Ricketts vs Heineman?

Bruning-HeinemanFormer Governor Dave Heineman stirred things up just a leeeetle more yesterday.

Calling in to KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln, Heineman talked with Kevin Thomas about the recent controversy with the release of misinformation by Governor Ricketts’ office regarding Heineman’s out-of-state travel while Governor.

But he also answered a few other pointed questions from Thomas:

Thomas: Do you ever get the itch to get back in, somehow, have you closed the book on a political career?

Heineman: Well, I don’t think you ever say never. I enjoy it. I like it. I stay close to it.

Thomas: If you ever do get back into politics, are you thinking about an office, what’s that look like for you if you do get back in?

Heineman: You know, I don’t know what I’d tell ya about that, per se, at this stage, but I would say is I get a lot of calls from elected officials who ask me about issues. I get calls from business leaders, ‘well how should we handle this, what should we be doing?’ And particularly I received a lot of calls regarding this Con Agra situation and what it means.

Thomas: Would you ever consider running for Governor again in Nebraska?

Heineman: You know, right now that’s not my focus. Again you never say ‘never’ to something like that. But again, right now I’m enjoying my time as a private citizen. I appreciate the opportunity to help other elected officials to share whatever experience I have that may be helpful to them. And again I want to do all I can to make sure Nebraska’s moving forward. That’s important to me.

To hear the whole interview, you can go to KLIN and play or download it.

And here is a short snippet of the above, to hear the inflection, etc. from Heineman…


Polling vs Heineman?

So, is former Governor Heineman planning to be future Governor Heineman?

He was asked three times, and didn’t give a George Costanza, “Get outta here!” any time.

He certainly mentioned that he likes to stay involved and interested in politics, government and the future of Nebraska.

Does that mean Dave 2.0?

Maybe this is why people were noting that Ricketts had polled– yes polled — Ricketts vs Heineman in the past.



What he DIDN’T say

Well, you could say this, Heineman’s comments about Ricketts had a certain…undercurrent to them.

The most surprising part was when Thomas asked Heineman if he and Ricketts had a good relationship.

Absolutely. In fact, I won’t go into the details, but a couple weeks ago, Governor Ricketts called me on a Sunday afternoon and we chatted for an hour as we talked about how we work with the Legislature, things you ought to be thinking ahead to, future issues, you’re gonna have to deal with. So I feel like I have a very good relationship with the Governor.

But then, once again, Heineman dropped the hammer…

Now I don’t know what his staff was doing here…


And the fact that Heineman did chat with Ricketts previously has got to really chap him when he notes his staff DIDN’T contact him about the travel issue.



But Heineman subtly notes the differences between him and Ricketts…

The overwhelming amount of my time, when I went outside the state, was professional in nature.

Unlike, say, going to the baseball wild-card game in Pittsburgh.

I went down to Cuba, where we secured a $30 million trade deal. I went to China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan where we had a $400 million trade deal that we negotiated for Nebraska.

Unlike, say, the Ricketts trade “promotion” trips to Europe and Asia.

The best thing I could tell any Governor is just be upfront about it, fully disclose everything you’re doing.

Unlike, say, dragging out a reporter for three months about where you’ve been traveling and how much it costs.

We particularly have to watch what’s going on with this Con Agra situation…We’ve gotta stay on top of it, we’ve got to get ahead of the power curve.

As opposed to trying to change minds long after a company’ has made their moving decisions.

Heineman has been relatively quiet over the past 10 months that he has been out of office. But when he feels that the media is getting something wrong, he hasn’t had a problem stepping up.

And no doubt, some of the back-biting against Heineman from those around Governor Ricketts is getting back to former Governor Dave.

And his chat on KLIN let him vent, just subtly, about that.


The Transparent truth

To read more on this, you can see Nebraska Watchdog’s Deena Winter’s summary of the KLIN interview, as well as her Travels with Pete series on the Ricketts travel issues.

And an important note on all that:

Deena Winter has been hounding the Ricketts admin and the State Patrol for three months to release all of these travel records.

She quizzed the Governor’s office. They sent her to the State Patrol. They wouldn’t release much. She hounded them some more. Made FOIA requests.

So finally, they give in… and Taylor Gage releases some info — and gives it to both Deena Winter AND the Omaha World-Herald.

