Author: Publius

Publius is a Contributor on Leavenworth St.

Electoral College Makes it Official: Hillary Clinton is #NotMyPresident

Merry Christmas, everyone! Or should we say, Happy ChrismaHannuKwanzikah!

Colin Powell and Faith Spotted Eagle

Monday, amidst the cacophonous and shrill demonstrations/protestations of Clintonites around the country, members of the Electoral College officially voted to make Donald J. Trump the President-elect of the United States. Electors from Washington and Texas tried to spearhead an effort to “vote your conscience” and find a compromise Republican candidate instead of Trump, but they failed miserably. They tried to force an Intelligence briefing about Russia’s supposed involvement in the election, but they failed miserably. In short, their effort failed to get any traction on the ground (meaning, outside of liberal papers like the New York Times and Washington Post) where the votes actually mattered. Reminds us of Hillary’s campaign in key states like Wisconsin and Michigan….

Many protests were held in state capitals around the country, but Wisconsin’s takes the cake. One woman shouted “You people have no right! We’re all going to die in wars because of you!” Another shouted “This is MY AMERICA! YOU SOLD US OUT!” Chants of “SHAME, SHAME, SHAME” were constant. (On a positive note, however, when’s the last time anyone ever watched these proceedings before?)

The final tally? Trump 304, Clinton 227, with seven “faithless electors” voting for other candidates. One small problem: Clinton had more faithless electors than Trump did. (All 5 Nebraska electors voted for Trump, as expected) The entire spectrum was represented, with Libertarian Republican Ron Paul, Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Native American Faith Spotted Eagle all receiving votes. (Note that Ron Paul didn’t even run for President yet still got more electoral votes than Gary Johnson…)

Here are the faithless electors, and the people for whom they voted:

State Pledged to Voted for
Hawaii Clinton Bernie Sanders
Texas Trump Ron Paul
Texas Trump John Kasich
Washington Clinton Colin L. Powell
Washington Clinton Colin L. Powell
Washington Clinton Colin L. Powell
Washington Clinton Faith Spotted Eagle

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2017 Mayor’s Race:

Taylor Royal, your next Mayor?

As has been reported elsewhere, 26 year old accountant Taylor Royal is running as a Republican for Omaha mayor in 2017 against incumbent Mayor Jean Stothert and liberal Democrat challenger Sen. Heath Mello. Unfortunately for Taylor, Deadspin has already written an article slamming him for wanting to build an NFL stadium. We cannot post the title because it uses a slur word, but we suspect Omaha voters would hesitate to build yet another stadium. In all reality, though, congratulations to Taylor for wanting to get involved, but the political/financial feasibility of this endeavor might leave much to be desired.

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Nebraska Legislature

Counting down the days until the madness known as the #NEleg begins in earnest. Here are a couple off the beaten path issues that might play a role this year:

Occupational Licensing Reform – The OWH recently published an editorial largely endorsing the movement to reduce licensure requirements for certain professions. This follows in the footsteps of Sen. Nicole Fox’s bill passed last session to reform the licensing requirements for hair braiding, etc. While not a sexy issue, the issue has bipartisan support (President Obama’s WH published a report endorsing the project nationally) and would encourage private-sector job growth. Will the Senators have enough time/moxy to address it?

“Campaign Finance Reform” – Democrat Sen. Sue Crawford (recently re-elected) was featured in an OWH story about the prospect of tougher requirements for advertisements during election season. In the story, she laments the role voter education campaigns (primarily the ones done by Trees of Liberty and Americans for Prosperity) did in sinking the re-election hopes of multiple colleagues. Voter information projects differ from traditional political mail in that they cannot endorse candidates or ask for a vote, but they can talk about issues.

Liberals are complaining that voters were informed about the liberal voting records of supposedly “conservative Republicans” like Al Davis and Jerry Johnson and that they responded by kicking them out of office.

Does this not remind you of the complaining done by the Clinton campaign about Russia “stealing” the election by releasing 100% truthful information about Clinton’s misdeeds?

All of these things could have been avoided if Republican Senators voted the platform and Clinton/Team Clinton didn’t skirt the rules.

