Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Daub and Vokal: Toe to Toe

Hal Daub announced his crime plan yesterday, and Jim Vokal slashed back, with the two campaigns arguing who had the better plans.

Uh wait. We mean, three campaigns -- as Jim Suttle jumped in and did his best Beavis with a "Uh, yeah, me too!"

Hold it, we mean six campaigns. Six?

Sure, six. Daub, Vokal, Suttle, Van Argyrakis, Jerry Odom and Steve Scarle.
(Steve who?)
Steve Scarle.

But let's back up.


Did we say this was Daub vs. Vokal day? What we really meant was that this was Brinker Harding vs. Jordan McGrain.

McGrain, Vokal's campaign manager showed up at the Daub press conference. Harding, Daub's campaign manager wasn't thrilled.
(Though, when you get right down to it, it's not as if he showed up for a private meeting.)

In any case, while Harding may or may not have given McGrain the stink-eye, Hal offered Jordan a cup of coffee and laughed it off. (No word on whether there was any air in McGrain's tires when he walked back to his car.)

But McGrain crashing Daub's party was only part of the fun.

First this all goes back to Daub's Seven-Point-Plan to reduce crime in Omaha -- or as Daub called it, "A war on domestic terrorism."

And Daub is taking a page from the Bush post 9/11 strategy and proposes establishing an Omaha "Hometown Security Commissioner" (a/k/a "Gang Czar") in the police department. (Uh, "Hometown"?)

Anywho, Daub's plan (short form) is as follows:

1. Use Federal racketeering laws more aggressively against gangs
2. Create leadership position to focus on reducing violent crime
3. Tougher state laws
4. City funds to sustain truancy and after-school programs
5. Implement zero tolerance policy
6. Develop veteran officer retention program
7. Increase officer presence on the street

[By the way, when a candidate announces a plan, is it too much work for the media organizations to post the whole plan on their websites? We're not sure if anyone did this back when Vokal announced his budget plan. As far as we can tell, only WOWT posted a copy of it on their website. Isn't this the sort of thing news organizations are supposed to be doing? So, here at least, is a link to Daub's campaign website that gives a full on detailed account of his plan.]

And, if you missed the news, here are all the media links for this story:
Coverage by:
KETV (with huge video!)
* Daub
* the other FIVE candidates


The other candidates responded to the press with their own proposals.

Vokal disagrees with the idea to propose a Gang Czar, saying Omaha doesn't need another layer of bureaucracy. He also talked about "Building Bright Futures" and other community based programs.

Jim Suttle, who, by the way, said he has been planning to run for Mayor since the day he was elected to the City Council, said his proposal for fighting gang violence was to reduce unemployment.

Yup, that's it.

A major candidate for the office, who has had nothing but time to come up with something, and his idea for stopping the murders is that people need more jobs. Thanks Mr. Suttle.


But hey, look at Channel 7 talking to ALL the candidates!

After the Big 3, they chatted with:

4) Van Argyrakis (who apparently didn't have time to shave or comb his hair) -- more police and more jobs;
5) Jerry Odom -- better education; and
6) Steve Scarle (who may or may not have just gotten done with a production of "Hair!") - wants tax incentive to bring in factories for low-skill jobs.

Nice hustle by KETV for getting them all in there (now Rob McCartney, wipe that smirk off your face!).


But our highlight for the day was the back and forth between the Daub and Vokal camps.

As Daub was getting ready to announce their plan, McGrain and Team Vokal shot this across their bow:
"There have actually been fewer homicides these past six years than the six years Hal Daub was mayor. Hal had his chance to control the violence and didn’t get the job done."
Brinker Harding of the Daub camp, a little pissed fired back with this:

"It is unfortunate that Jim Vokal has begun his campaign for mayor with a negative attack on Hal. Mr. Vokal's attempt to play games with crime statistics is sad....
Where was Councilman Vokal on combating violent crime while he has been on the Council for the last seven years? It's only now that he is a candidate for mayor that he has come forward with any ideas...
The facts are as follows: homicides during Hal's years as mayor dropped from 41 to 25. Although the murder rate during Vokal's eight years on the City Council went up 61%, our campaign will not try to affix blame for that on our current elected officials.
I am confident that voters will judge each candidate on the quality of their ideas and not on the bite in their political attacks."
When Joe Jordan asked Vokal if he was playing with the numbers, Vokal responded:
"Well the totals are the totals and I'm not going necessarily to get into going back and forth."
And then when McGrain showed up at the Daub HQ, Harding asked McGrain if he was responding to Harding's phone calls -- which he said hadn't been returned -- regarding debates. (Ah, touché!)

But while Daub may have scored a nice one-day media win, Vokal is now on the air with his ads, addressing this exact topic. Does Vokal then gain the high-ground ? You gotta say yes -- at least until the other candidates go on the air.

But things are rolling now. And if this campaign doesn't resort to lie detector tests and urine samples in the end, we are going to be severely disappointed.

But, you know, so far, so good.

Bookmark and Share


badgolfer said...

