who was the idiot on the inauguration committee that invited Ekdahl to give the invocation? Were all the Satanists booked up?

  28. get real says:

    Direct democracy?

    If you think direct democracy is good, if you think people aren’t expediently self interested, that puts you in the altruistic trust-people camp with martyrs and Marx. And it divorces you from the founders of this Republic who knew direct democracy as being as bad or worse than having an absolute king.

    Annie, you come to this because you want other people’s tax money to pay for catastrophically disabled children. That cannot happen in a direct democracy. The majority of people don’t have disabled children yet they must pay for them. Give them direct democracy and they will vote to have disabled people euthanized.

    All the rotten people in politics spring up from We the People. Politics doesn’t make them self-interested expedients. We all are that way.

  29. Never let a good crisis go to waste says:

    The republican party in nebraska is playing this death penalty initiative completely wrong. They need to include a separate ballot initiative, making the unicameral a partisan legislature. Republicans need to make the argument that citizens created political parties to be watchdogs over politicians who just want to have their own private agendas, and the only way to never have a complete liberal session like we did this year is to have actually party force in the legislature. An added bonus would also be it would solve this ernie problem that the state has had for the past 40 years.

  30. Macdaddy says:

    What did Ben Gray say to Pahls that got him to vote for him for Council President? What could the conceivable argument have been that convinced him to vote for Chris Jerram for VP? Seriously? Is there no argument too ridiculous for Pahls not to accept? Did even half a thought cross his pea-brain before he voted the way he did? It is bizarre to say the least. The two biggest d-bags on the council and Pahls thinks they should get to be the leaders. Strange.

  31. Bob Loblaw says:

    Texas Annie,

    You said When my family was brought to Omaha (under guise of “economic development”
    Please stop with this nonsense. You make it seem as though you were brought here in chains against your will. You weren’t. It was a choice you made. We have freedom of movement in America and we all choose where to live.

    And enough of the problem with you saying about the schools not following the constiturion and giving your child a proper education. Did you file a lawsuit over this? That is a remedy that is availaible to you. If not, then in my opinion you have no right to complain. If you did and lost then you also have no right to complain because the courts determined that the School was following the law and giving proper services to your child.

    I’m just so sick of you bringing every single topic on this board into your personal issues. You chose to move here. No one forced you.

  32. TexasAnnie says:

    The above commenter is assuming he/she knows my situation and obviously does not.

    I have not, EVER, while living there or since, complained about the education my child received in Nebraska!!! Believe me, she got everything she was entitled to under the law…and I didn’t have to sue anybody to get it for her. And yes, we could have said ‘NO’ we won’t move to Nebraska and subsequently lost our family income. We chose to stick it out until vested for EARLY retirement. I keep hoping y’all will rethink your income tax policy whereby the big corporations pay little to no tax while the small business owners and individuals are then required to make up the difference. But it appears from comments such as your’s that you are proud of transferring your tax liability to newcomers instead of manning up yourselves.

    On the other hand, I have complained mightily about the UNCONSTITUTIONAL denial of ANY education whatsoever to some homeless children and some disabled children who were moved from their parent’s school district of residence to a group home outside that district, and thereby denied a public education. These unconstitutional acts happened in the late 1990’s and I do hope my, –shall we call it activism, then, and to this day will prevent any future ward of the state or homeless child from being denied their constitutionally guaranteed RIGHT to a public education. (It’s not welfare, like economic development is, or an entitlement, like Medicare. It’s a RIGHT!)

    I also complain about how y’all treat disabled adults there and it was a major reason why I brought my child back to Texas before I die. Not that Texas provides a good life for persons such as she, but rather because in Texas I do not have to pay those income taxes that I was brought to Nebraska to shore up. Saving that income tax and exorbitant property tax there makes all the difference in providing my child a quality existence.

    I’m glad you’re “sick” of my issues, ’cause that shows you’re paying attention! But these issues are not my “personal” issues; rather they are YOUR obligatory issues… I don’t recall having met you while I lived there Bob Loblaw. Do YOU enjoy paying a higher income tax rate than your Fortune 500’s ???

  33. TexasAnnie says:

    To the generally uninformed:
    Read the transcripts from LB775 and successive “economic development” bills.

    It is specifically stated therein that if you grant tax credits to big business, they will move their employees there, -who generally pay higher tax rates than average Nebraskans! When Brashear was there he loved arguing for such policies and often urged raising the gas tax to catch those on road trips who just want to pass through…

  34. TexasAnnie says:

    Don’t run from the conversation, Bob Loblaw! Do YOU enjoy paying a higher income tax rate than your Fortune 500’s?

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