Sunday, October 31, 2010

While those Democrats are demonizing Pete Ricketts for his contributions to various legislative candidates one might due well to note the contributions made to legislative candidates by their allies to a front organization NexGen which simply turns around and contributes money to help defeat Republican legislative candidates:

Receipts:
  • Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys (reported 10-22) to Nebraskans For Responsible Government -- $20,000

  • Nebraska State Education Association (reported 10-26-2010) to Nebraskans for Responsible Government--$25,000

  • Nebraska State Education Association (reported 10-19-2010) to Nebraskans for Responsible Government -- $50,000

  • Nebraska State Transportation Political Education to Nebraskans for Responsible Government (10-19-2010) --- $15,000

Contributions:

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to Republican Legislative candidate Jim Smith (legislative District 14) to NexGen Persuasion (reported 10-26-2010)--$14,243.50

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Knabe (Legislative District 30) to NexGen Persuasion--Knabe For Legislature (reported 10-26-2010)--$14,243.50

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Lydia Brasch (Legislative District 16) to NexGen Persuasion-Lydia Brasch for Legislature (Reported 10-26-2010) --$14,243.50

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Chad W. Wright(Legislative District 46) to NexGen Persuasion Reported 10-26-2010)--$14,243.50

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Lydia Brasch (Legislative District 16) to NexGen Persuasion (reported 10-21-2010)--$12,476

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Jim Smith (Legislative District 14) to NexGen Persuasion (reported 10-21-2010) --$13,082.

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Chad W. Wright (Legislative District 46) to NexGen Persuasion--$10,882.

  • Nebraskans for Responsible Government in opposition to candidate Knabe (Legislative District 46) to NexGen Persuasion (reported 10-21-2010) -- $14,086.

Carl Lorenzen's Lying Buddies

If you haven't noticed, we at the Objective Conservative have spent some time trying to expose Carl Lorenzen, District 18 Legislative candidate for what he is---a fraud who will do anything and say anything to win and who may very well be guilty of violating campaign fiance laws.

Some time ago we warned you that the trial lawyer friends of Lorenzen and his buddies, Warren Buffett and the unions had formed a political action committee to go after Senator Scott Lautenbaugh and they certainly have with four of their lying e-mails in the last week. Not surprising given Lorenzen's associates and their fears that Scott will be instrumental in redistricting and in other important efforts like returning Nebraska to a winner-takes-all electoral vote status. Not surprising considering Lautenbaugh's accomplishments.

With that said, we thought we'd share with you Scott's responses to the scandalous lies being promoted by Lorenzen, his union friends and his trial lawyer buddies:


"YOU ARE BEING LIED TO!

As seems to happen at the end of every campaign, the attack pieces started arriving in mailboxes throughout the district this last week. They contain photo-shopped photos, and lies about my record. Here’s the truth of it:

The pieces are being sent by a new group called The Leadership Committee. This group is accusing me of being in the pocket of unions and liberal special interests. While there is more explained below, here’s what you really need to know: This group is solely funded by two liberal special interest groups—the Railroad Worker’s Union PAC, and the Plaintiff Attorneys’ PAC here in Nebraska. If what they are saying about me is true, they’d be supporting me—not attacking me. Both groups also have given thousands of dollars to my opponent.

Further, these two PACs have chosen to hide their identities behind this fictitious group, and simply lie about a bill I carried. The bill in question had nothing to do with retirement pensions in Omaha for firefighters, or Omaha’s current financial woes, AND HAS NOT COST THE TAXPAYERS A DIME. I have not been endorsed by the Omaha firefighters, and have received no contributions from them, in this election.

LB 373 dealt with those who contract certain deadly diseases in the line of duty. This has been described as a “sweetheart deal”, which is an unusual way to characterize having a deadly disease caused by your employment.

This bill was so “liberal” that 38 Senators voted for it, and our Governor signed it into law. That is a very unlikely outcome for a bill that truly was a giveaway to unions. In short, again, you are being lied to.

The latest attack piece also mentions a bill I carried to allow smoking of cigars and pipes in cigar bars. This bill resulted in exactly what I said it would—about a half-dozen such places continuing to exist in Nebraska.

While that wasn’t really life-changing on a statewide scale, it did save a few small businesses and many jobs. And it did mean quite a bit to those who had invested tens of thousands of dollars—or, in two cases, over $100,000.00— in their businesses, only to have what was an over-broad smoking ban shut them down.

While I don’t plan to seek any other adjustments to the ban, I do think fundamental fairness justified this exception. Most people I’ve spoken to don’t seem the least bit troubled that smoking has been allowed to continue a place referred to as a “cigar bar.”

So, I’d ask you to not be fooled by these cowardly anonymous attacks. The Omaha World-Herald described me as follows:

“If voters are looking for a forceful personality, they’ll certainly find it in Lautenbaugh. When he decides to focus on a particular issue, he latches onto it with incredible determination. Lautenbaugh, a lawyer of strong conservative leanings, is known for standing up for his fervent de­fense of the private sector against undue encroach­ment by regulation and taxes. Whether in committee or during floor debate, this articulate, well-informed lawmaker can be sure to make his voice heard — and to make a difference.”

This is not the picture of me you would get from these recent mailings, but I hope you’ll trust this assessment from the World-Herald a little more. After all, the Herald even has the courage to put its real name on what it sends out. That alone should speak volumes."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recall Group Isn't Going to Tolerate Havoc from Richard Holland and Brad Ashford's Forward Omaha Group

In our 'We get e-mail' category, we got this from the Suttle Recall Group:

"We have been notified by the Douglas County Sheriff’s office that they have received information that anti-recall efforts on Election Day will include attempts to create havoc and intimidate voters who plan on signing recall petitions.

This apparently is to be done by paying people $150 to go to polling places and cause problems. These hired hands are being called a “Persuasion Force.”

We are formulating a very aggressive response to this to ensure that every voter’s right to sign the petition will be preserved and that citizens will not be subjected to harassment or intimidation. We will be making an announcement on this within the next day or two.

In the meantime, we respectfully recommend that you contact Chief Deputy Douglas County Sheriff Marty Bilek at 444-6636 for further information."

We expect that when the recall group says they are going to get more aggressive, they mean it and we believe you can look forward to a major announcement from them.

Paying Their "Volunteers"









While the Forward Omaha anti-recall group is recruiting thugs to work for $150 per day, we wonder what their plans are for dealing with the I.R.S. and the Nebraska Department of Revenue? Why is that? Well, their hires aren't exactly what you would call casual workers. In fact, they are working at specific times, specific places, with specific work instructions and will apparently be carrying equipment provided by Forward Omaha while uttering specific messages.

Doesn't sound like independent contractors to us. These folks are W-2 workers who should file W-9s and receive W-2s as well while their employer should be withholding for taxes and FICA.

It is our understanding that appropriate notifications of this have been sent to the I.R.S., the Nebraska Department of Revenue and the news media.

Once again under the sham of their anti-recall effort it appears that Forward Omaha and its supporters Richard Holland, Brad Ashford and others are violating the law. Apparently hiring thugs to potentially intimidate voters isn't enough so now they are going to violate all federal pay and I.R.S. rules.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Did Carl Lorenzen Violate Campaign Finance Laws? -- Nebraka Newt

We've recently written about the District 18 Legislative race, which covers the northern part of Douglas County up into Washington County.

We have information that is amazing and incredible but believable considering the character of Carl Lorenzen. Due to the seriousness of this information, it should be investigated by the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Committee (NADC).

It appears that Mr. Lorenzen incurred a consulting debt of more than $10,000 in the 2008 campaign and failed to report it. This is a serious violation of campaign law!

It has been charged that Lorenzen paid off the 2008 campaign debt with 2010 dollars. Wouldn’t his 2010 contributors like to know this one?

