A GOP battle for Beau’s seat?

Lou Ann Linehan
Lou Ann Linehan

**UPDATE — Don Walton of the LJS confirmed that Linehan is considering running. **

Kicking off with the rumour du jour, there is word of a GOP contest for term-limited State Senator Beau McCoy’s West Omaha seat.

Former Creighton Law Dean, Republican Pat Borchers declared earlier this year. Then last week, a Democrat farmer, Bill Armbrust declared.

But now there is a flutter that another Republican may run.
Or at least someone who is registered as a Republican…

The word is that former Chuck Hagel aide Lou Ann Linehan is thinking about running.

You may remember that Linehan was Chuck Hagel’s Chief of Staff, then moved over to the State Department as Hagel went to work as Barack Obama’s Defense Secretary.

In the mean time she also decided to start supporting Democrats for Congress in Nebraska.

She was Democrat Jim Esch’s October surprise, declaring her support for him against Lee Terry — while one of her kids was also working for Esch.

And then in the Terry – Brad Ashford battle, she was an Ashford supporter, giving him $400.

She gave Ashford another $250 about a month ago as well.

Interesting rumors as well about who is recruiting her to run, but that can wait. And of course, this is a RUMOUR, and could very well turn out to be untrue, or even if true, she could decide not to run.

Linehan is/was very much a Pete Ricketts person, and arguably was the one making the major campaign strategy decisions back in Ricketts’ big money/big loss to Ben Nelson in 2006.

While she would seem to be Team Ricketts, one also has to wonder, if she ran, why the Governor would want another soft Republican/Independent potentially against him in the Legislature.

We will keep listening and keep you posted!


John’s your (angry) Uncle, mate!

Tuesday’s Presidential debate was arguably more substantive, but less…fun, yeah?

Everyone is still harkening back to the first debate that was pure raucousness and Trump taking names and kicking butt. He has since cooled his venom a bit, and thus the debates have been that much less…exciting.

On the other hand, they have been much more fact and policy filled, and should therefore be more “satisfying” to the voter.

But even politi-watcher Stephen Colbert complained that the last one was boring.

Is there a happy medium? Do people get bored when the entertainment ends and actual debating begins? Does that matter?

Well, in any case, here is my rundown, that I essentially gave on Twitter as well:

Trump: was on the RECEIVING end of a few zingers — from Rand and Carly. While he is saying that he knows the facts on the TPP-China issue, he didn’t speak up after Paul’s zinger, and seemed like one of the first “hits” he has taken. Fiorina’s “Green Room” line was also good, but is seeming to stick less. Probably doesn’t affect him too much for now. But list that as a marker if he DOES eventually go down.

Carson: definitely had a few weak responses, but also had a few solid ones. Was also quiet for long stretches. But is unlikely to lose much or gain much as a result.

Rubio: Solid as always, but he needs to figure out his rapid-fire, memorized, stump-speech responses, so he sounds just a little more natural. His best moment was when he had a big smile on the Hillary question, but then went back to the robotish stump-speech.

Cruz: Was solid, but got lost in the weeds just a bit while debating Kasich. He won the argument on paper, but lost people who were watching. Cruz can probably out-smart anyone. But can he out-politic them?

Bush: As Governor Heineman said, Jeb was a very good, if not great, Governor. But these debates are not his forte. And frankly, the podium speeches aren’t either. Igniting people to move for him is a problem.

Fiorina: Again, very good, but same issues as Rubio. Could still be a VP.

Paul: A Twitterer put it best, “Paul could very well win the nomination…of the Libertarian Party.

Kasich: Continued to earn the “angry uncle at Thanksgiving” moniker. Won’t shake it.

Christie: If you missed the Happy Hour Debate, he was tip-top. And Governor Heineman is also convinced he could have a breakthrough in New Hampshire. He is still one to watch.


Who wants to be an Airborne Ranger?

And ICYMI, here is a short clip of my interview with former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, discussing Donald Trump and the Iowa Caucuses:

Governor Heineman and I discuss a wide range of topics, including Tuesday’s debate, the Iowa Caucuses, NEBRASKA Caucuses, the Nebraska legislature, Airborne Ranger school, and…his thoughts on his future in politics. And much more!

You can hear the whole interview — and ALL of our podcasts — at WheelsDownPolitics.com!

Thanks for reading, listening, Liking, Following and subscribing!
And tell your enemies and friends!


  1. Oracle says:

    Fiorina’s “green room” statement was another one of her numerous outright lies. Just saw a video of her on the Tonight show where she talks about meeting Putin in a “green room”. I hope she gets the VP nod.

