Monday, February 09, 2009

Elect him, and they will come

Omaha Mayoral candidate Hal Daub held a press conference this morning to introduce his Economic Development plan for Omaha.

We are not going to get into the pluses or minuses of the plan here, except to say that we always like some detail in these kind of things to get people talking about different ideas. (Except that we note that Daub's plan is strikingly Pope and/or toboggan-run free...)

Here were a few items in Daub's plan that caught our eyes:
"I will make a deal to bring the Royals to the baseball stadium," Daub told a press conference this morning. "We all have to roll up our sleeves to make it happen."
Update: 10 pm:

The quote in the OWH now reads:
"I will try to keep the Royals in Omaha if a deal hasn't already been made."
That's much different, no?

But then after we looked at the video from KMTV ourselves (it was Joe Jordan who asked the question), we get the full quote as:
"If a decision hasn't been made [between Sarpy and the Royals] by the time it becomes my privilege to become Mayor of this great city, I will make a deal to keep the Royals."
It's like the freaking telephone game! We're surprised the OWH's quote didn't have "purple monkey dishwasher" at the end...


  • Expand the Qwest Center convention space on the north end by adding 50,000 to 100,000 square fee of high ceiling show space
  • Work to add 800 - 1,000 hotel rooms
  • Add a basketball complex to Zorinsky Lake
  • Renovate the downtown library
Of course you can read Daub's entire plan and his release in the OWH, the area's top news source.

Oh wait. You CAN'T?
Hmm. We always thought that is what NEWSpapers were for.

(Well, you can at least go there to get their top gripes about Facebook.)

OK, then you can click HERE to read Daub's entire presser, via us.
You're welcome.


We get complaints every once in a while that Leavenworth Street is too concerned about politicians' hair and appearance.
Well, darnit, we've got a reputation to uphold.

And with that we link you to the Sparkle Pony website which honored First District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry as the winner of the "Best Congressional Hairdo, Male Division, 2009"!

Congrats Fort!

(But, yikes! the close-up on that official portrait....)


If you've been unwired from the internets lately, be sure you check out one of the many out-takes, and remixes, of President Obama reading his book, "Dreams From My Father".

You see, the Prez read his book for audio-books, etc., and the book contains bad-words. And POTUS read 'em. And it's relatively chuckle-worthy.

Click here for potty-mouth.

(WARNING: Bad words said aloud. Consenting adults only!)

Bookmark and Share


OmaSteak said...

You can certainly say Hal sure doesn't lack for big ideas...or big donors who dictate his big ideas to him. It isn't hard to correlate Hal's major donors with the major portions of his economic development plans. The one thing you can count on when Hal wins the election, taxpayers are always going to be left holding the bag for fattening the bottomlines of Hal's contributors.

Anonymous said...

OmaSteak, good flings, but totally lacking any specifics. Please help me understand the correlations beween the ideas and the contributors.

Maybe if Jim Vokal had more supports you might say the same of him.

Anonymous said...

Dream on.

There will be very little new private development until the economic situation stabilizes. The next mayor and council are going to have their hands full (and hands tied) dealing with Omaha's current economic problems and increasing violence.

I have an idea for Hal -- How about we flood the City of Ashland and create a mega-lake.

Wake up, people!

/s NE Voter

Klev said...

Obama does have a point. You really should buy your own fries. Just sayin.

Anonymous said...

What a disingenuous panderer Hal Daub is! There is NO CHANCE the Royals will play downtown. I hope people see this for the gigantic empty promise this is.

OmaSteak said...

Kiewit, HDR, Sokol, Scott...then look at "business parks", "expanding convention center", "1000 hotel rooms", "steets", "infill development"...correlation = 100%

Anonymous said...

All I know is, when Hal puts his mind to something, it gets done. (Qwest Center? Riverfront development? UP Building? First National Tower? West Dodge Expressway? MECA? Omaha Performing Arts? Stockyards? Logan Fontenelle development? Etc...)

Anonymous said...

And he's a fiscal conservative. For Daub an unbalanced budget is like a toothache.

Anonymous said...

OmaSteak, why is it a strike AGAINST Hal that all the movers and shakers in Omaha support him? He has a vision for helping Omaha advance, and he has the means (and the friends) to do so. It's a win win!

Street Sweeper said...

Last week we posted the Daub campaign's response to the Vokal plan for the police pension.

