Announcements & Endorsements

Mike & Heather Hilgers and their daugthers, Alice (4) and Elsie (1).
Mike & Heather Hilgers and their daughters, Alice (4) and Elsie (1).

Mike Hilgers, who came in third in the Attorney General GOP primary in 2014, and lost a squeaker in the Nebraska Legislature in 2012, has announced that he will run again for the Unicameral in Northwest Lincoln’s LD 21.

Hilgers lost to incumbent Democrat Ken Haar in 2012 by 85 votes, in what was then the most expensive legislative race in Nebraska history. He then drew 23% of the vote to Doug Peterson’s 35% and Brian Buescher’s 25% in the AG GOP nomination race in 2014. (Peterson went on to roll in the General.)

In his campaign announcement, Hilgers said,

“Our campaign will focus on reforming government to reduce spending and lower taxes, ensuring a quality education for every child, ensuring that the young people we educate stay in Nebraska, and building the environment for innovators and entrepreneurs to grow our economy.”

Hilgers is the co-founder of the Gober Hilgers law firm, which has offices in Lincoln, Omaha, Dallas and Austin and specializes in complex intellectual property fights.


General Don Bacon, candidate for the GOP nomination for the 2nd District Congressional seat, announced today the endorsement from Douglas Kindig, Mayor of La Vista. (Did you know…La Vista is the 12th largest city in Nebraska, just behind Papillion and Columbus and ahead of Scottsbluff and South Sioux City….)

Bacon has also been endorsed by Mayor of aforementioned Papillion, the former Mayor of Gretna and former Governor Kay Orr, among others.

Bacon has locked down a number of these officials early, and that has to be part of keeping the current GOP primary field very, very slim.

Of course another name could always come through, and still gather a slew of endorsements. But the calendar pages keep turning in favor of the Bacon campaign for the nomination.


The National Journal today has a story about U.S. Governors “sitting out” the Presidential primary season thus far, as far as endorsements go.

Nebraska political consultant, and featured guest on The Wheels Down Politics Show, Jordan McGrain is quoted regarding Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts sitting on his hands thus far — despite the heavy involvement by his family in the Scott Walker campaign:

“I would be shocked if it were anybody other than Governor Walker” who gets Ricketts’s support, said Jordan McGrain, a former executive director of the Nebraska GOP who worked for Ricketts’s opponent in the 2014 primary. “Internally here we all pretty much assume it’s going to be Scott Walker, but I would guess they’re withholding it for strategic purposes and trying to get a little bit closer to when people actually go vote in Iowa.”

NJ notes that Governor Rickett’s father is the top donor to the Walker campaign and his brother Todd is Walker’s national finance chair.

And unnamed GOP source tells NJ that Ricketts has said that he’s a “Walker guy” and, “at some point I think (Ricketts will) lead a lot of Nebraskans to Walker.”


Nebraska’s 3rd District Congressman Adrian Smith announced today that he will vote against the Iran Nuclear deal.

Smith said,

“Nebraskans continue to express their deep concerns to me about the deal the Obama administration has negotiated with Iran. I am opposed to the Iran deal and have cosponsored the congressional resolution of disapproval. Lifting sanctions would allow monetary resources to flow into Iran and empower its leaders to do more harm to the United States and our allies. We should be mindful of our closest ally in the region, Israel, whose leaders continue to gravely warn us of the dangers of trusting the Iranian regime.

“When our national security is on the line, reaching no deal is better than advancing a bad deal. President Obama has stated our options are either accepting this deal or going to war, but this rhetoric is irresponsible. Congress needs to reject this deal and allow U.S. negotiators to go back to the table. We must pursue a stronger agreement which enforces greater accountability measures on Iran and prioritizes the safety of our country and our allies.”


Hey, in the Wheels Down Politics network today, you can hear my interview with Rep. David Young of Southwest Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District — which runs from Des Moines to Council Bluffs. I talk to him about his plans for voting on the Iran Nuclear deal, some of the issues in the upcoming Congressional session and walking around his state with so many Presidential candidates.

You can hear his interview, and all of the podcasts for The Wheels Down Politics Show at


  1. Sparkles says:

    Interesting column featured in today’s Lincoln Journal Star. A column originally appearing in the Dallas Morning News. It’s written by a partner in an equity investment firm and highlights 9 surprise lessons from his recent trip to Iran.
    Two of those surprises –
    * George W. Bush is widely revered. Iranians thank him for ridding them of their most hated rival, Saddam Hussein. Many evidently credit him for eliminating Iraq as a nation-state and, in the process, elevating Iran to superpower status.

    * Despite sanctions, American products abound. Products such as Coca-Cola, Tabasco and Apple gadgets are ubiquitous. Western music blares in restaurants and parks.

