Thursday, April 03, 2008

Esch: Dishonorable, corrupt (we're told)

Jim Esch will be running a dishonorable, corrupt campaign that is pledged to special interest groups.

How do we know? Well, Jim Esch told us so.

You see, back in 2006, Jim vowed not to take any PAC money to fund his campaign. It was a dominant theme. He said it all right here:

I have made an unwavering commitment in this campaign to neither solicit donations—nor accept unsolicited donations—from any Political Action Committee (PAC) or any other Special Interest group. Winning an election can only be as honorable as the way in which the victory was achieved, and this campaign is no exception. When I vote in Congress, my allegiance will be to the people of Nebraska’s Second Congressional District, not Special Interest groups.
He also stated that he was:

...working to raise awareness of corrupt election practices by not taking any Special Interest or PAC (political action committee) money.
Well, that was Jim Esch v.2006. But Jim Esch v.2008?

Well, for starters his website design hasn't changed from 2006 to 2008. In his little "Issues" splash page (above), you can still see the "Special Interest Money" listed. But when you click there and go to the actual "Issues" page, 2008 Jim's aversion to PAC money is nowhere to be seen.

You see, Jim says he will take PAC money, because he won't campaign on an uneven playing field. Hmm.

OK, so Jim, is PAC money bad or isn't it?
Are you corrupt for taking it or aren't you?
Are you dishonorable for spending it, or are you lilly white?

Oh, wait..."Change! Hope!"
Ah...that's better.


And while we're on the subject of phony-baloney campaign promises, let's take a look at Richard Carter's (who?) endorsement of "A Responsible Plan to end the war in Iraq."

That's the document that floating around these days that numerous congressional candidates around the country are glomming onto to try to show they have a "plan" to get out of Iraq.

It says things like:

How do we bring American military engagement in Iraq to a responsible end?

And answers with,

We must stop counter-productive military operations by U.S. occupation forces and end our military presence in Iraq.
You see people! You end the war by stopping it! That's clear, right?

Well, in case you were hoping for a few more details on how these big-thinkers plan on getting troops out of Iraq, well, keep on hoping. ("Hope! Change!").

In the 36 page document guess how many pages are devoted to "End the military action in Iraq"?
The answer: 1.

Here are the details for ending military actions:

"This should be accomplished based on planning provided by our military leadership."

Uh huh. That's it.

Oh sure there's lots of other neat stuff about meeting with allies and war crimes and such. And there are some verrrry unusual things such as the "Media Ownership Act of 2007". But there is absolutely, freaking, ZERO said about HOW you pull troops out.

Oh but it does use the favorite talk-show buzz word: "Responsible!" (Now if we could only work in "Hope!" and "Change!")


We here on Leavenworth Street weren't the only ones pulling the funny on April 1st. Scott Vorhees on KFAB put on a little show with Rep. Lee Terry, that apparently sucked in many many people. You can listen to the KFAB podcast by clicking here.


Anonymous said...

Iraq FOREVER!!!! GO GOP!!!!...

Seriously. Whats your plan again? Oh wait, you don't have one. Not one plan for the most awesome cool war that will pay for itself with oil proceeds? Not one plan for what to do if the worlds most awesome war doesn't succeed. Good thing we have Lee Terry taking on the evils that are planned parenthood. GO GOP! Creators of the most awesome war ever!

BTOsborn said...

Here's my plan for ending the war in Iraq "with honor." The first thing to keep in mind is that freedom isn't free.

First of all we draft EVERY young person, let's say between the ages of 18 and 35, that is physically or mentally capable of working within the military. I will include those physically handicapped ones that could still do clerical, or other, types of work. NO EXCEPTIONS! Everyone's kids would have to go, including those of the rich and powerful.

Then we get the retired folks to pitch in, creating jobs for them, putting the skills they learned throughout their lifetimes to work supporting the families of those who are serving in the military.

Every other able bodied American would be expected to give their all for the cause - working in defense plants, cranking out the materiel needed for our troops, raising crops in their front yards rather than Kentucky bluegrass, volunteering their spare time to the USO, watching our borders, raising money for the cause.