It is clear to anyone who reviews the Lorenzen campaign filings that something “fishy” is going on. Lorenzen did absolutely nothing in the primary election except send out one promotional piece. That is all that was received by voters in the district. Yet Lorenzen reported a consulting cost of $10,236 to Strategic Systems located in Omaha. One piece nets Strategic Systems more than $10,000? This is not common to other legislative campaigns. Just what did Strategic Systems do in early 2010 that warrants such an outrageous fee?

After the 2008 campaign, Mr. Lorenzen dissolved his 2008 committee. He filed this year to establish a new campaign committee. What a scheme! What a way to clear out an old campaign debt! Dupe individuals, unions and lobbyists into thinking you are running a serious campaign for office, entice them to contribute to your 2010 campaign and then use the funds to pay a 2008 debt!

What about the loan reported from Diane Lorenzen for $10,000? Loaned and paid off within days in the same reporting period. This needs to be investigated, sooner rather than later!

All of these people should be questioned under oath by the NADC. Mr. Lorenzen, Mrs. Lorenzen and the principles at Strategic Systems should answer these questions. :
  • Did Carl Lorenzen incur a debt in 2008 that was not paid until 2010?

  • Did Strategic Systems show a receivable on its books from Lorenzen at the end of 2008?

  • What did Strategic Systems do in 2010 to warrant an invoice of more than $10,000 and what was the intent of the loan from Diane Lorenzen to the Lorenzen campaign?

If these allegations are true, it demonstrates that Mr. Lorenzen is not ethically fit for office.

Friendly Persuasion? We Doubt It

The Richard Holland Forward Omaha Anti-Recall Committee is flush with Richard's dollars and apparently will use them to save the mayor at all costs. It's not bad enough that they feel so threatened that they need to spend more than $95,000 of Holland's money on television, but apparently they are continuing their effort to hire election day thugs and voter intimidators for $150 a day.

We find it interesting that the Forward Omaha spokesperson says they want to be at the polling places to observe and make sure that the recall folks are following the rules, but one can't help but wonder what their ad, "Persuasion Poll Workers Needed" really means. Seems to us there is a lot of difference between persuasion and observation.
The recall folks tell us they plan some efforts of their own and that any violations of Federal Voting Laws as to voter intimidation will have drastic consequences for the mayor, Holland and their hired thugs.

Speaking of Lorenzen

Looks like Carl Lorenzen, the candidate for Legislative District 18 who wants you to believe he is a Republican, continues to get his primary funding from his union buddies. $4,000 received from his union supporters in the last week.....

How Large the Tsunami?

Respected political guru Stuart Rothenberg has this to say about next Tuesday:

"With a week to go until Election Day, House Democrats face the potential of a political bloodbath the size of which we haven’t seen since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
The largest midterm House loss for the president’s party during the last 50 years was 52 seats in 1994. The previous largest losses were 55 seats in 1942 and 71 seats in 1938.

While some Democrats say their party will keep Republican gains to fewer than 39 seats, Democratic losses are likely to be much higher"

Carl Lorenzen: Blinded by Seething Rage -- Nebraska Newt

"I am a conservative first before I am a Republican. My goal is to swing the Republican Party back to our conservative values from within. If a third party is formed, we will split our efforts and the liberal democrats will win. In the 1992 election with Ross Perot, he received 20% of the vote and we ended up with Bill Clinton for eight years. Also note recently that no matter how hard McCain tried, he was not going to get 100% of the conservative voters to turn out for him, so we are stuck with B. Hussein Obama. McCain for years stuck his thumb in the eye of us conservatives and he paid the price.

Do we have problems with moderate to liberal Republicans within our party? Yes. The Tea Party movement however is weeding them out, one at a time. Murkowski, Bennett, Christ and Cassel, to name a few. But that is not to say that ALL Republican incumbents are our problem.

Nationally the Tea Party movement supports conservative incumbents like Mike Pence, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint, Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachman, Marsha Blackburn, et. al. These incumbents are fighting the good fight and need to be retained.

Can we in Nebraska help in those races? No, because all politics is local. Though I was no fan of him because of what he did to Ronald Reagan, your readers should read Tip O'Neil's book, "All Politics is Local." It is a quick read and he speaks directly to local politics.

Local politics here in Nebraska are much different than local politics in the Northeastern States. Nebraska is one of the most conservative states left in the country. We too have conservatives that should be retained. In the local politics up in District 18, Senator Scott Lautenbaugh should most definitely be retained. He is a lifelong conservative. We here in Douglas County have watched him for 20 years so we know this first-hand. He has a very conservative voting record; i.e. does not vote to raise taxes and seeks spending cuts Vs budget increases. He is also right on the social issues.

With regard to endorsements by the GOP of the Senator, I realize it causes concern from some but the real story here is that we are trying to retain the conservative while turning back someone who is running for all the wrong reasons.

Here is the history of Carl Lorenzen's effort to be our state Senator. In 2007, when then state Senator Mick Mines resigned to seek a lobbying career, a group of connected individuals up in Blair picked their guy to apply for the job. It was Mr. Lorenzen. There were nearly 20 people who applied for the job. Lorenzen supporters made phone calls and wrote letters to the Governor on his behalf. Many of his supporters knew the Governor personally. They were confident that Lorenzen would get the job, no problem. They relayed this to Mr. Lorenzen so he was confident he would get the job.

When the Governor selected Scott Lautenbaugh to fill the Mine's term, Lorenzen went ballistic! He immediately made public threats that the Governor was wrong and that he would seek election to the seat in 2008. His problem, because he was a former general in the Air National Guard, is his arrogance and ego. He expected to get the job as he felt he could not possibly be rejected because of who he was. Generals do not take rejection lightly.

Though Lorenzen won the 2008 primary, based solely on the Washington county vote, he did lose the general election. Rejected again! During the 2008 campaign, every conservative group in the state endorsed Senator Lautenbaugh. In 2008 Lorenzen received $2,000.00 from Democratic Senator Ben Nelson along with his endorsement. The very liberal state Senator Tom White's independent expenditure group spent $14,500.00 trying to get Lorenzen elected. The plaintiff's attorneys spent $4,000.00. The teachers union spent $6,000.00. The teachers union, the road workers union, and the plaintiff's attorneys formed an independent expenditure group, which spent another $8,000.00 attacking Senator Lautenbaugh and supporting Mr. Lorenzen. Lorenzen's list of support includes those who support liberal causes. These causes have gotten this country in the mess it is in today.

Fast forward to the primary of 2010. Lorenzen has been rejected again! Not only by the Republican Party, because of his actions and that Senator Lautenbaugh has earned retention by his record, but he was rejected by the primary voters 56-44%. That is insurmountable! Further, Lorenzen is not running because he wants to serve the people but because he was rejected and his arrogance and ego will not allow him to go away quietly and graciously. He is running for the wrong reason!

Lorenzen is still getting the union money but has basically spent it all. He now is resorting to lies and half-truths, i.e. the recent Highway 133 controversy in which some folks up in Washington county had to write letters to the editor to set the record straight after Lorenzen had so blatantly misstated the truth. Also, he promised in 2008 to support "Fair Share" legislation. This would end right to work in Nebraska. It would compel non-union members to pay union dues.

It has been reported that Lorenzen is now trying to "infuse" credibility into his candidacy by claiming he is the only "conservative" in the race and infiltrating the Tea Party movement. Lorenzen is not credible here either. Our fear is that our friends in the Tea Party movement will be "hoodwinked" by Lorenzen and that, with the mentality of "throw the bums out," they will support him because he is the outsider.

Based upon his statements of supporting higher taxes and his statements to "compromise" with the democrats in the legislature and with the financial supporters he has, Lorenzen would be an absolute disaster!

Mr. Lorenzen, blinded by seething rage, will lose this election and by a sizable margin. The final question is, "Will Lorenzen realize he is not a fit for the political arena and quietly fade away or will he continue to make a fool of himself as he has done during the past two election cycles?"

For his sake and for the sake of his family, we hope so. Only time will tell."