  2. DCRP Member says:

    She gave to BRAD ASSFORD and JIM ESCH!!!! We don’t need another RINO that will put Democrats in charge of the legislature. Linehan is DOA in my book

    • Hesdeadjim says:

      Funny that a DCRP member would show disapproval of an Ashford supporter, seeing as Ashford would not have been elected w/o the help of DCRP.

  3. Elkhorn Resident says:

    When did she move in? I thought she was a Westside/DC person. We don’t need another Brad Ashford in the Unicareral.

  4. Hell No says:

    We don’t need another RINO like Chuck Hagel in Nebraska politics. Anyone that gives aid and comfort to the enemy is disqualified. Lou Ann went to work for Obama and now she wants to run for state senator in Douglas County’s most Republican District???

  5. Something smells says:

    This whole Beau MCCoy seat thing smells. It smells like a certain campaign operative that needs clients is behind this push for Linehan. Smells like Moenning is behind this. Was she let go by Pete?

  6. Does she even live in Nebraska? says:

    Does she even live in Nebraska?

    I always thought Lou Ann was out in DC for good. Why return back to Nebraska after being a lobbyist / bureaucrat working for Obama? That combined with her support of democrats will go over like a lead balloon in that district.

    Also, why is Pete Ricketts pushing her to run? The whole thing just seems bizarre to me?

  7. Maybe... says:

    Col. Tom Brewer should consider running to fill Beau’s seat. He has a lot better chance of winning an open seat in LD 39 than he does of defeating an incumbent in LD43. If Beau & his friends want to get Brewer into the Legislature they’d be wise to consider running him in a district they know something about.

  8. The Grundle King says:

    Bob Kerrey didn’t live in Nebraska, but that didn’t stop him from running, nor did it stop Democrats from swooning at his announcement. Truth be told, Democrats seem to prefer their candidates hailing from out of state.

    • Anonymous says:

      Tom Osborne didn’t live in the 3rd District, but that didn’t stop the Republicans from sending him to Congress. Carpet bagging is a bi-partisan thing in Nebraska. We even like electing Governors that come from Iowa and have never spent any time anyplace west of York.

    • GK the fool says:

      says Bob Kerrey didn’t live in Nebraska when he ran for Senate last time. But the fact is Bob Kerrey did live in Nebraska as per the residency requirement.

      • The Grundle King says:

        Indeed, he ‘lived’ in Nebraska for all of about 12 hours before filing his candidacy.

        That’s called “visiting”.

        Unless you’re the kind of person who changes your residency every time you take an out-of-state vacation.

      • The Grundle King says:

        I didn’t say anything about Ms. Linehan.

        Regarding Kerrey, it’s not “my” notion of residency, so much as it is anyone’s notion of residency, assuming they possess an iota of common sense.

  9. Mark Andrews says:

    Borchers? Along with Sue Crawford? I get that their politics are different. I’m just thinking about having two CU professors in the Unicameral. Good thing? Bad thing? Does it matter?

  10. Anonymous says:

    I cannot wait for Borchers’s first day on the floor! An incredibly intelligent and equally long winded Republican is exactly what the legislature needs. In my estimation, Borchers could speak for twice as long as Ernie Chambers and unlike Ernie, he is smart enough to go on for days without employing crappy poems.

    • repentinglawyer says:

      Borchers is very bright, not sure about incredibly intelligent, people that bright do not become lawyers. He is usually not long winded and is the soul of curtesy. So different from Ernie that they maybe like ships that pass in the night. Not my district so I can not vote for him, but if I could I would, friendship comes first.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I doubt the donations were so much FOR Esch or Ashford – much more likely they were made to be AGAINST Lee Terry. Lots of Republicans did that.

  12. To Anonymous above says:

    Good Theory but she GAVE ANOTHER DONATION to Brad Ashford less than 2 months ago. Last I heard Lee Terry has not been a congressman in the past 10 months. She must approve of Brad supporting Nancy Pelosi.

  13. Anonymous says:

    If Linehan was indeed “making the major campaign strategy decisions back in Ricketts’ big money/big loss to Ben Nelson in 2006” then she did it right. Because after Ricketts’ high road victory over Stenberg, the polls clearly showed no matter what Pete did, he couldn’t dent pre-Kickback Ben Nelson. Ricketts would lose because Democrat Nelson routinely pulled in a quarter of the state’s GOP votes. Nelson was unbeatable in nonpartisan NE but in the Senate he was forced to act Democrat in a big way. There was nothing for Ricketts to do but either waste his money being nice to Nelson or invest it in making damn sure the stupid Republican voters of NE would remember that Pete Ricketts had promised them that someday Nelson was going to screw over Nebraska on Obama’s behalf. When Nelson did exactly that with his kickback, Ricketts seemed like a mind reader. Ricketts was right and that helped when he ran for governor.

