Friday, March 20, 2009

Fight! Smash! Win!

Why the violent headline? A 2009 campaign theme? Nah.

It's the new single from the new band, Street Sweeper -- featuring Tom Morello  of Rage Against the Machine and (avowed Communist) Boots Riley of The Coup .

Hear their new single "Fight! Smash! Win" at (They'll be touring with Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction.)

Has Leavenworth Street been unmasked? You be the judge...


In yesterday's Omaha Mayoral debate hosted by the League of Women Voters, Hal Daub stated that he is the only candidate who has fought property tax hikes and lowered property taxes.

Jim Vokal spoke up to say that he too has never voted to raise properyt taxes in his eight years in office.

After the debate, the Daub camp sent out a release which stated:
On September 21, 2001, Jim Vokal voted for a property tax increase. The vote, on Resolution #2430, raised our mill levy by 2 percent, from 42.523 to 43.387.
Councilman Chuck Sigerson, when contacted about this, railed back saying 
"To say that by certifying the budget, I'm voting for a tax increase is not only dishonest, it's a blatant lie".
So, what's going on here?

As the City Clerk has pointed out, on that the City Council voted 6-0 to certify City Budget.

The Vokal camp argues it like this:
Mayor Fahey proposed a 1.5 increase. Council passed a budget with zero increase. Fahey put his increase back in. The issue came back to the Council the next week, and the Council was unable to over- ride the veto with Marc Kraft out of town. Vokal, Sigerson, Welch, and Thompson voted to override. Brown and Gernandt vote no.

The Council then passed the budget on a 6-0 vote, and the next week certified the tax rate to support the budget on a 7-0 vote, because state law says the Council is obligated to certify a budget and a tax rate and the city attorney recommended a positive vote.

We asked the Daub camp about this -- was it just a procedural vote, and why should it, or should it not count. And better yet, What Would Hal Have Done (WWHHD)?

Brinker Harding responded to us that:
"WWHHD? (What Would Hal Have Done)- What Hal did as mayor was lower the mil levy. He did not increase taxes."
He is getting back to us on the rest of it, and we will update.

As of yet, the Suttle camp has not responded to our request for info.
(**Update**  As pointed out by a commenter, Suttle was not on the Council until 2005, so he wouldn't necessarily comment on this particular issue.  )

We didn't bother asking Randy Brown, who did a swell job with the other three candidates at the debate. We're guessing that maybe Mort Sullivan is in..a bunker somewhere?

In any case, loads of fun on this one. And what's the answer?

Should the Council members who opposed the tax increase have voted against the budget, in principal? Did it have to be a unanimous vote to certify in the end? What happens if they dig in their heels and the vote is not certified? We would guess at some point people would stop being paid and the government would "shut down". Is that a "who blinks first" situation?

We're not sure of the answers on this. We will update as we get more info and invite your comments as well.


And a shout-out to the EARLY campaign going on in the Third Congressional District. A former resident of Alliance, Nebraska has moved back to Nebraska from Washington, D.C. to run against Congressman Adrian Smith in 2010.

Her name is Rebekah Davis. She's a twenty-seven year old Indiana University and (wait for it)...Yale University grad! She got a masters degree in divinity from Yale. She had been working in D.C. up until December or so last year. And BOOM! three months after her return to Nebraska, time to run for Congress!

City Council? State Legislature? Weed Commissioner? Nope, Ms. Davis is ready to head right back to D.C., Third Districters. She even has a website (so to speak).

Let the campaign begin.


Scott's Bluff said...

Yet ANOTHER protege of Barry Rubin?

O. Neil said...

Same tactics. Looks like Rebekah could be a Kleeb Kousin. No experience, Yale degree, straight off the Washington beltway. Yup! We've got ourselves another one of those imports from the Rubin Roundup.

Anonymous said...

The entire purpose of this vote is to certify a TAX INCREASE in the budget. If there were no tax increase, there would be no vote.

Vokal's camp says he didn't have a choice, since "state law says the Council is obligated to certify a budget and a tax rate and the city attorney recommended a positive vote"

Wrong. State Law does not tell City Councilman how to vote.

Anonymous said...

This started with Jim Vokal, not with Hal Daub. Vokal proclaims at every joint gathering that he hasn't voted for a tax increase. Daub set the record straight. That is not an attack; that's a response.

