Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ben Nelson and PIZZA-GATE

This morning, The Politico reported on an incident of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson getting booed at a pizza restaurant in Omaha.

We here at Leavenworth Street fleshed out the details, as follows:
Friday night, at Dante Pizzeria Napoletana, a customer hailed Senator Nelson to his table as Nelson walked by, saying, “Ben, Ben, Ben!”
Simultaneously people at the the other table started booing and giving him the "thumbs down".
The person who hailed him said to Nelson “I’m very disappointed in your vote Senator.”
Nelson replied, “Ok, thank you.”
But the booing continued and as Nelson picked up the pace to get out of there, a woman yelled very loudly “Somebody get him the hell out of here!”
Responding to The Politico, Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson stated:
“If somebody yelled that comment, Sen. Nelson didn’t hear it, and he did hear positive comments from others in the restaurant.
But this morning on KFAB, Omaha attorney, and former (1994) Democratic 2nd District Congressional candidate James Martin Davis reportedly said that he and his wife were at the restaurant with Senator Nelson and his wife and another couple, and 
" absolutely never never happened!  It's a fiction!"
Davis reportedly said a couple of people came to their table to say "Hi Senator", and that there was some woman who said, "Bad vote", but there was no shouting, etc.

(David followed up by saying "I don't know what Politico is..."  Shocking.)

Now, maybe Davis was in the restrooms at the time, but his account couldn't be more different from that of local dentist Dr. Tom Lewis, quoted in The Politico, or of Leavenworth Street's source.

A caller on KFAB's Scott Voorhees show says that he was next to Nelson when all this was happening.  He said:

  1. Davis was already gone, so he wouldn't have heard it anyway; and 
  2. there's no way Nelson DIDN'T hear all the comments and derision coming from the patrons.  So, Nelson's official spokesman is wrong too. 

Who is telling the truth?

Well, we know where we stand on Pizza-gate.

And, we're guessing, so do the Nebraska voters.


Anonymous said...

Someone is lying!!!

Anonymous said...

imagine that, you have a Democrat and a Republican(that you mentioned to leave out in your story SS) who view the incidents differently. Who could have ever imagined.

Street Sweeper said...

Well, I guess one person describing an incident in detail and the other saying it "never happened" could be "viewing it differently". It certainly is "different".

FWIW, there have been others who have said Davis WAS in a whole 'nother room at the time. Though that only means Davis didn't see it -- not that it "didn't happen".

Wonder how Davis feels about the Moon landing...

Anonymous said...

I wonder who those others are? Everyone knows the GOP is good at seeing things differently. How about those awesome comments made by Pat Robertson & Rush Limbaugh yesterday RE: Haiti?

Street Sweeper said...

For the record, Limbaugh was simply quoting the Senate Majority Leader -- whose original comments don't need an apology, we're told.

And Pat Robertson is an idiot.

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

Sorry kids, no links is the policy here.

But to quote your Politico article on Limbaugh (since that's right on target with this post...what?)

Limbaugh’s comments were, in part, a riff on Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) much publicized remark in a new book that Obama was able to win the election because he is “light-skinned” and lacks a “Negro dialect.”

Anonymous said...

You are good at selectively quoting. He didn't mention anything about not providing more aid to Haiti? That we already provide enough?

Come on, no links? I think the links are helpful for distinguishing when people are making things up and when they aren't.

Street Sweeper said...

I'm comfortable in the knowledge that people heave heard of the Google, if they're seeking more information.

And we'll be happy to give more takes about a radio show host just as soon as Nebraska's senior Senator and the rest of the state party give their positions on the recent comments of Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Democrat former President Bill Clinton.

And thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Loving this.

Anonymous said...

I think "Anonymous" did not listen to the Limbaugh show in question. I did. The remark about NOT sending aid referred to NOT donating through the website (as Mr Obama suggested), which indeed would be a waste of $$$. Rather, Limbaugh suggested donating via the Red Cross or other organization, which any sensible person who wants more bang for their charitable buck, would do.
"Anonymous" probably read Huffington or some political blog, to get his quotes.

One Out In The Third said...

After helping Katrina/Rita evacuees...I learned quickly that Red Cross can be a little restrictive/selective in the dissemination of relief...I found that Catholic Relief Services and The Salvation Army were a little more "Johnny-on-the-Spot" when it came to managing donations and getting relief to the folks that needed it.