Then we tax the people to pay for equipping our military with everything they need. We'd have bond drives to get even more money raised for the cause. We'd have scrap metals drives to fuel our war industry. We'd have rationing of critical materials like gasoline, rubber, wood, etc.

In other words, our entire nation would be involved in the war effort 24/7. We'd stay that way until we "won with honor."

But that isn't going to happen is it? Americans aren't willing to pay the sacrifices that my father's generation did to win WWII. No, we want to sit back and let some other schmuck's kids do all the work for us, sending them back into the meat grinder time and time again until they come home in a body bag or so scrambled that they'll need a lifetime of medical attention.

When every single American gets involved in this war, then I will believe we actually are AT war and not just prosecuting George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's little profit making machine for Haliburton and Blackwater.

Gerard Harbison said...

On the same subject, leftist flak Don Walton just interviewed the head of Common Cause in the Lincoln Journal Star. They both praised Obama on the financing of his campaign, completely failing to mention his reneging on a promise to abide by public finance limits.

Do they think we don't notice this sort of thing?

Street Sweeper said...

Interesting comments. But let's say, just for argument's sake, that the GOP DOES want to stay in Iraq forever (though they don't), or they want to stay until victory (maybe), or stable (probably), or whatever. That's not really the point.

The point is that the Dems have been bitching and moaning (after they voted FOR the war) ever since the opinion polls went south. They attend anti-war rallies, and write songs, and bitch at the President, and then what do they come up with? This "Responsible Plan" crap which says absolutely NOTHING, but has a real catchy name.

Jake said...

Interesting point. However, the problem is that the GOP or the folks who are in charge of Iraq have never been able to come up with a definition of what is success, right? Success was first getting a democracy. Then success was with the surge bringing down the casualties. then last week we are told that success was actually the product of Sadr's forces fighting the ISF (Iraqi security forces). We can't leave Iraq because the GOP cannot come up with a definition of what is success. The goal posts keep on moving. Success is one thing one day and then it changes. Don't you think its a little crazy that the ISF actually had to go to Iran to get a cease fire? No one had a plan in the beginning and they don't have a plan now. Should we wait yet another six months to see if their is progress?

I think the point is that having a plan, whether you agree with it or not, is at least better than not having a plan.

I found Walton's article interesting too. No mention of McCain being in violation of the FEC. Boy oh boy, he is such a reformer though. Such a maverick. Iraq for another 100 years!

Street Sweeper said...

I think I could agree that having an ACTUAL plan is better than no plan. And the "Responsible Plan" is not an ACTUAL plan.
But it sure does have the word "Responsible" in the title, and that's what's important...

Jake said...

So you don't like the plan because it doesn't give specifics on how the military would remove itself from the occupation of Iraq? Wouldn't all parties agree that probably wouldn't be the smartest thing to put out there? If that is the only element that is missing, and that is why the responsible plan isn't actually a plan, then I don't really get the whole point of your post. If the plan included something along the lines of "We will withdraw this many brigades a month..." would that be a plan? If thats all that is missing then this is just silly at best. Heaven forbid someone would try to start actually coming up with solutions.

Street Sweeper said...


36 pages, calling itself a plan, and saying, "we want to get out -- the millitary will do it", ain't a plan.

And if it is then here's my long-term financial "plan": "I want a billion dollars. Jake will figure out how to get it to me."

Jake said...

Ok, so the comment that the GOP and McCain want to stay in Iraq for 100 years is fair. Even if I were to give you (and I'm not) that the responsible plan is, well, lets call it a half plan, that is more than the entire GOP and the current President and the presumptive Republican nominee has done to end Iraq. So you can make fun or call it whatever you want, but its a step forward, which is a lot more than anyone in the gop has made. So, maybe we should call the GOP plan the 100 year plan?

Street Sweeper said...

No, it's not a "step forward". It's a nothing. It says zilch. "Gee it sure would be great if we could all hold hands" isn't a plan.
I would rather Carter, or others, state nothing than quote something that pretends to be something that it is not.

Jake said...