Uncle Wiggily said...

Oh good ... another Yale plug-in.

The Dems really have a low opinion of our discriminatory abilities out here in the Third.

Guess it's time to administer yet another lesson. Silly liberals.

Bring it.

Street Sweeper said...


Uh...ok. And while we know you guys are really hung up on that word, who said anything about an "attack"?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if "none of the above" finished first in the mayoral primary???

Street Sweeper said...

Aren't unicorns and fairies awesome???

Anonymous said...

This does seem like a stretch by the Daub camp. I don't think Hal has ever met a mil levy that he doesn't like to talk about. And why would Suttle respond to this when he wasn't even on the council in 2001? Maybe someone should contact Marc Kraft. I hear he's downtown and he loves it.

Street Sweeper said...

Yes, true about Suttle on this. I'll update on that point.

Though don't know one way or the other about whether he has voted for a property tax increase since 2005.

Anonymous said...

Vokal is the one performing gymnastics here, not Daub.

You can only hear "I've never voted to raise your taxes" so many times before you have to set the record straight. That's what Daub did. I don't see him making a bid deal about it.

Millard Voter said...

The race is done for Jon Blumenthal, he just got caught inflating his resume!!!

Anonymous said...

You mean like Jean Stothert, who claims she is a nurse - - and has never practiced in Nebraska and no longer maintains a nursing license??

Or who uses the term "I" in reference to any accomplishment of the Millard School Board in every one of her mail pieces (even though she finished 3rd in every school board race she was in - - seems others might have helped with some of her "I" accomplishments)?

Anonymous said...

Vokal and Suttle are Bobbsey twins each sharing half a brain. All campaign long they say Hal had a cantankerous relationship with the City Council more than a decade ago, but when Hal talks about a vote in 2001, they both tell the W-H hack that "We prefer to focus on the future . . ." Too bad it's too early to garden 'case that's a load of manure.

Anonymous said...

No way, 1:47 . . . I think they mean inflating like claiming to be a Republican, and taking almost $10,000 in union contributions and $5,000 from one of the most liberal people in Omaha.

Anonymous said...

1:47, there's no way Jean would claim to be a nurse - - the Nebraska Nurse's Licensing Act says that someone can't claim to be a nurse without a current active license or temporary permit . . . Jean must have one, I'm sure of it.

Anonymous said...

Jean Stothert never claimed this.

"For more than 15 years, Jon Blumenthal has been a driving force behind Omaha's economic growth."

Jon Blumenthal was in his first year of law school 15 years ago at KU!!!!

He didn't even live here!!!

He is a PHONY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous at 1:47 How many Baird Holm attorneys are doing your research? Jean Stothert is a nurse!!! She is currently not practicing and is not offering her services to the public as one.

The public wants to know, "id Jon Blumenthal say he was going to raise taxes to the Omaha Police Union?

Instead you attack Jean Stothert. Amazing!!!

In the Know said...

I think was endorsed for legislature by the Nebraska Nurses Association....Blumenthal Idiots

Press Person said...

Don't worry Stothert supporters, a member of the press has been asking questions about Blumenthal's mailer and where was Jon 15 years ago while he was the "Driving Force" of Omaha's economic development.

This race is over!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vokal, Sigerson and others fought against hard against Fahey's tax increase and lost. It's on the record. They took the tax increase out, Fahey put it back in and they didn't have the votes.

Only in Hal Daub's world of constant politics and always-running-for-office would a procedural vote (after openly fighting to strip the tax increase) constitute "trying to raise taxes." Same old Hal. All flash, no substance. Say anything to get elected. Same old games, same old Hal.

I almost hope Daub wins the Mayor race, because if he loses you know we'll be hearing from him in the next governor's race, Senate race, Congressional election, on and on and on. When does it end. He's like the Brett Favre of Omaha politics. Hang it up old man. Somebody take pity on him and tell him that voters are suddenly interested in actual results - not the same old politicking and fast-talk they hear from Hal every election season since 1960.

Randy Randy said...

I don't know who in the heck John Blumenthal is, but I give him major kudos for having the best yard sign design. It's retro, different, and doesn't reek of tired out campaign imagery (you listening Jordan McGrain/Jim Vokal!!!)

Anonymous said...

2:05, she never claimed it?? How about the brochure in my door last week that starts with "CRITICAL CARE NURSE"?? It didn't say "used to be a nurse." It says she is - - so Jean can show us her license, right??