SS, interesting commentary regarding yesterday's events in the 2009 Mayoral race. Here are some obsevations after reviewing the print and electronic accounts of the day:

1)I found it interesting that Jimmy almost got his "spin" of the homicide stats out of his mouth without smirking. To suggest that Hal's efforts against violent crime (homicides in this case)was unsuccessful in his previous time as mayor is ludicrous. The facts are this. In 1995 (Hal's first year) there were 41 homicides. In 2001 (Hal's last year) there were 25. When your efforts result in a 39% drop I think that's proof your strategies are working. On the flip side, Jimmy has seen homicides increase from 25 to 44 during his time on the Council. What have you done for me lately Jimmy.

2) Jimmy said yesterday that campaigns are about ones records. It is unfortunate that Vokal is already tearing down others records with distortions about Hal's factual record. I wonder how SS thinks that Jimmy has the high ground based on his comments.

3)The exchange between Brinker Harding and Jordache McGrain was also interesting, but not newsworthy. However, McGrain's showing does say a lot about Jimmy's tactics. Obviously Jimmy's camp wants to engage Hal to react in a manner that they can use against him. Sorry boys. I don't think Hal will come down to your level on this one.

I think Hal has the "high ground" on this one. He presented a specific plan to fight violent crime that included law and social components (talk about new and fresh). Jimmy's plan is in a 30 second spot.

Street Sweeper said...

The "High Ground" is the political High Ground. Vokal is on the air with a message, and Hal is not. At the current time, Hal's message is a one day press event.

Of course, this will probably change once he is on the air -- as we pointed out. But right now, Vokal gets the benefit of the having ads up talking about the issue that is fresh in voters' minds.

Anonymous said...

Are Vokal and McGrain trying to get Hal to get angry and lose it? That would be funny since hal has mellowed out as of late. If they are baiting him to get him to be the old Hal.

Gop supporter said...

McGrain's name is mud in the Republican party. Not only is he in the Dog House (remember the lap dog comment) with Johanns, he pissed off a lot of Douglas County Republicans with his smears of long time GOP favorites Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh and Jean Stothert. With his new antics against Hal Daub, I see more of the party faithful steering clear of the Vokal camp.

3rd floor watcher said...

I think its laughable how the Vokal Camp has tried to spin Hal's crime numbers. (25 murders is a low number) What's even more laughable is Vokal's Pit Yorkie showing up to Hal's press confrence..(a page out of the Kleeb campaign) Don't underestimate Brinker Harding!!! Brinker has a lot of political experience and a good reputation with people on both sides of the aisle. I think Brinker is employing a Rope-a-Dope strategy in this race and Vokal and McGrain are the Dopes!!!

Steve Scarle said...

Sorry if we Tech guys look a little edgy but I don't think I'm ready for beads and sandals yet. My interview actually lasted almost 20 minutes and they just grabbed a couple sentences out of one question to put on the air. See my website at www.scarle2009.com for a more complete version of my position on crime.

millard repub said...

Jean Stothert is not a GOP favorite! She is a tax-and-spend liberal, voting twice to raise property taxes on the Millard School Board. Also, she support tax dollars being used for abortion and unethical research.

Anonymous said...

Jean Stothert is the GOP favorite!!! I suggest you see the numerous prominent Republican that have and are currently supporting Jean Stothert.

Anonymous said...

"Jean Stothert is the GOP favorite!!! I suggest you see the numerous prominent Republican that have and are currently supporting Jean Stothert."

Just because some in the party are 'rank and file' (just like with Hal) Does not mean that she is a GOP Favorite. It's what you actually do in office and in the public arena that counts. We in the GOP have gone with the old guard for way to long and it has gotten us nothing. If any of you have half a brain you would make sure the candidates we elect and support this go around are true Nebraska Republicans and not Rino's like Jean.

Just my .02

So I guess I'm a RINO..lol said...

Wow Anonymous, you sound just like Vokal's lap dog Jordan Mc Grain. It is funny how you make a swipe Daub. It is very revealing. Ok Mr. republican anonymous you support whom for Mayor?? Is your standard of being a RINO any republican that doesn't pay McGrain a retainer??? So the list gets longer Johanns, Lautenbaugh, Stothert, and now Hal Daub is a Rino.

Anonymous said...

This is not Jordan M. This is a Republican that cares about the outcome of our party and has watched it move to the left for far to long.

If you would simply go back and read my previous post I only called Jean a RINO. ( As she should after her stance on abortion, taxes, etc.)

Also, I could care less who is running what campaign. As far as Mayor goes I am still undecided as my options are relatively narrow considering my political beliefs.

At the end of the day I know one thing. Anyone but Suttle in the Mayors office.

McGrain is a punk said...

I can't believe Jordan attended Hal Daub's press conference. What a punk.

Jordan McGrain said...

I really wish my wife would stop commenting here. It's bad enough already - she doesn't need to pile on.

Anonymous said...

Hal is a wild man. Vokal is goofy. Suttle is boring.