How does Lee Terry plan on moving forward in Iraq? Again, no alternative. And why isn't it a plan again? What determines whether a plan is a plan? Is it not specific enough? Are you saying that all of the people who have endorsed the plan haven't actually endorsed a plan? Or they have endorsed nothing? I can't really see how you or the GOP or Lee Terry are really being that serious about the war.

Street Sweeper said...


Our post was not about Lee Terry. It was about Carter's political decision to endorse something that has a buzz-word name but otherwise doesn't do what it says it does. And, if we wrote about the other people who endorsed it, I'd say the same.

Now, here's what Carter could do. He could say, "I want to do all the things that this document says, but for getting out of Iraq I think we should do A, B & C." That would, in theory be an actual “plan”.

And this blog is about politics. That "Responsible Plan" document is about politics as well. And Carter's decision to endorse it was a political one.

We're not here to talk about the war. If you want Lee Terry's position on the war, or anything else, go to his websites or call his office. We certainly don't represent him here (nor would he want us to).

Teddy said...

Jake ---- why aren't you worried about the plan (or lack there of) Clinton presented to have our troops out of Kosovo in 18 months bases on the Dayton Accord?

Jake said...

Interesting, the point of the comment was to ridicule or make fun of Carter's political decision to endorse a plan. I would guess (and I admit I don't know) that people who haven't or have endorsed the plan would also be criticized i.e. it would follow in the same vein. I apologize if I went too off track but I just figured that asking whether or not there is an alternative plan or what does and does not constitute a plan would be regarding Iraq would be on topic. I can certainly understand if you don't want to talk about the GOP's view on the war on Iraq and their plan, or lack of plan to bring our troops home safely.

Jake said...

Teddy- Probably because everything the Clintons told us about Kosovo didn't turn out to be wrong and strategically wasn't ever nearly as big a mess as Iraq. I wouldn't think you would really want to compare Iraq to Kosovo.

Street Sweeper said...

Thanks for the left-handed compliment there.

Carter stepped out to announce his candidacy, which is pretty much based on his experience in Iraq and wanting to get the U.S. out of Iraq. Then he endorses that non-plan. That's the issue that we're covering.

(Well, that and Esch's decision to take that dirty PAC money.)

There are lots of other blogs out there where you can debate U.S. policy in Iraq. Or you can start your own.

under influence said...

Back to the issue at hand: Jimmy, please do the right thing and decline the PAC money like you did last time. It was honorable then, and it's honorable now. Please keep your word on this!

Anonymous said...

Even if Esch "accepts" PAC money - how much do you think he'll be offered? Even liberal special interest PACs want to put their money in an actual campaign and not the worst youtube ad.
Prediction: If Esch wins the primary, he will have no more than 25K in PAC money in his FEC report. That will get him another bus bench or two.

Richard Carter said...

Street Sweeper, and the rest of the Leavenworth Street crowd,

First, let me say that it’s nice to be here. I’ve been trying to get around to as many of the local blogs as possible to introduce myself. I also wanted to address your concerns about my endorsement of the Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.

A little about myself (I know that others have covered this here on LS already, so I will be brief): I spent 7 years on active duty in the Air Force, flying combat missions in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and all over the rest of the world as well. While on active duty, I earned a Master’s Degree in Economics, and I currently teach economics at Metro Community College. Though no longer on active duty, I am a Captain in the Air Force Reserve, where I serve as an Electronic Warfare Officer.

As for the Responsible Plan to end the War (, I endorsed it because it does more than just say we need to bring the troops home. Yes, it could be more specific in that area, but getting our troops out is one of only seven main areas the plan covers. The Responsible Plan also recognizes the need to emphasize diplomacy, address the humanitarian concerns, restore our Constitution, rebuild our military, return independence to our media, and create a new energy policy which is centered on the United States, and not OPEC.

As you mentioned above, Street Sweeper, you would be much more satisfied if I said that I endorse everything this plan says, but also listed A, B, and C for getting our troops out of Iraq. I am more than happy to oblige; I’ll even throw D, E, and F in for free (but donations are always appreciated).

A. I said yesterday in my speech on Iraq that we should bring our troops home “as quickly and as safely as possible.” We should set a plan for steady removal of troops, and not deviate from it. My recommendation would be no less than one brigade a month. This rate would allow for the troops that are leaving to do so in an orderly fashion, and would not place undue strain on the troops remaining.