Following is the Vokal camp's press release response to Daub's economic plan:

Hal Daub’s so-called economic plan released today is nothing more than a multi-million dollar spending spree that would increase the burden on taxpayers at a time when they can least afford it.

Most of the 18 items listed in the plan consist of empty posturing and false promises that are in no way realistic given the economic crisis that has dealt a blow to our families, our city, and our nation.

In better times, there was no elected official more dedicated to meaningful economic development – or “thinking big” as Mr. Daub calls it – than Jim Vokal. He worked to create Destination Midtown and Omaha by Design, and helped to pave the way for projects like Midtown Crossing and Aksarben Village.

But a true leader understands when thinking big must give way to economic reality. And Jim Vokal knows that the city has real economic priorities ahead that certainly take precedence over a wish list of pork-barrel projects.

At a time when Omaha is facing a growing crime problem and a need for more police officers, a now $500 million dollar shortfall in the police and fire pension fund, an unfunded sewer separation mandate, and the need for property tax relief, it is wholly irresponsible to call for unnecessary additions to the Qwest Center or a new downtown hotel, especially at a time when convention projections are already bleak.

It’s a question of leadership; Hal Daub had an opportunity to offer these solutions during his five-year term on the MECA Board. He had the chance to make Omaha more attractive for convention business. He had the chance to work on an agreement with the Royals to keep them in Omaha. He failed to do so.

It is especially dishonest for Hal Daub to make a promise to the people of Omaha that he will ensure the Royals play in the new downtown stadium when there is little chance of that ever occurring.

And perhaps the greatest offense of Hal Daub’s plan is that nowhere does he offer any suggestions as to how he intends to pay for these proposals. How will we pay for four new business parks? How do we pay for a new library at 132nd & Maple, especially when a brand-new library already exists at 144th and Fort? How do we pay to pave over Zorinsky Lake for a new basketball complex?

On each of these questions, Hal Daub fails to give details of how these dream projects become reality.

Jim Vokal will be a leader – not a dreamer – when it comes to the economic challenges ahead for the city of Omaha. He will have an honest and transparent agenda that includes funding the most urgent priorities for taxpayers – more cops on the street, solvency for the police and fire pension fund, and tax relief for cash-strapped homeowners.

Anonymous said...

To anon 2:43: It's not Hal that put his mind to those things. They were all projects put together by the same wealthy donors/businesses that OmaSteak referenced. They know that they have a "Yes Man" with Hal because he will sign off on any project that will build something Downtown; which wouldn't be a bad thing if these guys weren't the ones making all the money while the taxpayers are left with the bill.

3rd floor watcher said...

Where is the tax relief Jordan???? Show us Jim's specific plan??? Your boy burried the city with deffered obligations for the forseable future!!!! Hal will make the painful cuts and try to grow us out of the debt Jim Vokal has left the taxpayers.

Hal's vision is to move this city forward even in tough economic times.

Vokals press release reads like "Defeat and Retreat"

Anonymous said...

The Riverfront development started with Bob Kerrey's Back to the River project before Hal Daub was mayor. Maybe Downtown should become its own city so Hal can be the Mayor. That's all he cares about anyway - building monuments to himself while the citizens out west have to pay for the bills. What and ego and what an a$$.

Anonymous said...

Whatever. Ever heard of the West Dodge Expressway?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that back to the river movement was really humming along before Hal came along. You just had to watch out for the puddles of toxic waste, that was all. Plus the fact that there wasn't anything to go to downtown. But yeah, before Hal, Omaha's downtown was really drawing 'em in.

Jordan Knows Me said...

Is that a rock that Jim Vokal is crawling under, or just his head. I guess we can just put up the "Closed for Business" sign if Vokal gets elected.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jordan: have you ever attended a MECA meeting? I didn't think so. Hal raised a bunch of these issues when he was a board member. Your press release, like just about every one you've issued so far, is full of errors. How soon will we be seeing the correction this time?

Anonymous said...

Street Sweeper, can we get a call on that one?

Anonymous said...

