Thursday, February 05, 2009


We noted a story today where Facebook is apparently struggling for profitability.  Apparently, though it has 150 million people telling each other what they're doing right now, they can't figure out how to cash in.

And that got us thinking about the various candidates who have Facebook pages. (Some of our commenters were bragging about who had more "Friends". And just to let you know that a Facebook Friend and $4.75 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks...)

So, just for the goofyness of it, we note that on Facebook...
Jim Suttle has 230 supporters. 
Jim Vokal has 197 supporters. 
Hal Daub has 142 supporters...but has two other pages (for some reason) on which each has 46 supporters. We didn't have the patience to see how many of these overlap, but he may then have somewhere between 142 and 234 supporters.

So what does all this mean? Diddly.
Did you know that Jim Esch has 1,126 Facebook supporters, while Lee Terry has 198?
How'd that work out for each of them?
Or that Jeff Fortenberry and Max Yashirin each have 328?
(And we'll not make a big deal between "Friends" and "Supporters", though we understand the difference.)

In any case, here's what we CAN gain from Facebook:

Jim Vokal's favorite movie is Shawshank Redmption, he likes U2 and Etta James (who is threatening to whoop Beyonce's ass), and his favorite quote is Gahdi's:
"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching."

Hal Daub's favorite movies include the Bourne trilogies, he likes B.B. King and Chopin, and one of his favorite quotes is Churchill's:
"If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no mind."

Jim Suttle...apparently thinks you should mind your own damn business and get back to work.

Well, that was fun, right?

We see that Jim Suttle has fixed his website up a little.
Our question now is, who are those "Omahans", waving American flags and gazing up at...Suttle?
(Just a little overboard, no?)


A couple of campaign video notes:

Jim Vokal has a new video up on his website (and YouTube) where he discusses his solutions to the police and fire pension fund problem. And it's a nice summary and all but....

The production quality is just horrendous. First, it looks to be filmed on a pocket camera. There is no additional lighting. The sound is awful -- no external microphones were apparently used. It sounds like Vokal is in a tunnel. Frankly, it's Jerry Odom-esque

And then there's the fact that Vokal is clearly reading everything from some sort of cue cards/teleprompter. His speaking voice isn't natural at all and it detracts from the message. (And then there's the fact that it's four and a half minutes long.)

So, come on guys! We know it is expensive to get a camera crew in. But spend a couple of bucks on it if you're going to put it out there. And please don't have Jim reading to the camera. We like the "directly addressing the camera" thing, but if you can't do it (well) without notes, don't do it.

Instead, try putting up bullet points or pictures, and narrate over it. Or just make it dramatically shorter. Chop it up and have him make each point off the top of his head, then edit it together. There's not a kid with a Mac that could whip this together? (And get it under a couple minutes or so. Over four is a looong time to ask people to watch.)

We don't ask for much.


And then, we'll just throw out to the Daub campaign, that we see Dave Nelson from Secret Penguin video's has left the scene. Nelson gave one of the testimonials (that we like) on Daub's site. Nelson spoke about Daub's support for the skatepark while he was Mayor.

But apparently Nelson wasn't happy that the Daub campaign didn't use Secret Penguin's services (or an Omaha web firm's, so he says) to create their webpage. But then, as we noted the other day, Jim Suttle's campaign hired Secret Penguin to do an extra webpage for their campaign. And voila, Nelson became a Suttle supporter!

And poof went his vid from the Daub page.

Ah well. We still like the other six.


Chuck Hagel will apparently become a professor at Georgetown University.
Well...we always knew he was good at lecturing people...

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Anonymous said...

oh thank god...suttle finally has a presentable website

Street Sweeper said...

Thanks for the heads-up.
Note our update in this post.

Right Wing Professor said...

Now Hagel is officially resident in Washington DC, likely never to return, can we stop discussing him? Bad memories fade better when you don't constantly bring them up.

