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 Er, repealed. The repeal will be repealed and thus reversed.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 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.

What happens to your write-in vote?

The LJS has an interesting look at what happens to your write-in vote. (Spoiler alert: Nothing.)

But the following is a repeat of a post on Leavenworth St. (back in the day) on Omaha Mayoral Election Day 2009, talking about one of the greatest write-in candidacies in Nebraska history!


Otis XII

A little political/pop history for you on Election Day 2009.

We take you back to the Year 1981. New President Ronald Reagan was recovering from being shot. Xerox has just introduced something called a “computer mouse”. And a young Kim Carnes was singing to us all about “Bettie Davis Eyes”.

However, to avoid the aforementioned Ms. Carnes, in Omaha you would rock on over to Z-92 (92.3 KEZO) and get your fill of Foghat, Skynyrd, and Zepplin. (Playlist hasn’t changed you say? Yeah, well, anyway…)

Z-92’s morning DJs ruled Omaha. Otis Twelve (aka Otis XII) and Diver Dan Doomey were Omaha classics who had shows within their shows that still stand up today.

Mean Farmer“, “Lance Stallion, Radio Detective” and “Space Commander Wack” were a few of the 3-4 minute long shows they had on during your AM drive. (You can hear an episode here , and they can be found on iTunes, among other places.) Each was a sort of farce comedy bit, with bad special effects and overacting. People memorized them daily.

It was Space Commander Wack (Space CoMMANder!) who put a dent into Omaha politics.

We asked Otis about the show and what happened when Space Commander Wack (with sidekick Stupid Larry, and Glorf, the Dead Martian Dog [whomp]) decided to run for Mayor. Here is what he had to say:

It was 1981. Mike Boyle was running against then incumbent Al Veys . Al was a wonderful old guy – a South O grocer by trade – who wore glasses that were as thick as the windows on one of Jacques Cousteau’s deep diving submersibles.

Al had won four years previously as a write-in. He was real salt of the old earth and loved telling the story of how, during his visit to Omaha’s Japanese sister city, Shizuoka, the mayor there had asked him, “How often do you have erections?”

Al was shocked… dumbfounded… set aback… until the mayor continued, “We have our erections every four years.” Al loved telling that one, god love him.

We really abused him – satirically speaking – and no one laughed harder than he did. He continued to invite us to parties and get-togethers long after he had left office… really a class act. A sweet man whom I still remember fondly. Still friends with Boyle as well.

And the inspiration…

space-commander-wackOur show on Z-92 was really taking off. Wack was big and it seemed like a fun thing to try. We had no consultants or research, in those days (codger clears throat and spits into empty Pabst can) the whole idea was, “Let’s do a show!”

We really had no idea what we were doing. Anyway, the inspiration was “WTF”.

And then it began to snowball…

We had printed up five hundred “Wack for Mayor” bumper stickers — which came back from the printers as “Whack for Mayor” – no problem as far as we were concerned.

Those 500 were gone in two days. Printed a thousand more. Those lasted a week. Think we ended up doing 7K plus. The public thirst for hope was unquenchable. Also did about 2000 buttons.

Local bands composed and recorded campaign songs. Ratings soared. Alcohol soaked, drug fueled, sex-laced bachanales (sic) reached into the “dark-thirty” hours. The local TV stations did features and we ripped all the powers-that-be along the way.

The mob was primed. It was a perfect scam for two would-be anarchists.

And this was the truth. You’d drive across town and see almost as many “Wack for Mayor” bumper stickers as you’d see “Boyle” or “Veys”.

And Z-92 also ran their “Wack for Mayor” ad-song non-stop, (buzzy-whistle -bwang “Vote Wack For Mayor…”). It was viral marketing before viral marketing.

So then, the Election.

We had an election night “defeat party” at Peony Park” – in the Grove – with bands and the one and only in-person appearance by Wack, Stupid Larry and Glorf the Dead Martian Dog. Three thousand plus – by Peony estimates – showed up.

Local news covered our rally live like we were a real campaign. Wack’s speech was a clarion call to revolution (Had I pressed the issue, I think the mob might indeed have burned down one thing or another at my direction – but cooler heads prevailed.)

We were awarded a new lucrative contract on the spot and having finally attained great wealth immediately distanced ourselves from the unwashed masses who had supported us up to then.

