Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thinking About 2008

First, a Separated at Birth, sent in by loyal reader Gary Sadlemyer:
Senator Chuck Hagel and “Friday Night Lights” actor Kyle Chandler

Now, a few thoughts:

  • Lee Terry thinks Chuck Hagel won’t run for President. Terry thought this back in April as well. We’re not sure what makes him think it now.
  • Bob Novak thinks Hagel may retire.

  • 14% of over 8,000 people in an MSNBC poll think Chuck Hagel should get in the Presidential race. (Of course, 61% think Al Gore should run, so, you know…)

  • Hagel’s press secretary thinks Hagel will announce his decision “in the next month or two”. We think he should announce by Labor Day.

  • Chris Cillizia of the Washington Post thinks that if Hagel doesn’t run, Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey may be the better Democrat candidate than Bob Kerrey. Doesn't say why he thinks that.

  • Some Nebraska Dems (on the new version of the NNN) think that Scott Kleeb hinted he was going to run again for the 3rd Dist House seat. We think that if he does, he’ll get his clock cleaned (again).

  • Kleeb thinks that people coming from around the country to the Yearly Kos convention would like a white pine branch. We have no idea why. Kleeb also thought it best to stay up til 2AM drinking beer with bloggers at Yearly Kos. We think that beats getting up at that hour to change a newborn’s diapers.

  • The Nebraska GOP thinks that State Senator Tom White’s “Nebraska Leadership” website, which he is using his official office to promote, is really just a campaign website. We think so to.

  • While some of those same Dems think Jim Esch is the man to challenge Terry again next year, some say that the Dems have already recruited a big-wig from the business community. Anyone think they know who?

  • The New York Times thinks it will be more successful if they make all of their content free on the web, including columns and editorials. We think a certain Omaha paper should follow suit.

  • We think that when you leave a comment to this post you should start it with, “I think…”. Why? Why the hell not, it’s the dog days of August.


Smartguy said...

I think Jon Bruning will go work for NelNet after the 2008 GOP primary.

Eric said...

I think that the Journal Star is insisting that there are "prolific rumors" that White will challenge Terry. It was the first place that I heard said rumor.

I think that the state should give Legislators some official web space like the US government does for members of Congress. Maybe this would help in distinguishing between a Senator's personal legislative page and a campaign site.

Anonymous said...

I think that candles always make a nice wedding gift.

I think that those who waited in line for American Idol tryouts in rain and wind are not that bright and should not be allowed to breed.

I think that Lee Terry needs to get on the Barry Bonds health plan if he is going to challenge Jr. Jackson. Or, in the very least, have backup in the form of Chuck Norris.

I think that Tom Osborne is sitting in a cabin near Central City still wondering how the hell he is sitting in Central City and not in a mansion in Lincoln.

I think Mike Johanns is contemplating a return to Nebraska. Not just because Stephanie said so, but because Con Agra is hiring.

I think that Mike Fahey could run for Senate, but he wouldn't get the plumb seats for Billy Joel concerts anymore.

I think Don Stenberg is bored and needs to run for something. If I were on the county attorney, I'd be nervous.

I think Ben Nelson needs to go with the Paulie Walnuts look.

I think Adrian Smith's mobile office is a wonderful idea. Do I get a free cookie after I donate there like I do at the mobile bloodmobile?

I think Jeff Fortenberry is the forgotten Congressman. Has anybody seen him on C-Span? Anybody?

I think Chuck Hagel will, oh hell, I don't know. Chuck doesn't even know.

Street Sweeper said...

I think that was pretty funny.

But I think you meant "CandleSTICKS" always make a nice wedding present -- a'la "Bull Durham".

Ian Russell said...

Though I'm sure virtually none of the Leavenworth Street crowd supports Tom White or Democrats in general, in the interest of full disclosure I'm posting this response to the NEGOP's whining about We'll take any opportunity to dispel rumors and give the straight story.

The NEGOP's Washington DC-style partisan attacks are baseless and in one instance may have even broken the law (by sending a robocall featuring NEGOP Chair Mark Quandahl from an unauthorized dialer to an unknown number of Omaha residents both inside and outside Senator White's district).

While we can only speculate as to why the NEGOP would lower the bar for Nebraska political discourse by singling out an incumbent state senator who is not a declared candidate for any office - an unprecedented move for a Nebraska political party - we want to make sure their partisan attacks are met with the facts.

