2015 Leavenworth St. Nebraska Politicians of the Year

Wild-West-UnicameralThe 2015 Leavenworth St. Nebraska Politicians of the Year are…the State Senators of the Nebraska Legislature.

Back in May, things looked pretty clear what was happening down in Lincoln. It was The Wild West.

Winner Take All was quashed over Governor Pete Rickett’s wishes.
The Legislature passed a new Gas Tax over the Governor.
The Legislature gave driver’s licenses to illegal aliens defying the Governor.

And then…
The Legislature repealed the Death Penalty over the Governor’s veto.
It made national news.
It made INTERnational news.
It happened in RED Nebraska!

And the Governor has been raked over the coals about it. By local, state and national publications.

Some blame it on the Governor’s lack of attention to details.
Others say it just shows how independent the Nebraska Unicameral can be.

But in any case, the State Senators of the Nebraska Legislature stepped up to show that they can run the show the way they want…in 2015 anyway.

Well, the Governor — backed by a few State Senators — fought back on the Death Penalty vote. And that may prove to be flipped by the voters.
But then can Governor Ricketts get them to APPLY the Death Penalty and carry it out, with a new supply of drugs?
Could be another fight.

But the members of the Legislature flexed their muscles in 2015, and made some big changes.

And that makes them the 2015 Leavenworth St. Nebraska Politicians of the Year.


Deb FischerAnd in Washington…

Senator Deb Fischer gets the Honorable Mention for the 2015 PotY, for flexing her muscles as a legislator.

A former State Senator, this U.S. Senator started making waves early on in 2015 with a spot in the Republican leadership team. She made many appearances on the national talk shows on issues such Transportation and the Iran Deal — as a member of the Armed Services Committee.

And then it was on the Transportation Bill, where she took a lead and got significant provisions on national issues as well as Nebraska issues.

Fischer has had a focus on transportation going back to her days in the Legislature. She continued that in D.C., and showed that she is truly a work-horse of a legislator, and can get things done, even in a divided government.

And we look forward to watching her into 2016.


Separateds at Births

And a look back at those members of the Unicameral who made it into the Separated at Birth list over 2015…


Tommy Garrett and Sean Connery


Tommy & Mrs. Garrett (circa 1980s?) and Don & Mrs. Bacon (today)


Bob Hilkemann and eHarmony’s Neil Clark Warren


Matt Williams and Boomer Esiason


Les Seiler and former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert


Kate Sullivan and Reba McEntire


Joni Craighead and Carly Fiorina

Kintner- ManShowSAB-02

Bill Kintner and the Man Show guy

Thank you for reading, listening and sharing!

See you next year!


  1. TexasAnnie says:

    Yes, Street Sweeper, those were remarkable outcomes of the 2015 Unicameral. I just wish one of those legislators would write a short note here on Leavenworth St. concerning the SPED growth rate over this biennium.

      • TexasAnnie says:

        Nope. In addition to the lack of amenities (or even access!) for the disabled there, your tax policies are unacceptable. Which is not to say we have good amenities and access for the disabled here, but our tax policies are certainly more just. I maintain contempt for Nebraska’s tax inequities established thus far while every legislative session more inequity is piled on. This year the Woodmen of the World got theirs and y’all just take it in stride.

        For 2016, your forecasting board is projecting a revenue shortfall. I think I recall reading it will be $110M. So will the unicam cut back on the biennial budget established in 2015? And when they make such cuts will they be made across-the-board, or will they be targeted cuts? (Remember that the SPED funding growth rate has arbitrarily been set at a lesser rate than all others categories of educational spending in Nebraska over the current biennium.)

        Or will the unicam raise the income tax or sales tax rates? No! They won’t do that. But they could, in the interest of tax justice, raise *new* tax revenue by simply repealing current tax exemptions. Y’all have so, so many tax abatement policies. I remember when Brashear was the Speaker and pushing for repeal of all sales tax exemptions with a result of enabling the repeal of the state income tax. That’s a lot of sales tax exemptions! What exemptions do you get to claim, bynd?