As for the results… well it was a very close election between Boyle and Veys. I think the final totals given (officially) were Boyle 50.1% and Veys 49.5% with “Others” at less than 1%.

But the election commissioner stopped counting the write-ins because Wack had not legally registered. (We chose not to in order to avoid any equal time problems)

But sources inside the election office (oh yes, we had listeners everywhere) subsequently informed us that Wack had received more than 4% of the vote cast. Which meant that the mayor, Mike Boyle, had been elected with a mere plurality. The government quickly covered up the truth with the collusion of the local MSM.

But all-in-all, we were gratified to discover just how seriously our fellow citizens treated their sacred right of suffrage.

We here at Leavenworth Street still recall listening to election updates from Z-92 on the kitchen radio — with the Election Commissioner reporting that they were ending Space Commander Wack’s vote count. Alas…

And what happened to Otis? Well, you can still hear his voice over at classical station 90.7, KVNO. And thanks to the miracle of the internets, you can find Otis at his Facebook page, his website, and you still hear Space Commander Wack, Mean Farmer, and Lance Stallion, among other places, on iTunes.

Thanks for our joining us back in the 80’s!


Back to 2016…

Leavenworth St. will be posting throughout Election Day 2016! Keep up with ALL the news by Following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Liking Leavenworth St. on The Facebook!

Because that’s the way to be on top of the talk of Nebraska politics!

Election Day! (Part 1)

On this 2016 Election Day, the plan here on Leavenworth St. is to put up a number of posts throughout the day.

Per usual, if you see anything unusual, interesting, weird or Election Day-ee, fire it over to LeavenworthSt(-at-) (FYI, a link in the comment section will automatically NOT post.)

But to start you off, I thought it would be fun to watch a little throwback. To when we were naive and full of gumption.

To May 2015…when your GOP Nominee, measuring the drapes…was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Enjoy 3 minutes in the Time Machine:



More post up through the day, with maybe some predictions around 2 or 3pm. Follow EVERYTHING @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Leavenworth St. on The Facebook — where you’ll also get updates with every new post.

Oh, and no matter what candidate or issue wins or loses…there will be some news from Leavenworth St., no later than the end of the week…

And don’t forget to…you know…vote.

Election Eve

After a weekend where Brad Ashford was touting Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert answering a question politely, Don Bacon put out a video, featuring Mayor Stothert’s endorsement of General Bacon. See it here:

This features the presser hosted by Mayor Stothert, Governor Kay Orr, Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton and State Senators Joni Craighead and Nicole Fox, criticizing Ashford and the Nebraska Democrats for the false flyer they sent out about Bacon.

Click here to see all of Bacon’s ads this season.


More like Un-common sense, amirite?

The LJS jumped on the story featured here on Friday which pointed out that a mystery group called “Common Sense Nebraska” sent out false information about Nebraska Legislature candidate Bruce Bostelman.

The LJS notes that the group used misquoted information to attack Bostelman — which the Nebraska Family Alliance is now trying to correct through phone calls.

You would think correcting out-and-out false information would be easier, wouldn’t you.

But this same group, “Common Sense Nebraska” — no relation to the Common Sense Nebraska which opposed the Waters of the US rule — has also sunk their teeth into another Legislative candidate, retired Col. Tom Brewer, running against incumbent Al Davis.

Brewer filed a formal complaint to the NADC, noting that the group had not filed a statement of organization, nor had it listed a physical street address in the disclaimer.

Leavenworth St. was told that the advertisements are likely paid for by an established state political organization like the NSEA. The mailings for Common Sense Nebraska, Citizens for a Better Tomorrow (a group funded by the NSEA and Trial Attorneys) and the NSEA PAC all generated from the same mail house, Garner Printing, with the same bulk mail indicia.

That does not mean that they are definitely from that source, but you can use that info as you see fit.

In the mean time, Brewer put out this flyer, which is based on Legislative voting history, as opposed to a shadow group with no address:


By the way, this is U.S. Senator Deb Fischer’s old district.


The party

On this Election eve afternoon, feel free to dive in to the comments if you want to give a pitch for your favorite candidate(s).

At this point, please try to keep it civil. Everyone will be appreciative.

