Dave 2

**UPDATE at 8:00am 10/28/15**
We’ll have more later, but here is a quick peek at former Governor Dave Heineman’s interview on KLIN yesterday:


Dave2Ricketts and Heineman.

Who would have thought that there would be a…rift…between the longest serving Governor of the State of Nebraska and his successor.

But strange stories emerge as Governor Pete Ricketts seems to keep trying to escape former Governor Dave Heineman’s shadow.

For those who haven’t kept up, go to Deena Winter’s continuing series in Nebraska Watchdog about the Ricketts’ travel records.

Her quest to find out how much the new Governor has been travelling — and how much more it is costing the state in security, etc. — has been right up there with Herbie the Dentist trying to extract the canines from the Abominable Snowman. (i.e. like pulling teeth).

So the latest is that the Governor’s press flack told the media that while Ricketts has traveled out of the state already this year more than Heineman ever did (except for maybe 2005), he threw out a couple of other numbers about Heineman.

Taylor Gage, Governor Ricketts’ Public Relations Director, said that as Governor, Heineman had traveled out of the state 47 times in 2007 and 32 times in 2008.

Former Governor Heineman heard this, and his Spidey Senses pricked up.

47 and 32?
That didn’t sound right.

So he went back to his records — (I’m picturing a faux-leather bound pocket scheduler with “2007” printed on it in gold ink above something like “Nebraska State Bank & Trust”) — and discovered that the numbers were off.

Way off.

Heineman emailed Gage:

“The information that was provided to you is inaccurate and misleading. I did not make 47 out-of-state trips in 2007 and I did not make 32 out-of-state trips in 2008. I hope this information is helpful in setting the record straight regarding my out-of-state travel.”

How did this happen?
Well, Heineman notes that neither Gage, nor anyone else, contacted him about releasing his travel schedules as Governor.


And then he drops it…

And then the really harsh one, from Heineman to Gage:

“I am very disappointed that you issued a release about my record without having the professional courtesy to review that information with me.”

Double ouch.

Because in Nebraska, a courtesy call is how most people expect things to work. It would have been that simple.

But this is not terribly surprising from those who have been following this Administration. Because there is a…paranoia…in the Governor’s part-time McMansion about Dave Heineman.

At this Halloween season, they are convinced that the next showing at the Indian Hills or the Golden Spike Drive-In, is “The Return of Dave Heineman”. (No, that’s not it…) “Heineman 2: Electric Boogaloo” (ehhhh…) “Night of the Living Dave II”.

You see, many think, that the Governor and his Kitchen Cabinet think (or have an unhealthy obsession) that Dave Heineman is going to primary Pete for Governor in 2018.


Or that Heineman is trying to undermine Pete or get the job back or somesuch.

So they don’t call him on something as easy as his old schedule.

And they don’t call him to find out if he had any strange experiences buying Sodium Thiopental from a shady figure in India, before blowing $50K on the deal.

And there are other cases of purging the Ricketts Administration of any vestiges of the Heineman era — and refusing to let in anyone but True Believers.

Which is fine. Every Administration wants to put their own stamp on things, and do things a certain way.

But this one has been working, many believe, under the belief that they will need to fight back a “Heineman: Tanned, Rested & Ready” campaign for their political lives.

It’s an interesting way to go about things.
Some aren’t sure it’s a successful way, so far.


Is YOUR mind made up?

Over the past few days the Presidential campaign news has been that Ben Carson now leads Donald Trump in Iowa. And there’s even a poll that says that Carson is leading Trump nationwide.

But here’s another one that’s interesting:

In a CBS poll of New Hampshire voters, 91% of them picked a candidate who they would “like to win the GOP nomination“.

But then when asked, “Is your mind made up or is it still too early to say for sure?

71% said, “Too early“.

There are probably polling experts who will argue about how “leans” mean “will vote”. But holy-moley, that seems like an awfully big number. Maybe those polled just want to show that they’re still open to persuasion, or reason, or free pizza or something.

But it still makes it clear that though the New Hampshire primary is only a little over 3 months away, there’s lots of politicking to be had.

And have YOU made up your mind?


Ima Subscribah

Hey kids, look up and to your right (on this site), and you’ll see that there is a new item that lets you sign up to be a Leavenworth St. Subscriber.

What this means is that you’ll get an email notice every time there is a new post up at Leavenworth St.

This is pretty handy, and I use it on lots of other sites where I get their updates. (For instance, Nebraska Watchdog offers this, and it’s very useful.)

Here’s the kicker, after you sign up, you’ll get an email to confirm your subscription. It will MOST LIKELY arrive immediately and go to your SPAM MAILBOX. (I tried it 4 times, and Spammed each time.)

