Thursday, September 24, 2009

September Morn

We are still watching the machinations around the State Treasurer's race.

As you know, former Attorney General Don Stenberg is committing to it, and is ready to go all out to win. (Though frankly, having been AG, and coming very close for U.S. Senate...Treasurer? Really?)

Then there's state Senator Tony Fulton of Lincoln who is also going full bore with a run, and should announce soon.

Fulton may very well have the backing of some bigger names, and word is he has a campaign manager lined up in one Jessica Moenning (she of the former Pete Ricketts for Senate camp).

The Norfolk Daily News tells us that Moenning and her husband, Rep. Fortenberry communications director Josh Moenning, just moved the fam to Norfolk, and will be running ops out of there. (Maybe better keep a condo in Lincoln though, no?)

The same list of GOPers are apparently still interested -- Janssen, Langemeier, Cornett. We'd heard Dave Nabity's name thrown out, though we're assured that he's not interested.

As far as the Dems go, we saw that state Senator Amanda McGill plans on running for re-election to the Uni, so looks like no Treasurer's gig for her (which we'd heard rumors of). Other than her, we have heard musing of state Sen. Danielle (Nantkes) Conrad and, of course, cowpoke Scott Kleeb -- though no confirmation on either.

Will the Dems really throw in the towel for this spot? Do they remember where the likes of Kay Orr and Dave Heineman have come from?


And just curious, but are there ANY Dems who will take on Governor Dave Heineman?


Well, apparently Tom White will have their full attention then...


After the whole budget debacle in Omaha, this Tweet from (Democrat) City Councilman Pete Festersen last week:
Budget is over. Good news is $500k for dundee, $500k for florence, and $500k for benson.
10:35 AM Sep 17th from txt
Now kids, keep in mind that Festersen voted AGAINST Mayor Suttle's budget. Yet....yet...he's happy about money "going to" different parts of his City Council District?

Ya know, last time we checked, Festersen is not in Congress. He's not even in the legislature. Yet he is pumping his chest out about, what, making sure money goes to certain parts of the city? So now the council is pitting parts of the city against each other?

We could understand this sort of parochialism in a city like New York or L.A., but Omaha? So if it's "good news" that Benson got half a million, is it bad news if South O gets $750,000? And what does he mean that there is five hundred thousand dollars "for" each neighborhood? Is he going door to door with a bag of money?

We all know that Festersen is using his Council seat as a launching pad for Bigger & Better, but making declarations like this (on Twitter for gawd's sake) is already setting a bad precedent. (And if other councilmen have done it, same for them.)


Well the Jim Suttle for Mayor campaign is in full swing.

The WHAT you ask?

Well, you need only go to to find his "100 Days" accomplishments PDF doc. (We searched and searched but we couldn't find a reference to 1) raising Property Taxes; 2) Matt Samp or; 3) the bright red Dodge Durango listed anywhere...).

Or you can go to Suttle's FaceBook page -- where you can see the Jeff Koterba cartoon showing Suttle riding on the back of the Fire truck - HAR HAR HAR (and of course, note who put up comments on another page).

You can go to the Jim Suttle Twitter page, linking all those pages.

Or you can just sit back and watch your email box fill up with the "Jim Suttle campaign newsletter", paid for by

So much social-networking, with so little time for the busy Mayor. Of course, we know HE'S not updating those sites.

So who is???


Speaking of the ubiquitous Mayor, we were fishing around the NADC site and saw these post-May 12th Election Day contributions for Jim Suttle on Schedule B, which caught our eyes:

Omaha NE 68114

6005 Grover Street,
OMAHA NE 68106

Oh, and in the "Expenditures" section in Schedule B, there was this:

(emphasis ours...)


Anonymous said...

Pete took $1,000,000 set a side for a round-about at 52 and Western (100% in his district) and moved it for improvements to "downtown" Dundee (which is only 50% in his district).

Not braggin' just tellin'

Street Sweeper said...

Please tell what you mean by "took" and "moved".


Does this mean that Chuck S.'s district is SOL while he's in the hospital?

Anonymous said...