(Nebraska Newt is one of our many daily contributors-Objective Conservative)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Christine O'Donnell Not Radical Enough -- Doug Patton

October 25, 2010

There is a lot of hoopla about how "radical" Delaware GOP U.S. Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has shown herself to be. Having examined some of her statements, I would like to go on record as suggesting that some of her positions are not nearly radical enough. More on that later.

O'Donnell is running against Chris Coons. Soon-to-be-former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called Coons "my pet." He is Barack Obama's dream candidate, and he will be a rubber stamp for the worst of Obama's agenda. He is a self-identified Marxist. Talk about radical.

Christine O'Donnell has been compared to Sarah Palin. Of course, the primary reason the elite media are desperate to associate the two women with each other in the minds of Americans is to discredit them both. The left wants to dishonor them, while embarrassing conservatives who support them.

Well, some of us refuse to be embarrassed by attractive, patriotic, freedom-loving women who don't believe in killing their babies, divorcing their husbands, marrying other women, surrendering to their sworn enemies or saddling their grandchildren with trillions of dollars of unsustainable debt. Some of us are proud of their courage, grace and steely resolve in the face of fascist ridicule from the left. Like Margaret Thatcher in Great Britain in the 1980s, these are strong, conservative women filling a void left by emasculated men who refuse to take a stand for what is good and decent and right.

As for O'Donnell's much ridiculed performance during her recent radio debate with Coons, she asked him to tell her where the words "separation of church and state" are found in the U.S. Constitution. Of course, like too many Americans, Coons answered "the First Amendment," then proceeded to misquote it. O'Donnell, astonished at the ignorance of his answer, said in a quizzical tone, "The separation of church and state is found in the First Amendment?"

Unfortunately, the media has since succeeded in making O'Donnell, not Coons, sound like the dunce in the room. Amazing how the manipulation of sound bites can make us hear what they want us to hear, isn't it?

What I found interesting in listening to the entire debate was that O'Donnell defends the status quo on many issues. For example, when asked about the 14th, 16th and 17th Amendments, she said she did not favor repealing or altering them. (Incidentally, this tactic of hurling the number of the amendments at a candidate without defining what they are is reminiscent of ABC smart-aleck Charlie Gibson asking Sarah Palin to define the "Bush Doctrine.")

For those of you, who, like Christine O'Donnell and most of the rest of America, don't have your pocket Constitutions handy, the 14th Amendment was passed after the Civil War to ensure that freed slaves could not be denied citizenship. The problem with the judicial interpretation of this amendment is that over the years it has been used to secure automatic citizenship for so-called anchor babies — children born in the United States to foreign-born parents, regardless of their legal status.

The 16th and 17th Amendments were a couple of lumps of coal left in our collective stockings by the Teddy Roosevelt-Woodrow Wilson progressives just after the turn of the last century. The 16th provides for a federal income tax, while the 17th took the right to select our U.S. Senators away from our state legislatures and placed it in the hands of voters.

Today, it is estimated that the former is a trillion dollar anchor being pulled through our economy every year. As for the latter, ever since the amendment's passage, U.S. Senators have ceased to be the representatives of the interests of the states that the Founders designed their office to be.

If I lived in Delaware, I would vote for Christine O'Donnell, but she is not nearly radical enough to suit this old hardcore conservative.
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© 2010 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.
______________________________________________________________________________

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Anti-Recall Group Paying For Election Day Volunteers

Forward Omaha, the anti-recall group apparently has lots of money to throw around thanks to their wealthy liberal donors, i.e., Richard Holland. Yes, they are actually advertising for election day workers who will 'work with Forward Omaha in their anti-recall' efforts. And for doing so, they are willing to pay $150!!!!!

Now we wonder what that $150 will buy? Perhaps a bunch of off-duty firemen whose other job (not at the fire department) doesn't require their attention that day? Will it buy 'blockers' who will stand in the way of recall supporters? Will it just provide poll watchers to make sure the recall folks are reading the petition language and meeting the other circulation requirements?

We don't know how many folks the $150 will buy but it is sure interesting that Forward Omaha would feel the need to engage in this sort of effort........

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who is Givng to the Recall and Who Isn't

There has been a lot of talk about who is giving to the recall and how much. It's apparent that Richard Holland's dollars will dwarf those of Mike Simmonds and others, but there is another question that those in the media might want to ask? WHO IS NOT GIVING TO THE RECALL OR ANTI-RECALL EFFORT?

A little intellectual curiosity by Omaha area reporters/investigators, i.e., asking Major Omaha Businesses and their CEO's whether they are giving might be a little instructive!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Still Wasting Pension Funds OR Let's go to San Francisco

Not only did the Omaha Pension Board approve more retirements under the old pension program, but they also spend more of that $40,000,000 that Omaha taxpayers are on the hook for to make their pension solvent (maybe) over the next forty years!

On Thursday they granted retirements to three officers:
  • One a 49 year-old who will receive $70,998 over the rest of his life

  • One a 46 year-0ld who will receive $61,999 over the rest of his life

  • One another 49 year-0ld who will receive $58,952 over the rest of her life

And we named a street after the guy that made it possible and elected a mayor who stood by witless and silent as a city council member for four years while the pension fund fill hundreds of millions of dollars into red ink!

Three other officers signed on to the new DROP program which basically assures they get their pensions or more by retiring under the old contract, but will stay on as police officers. Apparently, they don't yet have jobs elsewhere!

But to add insult to injury the pension board approved the expenditure to send at least two pension board members to San Francisco to attend the 'Guns and Hoses' Pension Conference. Oh well, its only your children's' taxes that will pay for it over the next 40 years. Perhaps someone should calculate the true dollar cost of that $4,000 over the next 40 years. That expenditure today could very well represent nearly $100,000 that won't have to be paid for by Omaha tax payers over the next 40 years!

The Keystone Pipeline: Hillary Clinton Speaks the Truth

We think it is great that Senator Johanns and Judas Ben Nelson seem to be agreeing on the Keystone Pipeline and it's potential danger to the Ogallala Aquifer. On the other hand, and it's hard for us to say this, we can hardly blame Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for leaning toward its construction.

Hillary said, "We're either going to be independent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada, and until we get our act together as a country and figure out that clean, renewable energy is in both our economic interests and the interests of our planet," we will remain independent on oil." How can you fight that?

Truth of the matter is this country has done very little over nearly 40 years to make itself less dependent on foreign oil coming from the likes of the Middle East and Venezuela. We buy our oil from these terrorist and folks we don't agree with giving them more money to oppose our way of life while we are just as reliant on them as ever.

We're not global warming advocates by any means, but until we get our act together as Hillary says, we'd rather be dependent on 'dirty oil' coming from Canada than from terrorists. Hopefully, Johanns, Judas Nelson, Hillary and Keystone can work out a compromise to get the fuel to our country.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Recall: Omaha is 10th Highest Taxed City

US News and World Report has a interesting report at http://realestate.msn.com/article.aspx?cp-documentid=16844035, High-tax places to live. Guess what they found? Omaha is the 10th highest taxed city in the country! AND THE SURVEY WAS DONE BEFORE THE LATEST ROUNDS OF MAYOR SUTTLE TAX INCREASES!!!!

The report was based on the typical taxes paid at a few income levels and looked at four taxes, individual income tax, real property tax on residential property, general sales and use tax, and automobile taxes, including gasoline tax, registration fees, excise tax and personal property tax. Federal income taxes are not taken into account.

Top 10 cities included: Philadelphia; Baltimore; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Detroit; Indianapolis; Milwaukee; Des Moines; Louisville, KT, and; Columbus, Ohio.

The report calculated Total Share of Income from these taxes at three different income levels. Here is what they found:
  • $25,000 Income Level - Total Share of Income = 11.10%

  • $75,000 Income Level - Total Share of Income = 10.40%

  • $150,000 Income Level - Total Share of Income = 11.30%

Don't look for any improvement in that ranking. With a 15% increase in Omaha City property taxes in Mayor Suttle's first two budgets, even more is on the way.

