Endorsements, stereotypes and bad jokes

U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, the Republican representing Nebraska’s 1st District, has endorsed Ben Sasse in the Senate race and Pete Ricketts in the race for governor. Sasse was Fortenberry’s chief of staff during the “spring of 2005,” according to the Omaha World-Herald. We’ll have more to say about Fortenberry’s endorsement in an upcoming post.


U.S. Sen. Deb Fischer will be campaigning later this month in Iowa for Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst, according to the Weekly Standard. Former Alaska Gov. and Tea Party royalty Sarah Palin, who endorsed Fischer in 2012, has also endorsed Ernst and Nebraska’s Ben Sasse and Pete Ricketts. Palin endorsed Sasse for Senate in a Facebook post; she endorsed Ricketts for governor at a splashy event in Grand Island. The World-Herald has a nice photo of the two.

Tom Brewer's military career makes impressive campaign visuals, but you'd think it would also make him less likely to jump to conclusions about his fellow soldiers.

Tom Brewer’s military career makes impressive campaign visuals, but you’d think it would make him less likely to jump to conclusions about his fellow soldiers.

The day after Wednesday’s deadly shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, retired Army Col. Tom Brewer has issued a statement calling for all personnel on military bases to carry guns.

“The men and women of the United States military have spilled their blood across the globe to protect our way of life and the rights given to use by the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. These rights should not be denied by our own government on American soil,” Brewer said in a news release.

The 36-year Army veteran, who served six tours of duty in Afghanistan, is Rep. Adrian Smith’s Republican opponent in Nebraska 3rd District. They will debate April 25. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Mark Sullivan of Doniphan.

Only law enforcement and security are currently allowed to carry guns on military bases. uVoted4them.com doesn’t want to be rude, but asks the question: If everyone is in uniform, and everyone has a gun, how is anyone going to be able to tell the good guys from the bad guys when the shooting breaks out?

We know Col. Brewer is a man of action, but isn’t it unfair to every veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan to jump to the conclusion that the shooter, 34-year-old Ivan Lopez, suffered from PTSD? All we’ve heard is that he had been treated for depression, anxiety and sleep deprivation. PTSD was only one of the diagnoses being explored, and not everyone with PTSD goes on murderous rampages.


One of uvoted4them.com’s email treats is Daily Kos’ daily roundup of campaign news from across the nation, which is usually handled in a far less ideological manner than most Kos content.

Here’s part of the email from Thursday:

No, Jesus hasn’t entered a Nebraska House race. And, no, state Sen. Ernie Chambers hasn’t sued Jesus. “Jesus. Seriously?” was Daily Kos’ reaction to 2nd District Rep. Lee Terry’s insensitive joke about being late to a committee hearing because his plane was delayed, maybe because of a faulty ignition switch.

The hearing was about faulty ignition switches on General Motors vehicles linked to 13 deaths. GM hid the problem from 2001 until finally issuing a recent recall of 2.6 million vehicles earlier this year.

This is the second time in about six months Terry has gotten national attention for foot-in-mouth disease. He faces businessman Dan Frei in the Republican primary. State Sen. Brad Ashford is the Democrat in the race. Terry has apologized.


After the long weekend

Nebraska’s Democratic Party has decided to allow voters registered as independents to vote in the upcoming May 13 Democratic primary. State law allows political parties to open their partisan state and local races to independents, and Democratic party leaders recently voted to do just that.

“This vote emphasizes the openness of our party and the great importance we place on the political process and voter participation in all elections,” Vince Powers, Democrat Party state chairman told the Omaha World-Herald’s Martha Stoddard.

Independents are the fastest growing segment of voters in Nebraska. They make up 19 percent of registered voters. Thirty-three percent are Democrats and 48 percent are Republicans.


Dave Domina

Dave Domina

Democratic Senate candidate Dave Domina has come out against the recently announced Comcast-Time Warner merger. “It’s not quite Coke buying Pepsi, but it’s close enough to raise alarm.” Domina says on his web site.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company with more than 20 million cable and broadband customers, has proposed buying Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest cable company, with 11 million cable/broadband clients. The merger requires regulatory approval, and consumer advocates say further consolidation of the cable and broadband industries it would be harmful to consumers.

“The inevitable upshot of the merger, if allowed, will be to reduce competition, diminish quality and diminish competitive incentives created to improve quality and increase consumer prices,” says Domina, an Omaha attorney.

Omahans Dan Frei, left, and Brad Ashford are seeking the Lee Terry's House seat.

Omahans Dan Frei, left, and Brad Ashford are seeking to replace Lee Terry in the Houset.

Republican House member Lee Terry was either clairvoyant or the beneficiary of a leak last week when he sent out a fundraising email saying Democrats were trying to unseat him. Terry didn’t yet have a Democratic opponent, but he received one the very next day when Brad Ashford filed for the 2nd District as a Democrat.

Ashford, 64, is a political veteran who has been a Republican, an independent and, now, a Democrat. He served in the state Senate from 1987-95, and was sent back to the statehouse in 2006 by voters in the 20th legislative district. He is term-limited from seeking another term in the legislature.

Terry’s opponent in the Republican primary is Omaha businessman Dan Frei.


Sentencing for Jason Dannelly, Midland University’s former athletic director, is set for April 7. Danelly pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of attempted solicitation of prostitution. As part of a plea deal, felony charges were dropped and the solicitation charges were reduced to attempted solicitation. The charges stem from Dannelly’s attempts to solicit sex from two female Midland University student-athletes during the fall of 2012. Nebraska Senate Candidate Ben Sasse is president of Midland University.

Dannelly, 34, was the college’s AD from August 2011 until his firing in late 2012. A Dodge County District Court judge accepted Dannelly’s no contest plea and found him guilty on Feb. 3. As part of the plea arrangement, Dannelly is eligible for probation, but will have to undergo psychological evaluation.

Press reports have ignored the connection between Sasse, Dannelly and Midland. Google searches will turn up Sasse‘s good words when Dannelly was hired, but nothing since the arrest. If this connection seems unfair, Midland has only 1,300 students and there aren’t many links in the chain of command between a small-college president and his AD.

According to the Grand Island Independent, Dannelly is a native of St. Edward who worked in Grand Island before moving to Midland. He was an assistant girl’s basketball coach at Grand Island Central Catholic and a radio personality at KRGI. He also started a company there that promoted NAIA student athletes called Victory Sports.
CNN has updated its story about the Republican National Campaign committee’s use of phony websites that appear to be on behalf of a Democratic candidate, but are really intended to raise money to oppose the candidate. The RNCC says it has altered some of the pages so it is clear that they oppose the candidate. At least one person has mistakenly donated to the RNCC through these pages.