Thursday, February 26, 2009

We don't need no stinking endorsements!

As we all know by now, Jim Vokal came out yesterday and said, "No Fire or Police Union money or endorsements for me!"

And then Hal Daub said, "Uh, me too!"

Suttle? "Sure, I'll take me some a that."

But of course that's not the end, is it?


First lets look at this from the Vokal standpoint:

Now he HAD to know he was going to get hit for taking Fire Money in 2008. According to records (as far as we can tell) Vokal took $2,500 in May and another $2,500 in October from the Fire Union. Vokal's argument is that that was money BEFORE he was a candidate for Mayor.

Well, for what it's worth, 1) that money has been lumped into his current campaign war chest and 2) the second $2,500 came AFTER the RunJimmyRun billboards went up. While those were not "official" campaign signs, we will go ahead and assume the campaign was in motion then. Vokal's argument really has no wings.

So, in order for Vokal's claim that he's not taking any Union money to be accurate and politically persuasive, should he give that five grand back? Uh, yeah.

(However, we separate our political suggestion from the demands on the comments boards -- many identical on such places as Leavenworth Street and WOWT -- that Vokal MUST give the money back. We don't really care whether he does or not -- just that if he wants to go down that road, he has to see that at as the end result.)


And Hal Daub? Well Daub hadn't received any Police or Fire Union money yet, and he says he won't take any money or an endorsement from the Police.

The OWH's evening edition (not online at the time of writing this) said:
Daub said in his press release that he had made his decision well before Vokal made his announcement.

Daub said his campaign informed union President Aaron Hanson Tuesday night that he would not accept the endorsement.

Hanson initially denied talking to anyone from the Daub campaign Tuesday.

When told about Daub’s announcement, Hanson replied: “What are you talking about? Where are you getting this information?”

Hanson called back about 10 minutes later, saying Brinker Harding, Daub’s campaign manager, did talk to him Tuesday night about the decision. Hanson said he believed the conversation was private. He said he simply was trying to find out the source of the information.

Though frankly, Daub was in a bit of a tight spot on this. If he says nothing at all, Vokal can make some kind of hay out of Daub being "beholden" or whatever. Now he could have gone the Suttle route, but maybe that is too risky for him. In any case, he told KPTM that he is "bending over backwards" to avoid the suspicion of impropriety (while pointing out that Vokal had taken money from the Fire Union while gearing up his campaign).

The thing is, Daub looks like he was forced into those gymnastics by Vokal, which makes the declaration seem less sincere.


Anyway, it's worth noting that both Daub and Vokal have taken money and endorsements from the Police and Firefighters Unions in the past.
Why is that noteworthy?

Well, each has argued that their self denial of endorsements and money is based on the importance of negotiaing with the unions this year.

Well, we're to understand that it wasn't important in past years? So cash or an endorsement in the past didn't taint their neogitiations and votes, but this year it would? What's magic about this year?

Oh, it's because it's a bigger political issue that everyone is watching. Ohhhhh, OK.

See, we get that, and understand what the campaigns are doing. But does either camp think the public is that dense that they don't see that as well?

Did Camp Vokal think the money issue wasn't going to come up IMMEDIATELY? Did Camp Daub think they weren't going to just look ME-TOO-ish on this?

And Suttle? Well, frankly, we can't really blame Suttle's answer on this.

Suttle said he,
"...welcomes any endorsement saying his campaign is based on working with unions, ethics and trust.

'It's out of that trust that I am perfectly comfortable to taking endorsements and taking donations from anyone in the city. This is their city and I want to be free to represent all people.'"
For what it's worth, here is how much we think this "refusing money and endorsements" issue will resonate with the public: We think Suttle gave the best response.

(And don't think the public may already be tiring of the Vokal-Daub bickering...)


Hey, state workers, if I were you, I'd be watching over my back every time I get on the internet at work. You know it's just a matter of time before State Auditor Mike Foley starts reviewing your blog-viewing habits.

(And you better be doubly careful if you ever snickered at his Mullet-Suit!)

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Anonymous said...

You're doing the best you can, Street Sweeper, but I'm afraid Vokal hasn't given you much to work with.