So the OWH says,

…the Governor’s Office, in response to press queries, released a spreadsheet prepared by the patrol that provided a breakdown of the overtime hours and trips taken by the governor.

And Governor Ricketts’ press flack says,

…the new information was provided out of a desire to be transparent about the overtime issue.


Yeah well, the “press queries” were Deena Winter. And her series of articles about being stonewalled on the issue.

But of course, the OWH couldn’t credit another news source for getting all this info.

And Taylor Gage isn’t noting it either.
A desire to be transparent“???!

Maybe a desire to LOOK transparent.

After stonewalling for three months.


What’s going on here?

And here’s the final note on all this:

Chatting with several people yesterday, about Governor Ricketts, and the hassles of the office, and being rated as “Struggling” over his first legislative session, and watching his brothers and sister on TV having fun at the Cubs games while he has to commute back and forth between Lincoln and Omaha…

Two unrelated people, said they hear Ricketts…doesn’t like being Governor.

It’s a hassle with little reward.
It’s a headache to get anything done.
The press is always looking over your shoulder.
And he’s away from his young family.

To hear one person tell you, that is one thing.
To hear it from more than that, out of the blue, in a span of a day, is interesting to say the least.

Is this the case of the barking dog who finally catches the mail truck?

What does he do next?


And of course, Nashville is on…

Oy vey! Here’s MY problem about what to do with my riches…of choices on TV tonight!

The 3rd GOP debate and the World Series (Go Royals!!!) are on at the same time! What to do???

Well, I’m going to do my best to either reconfigure multiple TVs or somehow master the picture-in-picture application on the tele (which has confounded me…).

So, point being, TO THE TWITTER-SPHERE!
Twitter is the best way to enjoy the debate tonight. Follow Leavenworth St. as I take part in the witty (that’s right, witty) Tweeting repartee amongst political followers. And take a look at my Twitter Debate List, and follow that as well, to get the most out of it from others tweeting along.

And I’ll also keep the other eye on the ball game.
(Of course, if it’s anything like last night, the game will end around 3 hours after the debate anyway…)

So after you Follow Leavenworth St. on the Twitter, and Like it on The Facebook, become a subscriber (up at the right top of this page), so that you can get every update from Leavenworth St!

And please pass it along to your friends because that’s how we grow!

See you tonight!


  1. Sparkles says:

    So after travelling around the world for 9 months and having to endure being chauffeured from Omaha to Lincoln, a couple times a week, (because the Governor’s Mansion as an indignity too great), Pete is bored with his new toy.

    Maybe someone should provide him a copy of last nights Miami Sun Sentinel –
    “After five years in the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio does not like his job. A long-time friend told The Washington Post “he hates it.”..
    ..Rubio has missed more votes than any other senator this year. ..He says he’s MIA from his J-O-B because he finds it frustrating and wants to be president, instead..

    ..Sorry, senator, but Floridians sent you to Washington to do a job. We’ve got serious problems with clogged highways, eroding beaches, flat Social Security checks and people who want to shut down the government.
    If you hate your job, senator, follow the honorable lead of House Speaker John Boehner and resign it.
    Let us elect someone who wants to be there and earn an honest dollar for an honest day’s work.”

  2. Anonymous says:

    How many people in the upper realms of Pete’s staff have actually worked in legislative offices before, as opposed to just being former campaign workers. It’s a whole ‘nother ballgame working “for the people” as opposed to just working “for your candidate.”

  3. Anonymous says:

    Pete and his cronies sure put a lot of time, energy, and huge wads of cash into buying an office he didn’t really want just so Jon Bruning couldn’t have it.

  4. Ricky says:

    Deena is hounding the Governor? I thought she only touted a book about the over rated multi millionaire Coach of the Huskers and former boyfriend Tim Miles?
    A book written by her husband about a coach not welcome in Omaha and currently on a 9 game losing streak.
    That’s what she banned me on twitter for? A joke!
    Ricketts reminds me of Stothert; both in over their heads.


  5. Bluejay says:

    Dave stayed ahead of the “power curve” on KXL when he by-passed the NE constitution and the PSC.


    Gave Obama and Clinton an excuse to delay KXL because of Nebraska.

    Jane Kleeb cleaned Dave’s clock.

    KXL bungled by Dave. KXL property tax alone in one year probably worth the Cuba deal.