Hey Jim Vokal (aka Jordan McGrain), its too bad we have had leaders that did dream. Otherwise there wouldn't be a Qwest facility where Creighton Basketball plays and I frequently see you attending games. Or concerts where I have seen you. Or the Olypic Swimming trials, or NCAA basketball regionals, or volleyball or ....and the list goes on. If it wasn't for that dreamer (Hal) you would still be looking at the ASARCO smokestack and Aaron Ferer & Sons rusty metal scrap yard and the vacated UP shops. Oh, and by the way...all of those dreams which are now Omaha's reality was done at the same time homicides in Omaha decreased from 42 to 25. I guess you can be a dreamer and a leader at the same time.

Anonymous said...

The new Vokal slogan "Defeat and Retreat" good one 3rd Floor

Anonymous said...

I would like someone to talk about renovating the Gene Leahy Mall. The place is slipping, it has a 1970's feel to it, and it should be our downtown centerpiece.

Instead of a nice riverwalk, watch out for rats or disturbed teenagers or the homeless sleeping under the bridge.

Anonymous said...

<--- still waiting for 3rd floors 'poll' numbers that shows Vokal in third.

3rd floor, try coming up for air every one in awhile and stop drinking the coolaid...

Anonymous said...

My Dream for Omaha: Hal Daub wins, Jim Vokal moves to the Millard suburbs where he belongs and out of my neighborhood. I'm not rich or a powerful C.E.O. but as mayor and as a mayorial candidate, Hal Daub has taken the time to respond to me to listen and address my concerns. More than can be said about my city councilman Vokal citing his fear of an "ambush" and refusing to meet with me. Godspeed, Hal. Some people find you annoying but I find you amusing and believe you will again be effective as our next mayor.

3rd floor watcher said...

As I said earlier Jim Vokal was 3rd in 2 polls I have seen. What suprises me is that the Vokal camp to refute this can publish a legitimate conducted poll to debunk my assertion. Jordan and Jim, I know of the donors that told you no. Omaha is a small town. Quite frankly guys the common perception in the business community is that Jim Vokal is not ready for primetime.

Here is an example...take today!!

Hal said he he is going after the Omaha Royals if he is mayor. Daub tells the OWH "I will make a deal to bring the Royals to the baseball stadium," Daub also told the press this morning, "We all have to roll up our sleeves to make it happen." He further stated that only one team would survive if Omaha and Sarpy each had a team.

Kapow! Sarpy county, you spend $40 million on an empty stadium.

then watch what the Royals say

Royals owner Alan Stein said he thinks a deal with Sarpy County is close. But, he said, "if we can't make a deal, all bets are off. The downtown stadium would be one of about a half-dozen options."

That quote is Alan Stein realizing if Daub is mayor then he is screwed and he better deal with Omaha.

Genius!!! Hal is not even mayor and he in one press conference stoped the Sarpy County/Royals deal dead in its tracks. I suspect March will come and Alan Stien will want to see what Omaha is willing to Offer.

That folks is classic Hal Daub and without spending a dime of taxpayers money will fill Fahey's ballpark before and after the 2 week CWS session.

Now imagine Jim Vokal at the table.

Vokal, "Mr. Stein will you please stay in Omaha, the citizens of Omaha would think its swell if you stayed."

Stein, "Sorry Mayor Vokal Sarpy gave me a better deal."

Vokal, "Are we still friends Mr. Stein."

Stein, "Sure Jim and here are a ten pack of tickets for Liz, you and the kids, general admission of course, for Friday Night Fireworks, good luck finding a team for the downtown park"

So folks, who do you want to be mayor!!!

Anonymous said...

Jim Vokal didn't have squat to do with Destination Midtown: I know, I was there from the start. And ask Jay Noddle what he had to do with Aksarben Village. Better yet, when it comes to dishonesty, as Vokal about the lies he told to the Field Club residents about them being hauled into court just after he took office. Talk about a dreamer -- Vokal is a nightmare!

Anonymous said...

Daub leveled the competition today at his press conference. What was even more funny was the Pit Yorkie's press release for Vokal. You notice how no one picked up on Vokal's talking points. Hal acted like a mayor today, unlike pretending to be a mayor on YOUTUBE last week.

Anonymous said...

Maggie quoted Alan Stein as saying a deal is close with Sarpy for a stadium deal.
Why do I not believe him?
The only thing sure about the goings-on with that deal is that Kermit Brashear is making hundreds of thousands of dollars off of Sarpy without any guarantees of any deal.
I think this fattening of Brashears wallet at the expense of the Sarpy County taxpayers should be an issue when Sarpy County Attorney Lee P. has to run again in 2010.
I still think it better than 50 -50 the Royals play downtown. And if they don't we will come to love Omaha's version of the Lincoln Salt Dogs.