Just my opinion/ can donate to whomever you wish. But do a little homework first. Make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Nelson people are diverting the issue. Your boss was run out of a restaurant with boos and thumbs-down. How could this happen to a guy that voted on a popular bill like health care!!!

Anonymous said...

So has Nelson had to Hire James Martin Davis to spin his horrible vote on Health Care?

NE Voter said...

If true (and I doubt it), you gotta love those Nebraska values you Repulicans are always talking about.

Stay classy, Omaha Republicans ad Teabaggers.


Anonymous said...

Amazing things about this:
1. No story is too small for J.M.Davis to try to write himself into
2. Do Dems really believe the pizzaria in question was stocked ahead of time with Repubs and "Teabaggers" in case Ben showed up?
3. Can Ben be thinking of running again? Still?

One Out In The Third said...

I'm still traumatized by the "Twister" caller and the rat costume people.

One Out In The Third said...

Davis kinda looks like the "Beav."

One Out In The Third said...


Too Bad said...

Enough with the -gates, please. Why does everything have to be a-gate? Surely not everything is worth a -gate status. I knew -gate. -Gate was no friend of mine or yours, but -gate was important. This here pizza restaurant incident is no -gate.

Street Sweeper said...

"Pizza-gate"... We needed a name.

And "Hut" was taken.

Nathan said...

Isn't "hut" claimed by Jabba?

One Out In The Third said...

"The Italian Job?" This could have resorted to violence you know...but Nebraskans as usual maintained their usual cool...calm...controlled meatballs were thrown.

The meatball left the room.

It's over for Ben said...

People are missing the main point. Ben Nelson is so deaf to the desires of the vast majority of Nebraskans that he cannot even hear them when they are yelling from very close.

BTW, the story is absolutely true. Several witnesses.

BTW, has anyone noticed NE Voter's posts get weaker and weaker? Just like the dem prospects in 2010.

Anonymous said...

I thought Pizza-gate belonged to Julie Haney?

Maybe we should call this the Denouncement at Dante's.

Street Sweeper said...

We're open to suggestions for other sobriquets on Dante's Debacles, aka Pizza-Gate.

But be forewarned that Channel 3 already (stole) used our moniker (w/o attribution), so the name may have already stuck.

Nathan said...

Pork pie piled high?

Anonymous said...

How about "My constituents hate me Gate"

Anonymous said...

I hope someone does a quick look to see how much money the Nebraska Dem's are pouring into the TV adds. I'm not so sure donors are going to be very happy to see their limited funds being spent so liberally.

These are issue adds and being run out of the campaign cycle so they are the MOST expensive. Whew must be blowing through lots of $$$$. Tom White must be ticked since the $$ is not going to be there for him. Oh well I hope they keep spending on seats like this and the ones in other areas.

Pol Observer said...

Hey Nelson Staffers, see the Massachusetts polls???? Just imagine if that was Nebraska, it would be a 30 point lead. Wait Heinemann has a 30 point lead. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

If this is the most important topic to be discussing in light of the messes in this country or the places outside it, then it probably explains the messes in this country. Who cares? If he got booed it wouldn't be the first time and probably not the last. What ill bred thug boos anyone in a restaurant where others are dining?

Anonymous said...

Really? Two blog posts dedicated to Nelson getting booed? Really? Get a life, Nelson is the REAL maverick that McCain and Palin dream about becoming.

Ill-Bred Thug said...

Better question:

What "ill-bred thug" campaigns as a pro-life, independent-minded Democrat (Ok there is an oxymoron)only to go to DC, take a 300M bribe, spit in the face of the pro-life movement whose endorsement he pandered for in 2006, and then vote against the will of 63% of voters in his state on Health Care?

I only wish he would venture out of Lincoln or Omaha!

Phil Montag said...

The S & P 500 is up 42% since Obama was inaugurated.

It's working.

You're welcome.

Chairman Mark Fahleson said...

The national debt is up $1.63 trillion since Obama was inaugurated.

It's failing.

You're welcome.

Phil Montag said...

Considering Reagn/Bush41 quadrupled the national debt in 12 years and Bush created a record deficit in 2003 and broke his own record in 2004 and again in 2008 I don't think budget-balancing is a particularly strong topic for Republicans.