Let's remember how this issue came up at all. You cannot take union money to pay for your TV ads, then hold a press conference touting yourself as a crusader against unions.

Here's a timeline:

MAY 2008: Vokal receives $2,500 from fire union.

OCT 29 2008: Vokal receives $2,500 from fire union.

JAN 2009: Vokal wages major TV blitz.

FEB 2009: Vokal holds press conference touting himself as a crusader against unions.

Anonymous said...

Is it me, or does a cloud of drama follow this guy wherever he goes? He's like Pig Pen.

Anonymous said...

This is amazing: Not only did the firefighters union give him money. They were one of Vokal's TOP 3 CONTRIBUTORS.

1. $8,500: Lund Company/Lund-Ross Constructors

2. $6,000: "Professional PAC" (His Treasurer has the same address)


Anonymous said...

Return the tainted fire union money, jim.

Anonymous said...

So everytime Hal says he is not working with the Police Union, does that mean Brinker is working with the Union. Why else would Hanson want to keep his communications with Hal and his campaign "private"?

Why is SS up at 5:00 am?

Why can't another candidate aka Dan Welsh jump into the race and wipe these fingerpointers and their followers away?

Anonymous said...

5:00 AM? Street Sweeper is a FARMER!

(And a Farmer in the tank for Jim Suttle, obviously. Admit it Sweeper!)

Anonymous said...

Scott Voorhees just called Jim Vokal on the carpet. Scott you can find the donations on The Nrbraska Accountability and Disclosure site.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:20,

You can schedule posts to go up at a certain time in Blogger. I doubt SS was up at 5:00 AM writing this.

Anonymous said...

SS, you scared me with the first part of the opening sentence.

Anonymous said...

SS, to steal from and old love song..."where do I begin.....?"

1) How is it "me too" if in fact Aaron Hanson confirmed that the Daub campaign called him with the decision befor Vokal even announces?

2) Vokal's announcement was (or should have been treated by the media) such a "non event". Why? Well, the Fire Union already publically stated that they were not endorsing, and Vokal didn't even sit for the Police Union interview. So he wasn't going to get that either. In essence, Jim Vokal's announcement yesterdat was nothing more than a public statement of the obvious.

3) I can't figure out if Jordan McGrain or Jim Vokal knows what they are saying or doing half of the time. How could they not be prepared to answer the qustion about what they were going to do with the money? By not having an answer it appeared as if they had forgotten they had received the money, or they were hoping nobody would notice. They should have had a solid answer, not that they didn't know if they'd return it or not.

4) How was Daub in a tight spot? Hal han't received any money or endoresements from anyone. He coul only benefit from his announcement.

5) By the way, Vokal doesn't need the Fire endorsement. Remember Vokal wrote an open letter to the Fire body in January that he already had "a mutual understanding and agreement on issues important to the (fire) union." So who is in bed with whom?

Anonymous said...

I don't care either way about these two jokers, but....

It appears Vokal sent a media advisory on Tuesday afternoon to announce the press conference on union endorsements.

So even if Hal made the decision, ahem, the night before, it still followed Vokal's stated intentions.

For whatever that is worth.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:55 AM

Yeah, I'll bet Vokal has his media alerts going to Hal's office.

Besides, as was stated in a previous post. What was Vokal's announcement? Fire already said they weren't endorsing and Vokal didn't even interview for Police. Maybe Vokal got wind that Hal wasn't going to accept Police and he tried to get on record before Hal.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Vokal got wind that Hal wasn't going to accept Police and he tried to get on record before Hal."

I think this seems like the more likely scenario.

Anonymous said...

I always knew Vokal looked a little odd, but is that a hand growing out of his stomach?

Maybe it's the alien baby!

Arnond said...

AlienBaby!!! "QUAID...QUAID...The Pyramid...QUAID"

Anonymous said...

So, the MORE likely scenario is that Vokal got wind that Hal would not accept the police endorsement? That is MORE likely than Hal getting a forwarded copy of Vokal's media advisory?

You guys are the best. And the worst.

O! observer said...

This is such a pro-Suttle blog. SS, what job has Suttle promised you for all this high praise?

