The Nebraska Democratic Party is on life support and nearing death.
1. Democrats have been unable to recruit any candidate to run for a Nebraska constitutional office. No candidate for Governor. Lieutenant Governor. Secretary of State. Attorney General. Auditor. Not even for the open State Treasurer's office being vacated by Shane Osborn.
How about for federal office? No challenger to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and the only announced challenger to Congressman Adrian Smith is a young Yale theologian who moved back to Nebraska to run. Sound familiar?
Democrats claim they have a strategy. Over the weekend the Associated Press uncovered the top-secret plan being employed by the Nebraska Democratic Party to challenge Governor Dave Heineman in 2010:
But so far the Democrats don't have a candidate to propose change, and it could be months before one is announced. Covalt said it is even possible the party may wait until the state party's convention in July to announce a gubernatorial candidate.
Huh? Wait until July 2010 to see who gets the shortest straw at a meeting and becomes the next Stormy Dean? That's a strategy?
2. As the Nebraska Republican Party was holding its Founders' Day event featuring Gov. Mitt Romney (with 600 in attendance and raising around $100,000 for the NEGOP), Nebraska Democrats distributed a class-warfare fundraising e-mail. Here are some of the lowlights:
Times are tough in America today. Foreclosures, lay-offs and mounting debt are pressing down upon the shoulders of the average American. Most of us are struggling with basic necessities like health care and the ever increasing cost of living. The jobs the middle class have long depended on are disappearing before their eyes almost as fast as their pensions are shrinking.
Amidst all of these hardships the Republican Party hacks and GOP cronies are donning their penguin suits, peeling out their checkbooks and scrawling out $5,000 dollar contributions in exchange for photos with Mitt Romney
That's how they come up with the coinage time and time again to run their races, by relying on the same handful of corporate execs and neo-con tycoons to cut checks of that size.
Now it's no surprise that the Nebraska Democratic Party doesn't have pockets that deep. We've never been the party of silk lined brief cases and golden parachutes. We are here for you, for the average American who feels it when the economy dips. America is hurting right now and we understand that, we're not going to ask for $5,000 dollar contributions from each of you. But we are asking for your support. We need to demonstrate to the GOP moguls that they may have the money but we have the hearts and minds of the people. We are here working for America, while all they can do is attempt to obstruct the progress we have all made.
Oh, there's so much to say in response, but I'll limit it to three points:
- "Hacks" and "cronies"? "Penguin suits" (sorry folks--Founders' Day wasn't a black tie)? "Silk lined brief cases"? Obviously NDP is short of funds and cannot hire a communications director.
- Members of Nebraska's political press have shared that there appears to be a growing split between Omaha Democrats and the current leadership of the Nebraska Democratic Party, in part due to this class-warfare rhetoric being deployed. You can't bash job creators and then go to them with hat in hand asking for financial support for your party and its candidate (singular). The business community will take a pass on the next Democrat fundraising event and should turn a blind eye to the next Tom White fundraiser.
- Tom White--the Democrats' purported savior--is worth as much as $7 million according to his financial disclosures. Wealthiest member of our congressional delegation? Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson. The party of "silk lined brief cases"?
3. Tom White danced, twisted and strained to avoid any mention of the word "Democrat" during his announcement for Congress. Why is Tom White embarrassed of being called a Democrat--which is what he is? Is it because of the moribund condition of the NDP? Or because he wants mislead voters about his support for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her radical agenda?
Meanwhile, the Nebraska Republican Party continues to build for 2010 and develop a strong bench for 2012 and beyond.