Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nelson guilted into endorsement by Leavenworth Street

**Update, Thursday, 4/16, 11:30 AM**

Senator Nelson confirmed that it was Leavenworth Street that guilted him into this:
Nelson said conservative talk-show hosts and bloggers were trying to use his neutral stance in the race against his fellow Democrat, and he decided he couldn't let that stand.
Once again, thanks for reading Senator.


KMTV's Joe Jordan is reporting that U.S. Senator E. Ben Nelson will endorse Omaha City Councilman Jim Suttle for Mayor at 9:30 Thursday morning.

Just yesterday, Leavenworth Street pointed out that Nelson had endorsed numberous other candidates, but his failure to endorse Suttle was...suspicious.

A loyal reader also pointed out that Nelson had attended a D.C. fundraiser for Suttle back in January where he said while he wouldn't make a public endorsement, you knew how he really (wink wink ) felt.

So why the turn around from Nelson in a matter of forty-eight hours?

And we know that his Senate colleague, Mike Johanns endorsed Hal Daub.

And contrary to how he ran his 2006 campaign, Ben Nelson IS a Democrat.

So lump 'em all together and looks like Nelson will try to do for Suttle what he wouldn't do for Jim Esch -- that is, elect a local Democrat in Omaha.

Well, all we can say is, thanks for reading Senator. (We'll be sure to renew your subscription.)


Anonymous said...

Really? That's your spin? HAHAHA!!

Anonymous said...

Sweeper = fail.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you need to get over yourself. The reason for delaying Nelson's endorsement is simple: more media coverage.

Daub unleashed all 50 at once, and his endorsement news is over for the election.

Suttle came out with Fahey, which caught just as much media attention as Daub's endorsements, and now when that news is just starting to die down, he's coming out with Nelson.

That's beautiful campaigning. But if you want to credit yourself, that's fine. I can't imagine you have a whole lot else to go home to at night . . .

Street Sweeper said...

Spin??? Really?

Hey, look. We here on L. St. just report what we see. Here's what we got:

1) Nelson hosts a a funder for Suttle -- looks likes he's endorsing him.

2) Nelson says he's not really endorsing Suttle, b/c he just doesn't do that. (We're following what Kyle said, b/c we couldn't find it -- but we'll trust him.)

3) Nelson says, See my fingers are crossed, so I'm really endorsing him!

4) Nelson tells the AP on Tuesday that he's not endorsing anyone b/c he doesn't do that.

5) Joe Jordan says that Nelson has decided to change his mind and will endorse Suttle.

So, if you're following, Nelson supported Suttle, before he said he wouldn't endorse him, before he said that he really did support support him, before he said he wouldn't endorse him, before he endorsed him.

That ain't our spin, baby. That's ALL Nellie.

Anonymous said...

But how did you manage to put YOURSELF in the middle of it all? My kids are less self absorbed!

Anonymous said...

Biggest news for me is that Uncle Ben is a democrat. Who would've known?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, this is where you start to think you are WAY more important than you actually are. Assuming your logic is correct, don't you think it's more likely that it was the AP story, and not some blog, that gave Nelson the push he needed to endorse?

Scott Bluff said...

Well it was about time the Ben started to support other Democrats. He has certainly got his share of support from the party. Some say he owns the Nebraska Democratic Party and won't let anyone rise through the ranks that could run against him in the future. Seems that strategy has worked well for him so far.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but are there any teabaggers here?

Street Sweeper said...


We simply singled out, and speculated further on, the AP story. It was EBN himself who gave the AP quote. His own quote in a story would not push him.

I would also say that there may have been other media sources that instigated EBN. Radio maybe. Anyone?

(But, like I said, we know EBN reads L. St...)

Scott Lautenbaugh said...

Nelson even took the time last fall to endorse my opponent. So, I guess his policy on endorsing is, umm, flexible. (Or, worse for Suttle-- Nelson was more interested in going out of his way to endorse my opponent -- a registered R, at least- than he is in endorsing Suttle. Hmmmm.)

Anonymous said...

Ok SS. You may be jumping the gun here, but i'm not sure. I've got a tweeter now...


Anonymous said...

And by Tweeter, I mean Twitter... WOW

Anonymous said...