And if you’re making plans for tomorrow night, the Nebraska Republican Party will be having their Election Night gig for local and Legislative candidates and Don Bacon for Congress, at the Marriott Regency (10220 Regency Circle) in Omaha. Festivities begin at 7pm and go to midnight (or so).

And keep up with ALL of your Election goings-on by Following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Liking Leavenworth St. on The Facebook!

Because that’s how YOU will stay up with the talk of Nebraska politics!

How to address an outright lie?

It’s the Friday before Election Day.

It’s nearly impossible to get any new mail to voters.
It is surprisingly difficult to add a new advertisement into rotation on TV and radio.

So what do you do when your opponent tells a bald-faced lie against you?

Case in point:

Bruce Bostelman is running against incumbent State Senator Jerry Johnson in District 23 (Ashland, Wahoo, Schuyler, David City…), in what is likely a very tight race.

So a group called, “Common Sense Nebraska” sends out a mailer card, like the ones pouring into your mailbox, that looks like this:



But here’s the problem:

Bostleman fully supports property tax relief (duh)…and that’s what the Nebraska Family Alliance questionnaire says!

Here is their webpage!

Here is a screenshot!


Even Hallie Hamilton, at Nebraska Family Alliance confirmed that Bostelman answered the question that he supports property tax relief — like it says on their site!

Can you fix it? Ha!

So what do you do?
You can try to tell the press and get them to do a big write up on that.
You could have a press conference.

But likely the media will spin it to suit their own predisposition on the issue.

How do we know this?…


Even when it’s obvious…

Well the Nebraska Republican Party called out the Nebraska Democrats and Brad Ashford for LYING on their mailer.

The NDP mailer SPECIFICALLY says that Planned Parenthood provides mammograms, and since Don Bacon isn’t a fan of Planned Parenthood, he must be against mammograms and supports cancer in women.

Except that Planned Parenthood does NOT provide mammograms.
It’s not even a question anymore.

But read the OWH’s story on it (which, btw, SKIPPED the presser on the issue by the Mayor of Omaha, former Governor, City Councilwoman and two State Senators…) and you’d think that the issue is still open.

In Joe Morton’s article, the point about mammograms was buried down on Paragraph 11. And he never wrote that the NDP was lying about this point.

Which IS the point.

So good luck candidates.
It is apparently open season on the truth.

And the supposed truth-tellers ain’t gonna help ya.



OK, got that out of your system?

The latest (final?) ad to close out the Don Bacon for Congress campaign. See it here:

A positive piece from the tough as nails General…who is also one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.


Working for it

Hey, Leavenworth St. will be tweeting all weekend long!
So follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like Leavenworth St. on The Facebook.

Because that’s how YOU will keep up with the talk of Nebraska politics!

And Go Huskers!

Nebraska women leaders on Ashford NDP mailer: “Nebraska is better than this.”


Six Nebraska women leaders came together today in Omaha to denounce the recent mailer by the Nebraska Democrat Party which claimed that retired Brigadier General Don Bacon is against women’s health care.

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert, former Governor Kay Orr, Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton, State Senator Joni Craighead, State Senator Nicole Fox and Republican National Committeewoman Dr. Joyce Simmons spoke in Omaha about the negative mail piece sent out by the NDP.

“Don Bacon understands the importance of proper health screening for breast cancer. His sister died of the disease. This scurrilous attack by the Democrats is just beyond the pale.” said Governor Orr.

The NDP mailer stated that, “Planned Parenthood provides cancer screenings, including mammograms to more than 5,000 Nebraska women.


“Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms,” Orr continued. “Their national leader testified before a Congressional Committee last year and had to finally admit that they’ve been deceiving the people.”


“This mailing hits General Don Bacon where it hurts the most, and that’s the loss of his sister to breast cancer. Cancer should not be exploited at the last minute of a campaign to win an election,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert.

“I am a former health care professional and nurse. I have treated and know many women who have faced this terrible disease, and some who lost.

“General Don Bacon has likely seen it all in his military service on the battlefield, and in war. But what had to be worse, was reading in this flyer that he would intentionally put women’s lives at risk from the very disease that took his sister,” she said.

“Nebraska is better than this,” Stothert concluded.


Omaha City Councilwoman Aimee Melton said, “In a campaign if you’re going to be a politician you’ve got to have tough skin. All of us up here have had to have tough skin.