    Ha-ha, ha-ha-ha.

    Yep. On one hand, realty. On the other, the GOP.

    Good times.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bacon’s early mayoral endorsements, bound to limit the field of opponents, suggests a depth of strategic thinking one doesn’t see in all candidates.

    If you have worked more than a few campaigns, you know that every political wannabe is dignified and methodical to a point. For those who haven’t been shot at in cloistered law schools, that point can be very low. Suddenly your chosen candidate, in whom you are invested, is sputtering and pissing his pants. That tends not to happen with generals.

    On the other hand, if you have worked with more than a few generals, you also know that many of them have a sense of military politics that insufficiently grasps the very different approach needed to get the attention and cooperation of voters. Having the bugler sound assembly doesn’t cut it.

    I rather think Bacon’s original Political Science degree and his time in a Congressional office before he entered the military is probably the foundation upon which is layered the vision and gravity that comes from exercising life and death power as a flag officer. It is as unusual mix.

  3. Peanuts says:

    In the mid 1970’s Iran had a good economy and was the freest place for Islamic women. Then came Jimmy Carter. His odd waffling submissiveness in giving up Okinawa, the Panama canal, apologizing to everyone, sucking political weenie, and him mishandling the Iran Islamic Revolution, especially, lost Carter the presidency.

    If Iran was broken by a US President, Democrat “Peanuts” Carter broke it.

  4. Strum Thormond says:

    There’s no way that Bacon’s endorsements from a buncha mayors in a county that makes up less than 25% of the Primary vote is keeping anybody out of this race.

    Nobody is out of this race because of Don Bacon. I know y’all know that, so let’s stop pretending its a juggernaut.

  5. Sparkles says:


    It’s odd you would say Jimmy Carter ‘broke’ Iran.

    As I recall, the United States and President Ronnie Raygun enjoyed a downright chummy relationship with Iran and it’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.
    In fact, it was Ronnie Raygun, with an assist from Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres and the eager assistance of Ronnie’s little henchman, soon to be Fox ‘News’ star, Ollie North that made possible the smuggling of significant quantities of American made weaponry to the Iranians.
    And lest you forget, this is the very same Iran that was at the time designated a State Sponsor of Terrorism.

    Here’s a partial list of the arms we know the Reagan administration in fact supplied to Iran:
    August 20, 1985 – 96 TOW anti-tank missiles
    September 14, 1985 – 408 more TOWs
    November 24, 1985 – 18 Hawk anti-aircraft missiles
    February 17, 1986 – 500 TOWs
    February 27, 1986 – 500 TOWs
    May 24, 1986 – 508 TOWs, 240 Hawk spare parts
    August 4, 1986 – More Hawk spares
    October 28, 1986 – 500 TOWs

    The first two shipments, 504 anti-tank TOW missiles were specifically destined for the Islamic Jihad Organization (the group that later evolved into Hezbollah).
    St. Ronald, the very man who birthed the modern day GOP, had agreed to a swap of weapons for a prisoner.
    American made weapons in exchange for the release of the captive Reverend Benjamin Weir.

    Yep, it was a regular man-crush amongst Ronnie, State Sponsor of Terror leader Ayatollah Khomeini and the leader of the nation of Israel.
    Tres Amigos, you might say.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The rest of the P5 + Germany have no interest in continued sanctions, no worries about a Persian Bomb, and could care less about Congressional misgivings and the Administration’s sales effort. Question: how do you impose sanctions – again – against a regime you have no leverage over or against? Well, no leverage except strategic bombing, any use of which makes the U.S. look like the aggressor, facts be damned. The Republicans need more than “no deal is better than a bad deal” WRT Iran.

  7. Third time's a third time says:

    Hilgers yanking ideas straight out of the Bruning-Stenberg Playbook of Perpetual Campaigns. Someone else, please.

  8. Henry Robert says:

    Word on the street is that the petition drive has enough signatures to get the death penalty issue on the ballot in 2016 but not enough to halt LB268. They want to bring the petition to the Secretary of State early so they can start round 2 of the process and have better money raising strategies. This is coming from a friend somewhere in the middle of the petition drive.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I know a number of people who voted for Nixon and lived to regret their choice to this day. The Nixon influence lives on in the regrettable Dick Cheney. Don Rumsfled comes to mind too.