Much of the $1.63 million that you speak of was the stimulus, allocated over a decade, very little of which has been spent and may not be spent. Bush's tax cuts will expire soon, tax fairness will resume, and the surpluses of the Clinton era will be resurrected.

The Pip said...

What started as a little rock in the pond with a "You Lie!" during the State of the Union has turned into a giant Tsunami of rudeness in Omaha. But then, those of us in outstate Nebraska kind of expect it.

If it was the tar and feather free for all some are saying it was, why haven't the television stations or the the World Herald picked up the story and run with it? Maybe the elephant can only run around screaming "The sky is falling!!!" so long until people quit listening.

Street Sweeper said...

I don't know about tar or feathers, but if you use your Google machine, you'll discover that the OWH did do a story on it, and KMTV even stole our (OK, lame) "pizza-gate" moniker.

Rock on kids (and go to bed).

Right Wing Professor said...

Trillion, Phil, not million. A trillion is a million million.

Bush's biggest deficit was about 1/3 the size.

Anonymous said...

Snowfall is up 24 inches since Obama was inaugurated. It isn't working.

And neither is global warming, BTW.

But giving Obama credit for a change in the S&P is about as logical as giving the weather-reader credit for sunshine.

Anonymous said...

Phil's living in a dream world. Surpluses won't return until Congress is taken over by Republicans.

It sure wasn't looking that way in Clinton's first years in office. Recall - the largest tax increase in history, etc, etc, etc.

Republicans like John Kasich forced Clinton to the bargaining table and they were able to create budgets that ended up with surpluses and lowering the debt and deficit.

Stop living in the fantasy world that liberal Democrats give a damn about budgets, debts and surpluses. It's not true.

Uncle Wiggily said...

So ... how's the pizza at this Dante's joint?

Just keeping it real ....

Macdaddy said...

W added 3.6 trillion to the deficit in 8 years and got hammered by the dems for it. Obama is slated to add 10 trillion to the deficit if he gets re-elected and the dems are happier than a pig in slop. BTW, the porkulus was slated to be spent over 2 years and, according to Obama, 1/3 of it has been spent. Accusing the republicans of hypocrisy about deficits is like accusing someone of being a hypocrite for being willing to take out a loan for a $15,000 Toyota but not wanting to take out a loan for a $50,000 BMW.

Phil Montag said...

The stimulus was designed for one clean up the complete and utter train wreck that was the George W. Bush presidency. His "live in the now" policies and the joyride he was taking our country on came to a screeching crash.

I don't like having to borrow more money, when we get the deficit spending under control we should probably start a fund to prepare for the next disastrous Republican Presidency.

Pol Observer said...

"Find out how Sen. Ben Nelson's health care vote has affected his approval rating in Nebraska. The results of The World-Herald Poll will be in Sunday's newspaper."


Hey Nelson Staffers, lets see you you spin this one!!!!!

Any predictions anybody?
I say 38%

Anonymous said...

I say Ben Nelson must have a 90% approval rating. After hearing his people say that EVERYBODY supports his vote, why would his approval rating be low???

Macdaddy said...

Phil, your last post made no sense whatsoever. If you are labeling W's policies as "live in the now" what the hell do you call obama's "let's mortgage our great-grandchildren's future" policies? The only sacrifices he's asking us to make is to give up our health insurance. He has yet to sacrifice the first government program. He has yet to cut the first government employee. Of course, we're assuming that he's too dense to see where his policies are taking us. I'm beginning to agree with Rush that Obama is trying to destroy our economy.

Here's Pie in Your Eye! said...

Hannity ran a story on "Pizza-Gate" last eve on Foxnews. Rove ripped Benedict Nelson's letter to Reid arguing that the 'Cornhusker Kickback'was a "place holder" to shreds on Greta.

Ben and Nebraska are getting plenty of other national press on this too. Hence the reason for his 2nd round of TV ads. Personally, I love these ads. It warms my heart to know that all this Beltway lobbyist money he has been taking is 'stimulating' the NE economy. Who needs TARP!

Right Wing Professor said...

The latest as from 'Vote Kids' -- a self-described 'non-partisan' organization, and if you believe that, I have a fine pedestrian bridge over the Missouri to sell you -- features a Dr. Amanda McKinney. Five minutes on the net finds out McKinney was a campaign contributor to Obama and the Nebraska Democratic Committee in 2008. Who do they think they're fooling?