Anonymous said...

Return the tainted fire union money, Jim.

K. Rock said...

Too bad Blumenthal couldn't get any "Tainted Fire Money" That's right neither the police or fire union thought he was competent

Anonymous said...

Hey K. Rock: What's pathetic about Blumenthal is that he said he wouldn't take any fire or police money after he found out he was wasn't going to get any. He didn't have a clue at either of the

Anonymous said...

Yeah, apparently nobody told Blumenthal he was supposed to suck up to the unions and cave into their wish wish like Stothert . . . he totally didn't realize he was supposed to suck up to the unions like she does!

Anonymous said...

Jim is that Tainted Fire Money in your Closet???

Anonymous said...

I clicked on the WOWT link and read that only 60,000 votes were cast in the last Mayoral election.
All this money raised and fuss over getting the majority of 60,000 votes?
Doesn't sound that hard to get 30,001 votes.
And who said unions were on the wane?
Although less than 15 percent of workers in the USA are unionized, those workers seem to have a lot of clout.
Now the candidates for Omaha's next mayor will go about touting how tough they will be on the firefighters and police unions.
I think Mr Suttle is on the right track; make friends with the union and the people who are unionized.
I am a union employee.
Go Union!

ricky from omaha

Anonymous said...

annon 8:33

Be careful what you say.Blumenthal's answers to everything from the police and fire union interviews are on video tape.Including his proposed TAX hike!

At no point did he say anything about not wanting their support.He actively shought their support.

Then, publically he throws stones at them.

I don't care if you are a union, business, another politician, or just a constituent. People want to trust you will be level and fair with them. What you say to me represents what you will do in public.

Blumenthal is eratic, cocky, and more interested in the cheap one liner than take on the serious challenges of working with both sides to find a real soluntion.

Blumenthal should stick to making is sophmoric postings on and leave the business of the City of Omaha to more serious people.

Anonymous said...

Tax Hikes from Blumenthal...What do you expect from Mr. Baird Holm. How many millions of taxpayer monies were spent on that ONE CITY ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT Fiasco!!!!

Anonymous said...

Would you Blumenthal-Stothert people find someplace else to hash this out?? We get it - - Blumenthal works for Baird Holm. Jean is spoiled. How about some District 3 fights???

Mean Jean Supporter said...

Spoiled that she has almost all of the relevant Republican officials endorsing

Anonymous said...

Buescher is running away with Dist 3. No one is working anywhere near as hard as he is. He is most qualified.

Only he and Jerram even had enough money to file at year end and I hear Buescher is doing very well since Jan 1.

Anonymous said...

I think Jim's "Tainted fire money" is on Dodge Street

Anonymous said...

Mean Jean doesn't give a shit about the city council or the district. She just wants Lee's job.

Anonymous said...

lol...anonymous above. I think the Tainted Fire Money has long been spent. KETV, WOWT, and KMTV has it!

Anonymous said...

Jim Vokal, choose you must...

A: Return the fire union money


B: Acknowledge that your crusade against fire and police union money is a farce.

...or a hypocrite you will be.

- Yoda

Anonymous said...

May 2008 contribution from firefighters union: $2,500

October 2008 contribution from firefighters union: $2,500

Using the $5,000 from the firefighters union to finance a January TV blitz, then announcing you won't accept fire union money: priceless.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:45,

Buescher and Jerram are probably the favorites to make it out of the primary, but pit a partisan Democrat vs. a partisan Republican in that district? There's no way Buescher is "running away with" anything. A victory in the primary would mean very little if Jerram has locked down the Democratic base vote.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:37,

You forgot about "Running out of money so you have to pull off the air ten weeks before the primary."

Anonymous said...

Return the tainted fire union money, Jim.

Anonymous said...

Annon 12:27

That's funny! Jean has been nothing but supportive of Lee. Was Blumenthal knocking on doors for Lee last election? Don't think so!

It's amazing how desperate the Blumenthal cult has become.

Anonymous said...

Anoyn 5:03 - Last I heard there are several Terry staff helping Blumenthal.

Anonymous said...