  14. Omaha Politics says:

    Lou Ann knew that her donation would be reported. Any person in politics knows at what point a donation gets reported. The point is she doesn’t care. Team Hagel in its last few years, said FU to the Bush Admin and cozied up to Joe Biden and the Obama machine. Who supported Bob Kerrey? TEAM HAGEL. Lou Ann does give to Deb Fischer finally after she is a lobbyist in 2014. What real republican thinks Brad Ashford is a good idea? Jessica, spin this one!

  15. What a hypocrite... says:

    Sweeper is such a hypocrite. I didn’t hear him once take Sid Dinsdale to task for his donations to Ben Nelson and other democrats last year. What a double standard.

  16. To What a hypocrite says:

    Hey Jessica, I mean hypocrite. Having a bad day? Sid Who??? Sweeper must have hit a nerve. That Ashford donation, I mean DONATIONS, won’t go away. I wonder who will do Borchers mail? I have a feeling what may be the topic in a few of those mail pieces.

  17. We move fast says:

    it’s true that the feces smeared swastika was not a hoax. we can wait another day for RWP to pay up on his “bet” but we move fast on this site and he probably thinks we won’t remember. but we will because it’s funny each time we prove RWP wrong and he starts doing his semantic dance and saying he didn’t say what he clearly did say

  18. Nope. I offered 2:1 odds on it being a hoax. That’s a statement of probability, not certainty. If 12:37 didn’t agree, he could have taken the bet.

    It certainly seems that it was not what it’s claimed to be. The student suspected of it is an anti-semite.

      • So, a suspect black student scrawls a poopswastika on a bathroom wall, evidently motivated by anti-semitism; that’s represented as a racial incident against other black students; and you’re saying that’s not a hoax?

      • Pay up, Gerry says:

        Professor, you offered odds that the WHOLE THING was a hoax, not that it was a racial hoax that was actually an anti-semitic act.

        “Here’s something very interesting. Sean Davis (journalist for The Federalist) has been trying to find a photograph of the ‘poopswastika’ that is the latest oppressive outrage at Mizzou. Except he can’t find one. In this age of smartphones, when almost everyone has a camera in their pocket, nobody recorded it. How weird, eh?

        Furthermore, when he called the MUPD, the officer at the desk said he hadn’t seen it himself, and wouldn’t reveal who, if anyone, had seen it. Now, since the poopswastika is clearly vandalism aggravated by racial hatred, it is inconceivable the police wouldn’t have photographed it.

        I was already betting on this being a hoax. Now I’m offering 2-1 odds.”

        You’ve been proven wrong. No need to pivot. Just admit it and we’ll move on.

      • The Grundle King says:

        TA, grow up. Seriously. For once, act like an adult.

        So, the poopswastika was in fact real…but it was not a real act of racist animus, because we all know that racial minorities cannot be racists. So the entire campus went completely bonkers over an act committed by one of the people they were allegedly seeking justice for.

        As to ‘Pay up’, what should Gerard pay? Did you even offer a wager? And what exactly is it that you think you’ve proven? OMG, he was wrong about it being a hoax. So what?

      • TexasAnnie says:

        WOW! It took you more than an hour to run to Gerard’s defense, Grundle. Aren’t you feeling well? It’s a good thing you’ve got his back. ‘Cause he sure can’t take criticism…

      • Pay up, Gerry says:


        You realize it wasn’t just this poop-smeared swastika that caused everything that has transpired at Mizzou lately, right? It was one instance in several that contributed to an underlying feeling that the university was not adequately responding to nor prepared to deal with when it came to addressing issues of race and diversity on its campus.

        But people like the good professor leap onto that one instance to show that in fact there is no such thing as racism in the world, and any instance of it must certainly be a hoax. When he is proven wrong — by the very publication HE cited in the first place — he wheels around, says it was all semantics, and states that because a dorm RA suggests a black student might have been responsible for it, that racism is proven nonexistent anyway.

        Even when the paragraph in the Federalist immediately after the one suggesting a black student might have been behind the poop swastika includes a statement from the Title IX coordinator on campus (who is a black woman): “When discussing a response to the vandalism, please be mindful that the swastika is offensive and threatening to individuals from various racial, religious, and regional backgrounds, myself included.”