Good for Alito

This from Newsweek:

"ALITO SNUBS OBAMA, REFUSES TO BE “POTTED PLANT”

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito will sit out the next State of the Union address after President Obama rebuffed him and the other justices during his last address about their campaign finance reform decision. During that last speech, Alito mouthed the famous “that’s not true” during Obama’s criticism that the ruling on the Citizens United decision was misguided. He excused his plans not to attend the next speech because he did not want to sit “like the proverbial potted plant,” as he believes justices are required to do."

One can hardly blame Justice Alito for not participating in the next excuse for a "State of the Union"/blame the Republicans and Court for all that is wrong with the country attempt.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Recall: Who Is Richard Holland?

Since the new anti-recall group is so enthralled with trying to convince people that the recall is about a bunch of disgruntled Daub supporters trying to wreak revenge for his loss to Suttle in 2009, we thought we might share some facts about one of their chief supporters, Richard Holland.

Now we would not want to allege that Holland is just a self-serving Democrat or that he might be himself bought and paid for by Jim Suttle, BUT we find it interesting that Holland is a Director of Building Bright Futures which if you recall Mayor Suttle wanted to give $1.5 MILLION of your tax dollars to in the last budget he submitted (the council ultimately gave Bright Futures about $350,000). It's also interesting that Holland's organization run by former liberal Democrat 2nd District Congressman John Cavanaugh.

(One might also want to take note of the other members of the Bright Futures Board whom you can also expect to join Holland in the anti-recall effort: Former Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey, Michael Yanney, Susie Buffett, Andy Holland, Wally and Barbara Weitz and Dianne Lozier.)

Now just in case anyone could possibly doubt where Holland's political instincts lie, we've attached a list of his contributions which somehow only seem to go to those who have a "D" behind their names.

Is it any wonder why Holland wants to save Suttle? Can you say self-interest? Can you say Democrat?

Recent Richard Holland Contributions:

The Recall: Omaha is No Las Vegas

With the advent of the 30 day signature gathering period for the 'real' recall effort some may still be on the line as to whether to sign or not. One of the issues that has motivated the recall effort is the refusal of the mayor to implement any cuts or efficiencies. Remember, he was going to cut taxes by adopting efficiencies? None of this seems to have happened with Mayor Suttle continually saying, "We don't have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem." So while local and state governments across the country are cutting back to avoid tax increases Mayor Suttle has continued through two budget cycles to recommend tax increases.

With that noted, we thought we would share one of the things another major city has done to cut back. This from KLAS Television in Las Vegas:

"City Council Approves 4-Day Work Week and Cuts

Wednesday, October 20, 2010 1:06 PM EST

LAS VEGAS -- Some major changes to the way the City of Las Vegas does business were approved Wednesday. In an effort to save jobs and as much $24 million, Las Vegas city employees and the City Council have agreed to shorter work weeks and longer days.
A lot of other concessions were made as well. The city is facing a $47 million budget shortfall, and the agreement reached between the city and its largest labor union will help to balance the budget.

Union workers will move to a four day, 38 hour work week. That's nine and a half hours each day. Many non-essential city operations will shutdown on Fridays, saving the city $170,000 annually.

The city will also shut down the week of December 26, forcing workers to take a week of unpaid furlough time. Cost of living increases will also be suspended for two years.
"We've finally reached a resolution that I think is going to dramatically stabilize our city budget and preserve jobs and keep the services that we're so proud of delivering to the community," said Las Vegas City Manager Betsy Fretwell.

The city is now working on plans to reduce service impacts to the public because of the shortened work week. The deal reached comes after long negotiations between both the city and the CEA.

Vital city services will not be affected under the agreement. The cost saving measure mainly applies toward administrative functions of the city. So departments like law enforcement, parks and recreation and leisure activities remain unaffected. And many city services can also be accessed online."

Lowen Kruse is a Fraud and Useful Idiot

Former, incompetent, probably acting in diminished mental capacity, State Senator Lowen Kruse returned a check for a whopping $40 to the Douglas County Election Commission today to pay for his hypocritical non-recall, non-intended recall recall.

As we stated before Kruse has been nothing more than a useful idiot to do the bidding of Councilman Jerram and Mayor Suttle.

Perhaps Kruse thinks he can make atones for his stupidity and his fraud with his $40. check. If he does have the mental capacity to act by himself he should be ashamed of his mock-recall attempt and the motives behind it.


We hope we've heard the last of this former state senator whose behavior has diminished whatever reputation he may have had. Best for him to get back to the 'victory' wing of his local Alzheimer's unit!

The Tsunami Grows

We've suggested in recent blogs that the Democrats would be abandoning many of its candidates and incumbents as the reality of election 2010 confronts them. Obviously, that is happening. Newsweek makes that clear:

"CUTTING DEMS OFF AT THE NECK

Rep. Kathleen Dahlkemper in Pennsylvania is the latest Democrat to be triaged by her party, which cut off campaign funds for her in order to put the money in more viable districts. Dahlkemper comes after Rep. Suzanne Kosmas in Florida was left hanging by the DCCC, along with seats in Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Funds have been shifted to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, who is tied in the polls with Republican Jesse Kelly. At least one Democrat is punching back: Rep. Steve Driehaus, who told Dems via a video message that it was wrong to abandon him after bravely supporting the Democratic agenda."

Tsunami Update

Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports is now predicting that Republicans will gain 55 seats in races for the U.S. House of Representatives November 2—much more than the 39 needed to give the Republicans a majority in the House.

Maybe the Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama would be better to stay home in the Rose Garden than to be out whipping up Democrat enthusiasm?

On Illegal Immigration, Terry Gets B+, White gets Nothing

Numbers USA is one of the premier voices in the fight against illegal immigration. Today they provided us with their ratings for the Second Congressional District Race. Congressman Terry gets a B+ while Tom White gets an "Unknown".

While Numbers USA doesn't endorse the message is pretty clear. You can find more at: http://www.NumbersUSA.com

Sports Fan Warren Buffett

We aren't strong fans of Warren Buffett, but we'd be remiss if we didn't call your attention to a USA Today sports page article about him at: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/big12/2010-10-19-warren-buffett-nebraska-cornhuskers-cover_N.htm?csp=DailyBriefing

We don't agree with Warren's politics, that's for sure--take his recent donation to Legislature District 18 candidate Carl Lorenzen. But he has earned his money and we believe he has the right to do whatever he wants with it--although unlike him we question why he should be taxed a second time for money he has already paid taxes on (despite his gifting most of it untaxed to the Gates Foundation). Where Warren has made a real difference for Omaha and for Nebraska is by the generous folks he has made rich.....

National Federation of Businesses Legislative Rankings: Republicans=Good, Democrats=Bad

The Nebraska National Federation of Independent Business has released it's overall ratings for those in the legislature. Not surprising are the ones getting the highest rankings (100% is tops) and those getting the lowest. The NFIB does a very good job of determining who is business friendly and who is not.