You Stothert people are amazing - - Jean claims "I would NEVER run a dirty campaign", and then sends out you attack dogs to do her dirty work for her.

Anonymous said...

Randy Randy, give the Stothert folks 10 minutes - - you'll have 5 posts ripping the design.

Jean won't run her "clean campaign" anymore because Blumenthal "dared" to ruin what she thought was going to be her coronation. Too bad both sides can't shut up and let the voters decide.

Anonymous said...

Wow the McGrain Machine is trying to outspin itself on this.

Mr. Blumenthal at KU 15 years ago, what Omaha economic development project were you working on?????

Spending money at Downtown Omaha Bar's when visiting Mom and Dad don't count!!!!

Anonymous said...

Jean, show us the license!!

Laughing said...

So let me get this straight, Jon Blumenthal is the DRIVING FORCE behind Omaha's economic development!!!! hahahahhahahha...hahahaha

Anonymous said...

Put this nurse farce on one side of a scale, and the Blumenthal "15 year driving force" thing on the other side and I'm pretty sure the results come out in favor of Stothert. especially when you consider the average joe who will be voting in this election.

I'm not sure I've run into anyone who thinks Blunenthal has been driving Omaha's economy...EVER.

BTW...I really like the Blumenthal signs.

Son of a Nurse said...

My mother is a nurse. She doesn't work as a nurse anymore but I darn well consider her a nurse.

It is insulting to try and make this an issue.

Anonymous said...

Am I understanding these posts correctly: Jordan McGrain is running the Blumenthal campaign?

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:15 -- Uh, yeah. Where have you been? Are you new? :)

Ricky said...

It took State Senators Tim White and Mike Friend to finally show Omaha some leadership on the downtown ballpark mess-up.
Both came out yesterday in the Revenue Committees' hearing on LB 616, designed to help Sarpy County fund a ballpark for the "Omaha" Royals, and criticized Sarpy's pitch for the Royals.
Both Senators White and Friend recognize the threat an empty downtown baseball stadium would do for the growth of downtown.
Mr Suttle and Mr Vokal both, while on the City Council, voted to give up the city's control over all aspects of the downtown park to MECA. They both voted for the agreement on the stadium without a commitment from the Royals.
When Hal came out and said he would keep the Royals in Omaha, Jimmy V scoffed.
Neither Mr. Suttle or Mr Vokal are showing leadership on what to do about the Sarpy threat to steal the Royals. Maybe they think there is nothing they can do, but here is what they could do and what I would do if I were a candidate;
I would tell Sarpy County that if they go through with their threat to build a stadium to house the Royals (and still call them "Omaha" by the way), then no cooperation by Omaha with Sarpy on economic matters or anything else should be expected.
I would tell Sarpy that business in that county is fair game, and I would be on the phone to the managers of the Pay Pal company and others and be enticing them to move to Omaha where we could get them a deal on land.
Now is the time to play hardball with Sarpy, as they are playing hardball in their attempts to compete against our downtown.
Will the candidates for Mayor show some guts and leadership?

Ricky From Omaha

Anonymous said...

Come up for air.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Stothert is a nurse. And she's pro-life too, right?

Anonymous said...

anon 7:01

She is endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life.

Anonymous said...

No she isn't.

Anonymous said...

Who's more nervous right now, candidates being managed by Jordan McGrain or Jordan contemplating the end of his short-lived career as a political consultant when everyone one of his candidates loses in the primary?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of losers...

How long will it be before Lisa "Hannah Montana" calls up Rebekkah Davis to "strongly suggest" she be hired as the manager/consultant?

O. Neil said...

"Hannah Montana" must be very discouraged. Weren't the Rubin folks already promising her the coronation as the 3rd CD's nominee as payoff for her stalking of Mike Johanns last year? What has she done to lose their love? Being a Clintonista in an Obama world?

Upset Nurses said...

Ok Blumenthal campaign, thank you for your posts. There are whole bunch of nurses that have seen your handiwork and will be making phone calls for Jean. This is one of the most chauvinistic attacks I have seen and it is demeaning to women.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:41

Check again...Testerday Jean Stothert was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life.

Anonymous said...

Checking again... Nope. No endorsement. Not testerday, not yoday. The fact that you can't show anything actually backing up your claim gives away that you're lying.

