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


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.


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)


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)


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.


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.


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…


Frequent flyer miles

fischer-thanks-04ICYMI, Nebraska’s Sr. U.S. Senator, Deb Fischer, spent Thanksgiving with the troops.

Fischer met with service members from Nebraska at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. The visit was part of a Senate Armed Services Committee congressional delegation trip focused on the continued mission in Afghanistan.

At Al Udeid Air Base, Senator Fischer met Master Sergeant Daniel Westman from Bellevue, Lieutenant Colonel Chris Shannon from Omaha, Staff Sergeant Jennifer Jensen from Alliance.

fischer-thanks-06At Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan she met with Lieutenant Colonel James Rye of McCook, Chief Warrant Officer Aaron Carpenter of Omaha, Sergeant Jared Cornell of Omaha, Sergeant Erik Servellon of Omaha Lieutenant Colonel Danny Robinson of North Platte, and Chief Warrant Officer Nicole Patterson of Beatrice.

Because of military protocol on issues involving of use of torture, it is unclear as to whether or not she or her fellow Nebraskans were forced to watch the Husker loss to Iowa on Friday.


Back home, Heath Mello is just starting into his campaign for Mayor of Omaha. He is sending emails and attacking Mayor Jean Stothert, etc., etc.

But Heath figured he needs to raise some money too, and where does Heath go to raise money to be Mayor of OMAHA?
Well…Lincoln, of course.
Because apparently Heath doesn’t know where else to go.

And who does he invite to the funder at the local bar?
Lots and lots of lobbyists.

As a matter of fact, his HOSTS for the fundraiser included over 17 lobbyists registered with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission.

Well, that’s one way to run for Omaha’s top job.
Run to Lincoln and rub elbows with the Lincoln Lobbyists in the Legislature.

Too bad about those term limits…


The Greater Omaha Pachyderm Luncheon is today (Monday) from 11:40am – 1pm at The Garden Cafe in Rockbrook Village, 108th & Center St.

The speakers will be State Senators Bob Hilkemann, John McCollister, and Bret Lindstrom, who will give a preview of some of the upcoming issues that may be debated in the next session.

Mello swings & misses on Omaha ideas

Jean StothertAfter Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s reelection announcement, Democrat Mayor candidate Heath Mello immediately went on the political attack, talking in generalities and keeping alive the partisan banter of the past election year that so many are tired of.

At her announcement, Stothert had Republicans and Democrats and people from every part of the city praising and endorsing Mayor Stothert before a packed crowd at UNO’s Scott Conference Center.

But Mello didn’t stop with the local press.

He also took to Twitter (or the Twitter, as Sweeper was fond to say) in response to a citizen’s request:


Mello responded…


Which is interesting.

Leavenworth St. has heard that any request the City of Omaha’s Planning Department has ever received for art work on the grain elevators…has been approved.

You can note some of the art on these elevators from Emerging Terrain on their website here.

Our guess is that the political hits from young Mello will keep coming. No word yet on if/when they might be accurate.


Jean Stothert for Mayor

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert made her reelection campaign announcement Monday evening at UNO’s Scott Conference Center.

You can watch the entire announcement, as well as short clips from the evening at the campaign Facebook page at Facebook.com/JeanforMayor.

But the above referenced Heath Mello took a shot at former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman as well.

And Heineman apparently struck a nerve with Heath.

Here is what Heineman had to say, in part, while introducing the Mayor…

Our guess is Heineman won’t be worried about talking about his experience in Lincoln with Heath.

BREAKING: Cornhusker Hat Trick

Charles Herbster 03Breaking first on Leavenworth Street!

Well that didn’t take long.  I had a call from a high-up Republican operative that Nebraska maybe represented very well in and around the Trump Administration.  

We previously know that Dave Heineman and Charles Herbster were possible candidate for Agriculture Secretary, but as of the afternoon the picture has become more clear.  

Heineman 901.jpgAccording to my source Former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman is being strongly considered as Chair of the RNC.  Charles Herbster is on the short list for Agriculture Secretary.  

Finally, a dramatic surprise, Senator Deb Fischer is being discussed as Secretary for Transportation.  That possibility makes sense as Deb Fischer has experience in transportation issue and President–Elect Trump has placed an infrastructure bill as one of his top legislative priorities.  

Deb Fischer 1202Leavenworth Street will keep you posted on these events

I am Spartacus!

sparatcus04I am Spartacus!  Well at least for purposes of having a pen name on Leavenworth Street.  I remember as a child watching the classic film in which Spartacus’ brethren claimed to be Spartacus to stand up for freedom over certain death.   Spartacus seemed like an appropriate name for our posts on Leavenworth Street while Jerry takes his sabbatical away from this Blog. Leavenworth Street has been an important voice in our community and on occasion has reached national notoriety.  

I always thought that Jerry taking the name of Street Sweeper was a clever device to maintain his anonymity and to create a buzz as to who Street Sweeper might be.  In light of the radical left attacking those with a conservative bent, using a pen name seems appropriate.  Furthermore, the pen name “Spartacus” can be used by one or many if needed to keep up with the posts on this blog.  I may want to tap others to help provide new content and top cover different topics and elections.