I would hope that the Mayor for the City of Omaha would be concerned about the ENTIRE city, not just those areas that are more Democrat voting. Then again, he still has Matt Samp running his PR campaign, so he may be pidgeonholing the dollars to only certain constituencies.

Right Wing Professor said...

Danielle Nantkes is now Danielle Conrad. She got married last month.

Dayton Headlee said...

He's going to ahve to start up the campaign machine in a couple months when the inevitable recall takes place. Might as well do it now.

Either way, Jean '10!

macdaddy said...

So the city is $11 mill in the hole and they're spending a cool mill on a frickin' traffic circle? Surely, surely, surely, this can wait another year. And that brings up another issue: why is the city spending money on "improvements" when they're closing libraries? Baffling.

Anonymous said...

I bet the circle was a "shovel ready" project projected to save over a million jobs this year. LOL

Problem is, under those terms, shouldn't it have already been completed since that money was promised back in February?

Anonymous said...

7:41 and 8:02 -

As I understand it, they were capital improvement projects paid with bond money. In other words:

1. They have nothing to do with the $11 million shortfall.
2. They aren't stimulus projects.

And anyone who has driven through that five-way zoo of an intersection knows why they wanted the project.

Anonymous said...

Stenberg wants to be a US senator, and this is his stepping stool. His ambition to go to Washington will make him stubborn against any and all attempts to persuade him to stand down. There is also the fact that more people getting into this race makes it more likely that Stenberg wins. Can you say Stenberg for Senate 2012?!

Anonymous said...

I grew up near that intersection and it has been a pain for well over 30 years (It actually forced me to read the DMV manual so I would know what the law is when approaching a non traffic signal intersection of that size).

A traffic circle is not what it needs, those a just as big a pain in the ass as the actual stop signs.

Point being made is, how is bond money being moved if it was designated to that project (weren't they trying to move the bond money for the Armburst Acres swimming hole to other projects until they found out they couldn't because it was approved by the voters 4 years ago for the water project?) and how is the other half of the circle going to be built without the other half of the million.

If you ask me, half a traffic circle is a lot worse that 5 stop signs!

Oh, and don't forget, we have to have the government protect us from everything including people with no common courtesy that refuse to take turns at a stop sign regulated intersection. For a million bucks, couldn't we just put a traffic cop out there for rush hour?

Anonymous said...

Anyone who paid any attention at all to the budget meetings knows there was a whole lot of spending that could have been cut. Ben Gray was giddy over the money for "this" and "that" they added and shifted around.

And, then there is the fire department getting almost a complete free pass.They are above it all! This debate over MDA collections is another example. Should those contributions be from the CITY OF OMAHA if collected on duty? Then again, how does the fire department get away with violating state finance laws and the state constitution by soliciting contributions for anything while on the clock?

Anonymous said...

Sweeper, it's the Norfolk Daily News, not the Norfolk Daily Star. You link to it and still got it wrong.

Street Sweeper said...

And yet, if you went and shot ME because of it, YOU would be the one who goes to jail! What is this, Russia?
(geez, I'll fix, I'll fix)

Uncle Wiggily said...

You seem a little testy this morn, Sweepie ... two words ...DEE CAFF.

Just to let you know I'm still kicking ....


Street Sweeper said...

Well, I was actually channeling Mr. Burns. The full quote is:

Ironic, isn't it Smithers. This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election, and yet if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail. That's democracy for you!

Anonymous said...

I am now frightened of who Street Sweeper really is and what he or she does in their "real" world.

Street Sweeper said...

I think it's pretty clear that I own and run a nuclear power plant...

Anonymous said...

Festersen's Tweet is a joke. He voted against the budget and wants to brag about money for different parts of his district. Hmmmm- has anyone checked his claims? He moved money from the roundabout to downtown Dundee, but I Benson and Florence didn't get anything. Would he be misleading????

Anonymous said...

Little Petey is so anxious...! Who is running Suttle's PR? It looks to need massive improvement. Gary DiSylvestro? Good grief. Cut the ties that bind and recycle tin cans not political consultants that are substandard by letting their boss hang and twist in the winds that blow.

Uncle Wiggily said...

"You are noble and poetic in defeat, Sweeper."

Sweet mother of pearl ... now he's got me quoting dialogue from the Simpsons. Forgive me, father ...

brm said...