Among those ranking the highest:
  • Lavon Heidemann, Legislative District 1 -- 100%

  • Dave Pankonin, Legislative District 2 -- 100%

  • Pete Pirsch, Legislative District 4 -- 100%

  • Tim Gay, Legislative District 14 --100%

  • Scott Lautenbaugh, Legislative District 18 - 100% (Sorry Carl Lorenzen)

  • Arnie Stuthman, Legislative District 22 - 100%

  • Chris Langemeier, Legislative District 23 - 100%

  • Tony Fulton, Legislative District 29 - 100%

  • John Wightman, Legislative District 36 - 100%

  • Thomas Hansen, Legislative District 42 - 100%

  • Deb Fischer, Legislative District 43 - 100%

  • Mark Christensen, Legislative District 44 - 100%

  • John Harms, Legislative District 48 - 100%

  • LeRoy Loudon, Legislative District 49 - 100%

Equally unsuprising are those on the bottom of the list:

  • Tom White, Legislative District 8 - 70% (so much for your pro-business lies, Tom)

  • Gwen Howard, Legislative District 9 - 70%

  • Steve Lathrope, Legislative District 12 -70%

  • Kent Rogert, Legislative District 16 - 70% (Small business man boat dealer)

  • Brad Ashford, Legislative District 20 - 56%

  • William Avery, Legislative District 28 - 70%

  • Norman Wallman, Legislative District 30 -70%

  • Abbie Cornett, Legislative District 45 - 70%

  • Danielle Conrad, Legislative District 46 -70%

For those at the New Nebraska Network, these rankings may exchange why the Democrats are becoming an endangered species in the legislature, although Ashford and Cornett's presence should be disappointing for Republicans.

White Flags, Conspiracy Theories, Heineman Bad by the Democrat Party

In our 'we get mail' category, we received the following one today. It's from another of the State Democratic mouthpieces, the New Nebraska Network. Sounds a little like they have recognized that the election will be a disaster for their legislative goals (not to mention the devastating defeat of the Mr. Mike Meister/Anne Boyle Team and Lee Terry's pummelling of Tom White). Of course, they would like to blame it all on that evil David Heineman who apparently schemes not only how to win legislative seats without trying but how to assist the Suttle recall effort.....


Posted: 19 Oct 2010 11:22 PM PDT

With Democrats generally considered to be on the defensive all across the country, it probably shouldn't surprise that the 2011 Nebraska Legislature seems likely to include fewer Democratic State Senators. But, that's a very depressing thought when you recognize that Republicans are already just one vote shy of a two-thirds supermajority in this officially nonpartisan body.
How much worse could it get? I fear that, on November 2nd, we're about to find out.

The hopes of Democrats making any real gains in the Unicameral essentially died when State Senator Bob Giese decided to run for Dakota County Treasurer in this year's election. This is a position in which Giese's father served for many years, and - unlike the Legislature - it pays an actual salary. The problem is that Giese's being elected would require that he resign from the Legislature just two years into his four year term.

It would normally be hard to fault Giese for pursuing such an opportunity, but the prospect of Gov. Dave Heineman appointing his successor is a very bitter pill to swallow. Giese's victory in Legislative District 17 was one of the bright spots in a 2008 election that essentially ended in a statewide draw. I'm sure that Republican Party leaders are more than happy allowing Giese to now run UNOPPOSED for County Treasurer because it means they're being handed the seat their Heineman-endorsed candidate couldn't win for himself just two years ago. One uncontested county seat is a small price to pay for expanding Heineman's near-total domination in the State Capitol.

Although too late now, it's extremely unfortunate that Giese didn't resign from the Legislature in time for voters to choose his successor in this year's election. His resignation probably could have even waited until after the 2010 session. Heineman might have still made a temporary appointment, but the voters would have had their say - and Republicans would have had to earn what they're now going to claim by default.

Have these things all been decided in backroom deals? Have they not even been thought about? To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Regardless, we are left with a situation in which Democrats start at a disadvantage and seem poised to watch that disadvantage grow. The driving force behind this growing disadvantage can be summed up very easily - the $1.771 million in Gov. Heineman's campaign account. According to his most recent NADC report, this was how much money Heineman had unspent - apparently unneeded - with just one month left before the 2010 election.

None of this money can be used for a potential federal campaign at some point in the future. Sen. Mike Johanns already bought the Nebraska Republican Party its Lincoln headquarters with the leftover campaign funds from his days as Governor. Rather than trying to top Johanns by buying the GOP their very own floor in the Woodmen Tower, Heineman will probably spend as much as he can on building his political power and influence in this year's election. That's likely to mean funding an unprecedented push to turnout Republican voters on November 2nd.

I suspect getting Republicans to the polls in the Omaha-area will be the main focus of this strategy. There it not only helps defend Congressman Lee Terry from the challenge by Tom White but also boosts the signature-gathering efforts for the
recall of Mayor Jim Suttle. Still, there will be plenty of money for targeted efforts anywhere else it might make a difference. That's primarily going to be in a few key Legislative Districts where incumbent State Senators who happen to be Democrats are running for re-election after their first term in office. Although targeted for various reasons, the greatest sin by any of these State Senators is their NOT being complete slaves to the Heineman agenda.

Heineman would prefer to fill these offices with hand-picked henchmen and has more than enough resources to help make that happen. In my next diary, I'll be looking at which specific races are being targeted and the chances that Heineman will actually get the legislative henchmen (and one henchwoman) he so desperately wants."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Candidate Carl Lorenzen Should Get Mr. Misanthrope Award

Some folks will remember Lyndon Baines Johnson and, of course, Richard Nixon for their unrecorded and recorded remarks, particularly those of the latter. Well, it seems that we have a candidate for the state legislature that likes to talk a lot and who apparently doesn't mind communicating his feelings about other politicians as well as his general election opponent and his supporters.

Who would that be? Well, Carl Lorenzen, candidate for Legislative District 18, of course. Carl continues to 'step in it' as he trashes both his opponent Senator Scott Lautenbaugh as well as Congressman Lee Terry, Governor Dave Heinman, Congressman Fortenberry and the Republican Party in general. This while seeking the endorsement of the party and seeking Republican votes!

To listen to Carl's diatribe, he likes no one and grouses about virtually everyone with the exception of Tom White who he seems to idolize.

We think a term that seems to aptly apply to Lorenzen is 'misanthrope'.

Here's what Lorenzen has said recently about Congressman Lee Terry and his opponent Tom White:
  • "I'm not happy with Lee Terry. He has done nothing. He has been ineffective."

  • "I contributed to Tom White early on."

  • "I'm not convinced Lee Terry is the right person.

  • "I still don't know whom I'm going to vote for (regarding Terry/White).

  • "I have such a strong disrespect for Lee Terry."

  • "I don't think Tom White has a prayer to beat Lee Terry."

Regarding Governor Heineman, Lorenzen says, "I'm not going to follow the governor." When speaking of his contribution to Tom White, Lorenzen says that White needs to have money to get his message out because we, "can't have one candidate like Dave Heineman."

When it comes to Congressman Fortenberry, Lorenzen says, "I don't like him. He is slick."

In fact, Lorenzen says, "I don't like our congressional delegation--they haven't done much."

While claiming to be a conservative Republican, Lorenzen has nothing nice to say about the Nebraska GOP or its chairman Mark Fahleson. In fact, he has nothing nice to say about the national GOP. Lorenzen is hard pressed to say anything nice about any Republican! On the other hand, Lorenzen seems to idolize Tom White, perhaps because he and Tom share the same liberal support of such as Warren Buffett, the labor unions and the trial attorneys.

Carl has a vendetta against the Omaha World-Herald. He opines ill of it since it cancelled it's candidate interview with him and only a few days later endorsed Lautenbaugh.

Of course the main target of the hateful, grousing, misanthrope is opponent Senator Scott Lautenbaugh.

Lorenzen can't seem to find any reason to applaud any of Lautenbaugh's accomplishments. Although Lautenbaugh introduced and got legislation passed raising a tax bracket for small businesses from $50,000 to $100,000 Lorenzen asks how that helps small ma and pa businesses on main street. We suspect a lot of small businesses benefit from paying less taxes....

On Lautenbaugh's efforts to respond to his district's concern about the over-population of deer, Lorenzen says that Lautenbaugh coerced the Game and Parks department into doing something that they already had the ability to do. Well, why hadn't they done it? Seems to us that Lautenbaugh's efforts also turned into a potential economic development boom as hunters from several states, as well as those from Nebraska, are now being encouraged to shoot does in special reduced-license-fee seasons. Check with KFAB's 'Crash Davis', Saturday morning outdoor guy, who happens to live in Iowa and for the first time can hunt at a reasonable cost in Nebraska--and help eliminate the destructive over-population of deer.

