Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Could Fahey be recalled?

The "Recall Fahey!" drive has just begun, but there is an inkling that Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey could be in trouble if the drivers get enough votes to put the recall question on the ballot.

A recent online poll went up on Omaha KETV Channel 7's site, asking if Fahey should be recalled. As of 12:45 pm on Tuesday, March 11th, 485 people had clicked and the votes were 62%-38% in favor of the recall .

Now we don't want to get to absorbed in an online poll, which can easily be skewed one way or another. But still...that's a decent sample size, and couple that with the recent New Stadium hearings Fahey has been holding and you start to wonder.

Not to mention that the most recent hearing was held at Westside High School (as opposed to, say, South High School), and the 600 people that showed up there were more than a little peeved.

Now obviously most of this is based on replacing Rosenblatt. But unless we're missing something, we have a feeling that the new stadium IS going to happen. They're not going to renovate Rosenblatt. They are going to build it downtown. And Omaha will stave off the NCAA's Indianapolis crowd for twenty years, or so.

Frankly if we were living in the shadow of Zesto's, we'd be pushing for ways to make the Zoo expansion happen, not to mention the "Wolf Lodge" ideas. Near as we can tell, both of those operate 52 weeks a year, as opposed to just the 2 for the CWS.

And that's probably what Fahey is hoping as well. But there's also a sentiment that Fahey has gone about it all wrong.
  • That these public meetings should have happened about six or seven month ago.

  • That Fahey has a track record of jamming things down the public's throat (see the annexation of Elkhorn and the dinky hotel across from the Qwest).

  • That luxuries have been put ahead of necessities (see the pedestrian bridge and the north O sewers).

So while we think much of this is simply a shift from "Save Rosenblatt!" to "Recall Fahey!", we also wonder about the undercurrent. Can the Recall! folks gather up 21K signatures in 30 days? Yikes. But...maybe.

And if that happens, will the idea of a shiny new ballpark save Fahey, or sink him?

Well, we know that if it doesn't work this time around, all we have to do is wait another 12 months...


Mike in Omaha said...

Does anyone recall Mike Boyle? haha. Seriously This is the only major project Mayor Fahey has been out in front of...and it has run him over. Not even Subby Anzaldo could have screwed this one up..no offense Subby. Mayor Landow must be getting worried, I wonder if that is why he bought a house in Florida recently.

levy said...

Agree totally with the dinky hotel comment. I never understood why Fahey punted Marriott, a company with a significant presence in Omaha in favor of Hilton. Did he have a bad experience at a Marriott?

Eric said...

You're right, that is a pretty good sample size for an online poll.

Mike Fahey is going to be recalled. And, Ron Paul is going to be President of the United States of America.

Anonymous said...

The squeaky wheel is always the loudest, usually resulting in people forgetting about the other three (majority), quiet, wheels. The more I listen to the South O crew and the city council, the more I believe Fahey is the only one that doesn't have an personal agenda.

Suttle (and others) want to be mayor, South O is short sighted and doesn't understand the mechanics of the issue (expanded zoo and water park would do much more than the cws).

Shawn Harstad said...

Fahey and Steve Pederson are long lost brothers.

mike honcho said...

"I (look down at speech) did not intend (look down) for (look down) this to (look down) get so (look down) out (look down) of (look down) control."

-- Mike Fahey

Anonymous said...

To levy...it was an inside union deal. The Hilton project hasd the blessing of Terry Moore

OmaSteak said...

At the last moment in the hotel negotiations, Hilton put Fahey's lawyer brother on retainer to assist with their bid...you figure out the rest.

As for the recall effort, if it is to succeed, they need to put a real PR pro out in front to sharpen their message, maximize earned media and organize the effort. They will face huge PR blitz from Landow/Fahey if it looks like they are having any success. Fahey will receive significant $s from new stadium backers, love notes from the OWH and lots of "those recall crazies" coverage from local media. If the recall-fahey.com folks do join with the save rosenblatt group, the combined forces may have a chance. Remember in the last election, Fahey spent $1 million to get under 35,000 votes.

Anonymous said...