Wonder if she collected some stimulus loot? or if there's a set-aside in the health bill for her?

Right Wing Professor said...

'ad', not 'as'. Fricking fingers.

Anonymous said...

Just love to see the commercials for Ben Nelson. Means the Nebraska Dem Party is burning through the $$$$$. Less for everybody else. Of course the fairness doctrine will dictate the same amount of $$ be spent on Tom White, who will throw a fit when the $$ isnt there to be had. TW will turn to the National Dem Party, who will be reluctant to throw good money after bad, the whole Eschy thing. The National Dem Party will be trying to save a few "lock" seats like Mass! Why would they direct $$$ to a race which won't get anywhere anyway:)

Just gotta love the adds!

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the National Party will throw a token amount to Ian and Tom.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Tom White still stands with Ben Nelson on health care given the OWH poll shows Nelson with a 48 percent disapproval? If White was smart, he would say that what he meant to say was that he stands with Mike Johanns, who has a 63 percent job approval.

pol observer said...

"In the survey, Nelson's job approval rating was 42 percent and his disapproval rating was 48 percent. By comparison, Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who voted against the bill, had a 63 percent job-approval rating."


So Ben after you finish selling out on this issue, cap & trade, Stimulus 2, and card check is next! There is no way you recover from this.....DAMN I was off by 4 points!!!

Anonymous said...

With those approval ratings, I'm surprised more people don't BOO Ben Nelson.

Anonymous said...

wow. I'm glad to see people talking! Who knew some vino-induced comment in passing would lead to such national discussion!
to respond to the person who asked:
Dante's pizza is pretty much AMAZING! Not like anything I've tried anywhere else in Omaha, and actually JUST LIKE the pizza I had in Italy!
I can at least agree with Nelson's taste in pizza, if not his politics!
PS Did the phrase 'pizza gate' really get started on here?!

Anonymous said...

Leavenworth Street was first with Pizza Gate

Anonymous said...

anon 12:40 needs removed.

stealth link to pxrn

Street Sweeper said...

And THAT is why we don't allow links on this comments board.


Anonymous said...

It's so bizarre that Nebraska Republicans take pride in Pizza-gate. Hell, the scandal is on them. Nebraska Republicans acting like Colorado Football fans, something to really be proud of. If we had the same sense of sportsmanship in politics as we did in sports this state would be much better and we'd have better Republican and Democrat candidates wanting to run for office.

shoe salesman said...

I made this point the other day - Nebraska has become a cesspool of festering hate - driven by Fahleson and his GOP henchmen and supported by the bigots who hate immigrants, the "pro-lifers" who assassinate doctors, the birthers who think the President was born out of wedlock and not to an American and the folks who enjoy being under the thumb of health insurers and rogue states the produce oil and terrorism.
Why is a doc in an ad that gave to the Dems any less credible than the doc who made up this Dante's pizza story? Oh right, becasue the Democrat should be hated - never mind the fact she's a doctor who treats and heals children. She's a dem, a monster and we should go picket her practice right?
Prediction: that sleazy undergarment sniffer Tysver starts polling the Doc's patients to see if they are gonna stop taking their children to her. That's the kind of hate Nebraska is becoming known for. Ignorant and bigoted is no way to go through life, Nebraska.

One Out In The Third said...

One Out's Tuesday Forecast...

Fistfights in Boston...SEIU thugs and other intimidators out in full force.

Brown by 2 points.

Right Wing Professor said...

I made this point the other day

And yet nobody called you a moron?

- Nebraska has become a cesspool of festering hate - driven by Fahleson and his GOP henchmen and supported by the bigots who hate immigrants,

I'm an immigrant. I'm in the GOP.

the "pro-lifers" who assassinate doctors

Now you're just making stuff up.

the birthers who think the President was born out of wedlock

He was. The marriage was bigamous and therefore illegal under Hawaiian law. I don't see why anyone would care.

and not to an American

His father never was an American.

and the folks who enjoy being under the thumb of health insurers and rogue states the produce oil and terrorism.

Yeah, 'under the thumb' of Blue Cross Blue Shield, a not for profit.

Some people are too dumb to sell shoes.

Cut it out RWP! said...


There you go with that 'logic' thing again!

Would you please cut it out lest the the liberals stop posting comments.

Anonymous said...