  6. bynd says:


    Go take a cold shower and get over it. Remember Deena turned you down for a date also Ask Sparkles out. She seems to like your type

  7. Ricky says:

    Tim Miles was (probably) drunk when he made that awful speech at the Christ the King event last year. When he insulted Creighton. NU does not recruit Omaha and we don’t think he is funny.
    So, we don’t like him we like Creighton better.
    Miles is terrible and another bad Tom Osborne hire.
    We don’t need him up here stay in Lincoln Miles.
    And nobody buy that dumb book.


  8. Nobody buy that Tim Miles book says:

    At least until the Coach ends his nine game losing streak.
    Why would anybody write a book about a coach who lost 9 in a row and lost 19 games last year and probably lose 19 more this season?
    Don’t buy it!

    ricky from omaha

  9. Sparkles says:

    Had it not wrought so much damage and extracted such a severe opportunity cost on our nation, it would be funny that new GOP Speaker of the House began his tenure by stating: “Our party has lost its vision..”.

    One would assume one of the first acts of the new Speaker will be to come up with new nickname for the GOP’s blind pledge of fealty.
    The “Hastert Rule” now elicits a myriad of revolting connotations.

    I got it, how about the Gingrich Agreement? Then again, Newt was forced by his own party to resign in disgrace.

    Maybe the Delay Dictum.. oops, more disgrace, with accompanying mugshots.

    The Foley Formula.. damn it.. kids again!

    Perhaps the Vitter Verity.. oh crap, almost forgot about Diaper David and his prostitutes!

    The Craig Accord.. surely Larry wouldn’t “stall” legislation.

  10. Macdaddy says:

    Sweeper, I’m surprised you didn’t have anything on the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson dinner. There are any number of pictures showing Hillary and Bernie delighted to be feted at a dinner that honors Thomas Jefferson (# of slaves owned: 600) and Andrew Jackson (# of slaves owned: 300). At a time when liberals all across the country are pulling down flags, defacing monuments, carting off memorials, anything to do with the Confederacy or slavery, Hillary is yucking it up at a dinner that honors slave-owners. Highly successful slave owners at that! And from the Democrats? Just the chirping of crickets.

  11. Tex says:

    So there is a discrepancy between Heineman’s travel records and the State Patrol’s records of out of state trips to provide protection in 2007. I wonder if they were making out of state trips with the Lt. Governor and what records Dave may have kept about Rick Sheehy’s travel in 2007? If I recall, at least one of the female friends that led to Rick’s resignation was from out of state. This story just got more interesting.

  12. TexasAnnie says:

    Don’t know about Rick Sheehy’s travels, Tex, but I do believe there is a paper trail. I had not kept up with ‘travel-gate’ at Nebraska Watchdog, but now I’ve read the nine pieces of investigative journalism. And since the info requested is to come from the suspected wrongdoers (Gov’s office + State Patrol), I am impressed with Deena’s diligence. However, there are probably MORE IMPORTANT state expenditures to consider, accuse about, prolong and then finally dismiss, —without resolution. Did the Governor and State Patrol actually do anything WRONG about running up overtime? I mean it’s not as though the taxpayers of Nebraska have means to recoup the overtime pay. If this is the biggest complaint about this Governor, y’all have little to worry about. When I lived there, some children with disability who were in the custody of the STATE, were cheated of their constitutionally-guaranteed right to a public education. And that travesty was instigated by the Governor (Nelson) and brought to fruition by the collaborative and very guilty unicameral (Art. VII, Sec. 1, Neb. Const.).

    [Just a gentle reminder for you Mark, lest you lose sight of what is really important!]

  13. Dave's still here says:

    Jon Bruning isn’t Dave Heineman. Just because Pete proves inept in office, that doesn’t mean Bruning was a better choice. Dave is hard and flinty, Jon is oily. What we do know, now, the hard way, is that Dave governed rings around everyone before and since. I say that as a Ricketts supporter. I like Pete but as a governor he’s a bust.

    Heineman is a serious chess player. Ricketts is a lazy checkers guy. Nebraska suffers that difference.

    Many who helped put Ricketts in office have watched him perform like a klutz, losing one battle after another. Some of us will be pushing Dave Heineman against Ricketts next time around.

    After a side by side comparison, the nice guy turns out to be a douche as a governor. If Pete cannot learn from experiencing his lack as a state executive, some of us as GOP voters sure as hell have.