More importantly, did the OWH mention the fact that the single biggest political contributor to Nebraska Legislative races in the last few cycles is none other than the ultra-liberal NSEA/teachers union? No, because that would screw up their preferred narrative that only conservative Republicans like Gov. Ricketts throw money around. It’s interesting how they fail to mention the tens of thousands of dollars the NSEA spent attacking conservatives like Suzanne Geist, Ian Swanson, and others. (More to come on this subject as well)

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Herbster for Ag Secretary?:

More reporting from Politico that Nebraska GOP Donor Charles W. Herbster is still in contention for Ag Secretary:

Charles Herbster, the agribusiness mogul from Nebraska who chairs Trump’s agricultural advisory committee, managed to stay under the radar as he made his way to New York last week to meet with Trump transition officials, according to a source close to the transition — though he doesn’t appear to have spoken directly to the president-elect. Still, the fact Herbster was summoned to NYC suggests he remains very much in the mix. In many ways, Herbster would make sense: He’s a businessman from one of the country’s biggest farm states who was a key rural backer for the loyalty-loving Trump during the campaign. His dearth of government experience, which would likely be a detriment in any other administration, could fit into Trump’s swamp-draining pledge. (Source: POLITICO/http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-agriculture/2016/12/vilsack-hints-at-future-ag-policy-role-217941)

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NEGOP ED Position Unannounced:

The Nebraska Republican Party has not yet announced who will take-over for Bud Synhorst as Executive Director. The race seems to be down to Patrick Roy, Kenny Zoeller, and a mystery third candidate, rumored to be from out-of-state. An announcement is expected soon. The “smart money” is on Kenny Zoeller, but the NEGOP could surprise us all. More to come.

Mayors, Mellos, and Moderates

Long time no talk. Much to get to as we get closer to Christmas/New Years (and a new Legislative session!)

2017 Mayor’s Race:

Progressive Democrat Sen. Heath Mello recently held his official campaign kickoff and came out swinging, claiming Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s leadership has made Omaha terrible for millennials. This on the same day Mayor Stothert held a millennials forum where she outlined all of the “Top Ten” lists Omaha is on, including No.3 on “America’s 15 Best Cities for Young Professionals” (Forbes) and No.2 on the “Best U.S. Cities for Millennial College Students” (USA Today).

Senator Mello might be taking a page from the Hillary Clinton “vast, right-wing conspiracy” playbook, but we have a sneaking suspicion Omahans agree that Forbes and USA Today are legitimate sources and Omaha is doing just fine.

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Nebraska Legislature

We are just a few short weeks away from a new Nebraska Legislative Session. Or, as conservatives like to call it: the months we lose sleep over tax increases.

Here are a few things to watch:

  1. What happens on the first day of Session in the battle over open votes? Sen. Chambers has pledged to filibuster indefinitely (reading his “Kintner-grams for hours on the floor if necessary) if open votes are pushed. Do Republicans have the intestinal fortitude to fight back, or will they find other avenues to get it passed? Rumor has it that, if given a vote, the rules change would be close.
  2. Do Democrats get many Committee Chairmen, or do Republicans fight back? While many Dems have publicly said little, behind the scenes it’s nuclear war over chairmanships. (Ask any of the newly-elected Senators how much mail/calls they’ve received from folks lobbying for votes) Does a GOP-dominated Legislature give them the ribbing the Dems deserve for their pride?
  3. How does the Unicam address the almost $1B budget shortfall? Progressives like Renee Fry at the liberal Open Sky Institute want tax increases (through expanding the sales tax base, primarily) to make up the gap, but conservatives want a combination of tax reform and fiscal discipline. Will moderate Republicans decide to fight for the actual Republican Party platform?

(Sensing a theme yet with these questions?)

  1. Finally, what happens with Kintner? Dems are saying they will push for an expulsion vote, which would place Republicans in a tight spot. It will be interesting to see what the Republicans decide to do. Few people think the votes are out there to actually kick Kintner out, but we are sure the Dems would love an opportunity to prosecute Sen. Kintner on the floor and grandstand for NET.

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Bud Says Goodbye:

The Nebraska Republican Party had its last State Central Committee Meeting of the 2016 cycle this weekend and honored retiring Executive Director Bud Synhorst for his service to the Party. Bud (serving under Chairmen JL Spray and Dan Welch) oversaw very successful elections in 2014 and 2016. While not all of the Republicans elected have voted like it enough for many conservatives, the Party exists to elect Republicans, and Bud did that very well.

Thank you for your service, Bud. We all hope you get to watch a great many more baseball games now!

Who will replace Bud? The rumor mill is spinning, with Party stalwarts Patrick Roy (who worked for Deb Fischer ’12, Dan Welch ’13, Bart McLeay ’14, and at Northstar most recently), Kenny Zoeller (Sasse in ’14, Advisor to Gov. Ricketts since then), and Rod Edwards (who has managed many Leg. Races) among the names being tossed around. Stay tuned, b/c this will be interesting…