      • TexasAnnie says:

        For your edification, bynd, I just took the time to screen-through the pages of the 2014 Nebraska Tax Expenditure Report. There are 112 sales tax exemptions, credits and refunds, or deductions listed! And on your state income tax profile, there are over 40 statutory descriptions of deductions, exclusions, credits and preferential tax rates! Don’t you get sick of it?

      • bynd says:

        TA: I will put it this way, the only reason I stay is because my wife won’t leave as long as the kids and grand kids live here. I asked about Iowa, she said no. I even offered to buy a motel in a state that doesn’t tax retired federal pay and we could move the whole family, I would change my name to Jethro. It didn’t work. So it is what it is and I have learned to live with it.

  2. Macdaddy says:

    Sweeper, Ernie Chambers should be Nebraska politician of the year all by his lonesome. The rest of the unicam’s collective IQ is slightly above freezing.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    You want to hear something depressing? There are 44 weeks between now and the election. If you spent a week discussing each Hillary Clinton scandal there aren’t enough weeks to get them all in.

  4. Cornwhole says:

    There is no place like Nebraska. It is where the west begins and common sense ends.

    Normal State legislatures ingest public matters, their bicameral stomachs break down problems into bits and slosh them back and forth, small intestines of partisanship absorb principled nutrients, and a colon consolidates waste. Bicameralism and partisanship provide reasoned digestion and principled absorption to help create the muscle of a healthy body politic.

    Nebraska’s Unicameral, however, lacks both stomach and upper intestine. It is just one big mouth that drops all problems directly into a one gut — a single, a-principled, colon— which forms problems into lumps which it then evacuates as “law” onto the heads of Nebraskans who welcome it like manna from heaven.

    You cannot blame that on Ricketts. You cannot even blame the Senators who inhabit that bizarre system. But you might consider blaming the thousands of willing citizens who not only cannot tell schiess from shinola but in this case, with bowl and spoon in hand, can’t tell it from granola.

  5. NE Voter says:

    Wholeheartedly agree on recognizing the Legislature as the LS Politician(s) of the year. After a decade of cowering before a nakedly take-no-prisoners and vindictive Heineman, the body was overdue for a fierce reaction against a new untested executive who had yet to assemble the infrastructure of payback and punishment.

    As for Fischer — I have been a reader of LS since its inception and simply do not understand SS’s elevation of Nebraska’s Republican senators to the level of national figures. Fisher is nothing special, folks. And Sasse? Well, Sasse is just . . . Nothing.

    Happy New Year

    • TexasAnnie says:

      And Happy New Year to you, too! Where’s the aspirin? Just kidding. I only overslept this morning.
      Give me a hint, NE Voter. Do we know one another?

    • To NE Voter says:

      Looks to me that the NE Voters told the Legislature who is boss. Not the Unicameral.

      Maybe the current Governor should have used previous Governor’s (not just Heineman) tactics. Otherwise these State Senators forget who is their boss.

    • Reader says:

      “Infrastructure of payback and punishment.” That’s a good description of lawmaking in Nebraska. And when the senators aren’t paying back or punishing, they’re counting and trading votes. And if they still can’t get ‘er done, they fudge their own rules, such as attaching entire new bills onto bills already through the first or second round of debate, or stripping a bill on second round of debate and replacing it with new content not previously discussed.

  6. No New Taxes! says:

    Just read the OWH…

    Strange to see that Senator Smith disappointed that his Gas Tax Increase was lower than expected.

    It appears that Senator Smith does not care for the tax payer. Wonder where his loyalty lies?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Only an idiot can think law making runs better on one leg than on two.

    Haven’t you read the US Constitution? Better yet, didn’t you have two parents?

    In biological terms, a Unicameral is a creature devolved from the superior dynamic adaptability of two body sexual reproduction, back into the dull rote plodding inadaptability of yeast budding.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So, you are saying the lawmaking process is more like reproduction than digestion?