Lorenzen also criticizes Lautenbaugh for his efforts to pass the 'cigar bar' bill. Perhaps, Lorenzen believes that those small businesses should have gone the way of the dinosaur with the end of smoking in restaurants. But why put small businesses that offer something folks want out of business? Recent trips to a few Omaha cigar bars proved to our contributors that these are viable well-supported businesses. In fact, on a recent visit to the Havana Garage cigar bar in the Old Market our reporters found it packed on a week night when other bars nearby had only a trace of folks inside. Sounds like more economic development and tax revenue to the state, but apparently Lorenzen doesn't see it that way.

Not content to criticize Lautenbaugh for his accomplishments, Lorenzen also makes slanderous allegations against one of Lautenbaugh's donors that are not only lies but actionable. We won't dignify those allegations here.

Conservatives, Republicans and Tea Party folks would do well to pass on Lorenzen who appears unlikely to play well on any team and who by his financial support of Tom White and his own campaign funding appears to be much more in line with the liberal/progressive approach of Tom White, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama. Lorenzen certainly isn't a Republican and given his recent remarks appears to be a bitter, misanthropic individual who would probably have trouble working with anyone in the legislature.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Keep Digging, Mr. President -- Doug Patton

October 18, 2010

Barack Obama just keeps digging himself and his party deeper into the political morass that American politics has become on his watch. For many Democrat candidates, the man has become downright toxic. It would be sad to watch if it were not so necessary to the preservation of the Republic.

Presidential campaigning for congressional aspirants frequently is a boon for their candidacies, even during those crucial first off-year tests after a chief executive's inauguration. George W. Bush helped actually usher in a rare pickup of seats for his party two years after his first election — thanks primarily to his decisive response to the 9/11 attacks and his reasonably sane, first-term fiscal policies. Unfortunately, reckless federal spending and a brazen lack of border enforcement in his second term were the main reasons for massive GOP losses in 2006.

The irony this year is that safe incumbents like Nancy Pelosi have no need of an Obama campaign stop in her district, while most of the rest of her cadre of House Dems don't want him in theirs. Even for those Democrats savvy enough to avoid Obama like the plague this year, there is but a slim chance of their reelection. For those foolish enough to invite him to come to their districts, unless they are in safe seats, like Pelosi, they will likely be joining the ranks of the unemployed — along with many of their constituents.

Not since Bill Clinton have we seen a president so willing to besmirch the dignity his office. Say what you will about George Bush (and I have been among his harshest critics); he always held his office in high esteem. The Gipper wouldn't even remove his suit coat while in the Oval Office!

Obama, on the other hand, is out on the campaign trail sounding like Clinton-era political hack James Carville. In fact, the Ragin' Cajon's infamous "It's the economy, stupid!" remark sounds downright Jeffersonian compared to some of the inane things Obama is spouting on the campaign trail. Things like, "They're countin' on black folks stayin' home from the polls!" Or "the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a tool of big business and may be using illegal foreign money to influence this election."

That Obama would resort to dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck, or that he would attack the private sector with baseless charges of campaign illegalities, is not surprising. That he would do so personally, as President of the United States, is a mud-rolling spectacle the likes of which we have never witnessed.

But what did we expect when we elected such a man to the presidency? What else does he know how to do? He went from community organizer to state senator (voting "present") to U.S. senator plotting his rise to the White House. He has no other experience. In fact, he may be the first person in human history to write two best-selling autobiographies without ever accomplishing anything — other than writing two best-selling autobiographies.

Barack Obama, like those who have helped form who he is — from his Communist father to his beatnik-hippie mother to his grandparents to his terrorist friend, Bill Ayers, to his domineering wife to his hateful, Black Liberation Theology-spouting preacher, Jeremiah Wright — is an agitator whose ideology compels him to demonize anyone who disagrees with him.

As I wrote a few weeks ago, this election is not in the bag for the GOP. And even if it were, many of them are too willing to compromise with the Obama agenda. But one thing is certain: Barack Obama is a leftist trying to govern a center-right country, and he does not understand that he is digging a hole for himself and his party that may bury them for a good, long time.

Keep digging, Mr. President.
______________________________________________________________________________
© 2010 by Doug Patton ___________________________________________________________________

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.
______________________________________________________________________________

tú puedes hablar español?

In our 'we get e-mail' segment we received the one below from Susan Smith, head of NAG (Nebraska Advisory Group, http://www.nebraskansadvisorygroup.org/). Susan has it right when she discusses the Omaha School Board's decision to test in Spanish. It is a shame neither our state or national constitutions don't seem to mean what their words say.

"DEAR ACTIVISTS: A local Omaha newspaper article reports the Omaha Public Schools will spend $3,000+ of taxpayer money to provide testing in Spanish. Other foreign languages will not be provided due to cost. WE NEED TO STOP THIS ACTION BY OPS - Shown below is the article link, Nebraska's State Constitution English as the Official Language and the Governor, Attorney General and Board of Education members' email and phone numbers. PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THEY ARE FAILING TO FOLLOW OUR STATE'S CONSTITUTION, WE DO NOT WANT OUR TAX DOLLARS SPENT ON POLICIES THAT DO NOTHING BUT DELAY/DETER ILLEGAL ALIENS/ALIENS FROM LEARNING ENGLISH.

Local Newspaper Article:
http://www.omaha.com/article/20101018/NEWS01/710179913

NEBRASKA STATE CONSTITUTION, ARTICLE I, SECTION 27 (1920)
Section 27 – English Language to be Official
The English language is hereby declared to be the official language of this State, and all official proceedings, records and publications shall be in such language, and the common school branches shall be taught in said language in public, private, denominational and parochial schools."

Advice (To Tom White) on Desperation Ads

We thought that Stuart Rothenberg in his latest report got it straight when he was discussing the last minute desperation being displayed by some candidates (R & D) across the country. What was his advice?

"Jobs, the economy and spending all resonate with voters, and Democrats need to avoid looking out of touch — or desperate — by talking about matters that voters don’t think are important."

Maybe Tom White should be listening rather than running attack ads that voters don't care about. His next attack ad, given Rothenberg's posting (http://rothenbergpoliticalreport.com/news/article/its-desperation-time-on-the-campaign-trail) will be that Lee Terry is accepting money from groups accepting it from Middle Eastern interests...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Meister Goes to Chalk Board but No Glenn Beck

Since Mister Mike Meister can't and won't be governor, he's gone to the chalk board, ala Glenn Beck. He has a new commercial out which he tells us that he can run on all television stations before the election if only we'll give him $85,000. And like, Glenn Beck he goes to the chalkboard to try to convince us to vote for him.

Here is what he told us:

"With only 20 days before the election on Nov. 2nd, we need to get our message directly to the voters of Nebraska. That means we need to get our commercials on television. $85,700 will get us statewide coverage on every local TV station from now until Election Day. That’s it. $85,700.

We are setting a record for spending less money with more bang for the buck than any campaign for governor in Nebraska history.

Compared to us, fiscal conservatives look like spinthrifts"

We're not sure exactly what 'spinthrifts' are but we suspect that if he had Dave Heineman's money he'd spend it in a heartbeat. We also suspect that even if he had $85,000 to run his commercials that it would only represent a token buy of what he needs. Wait till he sees the Heineman commercial buys.....

Candidate Lorenzen Exposed by Ad in Blair Paper

We're strong supporters of Senator Scott Lautenbaugh who deserves to be re-elected to his District 20 Legislative seat. Not only has his past performance merited re-election, but his ability to work on redistricting in the upcoming post-census legislative term will be invaluable (and helpful to Republicans).

On the other hand, we have the other candidate, Carl Lorenzen, who claims to be a Republican conservative but somehow gets better than 2/3rds of his money from Warren Buffett and a bunch of labor unions. Doesn't sound very conservative.

