Update: Jason Dannelly

Jason Dannelly, the former athletic director at Midland University, was sentenced Wednesday to a year’s probation on misdemeanor charges related to his attempts to solicit sex from two female student-athletes at Midland.

Jason Dannelly's mug shot, as reported by KETV

Jason Dannelly’s mug shot, as reported by KETV

Dannelly, 34, was originally charged with two felony and two misdemeanor charges. He pleaded no contest to the reduced misdemeanor charges in February, according to reports in the Fremont Tribune and KETV/ABC in Omaha.

Dannelly is to reappear before Dodge County District Court Judge Geoffrey Hall in October, so Hall can confirm that Dannelly is complying with the terms of his probation. Dannelly faces 6 months in jail if he does not.

The Tribune reported this about the court proceedings:


Midland University President and U.S. Senate candidate Ben Sasse hired Dannelly, then a radio personality and sports broadcaster, as Midland’s AD in August 2011. Here’s what he had to say about Dannelly then — thanks again to the Fremont Tribune:

Sasse on Dannelly1

Sasse on Dannelly2

Dannelly’s offers of money in return for sex from the female student-athletes occurred in October and November 2012. Dannelly resigned from the college in December 2012, but he was not charged until July 2013, according to the Tribune. Fremont police spent seven month investigating the evidence, which included text messages from Dannelly to the female students.

Midland University prides itself on its sports program, which is undoubtedly a key recruiting tool because many high school students like the idea of playing “collegiate sports,” even at a  college with only 1,300 students. According to a Midland website, the school offers 25 varsity sports.


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.