Although, since you all in Stothert's campaign are apparently denying her past and trying to claim she is the pro-life candidate, I'd love to see where she actually says anything about it. Where is it on her website? Where is her explanation of how her thinking has changed?

Yeah, that's what I thought. It hasn't.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is a "retaurant tax" and why is Blumenthal in favor of "raising it"??

Street Sweeper said...


Please refrain form posting bulls**t personal rumors on this site, or it will end up being a registration-only blog like some others.

We've confirmed that what was posted here this morning -- and deleted by me -- is a load of crap. And the person who put it up is a dirt bag who should never come back.


Here you go said...

Contact: Denise Ashby
Political Action Committee Director


Denise Ashby, PAC Director for Nebraska Right to Life (NRL PAC) today announced the group's endorsements in Omaha and Lincoln city races. Endorsements are made after NRL PAC sends surveys to candidates. All candidates who answered the survey will have their answers published on the NRL PAC page of the NRL website at prior to the Omaha and Lincoln Primary and General Elections.

Hal Daub

Dist. 1------Sharon Chvala
Dist. 2------No Endorsements
Dist. 3------Chip Maxwell (sole endorsement due to NRL PAC policy of showing preference to grassroots pro-life activists).
Dist. 4------No Endorsements
Dist. 5------Jon Blumenthal & Jean Stothert
Dist. 6------Franklin Thompson (sole endorsement due to NRL PAC policy of showing preference to incumbent)
Dist. 7------Chuck Sigerson (incumbent)

3 At Large Positions------Adam Hornung & Ken Svoboda (incumbent)

Dist. 1------Kirby Young
Dist. 3------No Endorsements
Dist. 5------Norman Dority, Kevin Keller & Mike Laughter
Dist. 7------Andrew Ringsmuth

Ricky said...

Thanks for posting Nebraska Right To Life PAC.
Now I know who NOT to vote for.

ricky from omaha

Anonymous said...

Another Blow to the Blumenthal Camp!!!

Anonymous said...

That was a General Election endorsement of Jim Vokal today by the OWH. Hal and his cronies better get a move on!

Anonymous said...

I'll believe it when I hear Stothert or NRTL explain the change of heart. The fact that neither put anything on their website about it makes it all a little suspicious. It may be the case that she checked all the right boxes, but what information did she leave out that she put in last time? Did she lie on the questionnaire? Has NRTL interviewed her about it?

Anonymous said...

Is Vokal pro-choice? Where is his right to life endorsement? I'm sure a lot of people planning on voting for Vokal probably assumed he was pro-life. Sounds to me like the race is over.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the real question whether or not the dems come up with a viable candidate for Adrian Smith, or just send this little lamb to slaughter?

Anonymous said...

Keep hoping that's true, 11:13. If you say it out loud enough times, you might even convince yourself.

Anonymous said...

Jim Vokal is strongly pro-life and was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life in 2001 & 2005.

Anonymous said...

anon 11:10

Why don't you call NRTL. The number is right there in the e-mail announcement.

Anonymous said...

So, let me get this straight? It's okay to poke fun of, post rumors, etc., about Jim Esch's or Scott Kleeb's personal lives, but not okay for Lee Terry? Why so sensitive? He's a public figure.

Why is someone who posts something about Lee Terry's life a "dirtbag," but anyone can say anything they like about whether Jim Esch hangs out at what bar, who he's dating, what his family's financial status is, what is going on in the Kleeb marriage, etc, is just "fair game"? I don't get it. Heck, the things that have been said on this very blog about "Hannah Montana" are worse than what was said about Lee and Robyn Terry.

If Lee Terry didn't want his life scrutinized by his constituents, he shouldn't have run for PUBLIC office. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

I am a pro-life Catholic voter and I would like someone to explain to me how the city council and mayor of Omaha ever deal with the issue of abortion?

Why is abortion part of city politics?

Am I missing something?

If someone runs for higher office like Governor or Senator, etc than I can see how abortion is an issue, but not on the local, city level?

Am I wrong?

BB said...

"I have a vast array of background...we need to bring more people to Congress with a vast array of backgrounds." She says this even though her only background is that of coddled liberal student with no life experience to speak of? Sorry Little Rebekah, you don't have "a vast array of backgrounds." Smith will dispatch her and her condescending Ivy League attitude easier than TO dispatched the hairdresser.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pipsisewah said...