So be sure to check your Spam box after you subscribe — and then label it not-Spam, and if you have Gmail, it will likely go to your “Promotions” tab.  It should all be biscuits and gravy after that.

Thanks for reading and subscribing! And thanks for sharing Leavenworth St. and Wheels Down Politics with a friend, because YOU’RE how we grow!


  1. Anonymous says:

    So, the Governor’s office thinks it can accurately report Governor Heinemann’s travel schedule, but has NO IDEA what his own travel schedule has been or how much it has cost the Nebraska taxpayers? Umhmmm.

  2. Funny..... says:

    The same people clinging to the inexplicable relevance of Kay Orr, are paranoid because Governor Heineman may be too relevant for their taste.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How many times did Heineman actually travel out of state during those years? Where did they get their numbers? Did Gage pull them out of his…wherever?

    The real question is now, just as it always is in politics, “who knew what, and when?”

  4. Geez... says:

    All Gage did is tell the press what Moenning and Miltenberger told him to say. Boy, do we have a JV team in the Governor’s mansion.

  5. Another Agency Dave Broke says:

    Let’s all remember who Ricketts got these numbers from, the state patrol. Dave was the one who put a hiring freeze which cause the overtime mess we are in today, not even to mention the problems out state is having with the patrols retirement plan. This is just another case of Ricketts trying to clean up the mess Dave left just like HHS, Corrections, Roads, a broken school formula, a dysfunctional legislature, and countless others.

  6. Duda Bides says:

    While Sweeper is 100% correct in his contention that the Ricketts Folks are consumed with paranoia about Heineman (and McCoy and Herbster and…) I think this episode has less to do with that and everything to do with their full knowledge that Ricketts’ travel budget is lapping Heineman’s.

    They didn’t show the professional courtesy to contact Governor Dave, not because of paranoia, but because Gage and Co. knew full well they were juking the stats and completely fabricating these numbers. And their hand puppet in charge at the state patrol is/was complicit in this lie.

    Pete is truly reforming government, alright.

  7. To Another Agency... says:

    So, you seem to be saying that because Heineman allegedly had issues with state patrol overtime, the Ricketts Administration is within it’s rights to just make things up about travel schedules?

  8. Sparkles says:

    Another Agency Dave Broke,

    Re “the mess Dave left”.

    And regardless the level of incompetence, Heineman consistently polled around a 70% approval rating throughout his tenure.
    Hell, even in the wake of a decade of Dave’s dumbfounding debacles, the man walked away from the office at 60%!

    Add to this the fact that either Donald Trump or Ben Carson have been leading in the national polls for 4 months.

    Is there truly NOT a point when Republicans look around and ask themselves… WTF is wrong with our party!!?

  9. To Sparkles says:

    Your party is putting up for election one of the farthest left moonbats ever and Hillary “I have a Vagina and it’s my G-D turn” Clinton.

    I’ll be one of the first to admit that our side has its troubles, but they’re pretty manageable in comparison to the mess that the left has on their hands.

  10. Another Agency says:

    If you have actually read all EIGHT pieces that watchdog has put out about this you would understand the underlying issue they are trying to pin on Pete. On September 24th they wrote an article on State Patrol overtime being higher than in past years, then they go on to try to make the connection that it is because Pete has been traveling so much. The reason why I say it’s Dave’s fault is because of the hiring freeze he put on the agency, which then forced the patrol to rely on it’s aging force (which by the way gets paid way more than a 24 year old rookie). So essentially the hiring freeze created a situation where you have your highest paid officers with 20+ years experience having to do overtime because there is not enough people in the force itself thus creating more overtime then last year. This will continue until the force is adequately manned.

  11. To Another Agency... says:

    Yeah, it could be that overtime is yuge because the State Patrol is understaffed.

    But it’s likely because Pete travels out of state – a lot and not on official business – and drives to Omaha every night.

  12. Bob Loblaw says:

    Good thing the Cubbies didn’t make the world series or go 7 games against the Mets. Can’t imagine how much more overtime that would have been.


  13. But how says:

    does that justify lying to the people of the great state of Nebraska?

    Everyone understands that covering X man hours with 6 Patrolmen will result in more overtime than covering the same X with 24 Patrolmen. If that’s truly the root of the additional OT costs, then Ricketts&Co. should have just said it in the first place and then let the issue die. But that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that the Gov’s travel is creating situations where a couple or a few Patrolmen rack up tons of OT over the course of one of his many trips out of state.

  14. Barry Zuckerkorn says:

    It’s plainly obvious Ricketts gets out more than Heineman. Heineman had a very small circle of friends, didn’t go out and socialize. Hung out at the mansion and watched football and did his reading.

    Ricketts does like to get out and be with people. What’s the big deal? He’s allowed to be his own man.

    So fine, the troopers assigned to Ricketts are putting in more hours than they used to.