“But this is one thing on which I think Brad Ashford and the Democrats have gone to an all new low,” Melton concluded.


“I’m not going to fall for the scare tactics and the lies, because that flyer was nothing but lies,” said State Senator Nicole Fox.


“Don Bacon supports putting funds into community health centers that respect all life and all care for all people,” said Senator Joni Craighead.

“Do liberals truly respect women? Or do they just use women’s issues to try to manipulate the voters?” she asked.


“This is a matter of truth. And it occurs to me that Brad Ashford took his marching orders from Washington D.C., from Nancy Pelosi and didn’t even check to see if it was accurate about mammograms,” concluded Dr. Joyce Simmons.

See the entire press conference via Periscope here.

Desperate attacks in the waning days

Nebraska Democrats, currently under Vince Powers, and soon to be under Jane Kleeb, sent out this mailer to 2nd District voters:


Now you don’t need Leavenworth St. to tell you that Planned Parenthood does NOT provide mammograms.

You can let Washington Post spell it out:

“Supporters have continued to assert that Planned Parenthood offers mammograms even though it has been debunked for years.”

They even chastised President Obama for suggesting this:

“President Obama asserted that women ‘rely’ on the organization for mammograms or that it ‘provides’ mammograms. Obama received Three Pinocchios for repeatedly using misleading words, which suggested an intentional attempt to mislead voters about Planned Parenthood’s services.”

So beyond lying to Nebraska voters, what the NDP is really trying to do is tell you that retired Brigadier General Don Bacon doesn’t care about women’s health.

Which is a disgusting, desperate last minute tactic.

Let Bacon tell you himself:

“The importance of preventative care is an issue that my family and I care deeply about.

I lost my sister Beth to breast cancer when she was just 39 years old.

Not only was she a wonderful sister, but she also introduced Angie and I, and was the maid of honor at our wedding. Her loss was the most heart breaking event in my family’s life, and ten years later I still mourn her passing.

Earlier screenings and care could have saved her life and I want to prevent the tragedy that struck our family from happening to others.”

But this is just chortle-chortle ha-ha stuff perpetrated by the Democrats and endorsed by Brad Ashford.

This is the kind of crap the Democrats should be ashamed of.

This goes beyond “politics.”


Brad’s Speaker

Just be clear: This is the person who Brad Ashford has voted for TWICE for Speaker of the House of Representatives:


Funny, because just a few weeks ago she called Comey a “great man,” and said,
We are very privileged in our country to have him be director of the FBI.

Hey, but Brad only supports her nearly 80% of the time, so that’s just barely over half right?


Luck of the Irish

In the meantime, Don Bacon continues to have Congressional leaders in supporting his candidacy.

Tomorrow (Thursday), House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy will be in Omaha (at the Bacon HQ – 3pm) to show his support for the Bacon campaign.

This kind of support — Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, McCarthy, polls going your way and national prognosticators trending your way — is exactly what you want at the even of the election.

And exciting race for the 2nd.



Stay in touch with the talk of Nebraska politics by following @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Leavenworth St. on The Facebook!

Because that’s how YOU keep up with the talk of Nebraska politics!

“Excitement” in South O

While watching the World Series last night, I was also watching the OWH’s Roseann Moring‘s and KETV’s Alexandra Stone‘s live Tweets at Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert’s town hall at the South Omaha Library.


What caught my attention were the “tense moments” and then the ruckus in the hallway with Omaha Police. A woman was standing there accusing someone of “assault” and then others around her were yelling for the media to come and pay attention to them.

What happened?

Well a group of people went there with the plan to “confront” Mayor Stothert. How do I know this? They made their own Facebook logo:


(Apparently this involved shaving with barbed wire…)

In any case, after a group of five or six didn’t get the answers they wanted from the Police Chief, they stood up in the middle of the session, walked out, and one (who adopted Fidel Castro’s hat and beard) yelled, “Power to the People!” Because, protest.

As they’re walking out, one woman stops at the door, and the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Marty Bilek was next to her.

Lots of shaky cell-phone cams were there, but KETV’s camera was about a foot away from both of them.

Go to the very beginning of Alexandra Stone’s report on KETV and you can see the two standing there. She is not “assaulted”. She’s not “pushed”. She doesn’t move, until she turns to him. And moreover, no one in the crowd bats an eye.