The logic of expanding a 365 day per year zoo, combined with the stupidity of spending even one dollar for a 2 week per year CWS, added to Omaha's history as a luke warm sports town, suggests Omaha should knock down Rosenblatt, fix the sewers, build no sports arena and check Fahey's liver.

Anonymous said...

I listened to the Save Rosenblatt's "leader" yesterday on Big Sports 590 and wow, this is the best guy they could get? He was rude, ignorant and just plain wacky. He thinks that donors would pay for a parking garage at Rosenblatt? Really? The Warren Buffet Parking Garage does have a ring to it but I don't see that happening.

Mike in Omaha said...

For the ignorants ones: I remember all you anti-Qwest Center people who made the same arguments then. Look at the Qwest Center now. I'm no Fahey fan, I prefer the UP Railyards as the site. We will lose the CWS without a downtown ballpark. You South O protesters are pissed because I won't be paying 20 bucks to park on your run down shacks lawn for the CWS or Fireworks night at the Blatt in a few years. *****Note to South O guy, I will see you in 2011 when I ask for a refill of my soda or a towel for my kid at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Anonymous said...

While the suggestions that unions and brothers may have had something to do the choice of Hilton over Marriott I remember it a bit differently.
The Qwest was being built back when all the talk of casinos in Nebraska was going on and Hilton had a more established record with casinos than Marriott. But the more relevant historical tid bit was that Kewitt already had a relationship with Hilton.
Now with the ballpark you see the head of the Kewitt foundation backing the move. That's what I expect it'll come down to, for all the sentimentality that the outspoken hold for the Blatt, business leaders like Walter Scott and the Kewitts want an evolving economy here in Omaha. As the Qwest/Hilton episode showed Faheys' ear seems to be more in tune with (shocking I know) the business leaders rather than the crack pots who'd rather see the CWS go bye bye than give up their precious (ill-equipped, run down, isolated) Rosenblatt.
Fahey may have not handled this with much grace but at least the ultimate outcome will be for the better of the city as a whole.

OmaSteak said...

For Mike in Omaha,
If the Qwest convention center and arena is such a success for the city, just exactly how much of the $300 million bonded indebtedness has been repaid? Answer is exactly zero dollars of the debt has been repaid and taxpayers are subsidizing the Qwest to the tune of $1.5-2 million per year...each and every year since it opened. Those same city "business leaders" that Fahey is "listening to" are the ones who stand to directly profit from the project moving forward as does the Mayor when he needs to raise $2 million for his reelection campaign next year. The only person who was on the Mayor's ballpark committee who didn't have a direct financial interest in supporting the foregone conclusion was Sokol...and he quit when his questions were not answered. In addition, the "donors" who are going to "contribute" $35 million are getting something in return...beyond their name on a plaque or a brick. What "perks" accrue to them? And not remembering the Mayor's brother was brought on-board at the last minute by Hilton when making their bid for the hotel doesn't make it so.

Ryan said...

Thanks, citizens of Omaha. I had forgotten what a small-time cow-town this was until the current stadium debate.

Anonymous said...

Obviously there is one ignorant blogger who doesn't consider that citizens of West Omaha read these posts. True colors are showing.

Street Sweeper said...

Which "Citizens of Omaha" are you speaking of? The ones that elected Fahey? Or the ones that elected Daub? Or the ones who want to Save Rosenblatt? Or the ones that want to build a new stadium? Or the ones that want to recall Fahey? Since you've lumped all of them together, maybe you can help us out

Are you speaking to me? (said with a Travis Bickel accent)

Anonymous said...


No...Mike "the bigot' in Omaha.

Mike in Omaha said...

To Anonymous: How is that biggoted. The New Stadium protestors from the Rosenblatt area have a financial interest. They are making thosands of dollars from parking each year and the go after fahey and stinson for making this descision on personal financial reasons. The 13th Street crowd is so myopic and transparent. Any zoo development would bring more year round jobs foor that area of omaha. What about the people that could work there from South O that don't recieve parking money. West O, North O, Mid-town, Downtown People and yes South O people should be upset by the potential loss the entire city will face if the CWS goes away. So, how is this biggoted annonymous? Do you work at Zestos or something.

Anonymous said...

Omaha is a cow town sans cows.