Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lakers and White

The only thing that will be discussed starting today and going into the weekend and likely through next week will be Nebraska's potential move to the Big Ten. Therefore, it is probably best to get any political discussions in now, because there is a good chance that everything else will be ignored.

(On that note, keep an eye out for potentially explosive and/or embarrasing announcements completely unrelated to Nebraska football tomorrow afternoon. If Mike Johanns wants to state that he is now a Rastafarian and is on a steady diet of puppies, no one will hear it and it will be business as usual on Monday.)


So we want to follow up on Joe Jordan's great post on how the Mark Lakers scandal may affect Tom White candidacy for Congress.

Jordan asked "what do Democrats have to be excited about" without a Top of the Ticket race to bring them to the polls?

Excellent question.

Think about the whole basis for the "excitement" (and that word is in quotes) for the Tom White candidacy. Two words:

Barack Obama.

National Dems looked at the 2nd District and said, "If Obama can win there, we can win the Congressional seat too!" They saw Jim Esch as a weak candidate, and figured with the right tough guy, they could pull it off.

Well, all of that first depends on the same or at least a similar scenario as in 2008. Pull out the same Dems who voted for Obama to come in and follow White.

Oh the flaws in that hypothesis.

There is no cult of personality candidate in 2010. Tom White sure as heck ain't him. Even if he was "him", the bloom has fallen from the Obama rose, dried up and is in the compost bin.

And, with Lakers "out", that is one more reason why Dems may not even bother to go to the polls.

White's campaign business plan is difficult. With Lakers screwing everything up, it is even that much more difficult.


So...what about the whole Anne Boyle thing?

Some have argued that Boyle got into this so that she could either shame Lakers out of the race, or at least get Dems to focus on White, since Lakers is done. Let's look at that second point first.

Boyle, and Chuck Hassebrook, have gotten Nebraska Dems to look anew at the Lakers scandal. They no longer blame Jon Bruning or Dave Heineman. They blame Lakers himself. And Boyle has asked that Dems "disavow" Lakers. (If they disavow him three times in the public square are they divorced?)

OK, so if Lakers stays in the race, what do Dems do? Well, they may just stay home.

Face it, many 2nd District Democrats do not like Tom White. He rubs many people the wrong way and some just don't like his politics, for various reason. Now if they were coming out to vote for Lakers, they would probably hold their nose (or whatever) and vote for White as well.

Now? Meh. Skip the polls. Anne Boyle told us to.

Nice move there, Anne. You may have single-handedly killed two Dems with one stone.


So what about Anne Boyle and Chuck Hassebrook's other plan: Get Lakers to quit.

So what would happen. As we understand it (and we're open to correction), the Democrats would then select a new candidate at their state convention. Hmm. OK, fine.


Chuck Hassebrook? Mike Boyle? Ooooh, the Dems are on fire now!

What, not so much?


Does that drive Dems away from the polls, like above? Maybe not.

But maybe.

What if there is a contentious nomination battle? What is east and west don't get along? What if they select someone nuttier or worse in whatever way than Lakers?

Here's all we're saying: If Boyle had been silent on Lakers, at least it wouldn't have a had as much of a negative effect on Tom White. Now, even if Lakers get out, who knows?

And what about the circus that would occur at such a nominating convention? It would have been Tom White's coronation in front of the Dems and the media that attended. Instead, White would be a side note to the hoopla of the new Gov candidate.

Of course there also would be the issue of that new candidate needing campaign money as well. Another bundle of dollars NOT going to the White campaign.


Mark Lakers certainly screwed up, but could it have been handled any worse than it was?

Consider this: When the ump made the horrible call to wreck the perfect game last week, what did he do?

Point his finger at the other umps? Note his years and years of experience in making good calls? Point out that the rules are specific on what is an out and that it all depends on his eyes and not some instant replay? Blame the politics of the other coach?

No. He said, "I screwed up, bad." He felt awful about it. He went and made personal apologies. He wept.

Think if Mark Lakers did that?

"I screwed up bad. I took some half gestures and turned them into pledges when I shouldn't have. This is my first time in politics, I'm not an expert on campaign law and I messed it up. I am going to personally contact all those listed, apologize to them, take their names off, and forge ahead. I believe Nebraskans are forgiving people, and will consider this when they will hopefully support me, continue to give financially, and ultimately vote for me."