  10. KHDS says:


    I don’t know anyone that voted for Obams, but he still won to the great detriment of future nuclear war victims.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    Sparkles, Jimmah most certainly did break Iran. Since you are apparently confused as to how the time-space continuum works, he was the President before Ronald Reagan and it was his pressure on the Shah of Iran that led directly to him being overthrown and replaced by a hard-line Islamist theocracy. (Aren’t you Progressives supposed to abhor theocracies?) The Shah was overthrown in 1979, which occurred before 1980. Reagan was sworn in in January, 1981. Reagan made the mistake of trading arms for hostages and somehow he ended up freeing 7 more hostages than Obama did for a lot less money. He also took responsibility for doing something stupid. Obama on the other hand, has learned nothing from either Carter’s, Reagan’s, Saddam’s, or W’s dealings with the Iranians. No, he is the smartest man in the room and his aura will change hearts and minds. As opposed to Libya, Egypt, and Syria, for some odd reason, he turned his back on the popular reformist revolution in Iran in his first year in office, preferring instead to leave a maniacal Islamist dictator in place in Iran. In Libya, he wasted Quaddaffi’s change of heart by bombing the crap out of him just so the Muslim Brotherhood could take over. In Egypt, he turned his back on Mubarak just so the Muslim Brotherhood could take over. In Syria, if it weren’t for Putin backing Obama down, he would have bombed the crap out of Assad just so the Muslim Brotherhood could take over. In Iran, silence. Now, years later, he gladly and giddily hands the Iranians the right and freedom to build nuclear weapons, the freedom to develop missiles to deliver them to Israel and Europe, and $140 billion dollars. And all we get is a lousy t-shirt that says Death to America. We don’t even get any of the 4 Americans currently being unjustly held in horrible conditions in Iranian prisons. You rightly deride Reagan for getting in to bed with the Iranians. I await your criticism of Obama’s much, much worse and vastly more dangerous deal with Iran. I won’t hold my breath.

  12. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 3:55: So Obama lifts the sanctions and you are wanting us to go along with the rest of his stupid plan? I realize that he wants Iran to have nuclear weapons in order to wipe Israel off the map, and it just might work as he intended, but it is still a foolish plan. He owns it and everything that comes after. He’s going to make Neville Chamberlain look like a brilliant humanitarian.

  13. Milk of Kindness says:

    Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be tax subsided and neither should your dentist. It is not an arm of government and women can get those same services at any clinic or hospital. Even at some dentist offices too. But make no mistake; we need more bad mommies to abort more fetuses.

    Forcing a woman to raise a baby she wants killed is irrational. You can end up with a girl getting pregnant from a married man and then dragging her unwanted bastard through a hell of bizarre iconoclastic serial neglects and finally throws him to a pedophilic pornographer who boasts of drinking urine and parades before the boy unclothed. On the upside, little Barry wasn’t a burden on taxpayers. However, his example of dysfunction is an argument for the sterilization of women named “Stanley’ who seek PhDs in tie-dyeing.

    The problem isn’t that the US government is subsidizing free abortions. The problem is that “free” isn’t nearly enough.

    Our government should to pay bounties on aborted fetus’. Like gophers.

    Welfare mothers are today paid billions of taxpayer dollars to birth and herd gaggles of dysfunctional bastards until the they reach Ferguson riot age or are old enough to strum a banjo a’fore a hillbilly meth lab. Instead, why not just pay then a thousand bucks for each dead fetus they deliver to the govt? Mail it in with momma’s 1040.

  14. Sparkles says:

    I see the Gadsden flag brigade has awoken.

    The bleating of The Donald from across the river must have struck a primal nerve.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Macdaddy @ 12:02 am, you missed my point. I’m not saying “Go along with Obama’s plan.” I am saying China, Russia, Britain, France + Germany have already made their own plans and are going right ahead with them. Regardless of what Obama and his successor do or don’t do. And our response to that is what exactly?

  16. bynd says:

    Mike of Kindness: Your inconsistent stance is not logical. You state that Planned Parenthood and your dentist should not be government subsidized. But start your population control rant by saying how great abortion is. The issue is not the children being born but their parents. Shall the child be punished for the sins of the parents? Shall you also be thusly held responsible for your kids and even your old and useless parents? Why not go to the natural extension of your argument and stop the government from subsidizing all these terrible babies instead of murder? Or in the case of black abortions, genocide of the black population. And who then becomes the final arbiter of who we kill in the name of population control? You? At least you didn’t get into the bogus war on women. Or maybe I just misunderstood your sarcastic rant?

  17. Anonymous says:

    In Chamberlain’s case it was incompetence. I’m pretty convinced in Obama’s it’s malice.

    You’ve jumped the shark with that one, GH. Too bad there is no cure for cognitive bias other than a ratcheting down of arrogance.

  18. The Grundle King says:

    Milk of Kindness wrote, “But make no mistake; we need more bad mommies to abort more fetuses. Forcing a woman to raise a baby she wants killed is irrational.”