Below, please find the allegations made in NEGOP Chair Mark Quandahl's letter submitted yesterday to the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission and Senator White's responses.

Allegation 1: Distributing an in-kinded poll was a violation of Nebraska Statute Section 49-1446.02(6).

Response: Section 49-1446.02 reads “Notwithstanding any other provision of the Nebraska Political Accountability and Disclosure Act, no committee shall expend funds for the purchase or payment of office supplies, staff, or furnishings for the public office for which an individual is a candidate for nomination or election except as set out in subsection (2) of section 49-1446.01. The poll is not an office supply or furnishing, and hence is not covered by this statute.

Additionally, at least one other poll was distributed during the session, by Republican State Senator Joel Johnson ("Nebraska Statewide Tobacco Survey: Smoke-Free Law. Key Findings from a Statewide Survey of 500 Registered Voters, conducted February 14-15, 2007").

Allegation 2: Myers and Associates/Strategic Services did not accurately report the in-kind contribution of polling data to Senator White.

Response: Not true. Strategic Services VA, LLC, reported a $2500 in-kind contribution to White for Legislature on 4/20/07, in full accordance with the law (viewable online at

Allegation 3: The Nebraska Democratic Party owns the website that hosts the Nebraska Leadership Project.

Response: Not true. The web vendor incorrectly registered the site to the NDP, though he had received neither communication nor payment from them. We have a signed statement from him acknowledging his error. It has been corrected.

Allegation 4: The fact that the NLP and White for Legislature have the same address is indicative of wrongdoing.

Response: They are both registered at Senator White’s home address – a common practice.

Street Sweeper said...


I think I have half a mind to delete your comment for not playing the "I think..." game.

We'll give you a pass this one time.

So, to me, here's the gist of the thing: The "Nebraska Leadership Project" or whatever it is you're calling it, is obvously a campaign project for your boss. You're obligated to deny that, but anyone who looks at it knows what it is. And it was publicized from your official office. That breaks the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. End of story.

snowblwr said...

I think Lee Terry will do to Tom White what Jesse Jackson, Jr. would have done to Lee Terry.

Eric said...

I think it isn't so obvious that White's website is a campaign thing. I'm going to go back to my point about official web pages of members of Congress. Almost every single one seems somewhat campaigny to me. They all tout the accomplishments of that member, talk about what he/she is trying to accomplish, announce town hall meetings, etc. without implicitly saying "vote for me," and they get by ok. I realize that the same laws don't necessarily apply at the two different levels, but the spirit is the same.

It is kind of a weird name for a personal website, but since State Senators don't get official web space, you have to expect that these things are going to pop up.

Johnny G. said...

I think Leavenworth should post a countdown clock for the demise of the Omaha World-Herald. It might not occur by this Labor Day, but most of us will see it in our lifetime. Bloggers will be happily standing over the graves of these mid-sized newspapers, which do very little meaningful local reporting nowadays.

Ian Russell said...

In deference to our host:
I think....Eric is correct. And since White has a relatively common name, most urls were already taken. Also (and someone will probably jump all over me for this) he wanted it to be about ideas, not about him personally. It really is just a site to communicate with constituents about Senator White's work in the Legislature. I suspect it would disappear quickly if he and his colleagues were given pages at the Unicam website, similar to the way members of Congress are.

One Out In The Third said...

On a different subject...I think it got too hot in the kitchen for "Benny the Singer" and he withdrew the earmark for his son. Smart move Ben but you gotta make up for it.
Maybe you can focus on an immigration plan in '08...rather than waiting til '09. I think if I were a betting man I would bet that won't happen in an election year..."bollocks" and "Washington DC" are no longer synonymous.

curbfeeler said...

I think SS is right about a certain Omaha paper being more successful if it puts its content free on the web. Yet being a monopoly is a lot like breeding with your siblings. After a while, the whole family ends up slow witted. (When you ask OWH execs about the "web", some of them nervously glance at their toes.)

'sker said...

Ian, how many postcards did Senator White send out? Are we talking about 50,000 or 5,000 or 500?

right-wing rant said...

The Daily Kos (Kooks) bloggers of the left have nothing on the conservative movement on the Web. This site is proof of that.

