Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ben Nelson's "Hoagland Strategy"

It's August 2011.  The next general election will not be held for some 14 months, yet Sen. Ben Nelson is up with ads attempting to reverse his dismal poll numbers, and attacking his Republican opponents through a malicious direct mail fundraising appeal and full-page newspaper ads.  What gives?

It's a well-known fact that Nelson's poll numbers suck.  A media contact told me that he had recently seen poll numbers that showed Nelson getting beat by Republicans Jon Bruning, Deb Fischer, Pat Flynn and Don Stenberg.  Nelson still can't make public appearances that are not strictly controlled; he held not one town hall meeting in the month of August, while his colleague, Sen. Mike Johanns, criss-crossed the state and held nearly 20.  Those who've seen him or heard him speak in recent weeks report he looks old (he's threescore and ten years old), tired, broken (arm in a sling), bitter and frankly not ready for running for reelection.  He's become the Crazy Great Uncle Ben who everyone avoids at the family picnic.

Whether Nelson runs for reelection remains to be seen.  If he doesn't, he can take his federal campaign funds and pour them into his Nelson Institute Fund, and endow the Ben Nelson Chair for Socialized Medicine at the University of Nebraska or buy more statues of himself for McCook. 

However, if he runs, what kind of reelection campaign Nelson intends is clear.  It's the Hoagland Reelect.  The late Peter Hoagland, who represented Nebraska's Second Congressional District from 1989 to 1994, repeatedly ignored the wishes of his constituents and supported liberal legislation on EMPLOYER MANDATES FOR HEALTH CARE (sound familiar?) and other issues.  After facing a nail biter reelection in 1992 and being "upside down" as far as his positive and negative poll numbers (sound familiar?), Hoagland and his advisers decided that the only way to be reelected in 1994 was to attack his Republican opponent Jon Christensen incessantly (sound familiar?).  Indeed, Hoagland went up with negative campaign ads against Christensen mere hours after the May 1994 primary and never went "dark" until election day.  And how many positive ads did Hoagland run about Hoagland and his record?  Zero. 

Hoagland's tactics, like Nelson's current tactics, were negative, bitter, divisive and often false.  Hoagland ran an ad featuring an Omaha school teacher claiming that Christensen came to her door campaigning and advocating book banning.  Christensen denied the claim and took a lie detector test to establish his veracity.  Hoagland challenged the results, which led the Omaha World-Herald to offer to administer the test, which Christensen willingly agreed to.  Christensen passed with flying colors.  But that didn't stop Hoagland and his ad visors.  The negative, nasty and false ads continued, and the Wall St. Journal labeled the campaign the most negative campaign in America. 

Did it work for the Democrats?  Depends on what their goal was.  Christensen won the election by a slim margin of less than 2,000 votes.  However, Hoagland's incessant negative campaign damaged democracy as a whole and forced Christensen to spend over $1 million in 1996 just to reintroduce himself to Nebraskans and overcome the lies perpetuated by Democrats and their Union Boss allies. 

Nelson hopes that his Hoagland Strategy will be more successful than the 1994 campaign run by its namesake.  It won't be.  Nebraskans are fed up with Ben Nelson, politicians who embarrass our state with moves like the Cornhusker Kickback and vote against the interests of our citizens, and who will deceive and denigrate others just to hold onto a public office that rightly belongs to us--the citizens.   I look forward to joining my fellow Nebraskans in giving Ben the boot on November 6, 2012. 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Wanna Give Ben the Boot?

If you want to sign this handsome boot and help us Give Ben Nelson the Boot, just e-mail Erin at the NEGOP (  Make a contribution of $100 or more and we'll give you a great place to sign in John Hancock-like fashion.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Culture--Observations on the Passing Scene

As I sit home tonight with my 3 daughters (with my wife out of town), I've been confronted with America's changing culture and to observe what's good and what's not so good in America.

While flipping through channels tonight, we came across a channel featuring people cheering and protesting in New York.  When my daughters asked what the commotion was about, I changed the subject.  I'm not sure 13, 10, or 8 years old is an appropriate age to tell my daughters that policy makers decided that the State of New York should give its stamp of approval on homosexual marriage.  Opinions obviously vary, but it's a legitimate debate whether government should give its imprimatur.  I, as well as the Nebraska Republican Party, support the concept of marriage being one man and one woman.  

Instead, we flipped the channel to the College World Series game of South Carolina versus Virgina, which is now well into extra innings.  It's about what's good and right in America.  Young men competing, out for out, bunt for bunt.  It's a classic battle, one of virtue, and one that will go down in CWS history.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Let the Games Begin

Here's the first video salvo from the Romney campaign:


Who won last night's Republican Presidential Candidate debate in New Hampshire? 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Tale of Two Senators

Nebraska Statesman

Father of the Cornhusker Kickback

Today, the U.S. Senate voted on the McConnell Amendment, which mirrored the bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal ObamaCare.  This amendment represented the first step in the Republican plan to "Repeal and Replace" the federal takeover of health care that was enacted thanks to the decisive 60th vote cast by Senator Ben Nelson.  