I might even vote Republican if the GOP had an intelligent, and hard working candidate for the Third. I'm afraid that Adrian will be around til the next census. Adrian Smith vs. Lee Terry? Wake me when that battle is over.

Chad said...

What do they have in the drinking water at YALE that cause their grads to think the people of Nebraska cannot do without the elitist from New Haven?

So far the score is UNL 1 -- Yale 0. Nothing is ever set in concrete but my guess come November 2010 it will be UNL 2 ---- Yale 0.

Anonymous said...

If Vokal is so pro-life, where is his Nebraska Right to Life endorsement?

Anonymous said...

So, out of curiosity, is Miss Rebekah (with a K) Miss Jane and Mister Scott's nanny?

Can you say carpet bagger? And I dont really care where she grew up, I care that she hasn't bothered to spend any time in her "home" state as a grown up girl with responsibilities to her community before she wants to go running off to Washington to join the club that Little Scotty couldn't even beg his way into (TWICE!).

Maybe there should be a residency requirement in Nebraska. Something like "you have to breath Nebraska air long enough to be here for a full season of Husker sports mania before filing for elected office at any level (excluding summer camp on the ranch and college breaks where they make you go home if you are not registered for a class!).

Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:11,

If you so vehemently believe your comments should be allowed to be heard, why don't you post by name and provide some factual evidence to back up your claims.

The comments about Esch and Kleeb are factually correct. Evidence about Esch's family finances was provide for all claims (once he bothered to file the legally required docs). In the Kleeb case the facts of when people get married are available to be refuted if you don't believe them as are course catalogs refuting his actual teaching of courses and when AND his losing of his license is public info. As for what bar(s) Jimmy Boy hangs out, you just can't deny the vast amount of eyewitness testimony.

As for any of the rest of it? Maybe it comes down to the simple fact that this is an individual's blog and is not subject to the "unfairness doctrine" and SS doesn't have to post any of your crap that SS doesn't like.

I am sure you could start your own blog and post whatever lies you feel like posting. I would make you aware that at some point, someone will undoubtedly challenge that silly little idea that a public figure cannot sue for slander or libel. When a lie is a lie, it is still a lie.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:23 --

That's why it was posted as a "rumor."

Just like you said about Esch:

"As for what bar(s) Jimmy Boy hangs out, you just can't deny the vast amount of eyewitness testimony."

There have been several people that have stated the rumor about the Terry's. No one said it was fact. Phew! You guys are sensitive! If there's absolutely no fact to the rumor, why get so up in arms about it? You're going to make people start speculating about who might be protesting too much?

taco said... was simply asking Street Sweeper a question. It was not libel, slander, etc.

Anonymous said...

Under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, as set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1964 Case, New York Times v Sullivan, where a public figure attempts to bring an action for defamation, the public figure must prove an additional element: That the statement was made with "actual malice". In translation, that means that the person making the statement knew the statement to be false, or issued the statement with reckless disregard as to its truth. For example, Ariel Sharon sued Time Magazine over allegations of his conduct relating to the massacres at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Although the jury concluded that the Time story included false allegations, they found that Time had not acted with "actual malice" and did not award any damages.

The concept of the "public figure" is broader than celebrities and politicians. A person can become an "involuntary public figure" as the result of publicity, even though that person did not want or invite the public attention. For example, people accused of high profile crimes may be unable to pursue actions for defamation even after their innocence is established, on the basis that the notoriety associated with the case and the accusations against them turned them into involuntary public figures.

A person can also become a "limited public figure" by engaging in actions which generate publicity within a narrow area of interest. For example, a woman named Terry Rakolta was offended by the Fox Television show, Married With Children, and wrote letters to the show's advertisers to try to get them to stop their support for the show. As a result of her actions, Ms. Rakolta became the target of jokes in a wide variety of settings. As these jokes remained within the confines of her public conduct, typically making fun of her as being prudish or censorious, they were protected by Ms. Rakolta's status as a "limited public figure".

Thus, the question posed on Leavenworth Street does not meet the standards set in NYT vs. Sullivan. It is not actual malice, it simply asking a question that has been heard as rumor across the city by many people.

Street Sweeper said...

And as long as we can help it, your patently false rumors won't find a place on Leavenworth St.

Thanks for your Lexis search.