It's the constant overexposure to massive clouds of hairspray on a daily basis that has begun to affect Nelson's already confused mind. Or it could be Suttle or his backers made a promise of a significant campaign contribution that swayed Bennifer.

Not Ben Nelson said...

Hi Sen. Lautenbaugh!

Glad you could pull yourself away from gerrymandering for a few moments to attack Sen. Nelson. Maybe that's why he was so quick to endorse your opponent. Who knows?

-- Not Ben Nelson

macdaddy said...

This would be pretty easy to clear up: Suttle's campaign can release records of emails, phone conversations, etc. between Suttle and Nelson as to the timing of the endorsement. Surely there had been some discussion between the two men as to the timing of it. Now, I wonder why he wasn't shamed into endorsing Jim Esch? That's very curious.

macdaddy said...

Anon 9:48; good point about promise of campaign funds. Something to keep an eye out for.

Can't stop laughing said...

Just a heads up the "Other Street Blog" just announced that

"The Driving Force of Economic Development in Omaha was not Endorsed by Nebraska PAC (The Chamber). Jean Stothert however was endorsed for the District 5 council seat."

I though Jon Blumenthal told everybody he was the Omaha Chamber's guy? Well I guess Jean Stothert is the Chamber's

When is this guy going to get a clue??????

Ben's Hair said...

For the record, I did not endorse Jim Suttle!!!

RWP said...

EBN's been decidedly skittish lately; even for an expert fence straddler, these have been a tough few months. He's getting heavy pressure from both sides on card-check; rather than appear bipartisan on the stimulus package, as I'm sure he wanted, he set himself up to be cast as the enabler of the whole thing. His early endorsement of Obama will hurt him if Obama's popularity continues to decline.

Obviously he feels he's got to get closer to the base. Could this be because he knows he's going to take heavy flak from them after he votes against cloture on card-check?

Street Sweeper said...

Hey kids, as noted in our update, Senator Nelson confirmed that it was Leavenworth Street that guilted him changing his position for the third or fourth time:

Nelson said conservative talk-show hosts and bloggers were trying to use his neutral stance in the race against his fellow Democrat, and he decided he couldn't let that stand.Once again, thanks for reading Senator.

Anonymous said...

When are all of you going to wake up and hold Ben accountable for all of these votes he's been making. Without his vote in the senate some of these huge spending bills would have not gone through.

Anonymous said...

Sweeps don't flatter yourself he was talking about Dodge Street

Street Sweeper said...


Anonymous said...

Ben will find a way to vote in favor of the employee free choice act at some point. Hopefully that will be the one vote that ends up getting him out of the senate.

Anonymous said...

It is no secret that Nebraska Demcratic Party "muckity-mucks" didn't care for Jim Esch (remember the endorsement piece Ann Boyle wrote "scolding" her party for not supporting him in 2006?)

Dems think they'll win this thing in May namely on party lines. They might be right, but attending the Omaha Press Club Mayoral Forum today, there is little question in my mind that Hal Daub is the most qualified (not meant as a slight to is just the continual impression I get seeing him in debates.)

Scott Lautenbaugh said...

To: Not Ben--

I haven't gerrymandered in years.

Not Ben Nelson said...

Of course, my mistake. You probably don't have much to do until the 2010 census right?

Anonymous said...

Sen. Lautenbaugh,

It's nice to see, especially as a resident of your district for 21 years, that you have the time to troll through some blogs and comment but you didn't have time to respond to my questions about the unicam for my essay.

macdaddy said...

Anon 2:58: you should put that in your essay. Or sic SS on him. He'll be shamed in no time!

Street Sweeper said...

Here ya go Mac:

Sen. Lautenbaugh!
SHAME ON YOU for not letting everyone know that the AG said your Cigar Bar bill is good to go! That's the kind of good news L. St. readers like to know. You may need to hire a press flak for future releases.
Thank you for your continued hard and sensible work.

Public educator said...

To Anon @ 2:58: You have lived in the district for 21 years and Senator Scott didn't respond to your questions for your essay? Are you having problems graduating from high school at 21?

Anonymous said...

4:07.. Did it fail to cross your mind that it just quite possibly could have been a college course..?