Anyone catch Steve Lathrop taking credit for the Beatrice Center's improvement over the last year?

Lathrop had proposed spending $100 million on the project. Now it is being fixed and we aren't spending "bail out" type money on it.

Way to go Stevie! You wanted kill ous with $100 million.

NE Voter said...

Nailed it, Shoe Salesman.

Wake up, people!

Right Wing Professor said...

It seems that our own decrepit ex senator, Cosmic Bob Kerrey, couldn't resist getting involved in the Mass. Senate race. He accused Scott Brown of not believing in evolution. The reply from Brown's campaign was priceless.

"Scott Brown believes in evolution but in the case of Bob Kerrey he's willing to make an exception."

Soud O said...

Reference to shoe salesman said...10-17-10 3:20PM
Lets do a word usage check.
Four: hate or hated or cesspool of festering hate references.

More word usage.
henchmen, bigots, birthers, ignorant, bigoted, and sleazy underwear sniffer.

I thought Omaha progressives considered themselves
patrons of peace.

Who's the hater?

I'm surprised you didn't pull out
"teabagger". By the way, I had to have a liberal friend explain the origin of that one; I stopped him half way through. I'm pretty sure that word wasn't created on the right.

Street Sweeper said...

RWP, don't steal our thunder! ;-)
We're on it, and will have a post in the morn.

Nathan said...

Soud O,
Which if these is grammatically correct as per your last post, and which one did you use 'four' or 'fore' or 'for'?

Maybe your liberal friend can explain proper grammar to you, or any random 5th grader probably can.

Soud O said...

I'm not sure about any grammar problem. However, I did count 4 usages of the word hate. Are you sure you weren't thinking Arithmetic?
(Is this really a test?:)

Usually when I am asked a question about grammar, the questioner stops to use spell check.

Touch a nerve, did I?
You better go have your Mommy pat you on the head and tell you its OK.

Soud O said...

I said
Touch a nerve, did I? You better go have your Mommy pat you on the head and tell you its OK.

This is the kind of anti-reason comment that removes the opportunity for a serious conversation about ideas. I enjoy the exchange, but I stepped over the line. Nathan, I apologize. Soud O

Anonymous said...

To Nelson Staffers:


Current legislative proposal
Favor: 27%
Oppose: 62%
No opinion/not sure: 11%

Yup every Nebraskan favors the current senate health care bill

Macdaddy said...

Soud O, don't sweat it. Blogposts are the only area where liberals require absolute perfection. When it comes to economy-altering, life-changing 2000 page trillion dollar legislation, though, any old thing will do. Doesn't matter if it is a dog of a bill that any sentient being can see will not accomplish it's stated aims but will make things worse. A democrat proposed it so it's all good. But misspell a word on a blog post and you, sir, are obviously a moron whose every utterance should be smugly treated with loud disdain.

Nathan said...

I think i owe you one to Soud O. My apologies, after re-reading your post I believe i was confused. We're all good brother (or sister), no worries.

Shoe Salesman said...

RWP - that was clever. I'd link to proof of what I wrote but sweeper wont let me.

It is people like you who have turned Nebraska into a festering cesspool of hate. Perpetuating all the right wing lies about our president etc. Nebraska is a different place. Different from even ten years ago when people were civil.

It is hilarious to watch nutjobs here screaming about the cost of a health care bill that will reduce the deficit by more than $100 billion. All after you sat on your blogging fingers while the Bush Administration blew a hole in our budget, set our country on the path to exploding deficits, two unpaid for wars, tax cuts for only the very wealthy, $5 gas, and exporting $1 billion a day to foreign states that sponsor terrorism and the terrorists that kill our soldiers and attacked our country.

Obama is blameless for any of that. He's responsible for fixing it though. And all you wingers care about is phony issues like his birth certificate and now the legitimacy of his parents marriage.

Oh, and Ben Nelson sold his vote! A total distortion of reality. A lie upon another lie perpetuated by those who wish for the President, and America, to fail so you can win some elections.

I'm embarrassed for you and for Nebraska.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, Shoe has forgotten that our fine President was in the US Senate before being elected President.

He shares in the responsibility on all fronts, and yes, he has to clean up, too.

I say it's about time that he start earning his paycheck for doing more than giving speeches.

Anonymous said...

Nelson definitely should have expected a reaction like this from a mainly Conservative state when he sold his vote.