4.0 UNL Grad Student said...

Why do you want Nebraska's greatest statesman since William Jennings Bryan to fade away. We need more progressives like Chuck Hagel teaching in our universities, not RIGHT WING PROFESSORS that spout hate and intolerance.

Anonymous said...


Hope you realized Mike & Stephanie Johanns were already official residents in Arlington, and their goal was to stay put. Do you really believe buying a small apartment in Omaha in December 2007 (after announcing a run) was their primary residence? I already miss Hagel. He at least had original thought.

Eric said...

I don't see the big deal with "living" near DC if you're in Congress. If that's where you spend most of your time, then isn't it nice to have your spouse and kids near by? If we're going to be voting based on "family values," don't we want someone who values his or her family?

Anonymous said...

To Jimmmy V:

Wayne's World...Wayne's World...Wayne's World...Excellent...NOT!!!

Street Sweeper said...

We didn't get into the substance of the Vokal video on the pension issue. But we did receive this from Brinker Harding, Hal Daub's campaign manager:

It appears from Mr. Vokal's “YouTube” video that he needs to get approval of his union supporters before releasing his ideas.

Hal Daub has never promised anything to any city union—other than to negotiate in good faith. Mr. Vokal, on the other hand, said in a letter to fire union members during this campaign that he already has “a mutual understanding and agreement on those issues important to the membership.”

Hal Daub believes we need a much more aggressive fix than the modest changes Mr. Vokal has offered--that apparently are acceptable to the union leadership.

How many of us get to retire with a pension that pays 70% of the salary we made while working? That's what Mr. Vokal is proposing as his "fix." Hal believes that these proposals alone won’t begin to fix this critical problem.

Some of Mr. Vokal’s proposals have already been suggested by Hal Daub. For example: eliminating spiking and reversing the trend of early retirements and losing senior police officers. But Hal believes these are only the beginning.

Furthermore, in his video, Mr. Vokal deceptively suggests that the mayor can implement these changes by edict, when, in fact, these are all negotiated items in union contracts.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Vokal request a meeting with the president of the Fire Union, Darren Bates, so they can discuss the best course of.....oh, wait. Darren Bates might be in jail soon. I think we're paying firefighters too much if they have all this extra money for hookers lying around.

Anonymous said...

Suttle's Photo page still gives me a headache.

Anonymous said...

In only three days, and still under development, Brian Buescher's City Council Facebook has over 110 supporters.

Look out Mayoral candidates!

Anonymous said...


A warning tonight for Facebook users. Hackers have stolen Daub's, Vokal's and Suttle's online passwords and their identities. They changed their Facebook pages to say they were in trouble and then hit up their friends for money.

Gerard Harbison said...

Dear anonymous at 12:22:

Given that Mike Johanns was Agriculture Secretary, it's hardly a surprise he was living in the DC area. I mean, cabinet members usually do.

Oh, and 4.0 UNL grad student: I'm still a big fan of your work!

Shoe salesman said...

What? hagel couldn't get a gig selling shoes?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the pension problem still an issue under daubs administration?

Anonymous said...

Chuck Hagel is such a sell-out. I am personally glad he's on the east coastnow. Now he's the nutty professor.

Jim Suttle's website keeps getting better. He has as much cash on hand as Daub. He hasn't even gone on TV yet. He's the only Democratic alternative. I think Suttle will surprise a lot of people.

Did anyone note that Chip Maxwell is back in! He's running for City Council and has a big fundraiser coming up.

I think Vokal has the advantage now on the pension issue. He's been giving the most detail plans on the important issues so far. One problem, more people like Lisa Vokal than Jim Vokal.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a good facebook profile check out my page.

ricky from omaha

Anonymous said...

This is the tax trans-fat/ban cigarettes sign guy. Vote for the first mayor candidate that wants to give Omaha a world-wide reputation! Vote for the first one that wants to ban cigs so we can get tourism money for life! Vote for the first one that wants to get Omaha in the history books!

Anonymous said...