But, but, there's no university in that district. Grew up with my parents in the district and now live in an apt. with my roommates within the same district. I commute to school.

Good try though.

Anonymous said...

What were the questions?

public educator said...

That would not be an essay...more like a term paper or thesis at the college level. I also think the poster really didn't contact Scott because Scott Lautenbaugh is the most approachable person I have known.

Anonymous said...

Could have been an online course. Could have commuted. Part of that district is Omaha.

Brian T. Osborn said...

Well I hope all you folks that went out "tea-bagging" yesterday had a good time. I'm sure Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly all appreciated your efforts to protect their tax writeoffs.

I always get a kick out of working class people that go out of their way to protect the rich, as if by doing so they get a contact high. If our real American patriots - guys like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, etc. - had protested in the same way, we'd all still be celebrating the Queen's birthday this Friday.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Hal Daub appreciates you guys for forcing Ben Nelson to endorse Suttle.

What a bunch of idiots you are!

Anonymous said...

everything you said is;

all unions back Daub
Fahey won't endorse Suttle
Nelson won't endorse Suttle

wrong, wrong, wrong...keep it up, Suttle won't be mayor....

Ricky said...

Nice picture of Nelly.

When is somebody going to ask Mr. Suttle and the rest of the council in races whether or not they regret voting for the downtown baseball stadium?

Did they really believe the CWS would leave town? They were told another baseball team would replace the Royals there.

Did you know David Sokol gave Jimmy V. 500 bucks after his YES vote on the stadium?

Doesn't it look like Suttles vote for the downtown stadium was a mistake?

ricky from distict 66

Street Sweeper said...


1) We never said anything about all unions backing Daub. Though, for a Republican, quite a few are.

2) Based on their relationship, Suttle's backstabbing of Fahey, and Suttle's put down of party endorsements, we made our call. Meh. We made our point.

3) WE NEVER SAID anything about EBN. NELSON said he wasn't going to endorse anyone. We simply linked to his quotes. But we've apparently learned that anytime Nelson says something, you have to see whether he's crossing his fingers or not.

Anonymous said...

Senator L -

I am guessing you are not going to question the credibility of the AG cigar bar ruling like you did the former Chief Justice of the NE SC. You don't seem to be as worked up that the AG cashed a $2500 check from RJ Reynolds tobacco 5 weeks ago. At least you can keep smoking until the Supreme Court throws your exemtption out when the Omaha bars take it to court.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous above: When did the AG get the check from the tobacco company and when did Lautenbaugh make the AG opinion request?

Anonymous said...

public educator 4:44..
Call it whatever you want.. it was a mid-term paper and he was seemingly approachable when I originally asked about it.. but once I emailed the interview never got any response back. (Leavenworth Street can be time conflicting, I understand)

The paper was over the differences between historically acceptable bicameral state legislatures and our unicam. (for the class Politics and Government of Nebraska)

At least a state representative from Kansas gave me his answers to the interview...

Got a 92/100.

public Educator said...

Hey isn't that class taught by Paul Landow at UNO...pathetic! Now I know the angle this is coming from. Are you a member of the UNO Democrats?

Anonymous said...


Mmm.. Not sure why you're trying to make an argument out of this. There was no angle intention I can assure you of this.. the questions were strictly related to the unicameral and it's tradition. I chose Scott thinking that a publicly elected official from my own district would have the time to answer a handful of short answer questions.

Not sure why you are trying to spin this into something partisan..?

I had nothing against him going in to it.. I just think it's a bit of a slap to the face that he can find time to post on some random Nebraska politics blog but cannot find the time to email someone back who lives and votes in his own constituent. (Yet.. a Kansas State Representative did find the time...)

It's not really a Republican or Democrat issue.. but you can keep trying to make it one.

The most partisan question asked.. "Nebraska's unicameral is 37 members - 17 members in favor of the Republican party. Do you feel that yourself and other Republicans have
an edge in getting legislation passed or does the legislature do it's
duty and stick to the framework of our non-partisan legislature?"… which I believe to be entirely fair and not taking any sort of angle.