Anonymous said...

hey GOP supporter... "[McGrain] pissed off a lot of Douglas County Republicans with his smears of long time GOP favorites Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh and Jean Stothert."


thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Scott L. was endorsed and helped by the GOP and appointed by the Governor and still had a hell of a time beating his Republican opponent.
Being a party 'favorite' does not always mean that you will win your race. Ultimately the election is decided by the people, not by party insiders.

Lautenbaugh Supporter said...

To anonymous: It doesn't help if a Renagade RINO campaign strategist continuously trashes good republican officeholders just to make a buck.

Anonymous said...

I am so sick and tired of the term RINO being thrown around by people who wouldn't know what it truly means to be a Republican if an elephant smacked them in the butt. Just because you focus on one or two issues and feel like your way is the only way to think, and everyone else is stupid or going to hell, does NOT make you King or Queen of the Republican Party with the power to deem who YOU think is truly Republican or not.

So there! Now get off your high horse and actually do something that actually helps someone somewhere in this world.

Hairdresser said...

Yes I remember the good old days of Kate Witek using her litmus test of who is a good Republican and trashing other republican office holders.

Anonymous said...

Van should have shown up at the press conference...dang it. Another lost opportunity for our man, Van.

Scott Lautenbaugh said...

I've been accused by those who know me well of being able to find a way to make any story about me. I can't hold a candle to some of you guys, though. I couldn't see how to insinuate myself into a story about the mayoral campaigns.

I'm touched, and I'm humbled (but I'm not Streetsweeper, by the way).

Anonymous said...

Millard Repub...er, Skinner

Performance matters.Millard is the best run district in the state (according to board members from OTHER districts)with the lowest per pupil cost and...oh yeah, high achievment ratings for thos students.

As one of the fastest growing districts in the state, all construction projects have come in on time and under budget.

I know the facts get in the way of your cute little story. The Lathrop story that is.

I hope you're writting stuff for Blunemthal...you'll get ripped apart at the polls.

Proud Millard Resident said...

If Blumenthal and his partners at Baird Holm had their way, there would be no Millard, Millard Repub. You are a MINO (Millardite In Name Only)Millard Repub...lol

millard repub said...

Did Jean Stothert vote to raise taxes? YES!

Does Jean Stothert support public funding of abortion? YES!

End of story.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that my NE GOP party has been hijacked by a fringe portion of the single-minded, short-sighted few. My hope is that we will have the ability to self-correct and get this right in the long run.

Anonymous said...

Millard Repub...
Guess Reagan might not have been Republican enough for you either.

By the way, how many kids do you have or have you sent to the Millard Schools?

Conservative Millard Resident said...

Yup that Millard School Board is so liberal. They have the lowest per pupil cost in the Metro area, Highest test scores and they recently named one of their schools after Ronald Wilson Reagan...You go Millard Repub, you are so knowledgeable about what you post!!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, according to Millard Repub, Jean Stothert sounds like she's one step away from being a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Ridiculous.

Aigaios said...

54 People were murdered in Tulsa OK in 2008. 167 In the city of St Louis, 126 in the City of Kansas City and 108 in the City of Columbus OH.

Omaha had 44 Homicides.

The number of Murders in the City of Omaha should not be the biggest issue in the campaign. Any number is too many - right? I think that we would like to make the murder rate a big deal - mainly because it is easy to understand and truthfully, though it affects our emotions, it affects very few of us directly.

I am about as neutral on the candidates as one could be. Frankly I do not see that any of the three "leading" candidates offering Omaha the BEST possible leadership. Daub is out of touch, Vokal is relatively new and may lack the traditional political connections and Suttle is, well; Suttle.

I do know this: Omaha has an incredible financial shortfall coming. It may not be realized until 2011 or 2012, but it is coming. It can only get worse if the nations economy continues to falter. The Omaha Police contract is horrendously written so that it does not benefit the citizens of the city of Omaha, The Sewer project is basically a gigantic unfunded mandate, property values are dropping like a rock and there is going to be a sales tax deficit.

All of these candidates are likely not going to want to talk about property tax - but the question of raising taxes is not a question "if" but a question of "when" and "how much".

I would look strongly at the candidate who has the fewest promises to keep, has the fewest pet projects and who will make the fairest decisions when it comes to cuts.

I have a hard time appreciating the politicos that take individual sides seriously - this is not a football game.

Make the candidates address the real issues facing the city.

Steve Scarle said...

Good post Aigaios. When I lived near Baltimore & Washington DC they were having close to 500 murders each per year. So it is not the number we should pay attention to, but whether it is substantially increasing. By all measurements it is. So I believe it is a relevant issue, but only against Vokal and Suttle since they were in a position to address it and did not. In regards to the coming financial shortfall Daub, Vokal, and Suttle all share in the responsibility for that. That said only Argyrakis, Odom, and myself deserve serious consideration. In regards to taxes, a non-resident payroll tax is long overdue. If you work here, but do not live here, you should be contributing to the infrastructure.

Jerry Odom said...

This is the Goal...

People will come to a city with low crime, the best education and low taxes, this policy will attract more companies and in turn will bring more jobs which will strengthen our local economy.