Oh sure, he still probably wouldn't beat Heineman, but he would be in a much better position now.

And so would the party.

And so would Tom White.

Instead, you've got Anne Boyle, Chuck Hassebrook, bagging on scheduled radio interviews with the largest station in the state, and the potential of a circus to continue through the summer and fall.

Good luck on that, Democrats.

Just don't ever admit you screwed up, right?


Brian T. Osborn said...

If we Democrats get to a point where we'd have to select a new gubernatorial candidate, I believe such a candidacy would have all the success that the then State Chair,Steve Achelpohl, had by recruiting Kate Witek for State Auditor at our '06 State Convention - even if the "anointed" one is already a Democrat. Then again, we could talk up a potential candidacy by a current Republican, as Achelpohl did in '08 with Tony Raimondo, convincing him to switch parties and run as our Senatorial candidate. That really worked well.

I think you're right, Sweeper, the best course of action is for Mark Lakers to do a very public mea culpa, hit the phones and personally apologize for any misunderstandings, file a revised (and accurate) report with the NADC, then forge ahead.

Depending on how things go this November, we Democrats may just have to consider joining the Huskers in the Big-10 ( or, as my friend, Bud, calls it, "the weenie conference.)

GeosUser said...

Lakers is caught in a trap of his own making. He's facing possible civil and/or criminal charges for knowingly filing a false campaign finance report. Anything he does now could have a significant impact if any charges end up in a court. His best move right now would be to withdraw from the race. After withdrawing, he could then file a "corrected" report and see if there's a negotiated settlement available to preclude formal charges and all that would bring. If he, or his advisors, aren't smart enough to see that then he deserves whatever happens.

Gov Lathrop said...

If the NDP wanted they could offer up one of the best suited candidates who would give the Gov a run for the money.

Steve Lathrop.

That's right. Lathrop has the financial ability to make the run, great support from Labor, the Trial Attorney's, and of course Tom White.

Lathrop had success with the Beatrice fiasco..... Lots of advert with the Hauptman Obrian Latrop adds on TV....

Not to mention with 8 or so siblings he has a built in campaign staff.

So Steve, you wanna?

Anonymous said...

Please nominate Mike Boyle to run for Governor! I haven't been able to vote against him since his Mayoral Recall.

Anonymous said...

Who's Joe Jordan and when did he speculate that a Lakers implosion might be bad for Tom White?

I gotta jump in here and claim some credit. Here's what I said on June 7 at 6:02 p.m.:

Isn't it to the Republicans advantage that Lakers NOT quit the race at this point? I mean, the Dems are lucky this came out when it did. They still have time to replace him with someone just as credible as a candidate but unsullied by these financial accusations.

Lakers won't get close to threatening Heineman. But if he did, Heineman could roll out all these spots about Lakers' campaign finance issues.

Here's the problem for Dems. Contested races = turnout. The fewer the contested issues, the lower the turnout. It is bad for Tom White if Lakers ends up being a blowout loser. It's bad for Ivy Spivy or whatever her name is if Lakers crashes and burns. That's why Dems nominate folks (or try to) for all the various offices. That's why they try to draft someone to be the sacrificial lamb to run against the Republican Gubernatorial nominee.

You gotta get out the vote. And ho-hum elections don't do that.

6:02 PM, June 07, 2010

If Joe Jordan beat me to it, then great minds are thinking alike. ;)

Street Sweeper said...

If only you'd sign your comments...

Right Wing Professor said...

GeosUser has it right. The optimal legal strategy and the optimal political strategy for dealing with a campaign finance violation are 180 degrees apart. The first is to shut up; the second is as Sweeper described -- make a public confession, and beg for forgiveness.

What is significant is that Lakers seems to be following plan A. That might indicate he's more afraid of the legal consequences than the political consequences.

Anonymous said...

Why do politicians continue to forget that it is never the action, it is always the denial and cover up.

Apologize, correct the error and set a better example in the future. Sometimes, people will forgive your "bad judgement".

Now, if the pledges were made under "duress" during a legitimate business meeting...That's when it could start getting interesting.

NE Voter said...

A Short Play
By NE Voter

[Texas sits at its desk in shock after the announcement that Nebraska has annihilated the Big XII by joing the Big X. Hands trembling, Texas picks up the telephone and dials Nebraska.]

[Nebraska's telephone rings.]

Nebraska: Hello?