Not sure why it matters if Landow teaches it or not.. I wrote the paper not him. Also not sure why it matters if I'm a member of the UNO Democrats, or the UNO Republicans, or the UNO Swimming Club either, or the UNO anything.

Public Educator said...

"Not sure why it matters if Landow teaches it or not.. I wrote the paper not him. Also not sure why it matters if I'm a member of the UNO Democrats, or the UNO Republicans, or the UNO Swimming Club either, or the UNO anything."

That last paragraph gave away everything my little democrat friend. Here is my advice for a young Democratic UNO Poli-Sci student. 1) change parties 2) move out of your mom's basement and expand your horizons.

Anonymous said...

In answer to the question -

The $2500 payment from Reynolds American Tobacco to the AG was made on 3/9/09. Reynolds is the maker of Camel and also a fine line of little cigars. The AG request I think happened last week. I know SS doesn't allow links but you can find it on-line by searching Reynolds and looking at their last report. It was the only check they wrote so it's pretty easy to find. Alos their headquarters are not in Blair.

Anonymous said...

As I recall City Councilman (not so)Subtle and Franklin T each got a nice check from Big Red Keno after they lead the charge on the rediculous Omaha smoking ban (with cigar bar exemption) that eventually was ruled unconstitional. Looks like Scott wants to follow their lead.

smoking nazi said...

Is that you Mark Welsch???

Anonymous said...

"That last paragraph gave away everything my little democrat friend. Here is my advice for a young Democratic UNO Poli-Sci student. 1) change parties 2) move out of your mom's basement and expand your horizons."

And answers like that, my Republican friends, is why the younger generation is moving away from the Republican Party in masses.

Public Educator said...

but you won't move out of your mom's house!!!!

Your student UNO democrat colors are showing...Paul Landow has failed you young Does Landow teach opposition blogging at UNO as well.

Anonymous said...

I would rather be accused of being Jim (not so) Subtle than Mark (where's the camera) Welsch. No, just a guy that thinks if politicians want these smoking bans that they should treat all bars equally - that's the fairest way to do it. And the courts continue to agree. Senator L just didn't have the political will to repeal the whole thing so trying to chip away like Suttle did in Omaha. And just like the Jimster will put it in the courts hands.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth Anon 7:32 was not 'me' but that'll happen when you blog anonymously.

PE once again I simply ask you why you're trying to make this a partisan issue when it so clearly is not?? The term paper itself had no partisan slant what so ever..

Good work at dragging this into something as immature as 'move out of your parents basement'. As I mentioned before I live in an apartment with my roommates.. Which is why I work full time along with school. Also, I'm still not confident I know why you're trying to bring Landow into this as though he had something to do with my publically elected official not taking the time out from his blogging to answer some questions from a voter within his district.

Your whole argument that you're trying (not very well) to make here is ridiculously irrelevant and comical at times.

Anonymous said...

The bigger problem with Anon 8:52 is like typical democrats, he feels his government "owes" him something. Instead of doing his own research or generating his own facts, he feels that his elected officials owe him a duty to help write his paper. Sometimes elected officials can't meet every citizen's individual needs, and 8:52 feels wronged by this, and whines on a blog instead of making it happen for himself.

Anonymous said...

I think Public Educator is right if Paul Landow gave you an A, you must be a student democtrat.

Right Wing Professor said...

I hope our 'essay' writing commenter isn't submitting the paper for a Poli-Sci course. The Unicam currently has 49 members, not 37; it has 17 Democrats, not 17 Republicans. In my experience the Democrats are far more unified in their pursuit of their agenda than the Republicans (who sometimes drive me to distraction).

Maybe Senator Lautenbaugh, given the complete ignorance manifest in our commenter's questions, simply didn't believe it was a college student writing a term paper?

By the way, the possessive form of the neuter third person personal pronoun is "its", not "it's".

Anonymous said...

Where to start?

1) I suppose the "political pundit" EBN referred to last night on the news could be Sweeper, or Joe Jordan, or Vorhees or Becka. Anyway you look at it, EBN is way too swayed by political rhetoric than personal conviction. I am sure it was a lot easier for him to by a "Moderate Dem" in a Body of R's than it is to be DINO in the world of Obama. He was rewarded for his behavior by Bush, his time in the closet under Obama/Pelosi/Reid has only just begun.