Now of course the woman acts outraged, as she may have touched Bilek. But you can see that no one else there reacted.

Ah but wait! WOWT has some cell phone coverage of what the woman is shrieking is an ASSAULT!

OK, you ready? Because here’s a still image from the super-slow-mo:



Hey look, you be the judge.
And decide who the reasonable people in the room are.



A new post up around 1pm-ish!
Follow @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Leavenworth St. on the Facebook for updates on new posts and exciting news!

Because that’s the way to keep up to date on the talk of Nebraska politics!

The campaign build up

As teased this morning, another ad currently out from the Congressional Leadership Fund in Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressional race. See it here:

Believe it or not, this race is only going to intensify over the next 6 days.

Two polls out show Bacon in the lead.
National pundit Larry Sabato moved the race from “Lean Dem” to “Toss Up”. This is what you want in a campaign’s final week. This is what builds excitement and brings out your voters.

Between the Presidential campaign and the Death Penalty vote, getting people to the polls probably wasn’t an issue. But when you can point to trending numbers and themes (heck KFAB’s Scott Voorhees had an online poll today that favored Bacon over Ashford 94% – 6%!) that gets people excited to jump on that bandwagon.

Oh and campaigners, this will be the longest/shortest 6 days of your life.


NEA = $$$

On the Legislative bent, it was pretty funny to read the OWH’s headlines and photos…then read the rest of the story on who is funding races.

The emphasis is, of course, on Governor Ricketts and the cash he is putting into the races. There is “concern” about the Gov’s contributions, you see.

Concern from whom?
His opponents, of course.

So while Ricketts has donated $75K to Legislative races…read down just a little further about what the Teachers’ Union is putting into Nebraska:

Nebraska State Education Association has given $157,000 plus another $40,000 to “the independent political group Citizens for a Better Tomorrow”. That would be $197K they’re putting in.

Oh, and hey, they ain’t spending nearly $200 grand on pencils and peachy folders. That’s political money.

And after all the whining, only Steve Erdman stood up and didn’t complain:

Erdman said he approached the governor for a donation, and Ricketts declined.
“What am I supposed to say?” Erdman said. “America is a free place. Just because he’s a governor you have to restrict him?”


Ears berning

Ah, and then when one is weary of campaigning, it’s always fun to look at the Dems, and their fearless new leader, Jane Kleeb.

Jane’s trying to “change” the Dems and make them hip and new.

And then she is still trying to drive home her catch-phrase, with that hip new Socialist, Bernie Sanders coming to town:

“Feel the Bern. In the Neb!”

Please Democrats, please. I beg of you.
Please let Jane know that “in the Neb” is not, never was, and never shall be something that Nebraskans say.

(You see, because Nebraskans are already…in Nebraska…so they don’t need to use the term, “in our state!” — except maybe when they’re in another state trying to pretend to be hip.)

Have fun at that Bernie rally.
Keep a tally of how much of everyone else’s money he wants to spend. It’s a fun counting game!


The Social Network!

The Twitter: @LeavenworthSt
The Facebook: Leavenworth St.

Because that’s how you keep tabs on the talk of Nebraska politics!

New ad & new rating in #NE02

One of the final ads up in Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressional race. See it here:

That is up from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a group supported by Speaker Paul Ryan. It will start on cable, broadcast and digital in the Omaha media market beginning today through Election Day as part of CLF’s now $1.2 million independent expenditure campaign in #NE02.


The Crystal Ball

And Political prognosticator Larry Sabato, who has had the 2nd District in or leaning Democrat (i.e. Ashford) for the entire political season, now calls #NE02 a straight “Toss Up”:

“…we’re moving Nebraska’s Second Congressional District from Leans Democratic to Toss-up. There’s really no public polling there but at this point we could see it going either way, just like Maine’s Second Congressional District, where Clinton had seemed to be improving her chances before recent developments.”

But there HAS been private polling — which for some reason the OWH only decided to report when it was favorable to Brad Ashford — which shows Don Bacon up in BOTH polls.



ANOTHER ad from CLF up above around 1pm today and more news.
Come on back and follow us @LeavenworthSt on the Twitter and Like up at Leavenworth St. on the Facebook.

Because that’s how it’s done.