Ricky From Omaha

Anonymous said...

A couple more thoughts on the Sarpy - Omaha Royals deal;
Despite Brashears reputation as the King of Conflict of Interest while in the Legislature and his strange attachment to impeached Nebraska Board of Regent David Hergert, Sarpy hired him to negotiate the deal on the strength of his supposed success with Nebraska's learning community law.
Somehow he talked Sen Cornett into introducing LB's 615, 616, 617 and 618 in the legislature. Those bills set up, among other things, new taxing authority for Counties.
Those bills don't even come up for discussion until March 19th, after the exclusive negotiations between Sarpy and the Royals end.
The passage of any of those bills is a long shot, but it looks like Brashear will continue to bill Sarpy until at least the end of the legislatures session.
And even if he does strike a bill between Sarpy and the Royals, it still has to be passed by the Sarpy County Board. What are the chances of that happening?
Where are these business' that Brashaer said is knocking on the door to support a Sarpy Stadium?
How much money will Alan Stein put up for the Royals end of the deal? Any at all?
This supposed deal looks like a house of cards to me.

Ricky From Omaha

PS If the Royals do land in Sarpy, we Omahans are not going to the games.

Anonymous said...

3rd floor 9:10pm - LOL! Absolutely true.

It's scary that Vokal thinks he's qualified to run any organization, let alone a city. Or more likely he knows he's unqualified but doesn't care, because he is blinded by ambition. He probably assumes he'll have competent people around him who can keep the gears turning while he kisses babies and hands out keys to the city.

What has he ever run with any effectiveness?

Anonymous said...

Vokal's press release is offensive. He accuses Daub of DISHONESTY. Daub should ask for an apology.

Almost every move from Vokal has been tainted by this kind of dirty politics and ad hominem attacks, but this is the worst offense so far.

Shame on Jim Vokal.

Anonymous said...

Hal releases a plan with specific, new ideas to stimulate omaha's economic development, and Jim Vokal releases a cheap shot at Hal.

Reminds me of a few weeks ago: Hal releases a 7-part plan to deal with Omaha's crime problem, and Jim Vokal issues a press release attacking Hal.

(...with incorrect figures that distorted the facts, and required him to issue a correction)

Hal is all meat. Vokal is all air. That's how I see it, anyway.

outraged taxpayer said...

To Sarpy County Voters: Kermit Brashear is picking your pockets twice. He helped pass as a lobbyist the learning community law that is taking your property tax dollars and giving them to OPS. Second, he has taken over $200,000 and produced no contracts securing you any economic development opportunities. Brasher's lesrning community debacle will cost Sarpy County Taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade.

Anonymous said...

Whatever, dude. I know Kermit Brashear, and he's a good guy. Quit hijacking this thread and find some other place to try your smear campaign.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, what smear...Kermit Brashear was John Gottschalk's lobbyist for the learning community and he has been paid $200,000 for the Omaha Royals deal. The learning community decimates Sarpy school districts tax bases...Dude!!

Street Sweeper said...

UPDATES in the post.


Anonymous said...

Don't know about you, but I got a little motion sickness watching Hal at that press conference. I always heard Daub was a shifty politician, just never realized people meant that literally.

3rd floor watcher said...

Geeze Jordan which poll is accurate

Maverick Media (Mom's basement poll) 1-22-08

Vokal: 39.4%
Daub: 38.0%
Suttle: 22.4%

Dressner-Wickers Poll (taken when?) January ?????

Daub 33%
Vokal 27%
Suttle 15%

If both polls are accurate Vokal lost 50% of his support going from 39% to 27%.

Remember Bloggers I told you the Dresner Wickers way is to create a quick favorable poll right after a TV buy for the candidate to fill his campaign warchest.

So why release a 2 week old poll now???? Because the Vokal campaign isn't raising any money!!! I see Suttle licking his chops with the 180k in the bank.

Anonymous said...

We need a magic toungue and wand mayoral candidate. Someone like Obama who can all give us hope and belief in magic! I don't want to have to worry about putting gas in my car or paying my mortgage.

Anonymous said...

Actually, 3rd Foor Watcher 12:16, that's only a 30% reduction in support, not 50%. Still a good point, though.

3rd floor watcher said...

Damn what's