  14. Ally says:

    Dave was a great politician, not a great Governor. Try to name one stellar agency appointment/hire. Laundry list of inept clods. The fact that State Patrol can’t find specific travel records from 2007 says a lot about how well was managing the state. I can only imagine Pete’s face when he requested travel records and heard back that they don’t keep track of where they go. What??? Let’s give Pete a chance to apply solid management principals to cleanup these messes. I am optimistic. Heinemans idea of quality improvement was to just yell louder “get better!!” and we all know what he left behind across all agencies.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I don’t get the trashing of Gov. Ricketts’ performance to date. He is moving mountains to re-do troubled agencies and bring order and efficiency to state government. He has turned up one screw-up after another from the previous Administration which he has had to confront and work to rectify. He’s brought in people (with the exception of a couple that didn’t pan out) who know their way around spreadsheets and new technology. Looks like movement and huge improvements going on. I’m sure any Governor’s relationship with the Legislature is going to be a give and take and he”s probably already addressing what his goals are for working with the Legislature in the next session.

  16. Mark Andrews says:

    Well, Anon, “Looks like” isn’t good enough. Measurable results are what I’m looking for – measurable by an independent 3rd party, not the Governor’s Office. Till then Rickets and his “people” are – measurably – boneheads who haven’t done a thing and waste my money daily. I treat these folks just like I treat the gang at Ameritrade. I’m a shareholder. Where’s my money? Its no different for the citizenry.

  17. Sparkles:

    You’re not a Floridian, so STFU.

    Obama missed 2/3 of Senate votes when running for president. The Sun-Sentinel endorsed him. So their complaint is the rankest hypocrisy. And of course, you’re a member of the Obama clone army, so the same goes for you.

  18. Oracle says:

    GH, although technically correct, leaves out one important point. Obama’s missed votes were over the entire presidential campaign. Obviously Rubio’s missed votes are only over a small time segment of the entire campaign. Seeing how Rubio hates his Senate job, I’m sure he’ll catch up or surpass Obama.

  19. Oracle: what exactly is it about fractions don’t you understand? 2/3 is 2/3 regardless of the period. In fact, over the entire presidential campaign, 2/3 represents a much larger total number of votes.

    Politifact ranked Rubio’s statement as True. Not Mostly True, not Partly True. True.

    Anyway, I think I hear your Darth calling you.

  20. bynd says:

    Hmmm, how many votes would Obama have missed if the Senate wasn’t in grid lock during his time which also, for now applies to Rubio?

    More important, how many votes would Obama have missed had Dirty Harry even tried to do his job and passed a budget instead of protecting his people? How did that work for him?

    It’s interesting how Nebraskan Dems where so giddy about the last national elections spouting off how they were going to do so well and kick the GOP’s butt. Will history repeat itself? Will independents really put one party in control of all three institutions? Does that really matter if it is the split Republicans?

  21. Oracle says:

    GH, I’m assuming that Rubio and Obama only started missing votes when they started presidential runs. So the time frame does make a difference (and Politico acknowledges this). If Rubio keeps missing votes, then his missed votes percentage (missed votes / total votes * 100) will keep increasing (since 2/3 < 3/4 < 4/5, etc.). I don't have the time to look this up, but I wonder what Obama's missed votes % was at the same point in the campaign cycle? You're not stupid, so I can't believe you don't "get this". Guess you're just obfuscating, as usual.

  22. Oracle:

    Oh, so you’re now claiming that by your projections, Marco Rubio will at some time in the future miss as many votes as Obama actually missed. BWAHAHAHA! In fact, Obama, over his whole career, missed ¼ of all votes; Rubio, over his career, has missed ⅛.

    I can very easily believe you don’t get this, by the way.

  23. Oracle says:

    Thanks for your concern, but my math skills extend far beyond simple algebra, which is all that is required to understand my post.

  24. So, whereas I can point to papers and a textbook I’ve published that demonstrate mathematical sophistication, all we have is the word of a pseudonymous internet troll that ‘his skills extend far beyond simple algebra’.

    That’s the problem with anonymity; no one knows you’re *not* a dog on the internet.

  25. Oracle says:

    I don’t care about those credentials, GH, because this is a simple problem that does not require advanced mathematics. You’re a typical bully who when confronted can only lash out, in your case, by changing the subject and pointing out your self-importance.

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