    You appear to be new around here, so I’ll assume you’re not familiar with Nebraska law. In Nebraska, there’s this thing called the “Safe Haven Law”, which allows ANY woman to leave her newborn (up to 30 days old) at the hospital, where it can become a ward of the state and placed for adoption…no questions asked!!!

    Now, I realize that…in some sick minds…just killing the unborn is the preferred alternative to letting it live a life that may end up being less than ideal. Those same sick minds, who oft profess that all abortion really kills is “a clump of cells”, must somehow be able read the clump of brain cells within that clump of cells to reach their conclusion…lest they speaketh arrogantly about what they know is best for the child.

    Of course, the idea that a child growing up in the foster care system, or with adoptive parents, is somehow worse seems to be based on the absurd and ignorant notion that being raised by biological parents is always best. There are plenty of abused, neglected, and budding-criminal youth among us, raised by their biological parents, who disprove that fallacious notion.

    I, too, would love to see our government reign in on the burgeoning welfare state…I just don’t believe that abortion is the proper final solution.

  19. Sparkles says:

    Although the term cognitive bias is a fully serviceable diagnosis, I prefer the long and thoughtfully engaged conversations of ‘epistemic closure’.
    It perfectly sums up how so many can be so profoundly detached from reality.

    For some truly interesting and insightful reads, google epistemic closure, along with Andrew Sullivan, or Julian Sanchez, or Nancy LeTourneau.

    LeTourneau has a great piece, just this morning, on epistemic closure and the dilemma currently facing the GOP.

  20. The Grundle King says:

    @Anon 10:35, has any President in the past 30 years treated Israel with more disrespect than the current President? Or perhaps you don’t feel that Obama has disrespected Israel in any way, due to your own cognitive bias against Israel.

    Ooh look, I can use ‘cognitive bias’ too!

  21. Anonymous says:

    No, GK, you have to have some evidence. It helps if experts share your opinion. Too many believe that if we don’t bow down to Israel and do everything they wish, we’re somehow “disrespecting” them. One marker of “cognitive bias” is being too sure of oneself.

  22. bynd says:

    Donald Trump is the evolved version of Bill Clinton and “I feel your pain.” There is no practical difference between the conservatives and the liberals in being a group falling towards being EC. The difference is philosophical, one is constrained by limits and one is constrained by no limits. But the end result will be the same. An unsustainable system that will eventually be replaced by something else.

  23. The Grundle King says:

    Here’s some evidence…Obama throws a total shit-fit when Congressional Republicans DARE to invite PM Netanyahu to speak to Congress. I mean, imagine that…Congress can’t invite an Israeli foreign dignitary to speak to Congress without the president going ape shit.

    And I specify “an Israeli foreign dignitary” because you know damn well if Congress had invited Angela Merkel or David Cameron, Obama wouldn’t have batted an eye…because he views Great Britain and Germany as our allies.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Educate yourself, GK. Please google “Why Boehner’s invite to Netanyahu is unconstitutional”. Simply put, the Constitution specifically gives this role to presidents, not Congress. Now I know you conservatives are for state’s rights until you’re not. Are you also for the Constitution until you’re not?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Seriously 1:38PM yesterday? The guy has the same club of five at parades and nobody knows him from a hole in the wall. He gets endorsements because he enjoys pretending by hangin with the big dogs that means he’s big stuff. He’s toast with no brand of jam.

  26. To Anonymous at 5:41 pm: learn to count says:

    You should go back to school and learn to count before you decide to post again. I have watched two different parades in the last week and D. Bacon had the largest entry of any of the politicians (he had about four times the number you claim). On the other hand, Ashford had five people.

    Learn to count before you got on the attack.

  27. Sparkles says:

    learn to count at 1:34 pm,

    “I have watched two different parades in the last week.. ”

    And you’re willing to publicly admit that?

  28. Vendor says:

    Believe it Sparkles – I work these little towns and festivals and see many of the same faces over and over again. There seems to be professional parade spectators- but no big gripes from me. They spend money.

  29. The Grundle King says:

    @ Sparkles…not everybody is as ashamed of all those ‘out-staters’ (aka fellow Nebraskans) as you are.

    @ Anon 4:42…so it’s ‘unconstitutional’ because Congress invited Netanyahu against the wishes of the President. So, if not for disrespect aimed at Netanyahu, then for what reason would Obama object to receiving him for an address to Congress? The Constitutional issue you bring up is a matter for Congress and the President to hash out…but does nothing to change the fact that Obama’s objection to Netanyahu’s appearance seems to be rooted in his malice towards Netanyahu, and Israel. Stick to the subject.

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