One problem with Vokal's pension plan: Why now? Why not when he was on the City Council didn't he do anything? I mean he flipped and flopped around on this issue.

Give me a break. He is playing politics with this issue and voters are smart enough to see how he put us in this position with these pensions.

He voted for it before he voted against it.

Give me a break, Jim!

Anonymous said...

Give me a break!

The police and fire pension already had a $100 million shortfall when Hal left office! What did Hal do when he had a chance to fix the problem?


Anonymous said...

Um... definitely not. The World-Herald had an article on this a few months ago. Daub inherited a slight deficit and left office with a slight surplus.

Anonymous said...

Um, no. From yesterday's article:

"City officials said Thursday that the pension fund has been underfunded since at least 1994."

So if by "slight surplus" you meant "$100 million shortfall" then yes, that's correct.

3rd floor watcher said...

This is Jim Vokal's legacy to the taxpayers of Omaha-

1) An Omaha police officer who earned $55,000 before retiring now receives a $90,000 pension.

2) A battalion fire chief who earned a salary of $79,700 and retired into a pension of $86,700.

3) After earning $82,400 on the job, another battalion fire chief who retired draws an annual pension of $85,600

We can't afford to keep you in Office Jim Vokal!!!!!

macdaddy said...

I found out Street Sweepers' identity! Actually, not really, but I do know that he's a blonde woman driving a dark blue Explorer with the license plate SS4EVER. And if that's not you, SS, watch out because you then have the world's biggest blog fan on your hands and that can only end badly.

Anonymous said...

Hey 3rd Floor,

A practical question at this point - how is Jim Vokal responsible for items 2 and 3 when he voted against the fire contract?

Anonymous said...

Answer: he's not. That's the legacy of Fahey and Mike McDonnell.

Of course, nobody expects the facts to get in 3rd Floor Watcher's way! He's got a point to make!

3rd floor watcher said...

Jim flipped flopped on the pension issue by voting for the police contract and against the fire contract. Furthermore, Jim only made a token protest at the time of the vote. Now that he is desperate to get the fire union endorsement his plan has the pension percentage payout still higher han the pre 2004 contract and he only wants substantive changes made for new employees. So the taxpayers have to wait until every current firefighter to retire and kick the bucket before any major savings kick in?????

If Jim Vokal was a man of principal he would have voted against both contracts and sought a solution that helps the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

still waiting on 3rd floor's poll results showing Jim in last place...

Anonymous said...

Except the unions wont agree to anything less than 70% 3rd Floor and Hal Daub knows it. I'm sure the police union told him so when he went begging for their endorsement.

And if Hal was a man of "principle" - which is what I think you meant - he should have fixed this eight years ago before the shortfall ballooned to $100 million on his watch.

He's just playing the blame game now - which I guess has always been his way. That's why he was booted eight years ago!

Anonymous said...

Lol! This is ridiculous. Hal took a lot of heat when he was mayor precisely because he took a hard line with the unions. People said he wasn't being a nice enough guy to them, called him "divisive" and replaced him with our current caretaker mayor.

If there ever--in the history of Omaha--was a mayor who stood up to the unions, it was Hal. Most people know that.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget this is not only the Legacy of Vokal, but Suttle too.

Anonymous said...

Yep - he "stood up" to them to the tune of a $100 million shortfall.

Anonymous said...

If the $100 million shortfall is true. Jim and Jim stood up to them to the tune of nearly $400 million. Real nice, Jims! Real nice!

Jerry Baggett made an annual salary of $66,000 a year. Now at the age of 45, he's retiring.

Baggett annual pension will be $84,000 a year for the rest of his life.

Fact, Jim voted for it before he voted against it!

Anonymous said...

If you're going to try and use a now ancient political cliche against Vokal, and put the word "fact" in bold no less, you'd better be sure it makes sense.

Follow along - the fire contract vote was before the police contract vote. Agreed?

OK, Vokal voted AGAINST the fire contract. Still with me? OK.

Then came the police contract vote, which he voted for. Yes? Yes.