Texas: Hey there, ol' buddy, Texas heah. Now ah unnerstan the financial and ackdemick reasons fo ya'lls move, but ah jus' have one question for ya'll.

Nebraska: Shoot.

Texas: Ah jus' wanna know how long it took ya'll to make the decision.

Nebraska: One second. Check the replay.

The End

Gerard Harbison said...

Officially, it appears Colorado are the first to leave the Big 12; the Pac 10 just announced Colorado is leaving the Big 12 and joining the conference.

I'm a bit surprised. While clearly this has been a done deal for quite a while, Nebraska can point to it and deny we precipitated the break up.

Joseph said...

Exactly right, SS. D's should be happy that Lakers is no longer the story here. The story is how incredibly inept the NDP is. I mean, really? I love how the NDP criticizes the NE GOP for being lockstep.??? The NDP is in really great shape, probably because they have such a great leader in E. Ben.

Anonymous said...

Geez that last blog had 165 comments, is that a new record? Why did it stop so abruptly?

Right man for the job said...

Anyone question why Tom Osborne should be AD and not Governor now!!!!!!!! I guarantee you that we don't enter the Big 10 without TO there.

Anonymous said...

We can thank Kate Witek for us joining the Big 10??? I hear she is in Florida.

Anonymous said...

That's it!!! We run Kate Witek for Governor. With her cosmetology license and experience as Auditor she will cut waste and hair during these tough economic times.

Street Sweeper said...

Right Man (at 1:11),
Hold that thought for the next post -- coming either later today, or tomorrow...

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, look at the comments on the last post. BTO just came out of the closet about being involved with the sicilian mafia.

There goes his slander lawsuit he was going to bring against anyone questioning if he is crazy.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Jim Vokal, new Chairman of MECA.

Anonymous said...

Brian, what crime family were you associated with? Did you ever become a "made man". Is real life mafia life really like it is in the movies?

Anonymous said...

Aren't true Rastafarian's also vegetarian's?

Anonymous said...

168 might quailify as a record, but it looks like the numbers are being padded by the likes of Lisa Hannah etc. stalking Brian Osborn.

BTO stopped posting on NNN two months ago. Kyle & Lisa miss attacking him so bad they've started slinging mud on L.St. Posting anonymous B.S. here is probably more productive than putting anonymous threats in one's own mail box...

Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian T. Osborn said...

" ... living amongst the mafia ..." no more makes me a member of it than my standing in a garage makes me an automobile.

NE Voter said...

Remember during the spring of 2009, after the municipal elections, when Jim Vokal grimly took to the airwaves to express his grave concerns about Omaha's future and vowing to serve as the citizens' watchdog during these troubled economic times? He proudly established OMAPAC to serve as the vehicle for his courageous vigilance. OMAPAC set up a website; a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

I also recall that Vokal and OMAPAC received glowing media attention when OMAPAC single-handedly saved Elmwood Park's swimming pool from the nefarious budget-cutters in City hall who wanted nothing more than to deprive Omaha families of summer fun. Seems OMAPAC was able to raise substantial private funds for that purpose.

Thereafter under OMAPAC's benevolent watch-dogginess, the City prospered.

But now I am confused. I pointed my interweb browser to OMAPAC's website and discovered that it apparently no longer exists.

I'd like Jim Vokal to answer a few questions a few questions, such as:

Why are you no longer being watch-doggy? In closing the site, are you acknowledging that the citizens no longer need a watchdog? If you believe that a watchdog is still needed, why are you abandoning OMAPAC? How much money did OMAPAC raise, and how was it spent? Will you show the citizens how the funds were spent and identify those who donated more than $250 to the cause?

Or was OMAPAC created for the sole purpose of keeping your name in the spotlight during the tough first few months of the Suttle administration in the event there was an opportunity to steal the office of Mayor?

Anonymous said...

Brian, you've been making outrageous claims about having connections in the sicilian mafia for years. Someone asked you about it and you cannot deny it, you even pleaded your 5th amendment rights.

Brian T. Osborn said...

A @ 2:52,

YOU asked me about it, dipswitch. Now go back to playing with yourself.

Anonymous said...

Jim Vokal's political career is like a series of bad movie sequels or remakes starring Jim Vokal

Anonymous said...

I think next week will be important for Lakers and the NDP.

Will ML stay in the bunker,hiding, or will he come out and face the voters?