        No, you’re right, Grundle, I didn’t take him up on his bet and thereby do not gain, monetarily or otherwise, from his vapid and preemptive statements. But he doubled down on it, and now he’s double the fool. And you are close behind for defending him.

      • The Grundle King says:

        I knew it was too much to ask of you, TA, but I thought I’d try.


        Who said anything about proving the non-existence of racism? Of course racism exists…but the furor over the supposedly inadequate response to racism on campus has been ridiculous. How exactly should a university leader respond to people using racist slurs? Expel them from a public university? What if they’re not students/faculty? Racist speech, while reprehensible, is also protected by the Constitution (so long as it doesn’t contain threats). A university leader can condemn it and issue some tersely worded statements that such slurs are really, really naughty…but that’s about it.

        Without speaking for others, I would never deny that racism exists…to deny it is ignorance. But equally ignorant is the notion that, to combat racism, we must turn our campuses into controlled speech zones, where Constitutional freedoms are trampled under the feet of an angry mob, and where well-meaning people lose their jobs solely because said mob is just really, really angry…oh, and because a kid from a well-to-do background decides to stop eating for a few days. The end of racism won’t come about as the result of opened mouths and closed minds…but from the exact opposite. SPEAK out against racism, yes…but shouting down any and all discussion about the matter will not foster a dialog, it will kill it. Strong-arming media types who just want to take a few pictures probably won’t help the cause, either.

        I am most certain of this…campuses should exist to educate people, prepare them for careers that add some sort of productive value to society, and prepare them for the realities of our society. They should NOT be a place where reality goes to die, and where students are mollycoddled whilst they meander through fruitless courses in pursuit of meaningless degrees. And they certainly should not be a “home” as the one angry woman screamed, but a stepping stone.

        As far as the poopswastika goes…people SHOULD be skeptical in the absence of evidence. We shouldn’t blindly accept claims that feed a narrative, simply because we like that narrative. Or would you disagree with such a notion?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sid Dinsdale is a businessman. Businessmen try to own chunks of all incumbents to get access so that their businesses prosper. It’s about being on the painful end of policy inflicted on America’s most hard working and productive citizens like torture.

    The political torturers come from hard core partisan politics. Lou Ann is the former ED of the largest County GOP in Nebraska and she ran a Republican Senator’s staff. The fact that he became a notorious GOP traitor and backdoor endorser of Obama was fine with her because she didn’t quit. That reveals her inner truth… hypocrisy.

    When Lou Ann donates to Democrat Esch and now to Ashford while being considered as a possible candidate for a nonpartisan body that she used to criticize for being nonpartisan, while she today is still a registered Republican, that makes Lou Ann a hypocritical asshole.

    While assholes make perfectly fine incumbents, hypocrites do not. ,

  20. Anonymous says:

    I was going to sit on my hands and do nothing in the LD39 race but…. Now Pat Borchers can count on me to walk no fewer than 2500 doors for him.

  21. I said it was inconceivable the police would not have photographed the poopswastika. That was correct. I said it was vandalism aggravated by racial hatred. But, in fact, the police have decided it’s not vandalism. Why? Probably because of the identity of the suspect.

    • Pay up, Gerry says:

      No. Police said it’s not vandalism because nothing was permanently damaged. They reclassified the crime to “tampering.” Did you even read the article?

      “‘Just so everyone knows this case from our end will be reclassified as tampering,” (Police Maj. Brian) Weimer noted in an October 26 e-mail. When Frankie Minor, the head of the university’s residential life department asked why the reclassification was necessary, Weimer explained that the lack of damage necessitated the reclassification.

      ‘[T]here is no damage just the cleaning up,” Weimer responded. “If they would have carved into the wall with knife or something and caused damage it would be vandalism.'”

      Also, did you even read your whole comment? “I was already betting on this being a hoax. Now I’m offering 2-1 odds.” My uncle took me to the race track when I was 13 and explained those odds mean it is a pretty sure bet.

  22. Queen CarpetBagger says:

    We have Lou Ann Linehan to thank for getting a carpetbagging asshole and opportunistic turncoat like Chuck Hagel elected. He turned on the hard working people of Nebraska and the republican party who got him elected.

    She has the same untrustworthy traits. Same strategy to attempt to bait, switch and “MIS” represent the good LD 39 citizens. Not on my watch. A lot of anarchy will be taking place before that happens.

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