B. Continue to train the Iraqi military. Encourage the Iraqi government to build its own defenses so that it is not as vulnerable to outside influence or internal strife. While our troops need to get out of this civil war, we still need to work closely with the Iraqi government as an ally, help them to train their own military, and provide them advice and consultation whenever possible.

C. If the Iraqi government fails to provide for adequate security, we should encourage the local sheiks to provide that security as we redeploy. If needed, we could work directly with those individuals and provide them with the training and necessary equipment. In fact, some of the most recent progress has come from this approach.

D. The Iraqi government needs to do whatever it takes to secure their oil pipelines and start pumping! This will give them the money needed to pay for the increases in security forces and the overall rebuilding of their country, while lowering our gas prices by increasing supply. If they need more supplies to protect this key resource, we can provide them at a fair price.

E. Keep a rapid response force in the region. We have personnel in Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, and other nations in the region. If, for some unseen reason, we need to send a temporary small force back into Iraq, we will be prepared to do so.

F. Most importantly, do not allow our withdrawal to be subject to the Iraqi government meeting its own goals. We must show the Iraqis that we will not allow them to set our military policy. At this point, there are no more military solutions in Iraq. Ultimately, the Iraqi government needs to reap the rewards and consequences of its successes and failures on its own.


I hope this helps to answer some of your questions on the Responsible Plan and why I endorsed it. I look forward to joining all of you in a polite, frank conversation on the issues as we get closer to Election Day.

Richard Carter

Mel said...

Well, it's been over one-half hour since your post, Mr. Carter, and all is quiet on Leavenworth Street.

Could it possibly be that many tongues are tied right now?

Words cannot express how appreciative I am for your dedicated service to our country.

You will have my vote!

Mike Nellis said...

Hilarious! I love it.

richard carter said...


Thank you. I am glad to have your support. Make sure you sign up on the Web site so we can put you onour e-mail list.

Street Sweeper said...


Welcome to Leavenworth Street.

We're happy you chose our forum to give a detailed response beyond the miniscule suggestions in the "Responsible Plan".

(Though we note you don't have these details on your own website. I guess you can link your readers here...)

So, since we're a political blog, fill us in here:

How do you plan to defeat Jim Esch and gain the nomination?

Do you plan to give any comparative ads between you and Jim?

And when will we see you on YouTube?

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

is the "Richard Carter" post a joke? if so, KUDOS!!! LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don Kuhns said...

The Responsible Plan draws heavily on the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group for its withdrawal strategy:

Per Recommendations 40-42 of the Iraq Study Group Report, therefore:
Iraq Study Group Recommendation 40: The United States should not make an open-ended
commitment to keep large numbers of American troops deployed in Iraq.
Iraq Study Group Recommendation 41: The United States must make it clear to the Iraqi
government that the United States could carry out its plans, including planned redeployments,
even if Iraq does not implement its planned changes. America’s other security needs and the
future of our military cannot be made hostage to the actions or inactions of the Iraqi government.
Iraq Study Group Recommendation 42: We should seek to complete the training and equipping
mission by the first quarter of 2008, as stated by General George Casey on October 24, 2006.
The timelines laid out in the Iraq Study Group should be updated, but in accordance with those recommendations,
troop draw-downs should begin immediately and continue until no more troops remain in
Iraq. The timeline should not be dependent on the Iraqis.

It's basically Democrats saying the ISG had it right on Iraq, and then plotting a new, smarter course for American foreign policy.

Under influence said...

Mr. Carter - the main question here is not Iraq, but instead: Will you accept PAC money in your campaign? and if not, will you condemn your opponent, Mr. Esch for doing so? Influenced minds want to know... please respond. If you play by the same standards Jimmy Esch has laid out, you too will refuse PAC money of any sort.

Terry Lee said...

So what if Jim Esch flip flopped on PAC donations?

Lee Terry was for earmarks, then against them, then maybe for them, then ran ads against them, now he's getting earmarks again! Where's the post on that?