    And we’re supposed to believe a couple of troopers getting OT is skewing the whole NSP budget?

    What about the hundreds of troopers not assigned to Gov watch? Seems that’s probably the place to start.

  15. Sparkles says:

    To Sparkles,

    Name one person on the planet who understands the complexities and machinations that make government function better than Hillary Clinton.
    AND, who knows each and every player of any significance on the global stage.
    AND, has studied intently the interaction of the whole amalgam for more than 30 years.


    Oh, but I forget.. knowledge of and competence in what has been called the hardest job on the planet is of no relevance, if you vote Republican.
    Bombast, Jesus, Nazi’s, xenophobia and a hatred of all things Obama are the golden ticket for a GOP nod.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Most of the staffers I know, probably know more about how government actually functions that HRC. I’ll venture to say that Ben Sasse knows more about the actual mechanics of government than Hillary Clinton. And I’m not even a Sasse fan.
    Additionally, hindsight being what it is, Mitt Romney understands more about the world stage than Hillary can ever hope.

  17. Sparkles says:

    From today’s headlines, in the Columbus Dispatch:

    “Do you know how crazy this election is? Let me tell you something, I’ve about had it with these people,” Kasich said at a pre-debate send-off rally.
    “I want you to know I’m fed up. I’m sick and tired of listening to this nonsense and I’m going to have to call it like it is in this race.”

    “What’s happened to our party? What’s happened to the conservative movement?” Kasich said to the crowd. “I’m done being polite and listening to this nonsense.”

    “Because if we turn this country over to somebody with wild ideas that thinks they can scream and bluster or operate their way to success, it’s my kids who are going to be at risk and your kids and your grandchildren and all of us. So why don’t we grow up?”

    “We got one guy who says … we’re gonna pick them up and we’re gonna take them to the border and scream at them to get out of our country? That’s just crazy,” Kasich said. “This is not the America I know.”

    Of course, Kasich is a sane Republican. The kind I voted for most of my life, while a registered Republican, until the arrival George the Lesser.
    His tenure in the House included 18 years on the House Armed Services Committee and six years as chairman of the House Budget Committee where he was a key figure in passage of both welfare reform and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.
    I don’t agree with much of his ideology, but Kasich has been an active, engaged and largely successful Governor (unlike Perambulating Pete) of Ohio, a 50/50 swing state, for 5 years. He served the working poor of his state by embracing Medicaid expansion, stating; “The opposition to it was really either political or ideological. I don’t think that holds water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives.”
    He won 86 of 88 counties in his 2014 bid for re-election.

    Ben Carson doesn’t understand how the debt ceiling, the budget, or interest rates work.
    (seriously.. just google that sentence if you doubt the claim)

    John Kasich wants to know WTF happened to his party.

  18. Benthere says:

    A few months ago, Ben Carson told Megyn Kelly, “At 17 weeks, you’ve got a nice little nose and little fingers and hands and the heart’s beating… respond to environmental stimulus… it is a human being.”

    17 weeks? Now where have we heard that number before?

    Oh yes. It was Dr. Carson’s 1992 research paper that described using “human choroid plexus ependyma and nasal mucosa from two fetuses aborted in the ninth and 17th week of gestation.” — There’s that “17”.

    Maybe the number has been preying on Ben’s mind ever since he switched from working in the topmost field using fetal tissue research (neuroscience) to Ben being the darling candidate of Anti-Abortion.

    The one thing on which Pro Choicer and Pro Lifer can agree on is that Ben Carson is a hypocrite.

    Ouch. This is like finding out the only CEO job Carly ever had, she got fired from.

  19. Ricky says:

    If you think you get misleading information from Mr Ricketts office now wait till Mr Ricketts and his father start putting ads up promoting the death penalty prior to Nov 2016. (if it ever comes to that and the lawsuits from the ACLU might halt it in it’s tracks).
    Isn’t it Mr Gage that continues to say the state is working with the DEA to get death penalty drugs?
    Ricketts doesn’t care about the truth.
    As bad as Mr Ricketts is, Mr Heineman coming back to that office would be even more terrible.


  20. Sparkles says:

    I find unlikely, as the first poster suggested, that “Gage will be a casualty in this mess”.
    Taylor Gage, Governor Ricketts’ Public Relations Director won’t be fired.
    It’s possible he’ll longer serve as PR Director, but it will come via promotion, not firing.

    Taylor Gage is Kay Orr’s 20-something year old grandson.

    I don’t know the young man at all. I’m sure he’s bright and thoughtful.
    After all, he’s a graduate of Rush Limbaugh’s favorite university, Hillsdale College. He was even a member of their Water Polo Club.

    But when young men with Taylor Gage’s pedigree, fail, they’re certain to fail upwards.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.