I've heard ONE of the Congressman's one lead staffers is intimidated by Stothert. That person, recruited one other.

Congressman Terry knows who has been there for him. Not Blumenthal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:53,

Hal pulled his ads after two weeks with nine to go - apparently as part of the "plan" Brinker is "sticking to."

Does that mean Hal is out of money?

As always, logic is not the friend of the Daub Disciples.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:46 - Next time you talk to Jim, please ask him where the tainted fire union money is.

BIG BLONDE said...

What do you mean by Lead Staffer???

Anonymous said...

Daub had twice as much money as Vokal. For that matter, so did Suttle. And he pulled his ads a week after Vokal pulled his. But we don't have to imagine that Vokal ran out of money - we know it's true.

It's the problem with trying to play an election to polls rather than election day. Vokal peaked too early, and now he won't make it out of the primary. As soon as Suttle gets on the air, he's finished.

Anonymous said...

Buscher won't come close to Mad Max in 3.

Anonymous said...

Annon 9:55

When is the last time Maxwell had a real job? One that wasn't being paid by some form of government.

Maxwell got crushed in 2008. Crushed in his own precinct.

People don't want alife long bureaucrat like Maxwell. The gig is up.

Geosuser said...

Buescher may be working hard in District #3 but he isn't running away with anything since Chip Maxwell is out there working harder and connecting with District #3 voters. Buescher better have some deep pockets as I hear whispers that Maxwell's campaign is getting significant support.

Anonymous said...

Report from mid-Omaha...

There are several Jerram signs up, none for the other council candidates in this district, a few Daub signs, none for Vokal, none for Suttle.

Jerram and Buescher have both knocked on my door.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if they spotted Mike and Anne Boyle last night at any of the fish fries?

I was just wondering if there were any more Boyle "protests"?

Ah...for the good old days of the classic Holy Name fish fry with the foul language duel between Boyle and then candidate Jon Christensen....

ps- I am glad Christensen is long gone!

Anonymous said...

Return the tainted fire union money, Jim.

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoy Dr. Thompson singing "America the Beautiful" on his campaign plugging his CD's and an upcoming autobiography

Anonymous said...

Annon 11:51
Maxwell started nearly 8K in the hole from last years campaign. He started three months behind Buescher walking door to door (if Maxwell is really going door to door this time).

To say Maxwell is working harder is a joke. Come know better than that.Maxwell will be over 3000 doors behind Buescher right through the election?

I Maxwell asked his neighbors to make an appointment to go to his house to sign his petition. Maybe all of these voters are coming over too!

Buescher has worked his tail off. Even went out of his way to help Maxwell last year. Now, you think just because Maxwell throws his name on the ballot it all about him??? Please.

Maxwell is a good guy,but his time is up.Move over.

Anonymous said...

Live from District 3
There are now a LOT of Buescher signs all across CC 3. A lot of Jerram signs in his neighborhood but district wide it is almost exclusively Buescher signs.

Anonymous said...

Return the union money, Mr. Vokal !!!

Anonymous said...

You mean the TAINTED FIRE MONEY!!!

Anonymous said...

I saw a Vokal sign in midtown and someone had spray painted a derogatory name for homosexuals on it.

Anonymous said...

That graffiti wouldn't be there half a day if Hal Daub were mayor.

3rd floor watcher said...

Hal did do a great job against graffiti

Anonymous said...

This morning I was out and I saw a lot of Buescher signs up around Happy Hollow up to the Gerald Ford birthplace. I saw tons of Jerram signs around Holy Cross and Mercy high and a few more in the Aksarben area.
I did spot one Hal Daub sign and about four or five Vokal signs shattered around. Nothing for Suttle.
Buescher and Jerram have knocked on my door and I received a phone call from Crystal Rhodes.

Anonymous said...

After Vokal gives back his tainted union mnoney he can also give Obama back his campaign logo.

Anonymous said...

I meant Woolworth to the Ford Birthplace, around Field Club, there are a lot of Buescher signs.

Street Cleaner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What elected officials are supporting Jim Vokal?

Anonymous said...

In your pic it looks like Vokal and Daub are high fiving each other.