Oh, and what about that nonsense on the Congressional Pay raise? He held a press conference or something bashing congress for giving itself a pay raise. Said "they" didn't deserve it. Attacked the Democrats for allowing it. So what charity did Lee give his pay raise to you wonder? he didn't. He admitted he kept it. At the same press conference he attacked it.

Then there's his work on anti-meth funding. Talking a big game at home, voting against funding in Washington.

Then of course there is Lee's rumored rift with the Ricketts controlled Republican Party - who he believes shut out his voters in 06.

Carter or Esch might only need $25K in PAC money to beat Lee.

Street Sweeper said...

Who's talking about Lee Terry? Nearest I can tell, Esch doesn't have the nomination. I believe you should be comparing your boy to Richard Carter. (Also an L St reader...)

Black Beard said...

RE: Special Interest Political Contributions!!!

It is unrealistic for candidates not to receive money from PAC’s and others with Special Interests. What normally happens if there are candidates without a voting record is contributions are forwarded from people or interested groups attempting to sculpt their desires on what they want THEIR candidate to become.

Case in point --- The Cowboy from Nebraska 3rd was funded abundantly by trial attorneys not only from the 3rd but from all across America (mostly from NY) and labor unions from all over the country also. Had Scott been elected he already has his marching orders in place.

Also ---- the likes of George Soros and Emily's List contributing to Kleeb would have been under the "PAC radar" --- but still very much special interests with "Great Expectations".

BTOsborn said...


You are absolutely right - and the guy that won the 3rd CD race IS taking his marching orders from 'Club for Growth' and the following sponsors:

( it's a long list, so to save space, just copy and past this link into your browsers address box)

Terry Lee said...

My apologies sweeper

I was under the impression this blog was dedicated to the "talk of Nebraska Politics."

Street Sweeper said...

That's why we're here. Now tell me how your boy is going to beat Carter, and we'll be back on topic for this post.

Terry Lee said...

Esch will beat carter on name recognition. Too bad too, Esch is no man compared to Rick Carter. Carter could actually beat Lee in the general - he would need just a little money.

And, Esch is not my man. I support people who know how to work for a living.

Street Sweeper said...

Esch: 0

(Now is it "Rick", "Rich", or "Richard" ?)
(We'll assume his parents passed on "Dick".)

BTOsborn said...

Dick was reserved for Dr. Evil.

Anonymous said...

An Aggie AND an EWO?

Poor Carter. One would be a crippling disability.

Terry Lee said...

It should be Carter 2, Esch 0. You gotta give Carter props for posting on this site. Hell. Esch is such a zero he hasn't posted over on the left-wing loonies site and they make every excuse for him.

Esch has a future in politics - assuming his license is valid he could be Scooter's driver.

And, Sweeper did you see that Jane Kleeb humdinger on Hagel over at the loonie's? Hagel must of had on some tight wranglers when he crossed paths with Nebraska's newest "journalist."

Hey TL said...

TL: on your LT and earmarks rambling - are you aware of the changes that the Congress has been implementing with earmarks each year? if the dems had their way, anyone who had put in for earmarks in 2006 - EXCEPT FOR THEM - would have been breaking the law.

the dems dropped the new earmark law hours before the deadline - allowing them to cheat the system.

i suggest you do your homework.

Terry Lee said...

For Hey TL

I don't know what you are talking about. But I took civics in High School and I do know that when the House of Representatives passes rules on itself, they apply to every member, not either political party.

Lee has taken multiple positions on earmarks - and his initial apprehension - the sewer separation argument - was silly and was debunked by top republicans in the House.

So, I have done my homework, you apparently didn't go too high School.

BTOsborn said...

Well, Kyle over on the NNN is feeling his oats after being re-elected to the presidency of the Nebraska Young Democrats over the weekend. He must still be feeling giddy with power as this afternoon he wiped out about 20 comments, that he didn't agree with, on one of the NNN diaries.

I thought Democrats were OPPOSED to censorship . . . oh, that's right, I forgot, Kyle isn't a 'partisan' Democrat. He's a moderate. Maybe I was wrong and he actually was elected to the Nebraska Young Non-Partisan Moderates.