So the next question you may be asking am I qualified to take the reins of Leavenworth Street from Jerry?  That is a fair question. While I will be anonymous, I will tell you a little about myself.  I have been active in our community for about 20 years.  I am a Conservative.  I have experience in both politics and journalism.  I have a day job but I enjoy following the local, state, and national political scene.  What attracted me to doing this for Jerry was to keep alive another independent voice that adds to the debate and for over a decade Jerry has done just that.  What an exciting time politically we live in. With the Lincoln and Omaha elections next spring, Donald Trump being elected President, a revised Unicameral starting in January, and protesters in the streets, I think there will be plenty of topics to cover over the next several months.  

With that said, I AM SPARTACUS!



What a year it’s been, yeah?

Actually it’s been closer to 11 years here at Leavenworth St.

Since I first started writing on Leavenworth St. back in January 2006 — first under the moniker Street Sweeper, before announcing myself — I have nary taken a week off. (There might have been a summer break a few years ago, but that was brief.)

I have posted from all places, at all times. I posted while on a trip to Europe a few years back — taking advantage of the hotel’s business center in the wee hours to write about some breaking Governor news. I posted the day my kids were born. I’ve posted on the day of funerals.

And of course over the past two years I have posted nearly daily on Leavenworth St. as well as podcasts on WheelsDownPolitics.com.

But, as I stated on Monday of this week, no matter what the outcomes on Election Day, I had an announcement. And with that, this coming Monday, I am going to take a break from Leavenworth St.

However, Leavenworth St. will not be taking a break from you.

While I am on an approximately 6-month sabbatical from this site, Leavenworth St. will still be up and running, continuing as the talk of Nebraska politics.

But how?

I will be handing over the keys to a Managing Editor, who will have 100% editorial control over Leavenworth St. and all who inhabit it. There may be guest posts. And of course there will be commenters — who need to continue to follow the commenting rules.

But I will be out for around a half-year, as far as any writing or editorial control is involved.

(I haven’t quite decided how I will work-out the Twitter handle “@LeavenworthSt”, as I would still like the ability to comment on the Twitter. I’ll let you know, one way or the other.)

So who will take the reins?

Well, back in the Blogspot.com days, every local politico, it seemed, was accused of being “Street Sweeper.” And I ended up selling coffee mugs (luckily, I don’t have crates of them filling my garage) that read, “I am Street Sweeper” — with a nod to a certain Kirk Douglas movie.

So with that in mind, your new editor and moderator will be…only known as…Spartacus.

And Spartacus will take over this coming Monday.

And with that, au revoir! Until we meet again!


Oh…and as long as I still have one post in me…this:

Wild times

baconsHas everyone calmed down yet?

That was a wild two days.

An ecstatic super-early morning for Trump fans, and then a late-morning victory for Don Bacon.

No one said it was going to be easy defeating an incumbent Congressman, but Don Bacon was sincerely the right person for the job. A complete outsider, in a race that mimicked the Presidential race on that point. Ashford had been in office about as long as Hillary had, and he also had a dearth of ingrained, hard-core Democrat support, much like Hillary’s campaign.

I always think back to overhearing two Dem politicos sitting at a table in Omaha last year, one saying to the other, “Ashford isn’t REALLY one of us.”

And Ashford tried to play that to the hilt. And it got him very, very close.

But this year it wasn’t close enough.

And maybe it doesn’t always come through on TV or in commercials, but Don Bacon is a really, really, REALLY nice guy. Like Mike Riley-nice. But he’s a General, so it’s not as if he can ever be seen as pushover-nice.

But he’s the kind of perfect guy to represent Nebraska.  And I have no doubt that citizens will be proud of him and the work he does.


Keep cool

And the Trumpster? Er…President-Elect The Donald?

Look Republicans, have a little sympathy for your Democrat brethren who are going through many stages of grief right now. I know my Facebook timeline — which is filled with actual friends — has many Democrats who are calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. And for the Electoral College to ignore the results. And to march in the streets. Lots of stuff about yoga…that I don’t really follow.

Point is, it’s always good to have friends with different perspectives. And it’s also the best to have friends with whom you can disagree on politics, and still have a great relationship. So give those friends and family and colleagues some breathing room over the next few days to sort out their own thoughts.

And touchdown dances are not necessary.

Act like you’ve been there before.

Someone tell them you do this BEFORE the election…

Now that being said, I get Facebook.

But the people in the streets? Breathlessly screaming “Not my President!” or, one of the nicer signs of the weekend, “Tuck Frump!”

And I’ll just throw this one out, but the “protest” in Omaha invited people to come down …and create their own signs there! Plenty of white board and giant Sharpies!

And all I’m saying…is that SOMEONE had to pay for that stuff. Yes, the angry mob still has to show. But I won’t be surprised to hear that deep-pocketed instigators paid for the torches and pitchforks.