With that said, Carl got his due from active Blair Republican Tim O'dell who ran a great ad in the Blair newspaper further exposing Lorenzen's not-necessarily-Republican tendencies. O'dell takes note of Lorenzen' funding and then further notes that:
  • Lorenzen supports increased taxes on tobacco

  • Lorenzen supports Laws to prevent children under 18 from using tanning beds

  • Lorenzen supported LB 846, a so-called gas tax, to raise funds for widening Highway 133

The ad notes that Lorenzen lost the 2008 race for that seat by a margin of 56%(Lautenbaugh) to 44%, a landslide in a district that includes his own home of Washington County.

Lorenzen is just another tool of big labor and liberals. We congratulate O'dell for 'outing' him. Maybe after this election Lorenzen will run for the weed or garbage boards....

Sabato's View of the "Tsunami"

No question that we like Sabato's Crystal Ball (www.centerforpolitics.org/crytalball) and his prognostications--not just because they indicate good results for the GOP (which doesn't deserve them) but because of his accuracy. This Thursday's addition is worth the read so we just thought we'd share it with you:

" THE OUTLOOK FOR NOVEMBER 2ND

As Of October 14th

By Larry J. SabatoDirector, U.Va. Center for Politics

As alert readers of the Crystal Ball will note, we have not changed our projection of +47 Republican net House seats in many weeks. We made this prediction prior to Labor Day, and we were the first to say definitively that, in our estimate, the new House would be controlled by the GOP. At the time, our number startled many, though it now seems less surprising with just 19 days to go in the campaign.

As we pledged six weeks ago, we will tweak our House number in the final days of the campaign. If we were to do so today, we would expand the GOP gains by single-digits. But we see no reason to change it just now since (1) we’ve been pleased to see other nonpartisan prognosticators moving ever closer to our number; and (2) factors specific to the closest House contests will play out over the dwindling days of the 2010 campaign. We retain confidence in our prediction as an approximation of the final results.

Concerning the Senate, the Democrats still appear to have a small edge to maintain narrow control—but Republicans have the opportunity to run the table, win a net +10 seats, and gain a one-seat majority. For now, we are raising (by one seat) the likely Republican Senate gain, from +7-8 to +8-9. This was the level at which we had the GOP before its disaster in Delaware.
Christine O’Donnell’s GOP primary victory in the First State in mid-September was a momentum-breaker for the Republicans, depriving them of a near-certain pick-up of a critical Senate seat. The O’Donnell upset of Mike Castle caused virtually the entire political community to downgrade the party’s chances of seizing the magic ten in the Senate. Precisely because of O’Donnell, the Crystal Ball lowered its forecast Republican gain of +8-9 Senate seats to +7-8. O’Donnell’s macabre campaign, including the ludicrous “I’m not a witch; I’m you” spot that will live forever on the political blooper tape, has likely insured her defeat, despite strong fundraising numbers.

However, Republicans have begun to do better in a couple of other states, and in this edition of the Crystal Ball, we are changing ratings in those two states: West Virginia and Wisconsin.
When Sen. Robert Byrd died in June, it was simply assumed that Gov. Joe Manchin (D) would take the seat, through appointment or election. His high popularity preordained it. But Manchin didn’t count on the deep unpopularity of President Obama in a state he lost by a wide margin to both Hillary Clinton and then John McCain. The Republican candidate, John Raese, is a self-funder but also a three-time statewide loser (twice for the Senate and once for Governor). But his message for 2010 is simple and powerful: “Manchin will be a rubber-stamp for Obama and I am the Nobama.” Nobama has edged ahead, though we believe the well regarded Manchin has just enough time to come back. West Virginia Senate goes from Lean D to Toss Up.

In and out of Wisconsin, there is considerable surprise that 18-year Senator Russ Feingold is in serious trouble, trailing in virtually every poll to self-funding businessman and Tea Party candidate Ron Johnson. To Feingold’s credit, he is running a candidacy based on who he actually is and how he has actually voted. To his detriment, voters in the Badger state no longer appear to want his kind of liberal populism, at least in this GOP wave year. As in West Virginia, Feingold is being hurt by low ratings for President Obama, and also by the deep unpopularity of retiring Gov. Jim Doyle (D). The Republican candidate for Governor, Scott Walker, is also favored over his Democratic foe, Tom Barrett. Wisconsin Senate goes from Toss Up to Leans R.

There is some good news for Democrats on the Senate front. In California, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) has finally achieved a small but stable lead over Republican Carly Fiorina. Given the strongly underlying Democratic nature of the Golden State, we are moving California Senate from Toss Up to Leans D.

The final Senate changes are expected ones in Florida, Missouri, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania. For some time now, we have had Republican Marco Rubio the favorite over Independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek. Rubio’s lead is now so large, and the changes of Crist and Meek joining forces to unite behind one candidacy are now so small, that we are changing Florida Senate from Leans R to Likely R. Similarly, in the Show-Me State, Republican Roy Blunt is now considered well ahead of Democrat Robin Carnahan. Missouri Senate from Leans R to Likely R. In the Granite State, Republican Kelly Ayotte is having little trouble with Democrat Paul Hodes. New Hampshire Senate from Leans R to Likely R. And in the Keystone State, Democrat Joe Sestak has shown no real ability to catch up to Republican nominee Pat Toomey in what has turned into a very GOP year in normally Blue Pennsylvania. Accordingly, we are tilting Pennsylvania Senate from Leans R to Likely R.

We noted before Labor Day that whenever the House has flipped parties since World War II, the Senate has changed party control in the same direction, even when election observers didn’t see it coming. If the Senate falls into the GOP column in 2010, it will do so right at the end of the campaign by a relative handful of votes in a couple of states. The closest contests are in Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Nevada, Washington, and West Virginia. To take control of the Senate, Republicans must win all of these seats, or pull off an unexpected upset in Connecticut or California. Again, it would have been a lot easier for the GOP with Delaware in hand.

The Crystal Ball has been bullish on GOP prospects for Governor all year, and currently has Republicans picking up a net of +8 seats, winning current Democratic berths in Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and quite possibly Illinois, Ohio, and Oregon. Democrats are balancing these gains with probable pick-ups in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Rhode Island. Many of these “classified” states are close, and there are at least four more governorships (Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont) still teetering as Toss-Ups, so stay tuned. As always, we will attempt a call in every contest before Election Day, realizing that inevitably, some will be wrong."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Despirited Democrats Will Hold 2012 Presidential Caucus

So, the Nebraska Democratic Party is going to have their second presidential caucus in 2012. Their chairman Vic Covalt said that the 2008 caucus united and energized Democrats across the state and that the caucus gave them a say in the national political process.

Our guess is that they will need every bit of energy they can find to not be left on the sidelines in 2012 for the following reasons:
  • The legislature will enact a 'Winner Takes All' change to reward all of Nebraska's electoral votes to the overall winner of the state's presidential general election in 2012, meaning that the Prince of Peace Nobel Laureate President of the World of Equal Nations Commissar Barack Barry Soetoro Hussein Obama will have no reason to come to Nebraska.

  • With Jim Suttle recalled from office as Omaha's Mayor, the top two remaining Democrats will be Lincoln's mayor and Judas Ben Nelson. Ben Nelson will be on a political death spiral as Governor/then Republican U.S. Senate Candidate Dave Heineman begins his campaign to return Judas Ben to his Platte River turkey farm/retirement villa.

  • The disastrous results of the 2010 election attempt by the Nelson picked team of Meister/Boyle will still be resonating with the remnants of the Nebraska Democratic Party as will the handy defeat of Tom White by Congressman Lee Terry.

  • Lastly, two more years of the president's administration with the failure of his economic policies will leave most remaining Democrats any enthusiasm for their 2012 nominee.

Yep, those caucuses will be really inspirational for the Democrats in 2012. Hang in their guys.