If people don't believe that the council treats one part of the city differently than another, just look at the cash being pumped into Dundee and downtown vs the lack of it in true midtown.

A better example is the gerrymandering that created district 6 and 7. My district starts on 72nd street and ends at the Elkhorn river. The district to the south starts at Ralston's border and goes parallel to the river thus conveniently keeping West Omaha (esp Elkhorn) in two separate districts so we can't build any kind of powerblock amongst the true midtown and west Omaha areas.

Anonymous said...

If you want DEE CAF, then you need DEE BULL to F%^& DEE COW.

GeosUser said...

All the city council-persons try to maximize discretionary funds flowing into their districts and then take credit for "bringing home the bacon"...just like every other politician. I saw soon-to-be ex-Mayor Suttle on with Kent Pavelka on MCC's channel the other day. Kent was asking Mayor moron some rather pointed questions about the budget and city finances. The moron never answered a single question and couldn't even look Kent in the eye when he was dishing out his typical BS responses. On the upside, he will be recalled and removed from office next Spring and the margin won't be close. You can bet any replacement candidate that takes money from the fire or police unions won't be taking Jim's place.

Right Wing Professor said...

Can you say Stenberg for Senate 2012?!

He'll have to get in line. I'd never underestimate Nelson, an astute politician who understands Nebraskans, but it's going to be a tough 3 years for him, fighting the pressure from his party to vote for unpopular nonsense like the health care deform bill and cap-n-tax, and desperately trying to dissociate himself from what will likely be an unpopular incumbent presidential candidate in 2012.

Union Labor Plaza Statue said...

More and more I am impressed with Jean Stothert. I'm glad she gave the firefighters the boot. The boot right up their @#$!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I'd look Kent in the eye either. So? What's not to say the next person won't have problems with retiring the Qwest debt and meeting the pension woes?
I doubt Jesus is interested in a miracle for the Big O. What's left?
Petey and Jimbo? Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Hey I have an idea how about a statue for the "Spiking Retired Firefighter" every union man's dream. It's nice not to work past 45 years of age.

Acorn said...

Hey our charity needs money!!! Can we use paid firefighters?

Anonymous said...

A recent Michael Kelley column in the OWH stated that Mayor Suttle's wife now wears a wig because she is losing hair due in part to the stress her family now feels everyday from criticism of her husband.

This should give every Leavenworth Street blogger pause to think. It is great to voice your opinion, that's what makes America great, but I appeal to you to refrain from making such personal, partisan, mean-spirited, cheap shots while making your points. This goes for both sides, Democrats and Republicans, ALL of us.

Sometimes the fact that we can post things anonymously brings out the worst in us.
Please remember the damage you can do to one's reputation, family, their lives by the comments you make.

How would you feel if the shoe was on the other foot?

Anonymous said...

Two national credit rating agencies left the City of Omaha’s bond ratings unchanged Friday, praising city officials for “prudent fiscal management” but noting that Omaha continues to face serious financial challenges. - 9/25/09 OWH

Give Mayor Suttle a chance as well as the new Council, they seem to be making the tough decisions...let's keep watching their every move but a recall is premature and ridiculous if you ask me.

Hold them accountable, document information now and then educate voters at election time.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:12: that's ridiculous that Suttle is putting his wife though this. If he'd loved her he'd quit so she could grow her hair back. Or maybe he could make better decisions so people wouldn't criticize him so much. In any event, he'd better not be trotting his wife out there to turn down the heat on him. That would be pretty pathetic.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised Suttle's wife has any hair to start with. I'd think after years of being married to such an idiot, she'd be bald already or handle "stress" better. I'd be more sympathetic if she wasn't the one pushing the idiot onward.

Anonymous said...

Cheap shots. I agree with 11:12AM. You can make points without the rancor. If you really feel justified, then what does it say about you? Perfection isn't easy right?

Anonymous said...

Go Iowa beat Penn State! Yeah, this is something we all can agree on, Jim Suttle & Jim Vokal.

Anonymous said...

Vorhees VS. Becka from

Dear Tom,

Since you didn't appreciate the brevity of my text message to you yesterday, let me give this a try.