Look out Tom White. Look out state Democrats. (I'd say look out World-Herald editorial page, but your ramblings are already irrelevant.)

spikestrip said...

hey ian,

please take my advice and stop digging.

first, what are you doing at 1:33 p.m. and 4:51 p.m. submitting comments on a political blog? i sure hope you took a vacation day.

second, you and your buddy barry brought the washington campaign style to nebraska. quit whinning because we do it better.

third, had you taken an ethics class in college, you would have learned that where you smell smoke there is usually fire.

fourth and finally, go back to writing your crap on your own blog where the mindless reader actually believes what you are spewing.

Sidney said...

Ian: what kind of "ideas" are you talking about? Do you mean hood-winking Nebraskans about that stupid property tax "credit" which was nothing more than a scam. Funny how you and Sen. White always mumble the part about how the credit isn't permanent and has to be re-evaluated after 2 years.

Outside of your liberal la-la land, most people recognize that a tax credit isn't the same as a tax cut. Nebraska taxpayers just got the biggest windfall in the history of our state and rather than be happy about it, you and Sen. White sit in the corner and pout with your arms crossed.

Thank God (whoops, I forgot, you're a liberal so you probably don't believe in God) that Sen. White lost in his bid to scam Nebraska voters.

42nd street KFAB listener said...

I think Gary Sadlemeyer is a stud. A conservative's conservative.

Today on KFAB's morning show, he gave a bit of advice to people dating divorcees. Without getting into the specifics, let me just report that the liberal guest they were interviewing didn't really comprehend Gary's "traditional view of marriage." Another fine example of how Gary (along with Jim Rose) is one of the few local broadcasters blessed with conservative commonsense.

'sker said...

I think 42nd street KFAB listener is a stud for thinking Gary Sadlemeyer is a stud.

One Out In the Third said...

I think 'sker (Gary Sadlemeyer) and 42nd street KFAB listener (Jim Rose) have formed a 2-man mutual admiration society.

Anonymous said...

Ian Russell, I think it's a violation to engage in campaign activities as a state employee on state time.

Just a thought.

42nd St. KFAB Listener said...

Nope -- I'm not Jim Rose, although I am a big Husker fan who lives on 42nd St. (in Lincoln).

Of course, I think One Out In The Third is Jon Bruning, given his plugs for the AG.

Devils Advocate said...

If Gary Sadlemeyer is such a stud and such a conservative why in the world did he hire that slurred-speech-degenerate-unfunny radio host Tom Becka?

42nd st. KFAB listener said...

Hey, I won't defend that decision.

I think Becka should be replaced with more Husker talk, but that's just me. Four hours of that guy is more mind-numbing than a floor speech by Tom White.

Ian Russell said...

I think it's great to have friendly reminders from Leavenworth Street readers about what's acceptable on state time. For anyone who cares (and I dearly hope it isn't very many of you) I've been on vacation but still checking Leavenworth Street (because I'm not just another close-minded liberal spending all my time at certain other Nebraska blogs). Just wanted to clear that up. Hope everyone's having a good weekend.

One Out In The Third said...

42nd Street...

I was just thinking the other day...I think there is too much Husker talk on the radio this day and age and that less would be better. One hour a day of myopic blather and cheerleading is about all I can handle anymore.

I'd rather turn the radio off and dig into a good book. Husker fans need to get a life.

I figured I was missing on my Jim Rose call...and I actually suspected you might be Becka but I see now that's not the case either...unless it's a diversionary tactic on your part.

No...I'm not JB...I just think Hagel should be replaced and right now JB is hungry...wants the job and might be the best one to represent Nebraska.


You sure have been easy on Kleeb only covered half the story on the "lust-filled" reporter.

Street Sweeper said...

Easy on Kleeb? WHICH lust filled reporter are you referring to? Don't think you've heard the last from us on his little Chicago vacation...

One Out In The Third said...

I didn't say it...but I read it...

"I got excited about Scott Kleeb last year when he ran for Congress after reading about him on Daily Kos, but I’ll admit my excitement was mostly out of lust. And I’m not alone. When I saw him at a fundraiser last October, I told him that it’s not just the ladies who really like him. But after meeting him again at Yearly Kos, and taking the time to have a long dialogue about politics, I developed a deep respect for the guy. And the straight male bloggers who were with me felt the same."