More Evidence that Carl Lorenzen is a Closet Democrat or Simply a Liar

Last week we opined (Tuesday, October 5, 2010 (A Legislative Candidate Defined by His Supporters) that legislative candidate Carl Lorenzen has taken the majority of his money from the likes of Warren Buffett and several labor unions--not exactly the donor base that defines conservatives.

Well, one also learns something about candidates by who they contribute their own money to. In the case of Carl Lorenzen, who is running against incumbent Scott Lautenbaugh, there is a paucity of campaign contributions attributed to him. But guess what? He did give $200 to none other than Tom White--you know the guy that is running against Congressman Lee Terry.

Given Carl Lorenzen's record of fund raising and donating one can only conclude we have another Obama supporting, tax-increasing, government solution believer running a campaign where he tells us one thing as he sells himself to those whom his rhetoric would appear to oppose.

Mayor Suttle Love Affair With Fire Union Continues

It appears that the incompetent, soon to-be-recalled mayor of Omaha, Jim Suttle still maintains his love and affection for the Omaha Fire Department.

If you recall the Omaha City Council recently passed an ordinance to repeal section 10-146 of the city statutes (privatization ODF). The repeal allows the Omaha Fire Department more opportunity to reduce costs and increase efficiencies (assuming it had a real manager and not a union thug union leader in a chief's uniform) . It gives them the same opportunities that EVERY OTHER CITY DEPARTMENT ALREADY HAS. The major change was that instead of requiring a super majority (5 of 7) of council members to approve privatization contracts, only a majority (4 of 7) is now required--same provisions all other departments work under. The thugs in the union and the leadership (can you say Mike McDonnell?) are afraid that the passage might allow privatization of such things as ambulance services, etc.

So, after the Omaha City Council repealed the provision, it was sent to the mayor for his signature. NOT SURPRISING, MAYOR SUTTLE SENT THE ORDINANCE BACK WITHOUT HIS SIGNATURE. WHAT DOES THAT SAY ABOUT SUTTLE? HE IS STILL OWNED BY THE POLICE UNION AND A PAWN OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT.!!!!!

By the way, over a year ago Mayor Suttle announced the 'deal of the century' and said the police and fire union contracts were imminent. It took a year to pass the police contract and we haven't heard a wit about the fire union contract. Could it be the mayor is afraid to move a fire union contract when he is up for recall? Perhaps the fire union folks ought to be asking what happens if there is no contract and a new mayor......

A Politician Saying, 'I'm Not Ready' -- How Refreshing! -- Doug Patton

October 11, 2010

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Des Moines last week. Christie was there to campaign for former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who is challenging the sitting Democrat, Chet Culver, for his old job back. Branstad was one of the Hawkeye State's longest serving and most popular governors for 16 years, from 1982 to 1998.

Chris Christie says he travelled to Des Moines strictly to campaign for a fellow Republican, but polls show Branstad in a double-digit lead over Culver, so he hardly needs any help from Christie or anyone else. So, why a visit to the state with the first-in-the-nation caucus from a tough-talking, newly-elected, no nonsense governor from New Jersey?

Iowa's caucus process is a huge political show, but it really means very little. In fact, victory there frequently is a strong indication that a candidate will lose either the nomination of his party or the general election. Barack Obama was a fluke on the Democrat side in 2008, mainly because the community-organizer-in-chief's crew was so adept at making the most of the caucus format. However, that same year, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who would go on to be the GOP nominee, came in fourth behind Huckabee, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

Back in 1988, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush won the Republican nomination and the general election after coming in third behind Sen. Bob Dole and televangelist Pat Robertson in Iowa. That same year, Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democrats' eventual nominee, also placed third — behind Missouri Rep. Dick Gephardt and Illinois Sen. Paul Simon. Remember them?

In 1980, Ronald Reagan, whom we tend to think of now as being unbeatable, actually lost in Iowa to none other than the man who would become his vice president — Bush the Elder. But the most humorous Iowa caucus defeat occurred on the Democrat side in 1976, when Jimmy Carter (who would go on to be elected that year to his one and only term) lost to "uncommitted." Perhaps President Malaise should have taken that as an omen.

And still we pundits cannot help ourselves. We don't care whether Iowa really means anything. It means something to us, and so we talk about it and write about it and speculate about every foray into the state by any pol with a pulse. This brings us back to Chris Christie, who says he is simply not running for national office.

Describing Reagan as our last truly successful president, the straight-talking New Jersey Governor told the Iowa gathering, "We lost our way a number of years ago, and we became tax and spend light. Less spending, less regulation, smaller government — we're going to be all about that again. We have to step up and stand for those principles again."

Elected just a year ago, Christie said Republicans had to deliver on their conservative promises if they gain power in this November's elections. "If we don't follow through this time," he said, "voters will send the GOP to the wilderness, and they are going to send us there for a long, long time. As a party, it is put up or shut up time."

In response to questions about his Iowa appearance, Christie insists he has no plans to run for president in 2012. "I'm the governor of New Jersey," he says. "I'm not going to run for national office. You have to want it more than anything else in the world, and I don't. You have to be ready for it, and I'm not."
A politician willing to do the job he was elected to do, and who knows he's not ready for the next step. How refreshing. Too bad Barack Obama couldn't muster such humility four years ago.
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© 2010 by Doug Patton
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Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.

Can You Say Senator Heineman?

Well despite the awesome Democrat gubernatorial ticket put forward by "Judas Ben I-don't-want -to-lose-in 2012-Nelson, things aren't looking too good for his Meister/Boyle team. Not for the election of 2010 and not for Ben's hopes of damaging Governor Heineman who in 2013 will have the same two titles (governor, U.S. Senator) as the guy he will replace when the election occurs in just 757 days. But who is counting?

On Sunday, October 10, 2010, Rasmussen Reports (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2010/election_2010_governor_elections/nebraska/election_2010_nebraska_governor) revealed their latest figures for the 2010 Nebraska governor's race. Guess what, things have gotten even worse for the Nelson/Meister/Boyle ticket since the last poll.

According to Rasmussen:
  • "Republican Governor Dave Heineman still leads Democrat Mike Meister by more than 40 points in his bid for reelection in Nebraska.

  • The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Voters shows Heineman picking up 66% support. Meister, an attorney who ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2002, draws the vote from 24%. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate while six percent (6%) are undecided. Heineman held a 61% to 28% lead over Meister. The governor has received over 60% support from the state’s voters in all three surveys conducted since Meister announced his candidacy in July.

  • Heineman, who is seeking a second four-year term as governor, draws support from 91% of Republicans and 27% of Democrats in the state. Meister is backed by 61% of Democrats. Heineman holds a 19-point lead among voters not affiliated with either major political party."

In other findings, Rasmussen notes:

  • "In Nebraska, seven percent (7%) rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while 45% rate it as poor. Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe economic conditions are getting better, but 48% say they are getting worse.

  • Heineman is backed by 79% of voters who believe the economy is worsening, while Meister draws support from 56% who believe the opposite.

  • Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Nebraska voters consider themselves to be part of the Tea Party, higher than findings nationally. Fifty-four percent (54%) say they are not part of the movement, but 18% are undecided.

  • Most Tea Party voters (89%) and non-members (53%) support the governor in his reelection bid. Meister draws support from 36% of non-Tea Party voters.
    Heineman receives favorable reviews from 71% and unfavorable marks from 25%. Those numbers include Very Favorable marks from 37% and Very Unfavorable ratings from 11%.

  • Thirty percent (30%) of voters have a favorable opinion of Meister, while 47% view him unfavorably. While only eight percent (8%) view the Democrat Very Favorably, 20% view him Very Unfavorably. Twenty-three percent (23%), however, do not know enough about the candidate to venture any kind of opinion.

  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of Nebraska voters approve of the job Heineman is doing as governor, while 27% disapprove.

  • Just 31% of Nebraska voters approve of the job President Obama is doing. Sixty-six percent (66%) disapprove."