2) I know for a fact that The AG only has a handful of fundraisers a year, rather than focussing a great deal on one donation, I would suggest you work harder and learn that their donation was probably dated around the same time as many others for his 2 or 3 events of this year. The only person with a conspiracy theory here is you. FYI, I think all "bars" should be permitted to have legal-law abiding smokers within their 4 walls. If they would all be willing to give up their restaurant service (including the KENO bars) and go to a free snacks policy(ie: game days or special occasions), if they want, no food structure, I would have no problem with people smoking in bars. It is the idea that if you are a restaurant, you might have a large group come in and there may be some children in that group that makes me uneasy about giving alcohol establishments carte blanche on smoking. An individual has the responsibility to determine their own fate. If I go to a restaurant (even one with 20 televisions) to eat and watch a game, I should be able to do so in a smoke free environment, and with my kids. If I go to a bar to listen to music, dance and have a few beers, I should not be offended by other people there doing the same and enjoying their smokes. I have free will and I would appreciate the Gov't staying out of my personal life.

3) What Unions have endorsed Suttle?

4) Why does Former Mayor Landow want recorded answers from Republican elected officials and why is he having his students get it for him? Is this what all political consultants/college professors do-hide behind their students? Very shameful Mr. Landow! Also, who is the Kansas elected official that responded to your survey? And, what were your questions?

Just Getting Caught Up!

Scott Lautenbaugh said...

Didn't mean to make this about me-- I have no idea who anonymous is, when the alleged e-mail was sent, whether I received it, or why we wouldn't have answered (as it is our practice to answer these e-mails from students). If we missed it, I am sorry.

Anonymous said...

I'm just getting caught up myself!

Let me preface my comments regarding Sen. Nelson's public comments about endorsing Suttle by stating:

1) I have given donations to Sen. Nelson in the past.

2) I have given time to volunteer on Sen. Nelson's campaigns in the past.

3) I believe in a STRONG two-party system as my basic political philosophy was influenced early on by Sen. Exon.

4) I have understood Sen. Nelson's general political philosophy and while being more judicious than I would care to see from a member of the legislative branch, I can understand and appreciate the mature and thoughtful reasoning that he typically articulates when eventually arriving at a decision.

5) While other Democrats have vocally and in public forums criticized Nelson for his recent decisions regarding Nelnet, etc., I have remained silent. I can understand and respect the political rational of the situation.

Now, to the present comment:

I don't have problems with endorsing or not endorsing. As far as I am concerned it is 6-5 and pick em. Do you endorse Esch? Do you not endorse Esch? Do you endorse Suttle? Do you not endorse Suttle? It's one news cycle good or bad and mailers to a small percentage of the electorate.

What I do have a problem with is Sen. Nelson's public comment regarding "conservative pundits" making it appear as if there is a breakdown in his basic philosophy.

Sen. Nelson has always been Independent.

Sen. Nelson has always practiced a moderate and judicious approach to political and legislative decisions.

Even if I disagree with his decisions, I can respect them.

What I can't respect from Sen. Nelson is a quote that makes a Mayoral candidate look like Linus in need of his EBN blankie (can't wait to see the cartoons).

How about sticking with your gut and your position of I am not going to take a stance in this race.

If you needed a reason why, how about:

Jim Suttle's record can stand alone, due to reason a, b, c.

Omahans are looking for a non-partisan approach, JS offers it.

JS identifies with voters, stood for police auditor, et al.

JS is moderate and independent like me.

Or a thousand other reasons, given Sen. Nelson's typical thoughtful and judicious philosophy could produce better than the ones listed above.

The problem, as a Democrat, that I have with Sen. Nelson's recent comment is that he just made the two-party system in Nebraska WEAKER not STRONGER and it appears as if his typically well reasoned and judicious approach broke down completely in the "conservative pundits" statement.

Anonymous said...

"Movers, shakers inducted into Omaha Business Hall of Fame" this was a headline in the Omaha World Herald today. None of the inductees was the "Driving Force" Jon Blumenthal. It must be hard for Jon not to be recognized for all of his economic accomplishments!!!

Anonymous said...

Senator -

Congrats on your priority bill passing this morning.