And as many have stated on the Twitter, they’re protesting…what exactly?




Interesting results from across the state.

Tom Brewer wins out west over Al Davis.
Judiciary Chair Les Seiler loses in Hastings.
Mike Hilgers wins in Lincoln.
Tommy Garrett loses in Bellevue.
Ian Swanson, after a primary win, comes up short in West O.
(And unless he bangs his head too hard on a low entry door frame, Swanson is young enough that we have not seen the last of him)

Some of the Ricketts support was successful, but not everywhere.
And the Death Penalty repeal gets…repealed.

Back to the nitty-gritty in Lincoln.

Mayor Jean Stothert with Congressman-Elect and Don Bacon and Angie Bacon

Finest Place You Ever Saw

And lest we get campaigning out of our systems, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert will make her formal re-election announcement on Monday evening at the Scott Conference Center, just north of Aksarben Village.

You can sign-up for free tickets to attend using EventBrite (here).

Too soon for another election?

Well, outgoing Democrat State Senator Heath Mello has already announced (and gets lots of kudos from those who were waving swear-word signs in the Old Market last night).

And the Mayor had actually planned to announce a month or so ago, before her dog-walking injury briefly sidelined her. But she’s back and healthy, and ready to talk about what she’s done and what she hopes to do for Omaha going forward.

(And campaigners know, you really can’t wait any longer for an election that’s just 5 and 6 months away.)

Should be an exciting campaign for this coming off-year.


Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…

And as teased on Monday, I personally have some news for you.

But…it’s going to wait until tomorrow — Friday.

And I think you may find it interesting.

Ya’ll come on back now, ya hear!

@LeavenworthSt on the Twitter.
Leavenworth St. on The Facebook.

5:30am Totals for #NE02

Vote Totals from Douglas & Sarpy County as of 5:30am — unofficial final totals

Douglas Sarpy TOTAL
Don Bacon 103,938 30,353 134,291
Brad Ashford 110,557 18,182 128,739
Trump 102,151 29,187 131,338
Clinton 105,207 17,046 122,253


Morning playbook

Politico notes on Nebraskans in potential Trump admin:

POWER PLAYERS YOU NEED TO KNOW — Inside Trump world: Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Jason Miller, Stephen Bannon, Jared Kushner, Chris Christie, Sen. Jeff Sessions, Corey Lewandowski, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Rudy Giuliani, Boris Epshteyn, Brad Parscale, Dan Scavino, David Bossie, Michael Glassner, Scott Mason, Steven Cheung, Michael Abboud

Abboud is the son of former State Senator Chris Abboud.


And then on Ag Secretary

Sid Miller; Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback; Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman; former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue; former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as well as Charles Herbster, Republican donor and agribusiness leader; and Mike McCloskey

Vote and count

© Sam Kratochvil

So there’s this headline from the OWH…

Voters across Omaha brave early lines to cast their ballots

Really? Waiting in a line?

Apparently this is what Francis Scott Key meant when referring to the “Home of the Brave.”


If the swamp isn’t drained…

Former Democrat Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, was on MSNBC this morning responding to what he felt would be important for Hillary to do if she wins tonight.

He said that she needs to go to places like western Pennsylvania and West Virginia — places that didn’t vote for her — and just sit and listen. He said she needs to just listen and let those people get their feelings off their chest to help heal the country.

Then he said, “Because those people are not going to like what they hear…”

In other words, not really a “listening” tour.
A “telling” tour.

Same as the old boss…


Sure, why not some predictions…

So how does the night turn out?

Well, I have yet to see a prediction that gives a solid chance for Trump to get to 270. There are the ones that say, “If he wins ALL of these states, then STEALS this state that has been saying for months that it will go for Hillary...”

There are those types of scenarios, but they’re not common.

So instead of that, let’s talk local:
The prediction here is that Trump takes ALL of Nebraska’s 5 Electoral Votes. Who knows, maybe somehow that’s the difference-maker in a crazy Trump upset. For the 2nd, Trump by…5 points.

And then in the 2nd Congressional District, the other bet is that Don Bacon upsets Brad Ashford. If the proposal is to “drain the swap” it’s pretty hard to argue that the one who has been in politics for 30 years is your go-to guy. And the fact that the alternative is a retired General, who comes across as straight-shooting and also ultra-friendly is the difference-maker.

But that race WILL be close, not matter who wins. We’ll say Bacon by 3 points.

Death Penalty will be reversed. Er, repealed. The repeal will be repealed and thus reversed. (Sigh.) Nebraska will keep the Death Penalty. I mean, get it back.

That’ll be…8 points.

And for a party flip in the Legislature, I’ll take Ian Swanson in West O by 5 points.


The Twittah

From here, head on over to the Twitter for the latest and greatest and up-to-datest. I’ll be updating the various numbers on there, and likely updating on LeavenworthSt.com itself.

It’s the place to be.
Because THAT’s where you keep up on the talk of Nebraska politics.

Oh, and be sure to come on back to tomorrow, as there WILL be some news out of Leavenworth St. no matter who wins or loses tonight.