Anonymous said...

Octavius says....

in response to 'anonymous' #3 post...Fortenberry has been on C-Span before. He speaks when he needs to and is not a 'template grandstander' like most pols.

I don't think candles are a nice wedding gift.....but a bottle of vino on a random day is a nice gesture. Nothing like the old 'just because' bottle of wine on a Wednesday evening. Yesssssss.

A Mom said...

I think, in response to the Kleeb post, I'll just respond with a loud "Ick!!" Can we keep this site "sex free" or at least hetero?!

I also think, that I should not have skipped my caffiene this morning-I feel sick.

Molly McButter said...

To the Disgusted Mom -- I'm sure the host of this blog would love to keep it to a PG-rating but unfortunately the Democrats can't speak about their pin-up congressional candidate without mentioning his looks (which this observer finds to be far over-rated).

One Out In The Third said...

Duly noted Mom...

Just wanted to point out what liberals find important when searching for a candidate.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Wonderer said...

SS, "I think," that this post has run its course-into the mud. How about some new meat??

I think I would like to hear more about what the fool majority in the House did to a perfectly decent children's health program(S-CHIP)

Or, I think I would like to hear about how the Democrats stole a vote on the House floor regarding the Ag Bill and illegal immigrant payments.

I also think it might be nice to know what Fahey, Warren and the real Mayor(you know, Paul Landow) REALLY feel about the Guardian Angels' arrival in Omaha??

Rolly said...

I think Scott Kleeb did not get his clock cleaned. His clock keeps ticking with more energy the energizer.

I think Rep. Smith needs to keep on his toes.

Street Sweeper said...


I know (not I think) that the "I think" portion of this post beat itself into the ground after the first day. And that's fine. And you should feel free to discuss whatever policy issues you have in the comments section (though keeping it relevant to the post is nice). However, the goal here on Leavenworth Street is for us to discuss “politcs”, and leave the policy issues for other blogs. We also like to keep things as specific as possible to Nebraska and Nebraska pols. We decided at the start to try to keep a narrow focus, and we'll continue to strive towards that goal.


No, Kleeb and Esch, both 10% losers last time, NOW HAVE SPOTLESS CLOCKS. They got shellacked. Ten percent is a beating. And it's especially a clobbering in a year where Democrats dominated in races across the country. Every open race in the 3rd has been competitive, but even in the year of the Dem, Kleeb could only get 10%? Waxed. Live with it.

Now does that mean Kleeb or even Esch are done for? No, it does not. But let's stop the revisionist history about the last election.


One Out In The Third said...

Face it are a growing addiction. You have a fan base and we are hungry. The check is in the mail.

We do need to realize that it will be another 5 to 6 months before things start to get interesting here in the flatlands...Oh I forgot...the Huskers are less than a month could I forget?

Street Sweeper said...

Much appreciated. And while we'll probably have a new post soon, we generally don't like to post just for the sake of posting, if you follow.

But you want political excitement? That will come the day Chuck announces his plans. You will be able to put your ear to the ground and hear the dominoes falling.

One Out In The Third said...


I dunno...I think your vigil may turn out to be anti-climactic.

When looking around at all the national polls the past few months I see Hagel is left holding that "strong" - to 1 percent nomination preference he has held since early 2006. His stock isn't rising. Even if Guiliani falls off the radar (which I think is happening)...Hagel might...maybe...rise to the 2 percent voter appreciation level nationally.

I believe Hagel sees the writing on the wall and that he has only 2 for his current seat or walk away. Chuck was smart to not proclaim his intentions early...but as we watch the ongoing political shake/ don't have to be Mr. Obvious to realize that his waiting hasn't helped.

It will be interesting to see his spin when Petraeus presents his Surge report next month.

On a side note...I am wondering if Sen. Coburn pulled his Pentagon IG request for an investigation of 21stCSI after "Benny the Singer" pulled his earmark???

Street Sweeper said...


Our "Hagel watch" certainly isn't restricted to whether Chuck will run for Prez or not.

Whether he runs for Prez, re-elect or retires will mean that decisions will be made by pols and wanna-be pols across the state (and nation).

It will be a big deal, whatever he decides (assuming he actually decides something this time...).