    If that’s the case, then the NE Unicameral inseminated itself and gestates deformed monsters… and so was born Herbie Husker!

  9. Gas Tax says:

    Actually the roads here suck and gas prices are low. Raise it a Dime and sunset it every year. Its a user fee and who is going to fix the roads??? We have had Republican governors since 1998. Still waiting on that plan that fixes roads cheaper that every anti-gas tax supporter claims is out there. The law should have a review of every project for cost containment.

    • Road Bonds says:

      A tax is a tax…

      Gas Tax…if higher gas taxes (user fees in your Obama world) resulted in better roads, then NE would have the best roads in the country. NE has had a long history of having the highest gas taxes in the country.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Sweeper. All that sounds like an inside-out way of saying Pete Ricketts isn’t the Politician of the Year.

    We of course agree that everything Ricketts touched in 1015 turned to crap. But you seem to be saying that is because the brilliant Pete was out brillianced by a wizardly smart Unicameral. Now that’s wishful thinking.

  11. Governor Flannigan says:

    Where’s my F@!*ing award Sweeper. I have been running this state for a year and revived the death penalty with 150,000 signatures! The Unicameral??? Really??? Those nitwits have not seen anything yet. Now that I’m official, I’m taking charge and taking down anybody that crosses me. Get that Award ready for me next year!

  12. Governor Mello says:

    Jessica, you are an Amateur. Go get your 150,000 votes. I only need 30 to be Governor. Good Luck this Session, your Republican friends side with me more than you.

  13. Key 'n Trumpets says:

    Eastern Nebraska is the news hub for Western Iowa. As much as Unicameral antics fascinate political diddlers here, ideas we express in this blog impact the Iowa primary thus national politics.

    And so we come to The Trump, a martial arts master against street brawlers.

    Hillary, who is still smarting from spending December wondering how Trump instantly twisted her from a fmr Sec State into a serial rapist’s coopting pimp-wife, today avoids taking on Trump directly and has her Media buddies say Islamic State uses Trump to recruit (like saying Hitler used FDR to recruit Nazis… so what).

    Trump elegantly responds, “Hillary created ISIS with Obama.”

    And so she did. Is that great or what?

    Voters don’t know much. But every voter knows Bush got rid of Saddam and filled Iraq with American troops and that Obama and Hillary removed our troops. Now Bush’s Iraq is Obama’s Islamic State.

    Trump is saying Islamic State was created by stupid US Foreign Policy. Hillary ran US Foreign Policy.

    Has Trump crushed anyone as easily as Hillary?

  14. Trumpeter says:

    MacDaddy, you rightly note the large number of Clinton scandals. But to play devil’s advocate, I ask, so what?

    When Hillary trotted out her rapist husband last month, it wasn’t Priebus, McConnell, Ryan or Bush who slammed that filthy ass and his pimp of a presidential candidate wife… it was Trump. Trump did it to lower her image as Trump’s opponent. His goal isn’t to hammer Bill or Hillary but to win the presidency. He isn’t trying to be a not-Democrat. His goal also isn’t to become the GOP nominee. McCain and Romney tried to be GOP nominees. They succeeded. Screw that!

    The standard GOP mindset says it is important to not be Democrat. Does that even make sense as a principle or a policy? How does that make America great again? This blindness is what drove GOP leaders to go after Bill’s prurient sex instead of his real White Water criminality and which, after they failed to remove him as POTUS, caused GOP leaders to allow Bill to morph into a respected former president, that is until Trump shattered that as a side effect of running against Bill’s wife.

    The political correctness that Democrat leaders embrace totally infuses the marrow of GOP leaders.

    Trump at the very start said he would crush PC everywhere, and apparently the closer we are to politics, the more blinded we are by it and last to be freed of it.

    Trump keeps pulling GOP leaders’ heads out of their own asses and they keep sticking them right back up in there. We saw all this before with Reagan. Ron and Don drag the GOP kicking and screaming. Its enough to make a patriot weep.

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