So the correct terminology, if the morons must insist on slogans and catch-phrases now five years old, would be that Vokal voted against it before he voted for it.

Good night now!

Anonymous said...

The real blame lies with the four councilmen - Brown, Thompson, Gernandt, and Kraft - who voted for the fire contract and left the rest of the council no alternative but to give the police the same benefits.

Anonymous said...

Lay off Dave Nelson. Daub is a jerk.

Bronson Pinchot said...

Kudos to 4.0 UNL Grad Student for calling Sen. Surrender exactly what he is: A Progressive.

The very same term liberals use to identify themselves when they are too ashamed to call themselves "liberals".

Happy Trails, Sen. Surrender. May you never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever step foot in our state again.

Anonymous said...

Over 100 dogs shot by Omaha Police and what has Jim Vokal done? Nothing -- er, yes, he's voted in a sweetheart retirement package for the Omaha Police. An acquaintance of mine, just a line police officer, not a ranked captain or lieutenant, retired with a pension of $70,000 plus full benefits. He admitted to me he feels like he hit the "jackpot." Now he has another sweetheart job at Methodist Hospital and flies around the world for free as his brother is a pilot. Not only is he collecting a big monthly check from the taxpayers, he is taking a job away from another person in this economic crisis. His spiking process was not a matter of being forced to work overtime, it was a carefully crafted hoax by him with his fellow officers yielding special overtime jobs to him (Rosenblatt, July 4th Memorial Park Concert, public swimming pools.) For Vokal to come forth with a solution and plan NOW is hypocritical. At least Suttle is remaining "subtle" on the issue and is not braggadocious about his remedy for cleaning up the mess he and Vokal got citizens of Omaha in! Will voters get it this election or just be impressed with the "family values" TV ads and vote another idiot into the mayor's office?

Anonymous said...

So, Mark Quandahl endorsed Jean Stothert, huh? Interesting.

curbfeeler said...

Those dogs were part of Mayor Fahey's "Pooches for the Poor". The meat went to the OPS lunch program, except the tails. Those were swallowed by voters.

Anonymous said...

Quandahl endorsing Stothert isn't suprising. Mark has consistently supported good republicans over the years and not any JONny come lately.

Anonymous said...

Stothert's daughter works for Quandahl. So it's not surprising at all.

3rd floor watcher said...

To anonymous at 11:37am: What's that comment supposed to mean. If Jean was employing Mark Quandahl that would be one thing, but mark hiring her daughter is another. No quid pro quo...BUDDY!!! Mark Quandahl is a good judge of charachter....It shows that the Stothert name means intergrity and Jean and Joe raised a good daughter.

Anonymous said...

The list certainly does not stop at Quandahl. There are a lot of good Republicans supporting Stothert. They recognize she has been there for Republicans for a long time, even knocking on doors for Lee Terry the last few days of last years election.

Anonymous said...

"even knocking on doors for Lee Terry the last few days of last years election."

Really. Huh. Well there goes my vote for Jean. Anyone supporting Lee Terry has a strike against them as far as I'm concerned!

Anonymous said...

Annon 1:22

LOL Yeah...we'd be much better off with Jim Esch.

Has he found a job yet??? Any job?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:58,

Well, we're not any better off with Lee Terry than we'd be with Jim Esch right about now. What has Lee done so far in this Congress besides vote against kids getting health insurance? Oh yeah, nothing.

3rd floor watcher said...

Yup Lee Terry voted against 29 year old emancipated adults qualifying as kids for health insurance on the taxpayers dime.....Read the Pelosi's version of SCHIPS, BUDDY!!! Kids are counted until the age of 30 even if they do not live at home!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Fortunately 3rd Floor watcher still lives at home and is therefore still qualifies.

OmaSteak said...

As an aside, the recently updated look of Suttle's website is due to the use of a $65 campaign website template. I guess his campaign didn't have the $2700 to ensure exclusive use. It's template #19937 offered on