You have worked over the past few months to paint me as "pro-firefighters'-union" and "anti-taxpayer." You've put words in my mouth with the constant drum-beating of "Voorhees says give the unions whatever they want" (if I have ever said that on the air, please produce the audio proof). You have derided the manner in which I have interviewed members of the Omaha Fire Department.

And you drill the aforementioned imagined details into your listeners' heads every afternoon.

For anyone concerned with what I have actually said about the city budget issue and how it pertains to the police/fire department, here you are:

--The firefighters need four guys on a truck. As a matter of safety for them and ability to deal with the emergency call for us, the city should first look at all of the other items in the budget for cuts before coming after the number of first responders on a fire truck.

--The City Council was right in striking the minimum staffing ordinance from the city charter. Let this point be negotiated and used as leverage for the city.

--The city should use this leverage to solve this pension mess. Contribution matches are too high in this economy when several businesses have had to eliminate employer matches to employee retirement funds just to retain personnel and stay in business. I fully favor knocking down the city's contribution to the pension fund.

--Everyone agrees spiking needs to go. That fact that it was in the contract in the first place should land several people in jail.

--If I were a rookie cop or firefighter, and I was seeing the way this pension shortfall was ballooning to the point where it might not be there for me when I need it in 30 years, I'd be the first to stand up and say "This needs to be changed immediately. Why are my former colleagues collecting a pension salary that is equal to their former working salary while they are also working another full-time job in their alleged 'retirement'? This isn't right, it isn't fair, and it would bankrupt a private business."

--Your post, Tom, on your Facebook page yesterday, wondering why I "kiss up" to the firefighters for free when Councilman Jerram does so in return for thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, doesn't make sense. I didn't take any money, I'm speaking what I believe despite your lame attempts at bullying me, and this is supposed to be construed as a knock against my integrity somehow?

I don't know why this issue has gotten so personal for you, Tom, but the fact that you're passionate about it does not give you the right to lie about my stance on this important city issue.



Anonymous said...

See, the problem with your rhetoric here is this:

You honestly hate Suttle. It shows through in everything you say. You call him a moron, you personally attack him every chance you get. But in all of this, you have yet to lay out a real reason why you think he should be recalled.

No, you decided he should be recalled at 11 PM on May 12, 2009, and you've just been searching for an excuse ever since. And all you've got so far is that he raised taxes and four council members agreed with it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mayor Suttle for raising my taxes, that's just what I need right now in this bleak economy, a raise in my taxes. BTW, I couldn't care less if you are losing your hair Ms. Suttle. Get a grip already.

Anonymous said...

Why is it when "men" lose their hair it is vogue and women do it becomes an issue? I least Hal had a good head of hair. Welch's is much better. Then there's Petey. Much, much too retro.

Ah yes, and the issues?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about Festersen. He has that Alfred E. Newman look about him. No excess of brains there. Brains tend to get in the way of ego's like his. So, twit on, Uncle Festerson.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of candidates for 2010, anyone know who will challenge Jon Bruning for AG?

macdaddy said...

Was there a memo issued from the White House to Democrats to start attacking people on the basis of incivility? That does seem to be the theme lately: we can't win on the merits, let's start crying.

If Suttle can't take the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. As it is, he doesn't seem to care what others think or say. It certainly has made no difference in his legislative agenda. So it would appear that the only ones seriously bothered by the tone of this blog, most of which is pretty tame compared to most left-wing blogs, are some of the posters here. I hope that criticism wasn't too harsh for you.

Anonymous said...

Jimmy's "people" sandwiched him between his vintage Thunderbird and the Durango to walk in the River City Roundup parade. So as long as those on his side can't figure out good PR this poor mayor is past tense makes no difference whose hair is doing what.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if Bo Pelini is a Democrat or a Republican?

What about Dana Altman?

Or Pat Behrens?

Denver Broncos are my favorite team and I think John Bruning will make a good US Senator one day

Frank Brown will run against Chris Rodgers

Anonymous said...

recall Terry Moore

Anonymous said...

Best hair?
Ben Nelson
Gov Blago
John Edwards

Best baldness?
Pete Ricketts
Jim Vokal
Jim Suttle
Travis Justice
Chris Jerram

What do you think Hal Daub is doing right now?
talking w Brinker
mowing his yard
studying some issue related to MECA
eating dinner w Mary at Rick's Boatyard Cafe
yelling at someone

What do you think Mike Fahey is dong right now?
Polishing his car
In Kansas City with his girlfriend
Him & Landow are eating at French Cafe
Planning a trip to Naas, Ireland
Lake of Ozarks

Craziest group?
Nebraskans for Peace
Tea Party
Triple One Neighborhood Association (robert baldwin, matthew stelley)
Anything with Doug Kagan as leader

Non-politican with most clout?
Mike Kelley
Mike McDonald
Bob Batt
Ken Stinson
David Brown
Warren Buffett
David Sokol

prediction of NU/MO

Mo 28
NE 33

Anonymous said...

OTOC - Omaha's own Saul Alinsky/ACORN group

Anonymous said...

What about Steve Lathrop for Treasurer? He has as much background as Stenberg for the job and he's not going to have any chance at beating Heineman. Lathrop against Stenberg?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:11 (9/27)--the silence over your post is almost deafening.

No Democratic candidates at all yet for any of the statewide offices. Very embarrassing--what are Vic, Jim R. and Matt Samp doing?

One Out In The Third said...

Anon 7:55...

Equally deafening is the number of Republicans lined up to file.

Anonymous said...

AG Jon Bruning has not filed as of yet, but I assume he will run for re-election.

Anonymous said...

It's come to this. We're talking about hair and lack thereof and if Hal is mowing his lawn. It's only Monday

Anonymous said...

Gale just announced he's running again, right?


Anonymous said...

The problem we all seem to be having is that the election cycle is either too long and we want to talk about it constantly and drag it out more and more (this is odd considering that the average American feels like most pols do nothing but campaign-why would we want it to be any longer)


The election cycle is too short and there is nothing for us to do during the downtime. Longer election cycles mean that even less will get done in government.

Might I suggest a hobby for all those that have turned other peoples' lives into their hobby?

Anonymous said...

Bowling. Better than speculating on male hair challenges is to actually put one down an alley for a strike. Or, quilting. Now there's a hobby more fun than speculating if Tom White is doing anything worthy of ridicule or if Lee Terry is doing anything.

Macdaddy said...

I like to think of it (keeping up with politics) as a hobby. Of course, government doesn't take a break and when it comes to people taking money out of my pocket just because they can, it is no longer a hobby but rather a matter of survival. Not all of us have drunk the Kool-aid.

Anonymous said...

And that's the nail on the head. But, wouldn't you agree that it would be nice if an elected official could do their job for some period of time before they have to begin defending it against someone who's mommy tells them everyday how wonderful they are?

Oddsmaker said...

Stenberg is the front runner, obviously. Fulton will have a strong grassroots campaign and if he raises the money he could win. Nabity would be a strong candidate, maybe the front runner if he were to get in early. Cornett will have to explain why she collaborates with Tom White all the time (who is public enemy #1 in GOP circles) and the Unions and she will have to raise money to get noticed outside of her district (which she has never done, raise money that is). Langemeier who? And Charlie Janssen was a registered Democrat just a couple years ago and has done nothing in the legislature and there are some other undesirable things voters will question. If they all run, Stenberg wins. That's about the size of it.

macdaddy said...

Anon 4:50: I have stated here before that I think a recall is a waste of time and money and has the potential of backfiring heinously. I think voters should be forced to live with their poor choices. Recalls should be saved for officials who are criminals or dangerously incompetent. I'm sure there many readers of this blog who would characterize Suttle in the latter group. I would not. I think he is very, very crafty and amazingly deaf to the opinions of the citizens of Omaha. Of course, I don't live in Omaha, so what do I care?

Anonymous said...

Agreed, and sometimes I wish I didn't live in Omaha.

Backfiring is a huge risk and it is not like anyone that replaces him can go in and repeal the tax hikes.

Of course, people always like to have their cake and eat it too and if they recall Suttle, and replace him with an R, they get both.

Do you RECALL Mike Boyle? said...

I heard the police union's poll had Suttle below 35% approval.