Senator Nelson has had plenty of time to reflect upon his ObamaCare vote and the embarrassment he brought upon our great state as a result of his sleazy Cornhusker Kickback.  He's now had plenty of time to actually read the entire legislation (something he had not done at the time he cast the deciding vote).  He's had access to the numerous studies that demonstrate that this bill does absolutely nothing to control costs, and represents the greatest expansion of government in our lifetimes. 

So how did he vote on the McConnell Amendment?

Party line--in favor of ObamaCare (again).  And since the Democrats still control the Senate, the McConnell Amendment failed.  Sen. Nelson sold his soul to Harry Reid when he voted in favor of ObamaCare the first time.  Apparently he's decided there's no going back, truth be damned. 

Nebraska's other senator, Sen. Mike Johanns, listened to Nebraskans and voted in favor of the McConnell Amendment.  Sen. Johanns understands that he represents Nebraskans, rather than dictating to us what he thinks is in our best interests. 

In addition, Sen. Johanns successfully led the effort to repeal the insane requirement of ObamaCare that businesses of all sizes file Form 1099s with the IRS for purchases large and small.  But the Democrats refused to recognize Sen. Johanns leadership.  Instead, they made cosmetic changes to the Johanns' proposal and let another endangered Democrat, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, put her name on it, and it passed overwhelmingly. 

The Democrat's legislative games were accurately described in Human Events:

Sen. Mike Johanns (R.-Neb.) spent almost a year pushing for repeal of the 1099 tax paperwork mandate. Last week, he announced that he had finally gotten 60 co-sponsors, enough to ensure passage of his bill.

Then this week, the Democrats took Johnanns’ amendment, changed six words, and introduced it as the “Stabenow Amendment.”

“It really is the same amendment,” Johanns said at a press conference after the vote. “I’m actually kinda flattered.”

“It turns out Sen. Johanns did such an outstanding job raising awareness about the 1099 requirement that Democrats took the idea and are now claiming it as their own,” said McConnell, mocking the Democrats’ plagiarism. “It’s not a bad precedent actually. We’ve got a lot of other good ideas that we’d be happy to share.”
For Nebraskans, it truly is a tale of two Senators.  On one hand, we have Mike Johanns.  He listens.  He represents us.  He remembers where he comes from.  On the other (left) hand, we have Ben Nelson.  He's been in office too long.  He thinks he knows better than us.  And it's time to give Ben the boot

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saul Anuzis for RNC Chair

I’m currently in Washington, DC for the Winter meeting of the Republican National Committee (RNC).  As Chair of the Nebraska Republican Party, I am one of the 168 voting members of the RNC (along with Nebraska National Committeewoman De Carlson and National Committeeman Pete Ricketts). On Friday, RNC officer elections will occur, including election of the RNC Chair who will lead our national party organization for the 2012 election cycle. Current RNC Chair Michael Steele is seeking re-election to another 2 year term, and he has 4 announced challengers who remain in the race: Saul Anuzis, Maria Cino, Reince Preibus and Ann Wagner.

Late last year I endorsed Saul Anuzis for RNC Chair. Why? The reasons are many, but here are the primary ones: 

Saul fits the job description. The job description for the office of RNC Chair for the 2012 election is different than what was required in 2010. Republicans (and therefore the people) have retaken control of the House of Representatives. Thus, we have Speaker Boehner as our national spokesman. Soon the 2012 presidential campaigns will kick into high gear and a large number of Republicans will step forward and serve as spokespersons, not only for their own respective candidacies but for our party as well. In January 2009 we needed an articulate spokesperson who could take on President Obama and congressional Democrats, and Chairman Steele fit the bill.  In January 2011, we need someone who:

o is a workhorse, not a show horse—someone who is willing to work behind the scenes with little or no fanfare;

o will restore the credibility of the RNC with donors, activists and donors;

o knows how to raise money in a cost-effective manner (what counts is net, not gross); and

o understands that the thought of a 72-hour program in today’s early voting era is now obsolete and that we need to move to a 30 or 45 day GOTV program.

Saul Anuzis satisfies each of these essential requirements.

Saul understands the potential and limitations of technology. Saul has been a leader—perhaps THE leader—in Republican politics when it comes to adapting modern technology and social media and implementing it to the benefit of the Republican Party and its candidates. Chairman Steele tapped Saul to serve as Chair of the RNC’s Technology Committee (on which I serve), and during Saul’s tenure the RNC gained ground. But much remains to be done. According to Saul, we must take “our Internet campaign beyond just our web site, infusing social networking and mobile communications into everything we do. Our goal is to equip Republican and conservative activists with tools that will let them take action anytime of the day or night, no matter where they are. Think of it as having a Victory Center in every home, or on every cell phone.” 

Saul is a friend of Nebraska. My predecessor, State Board of Education Commissioner (and former State Senator) Mark Quandahl told me early on that had he chosen to serve another term as NEGOP Chair back in 2009 he would have strongly endorsed Saul for RNC Chair. Saul travelled to Nebraska in early 2009 to attend a Douglas County Republican Party event and to visit with me and Pete Ricketts about his ideas for the RNC and to ask for our votes. While Saul was not elected back in 2009, he has remained in contact and has continued to express an interest in Nebraska politics and helping us to elect more Republicans in Nebraska. Simply put, Saul is a friend of the Cornhusker State, and Nebraska Republicans should know that we would be well served by having Saul Anuzis as the next RNC Chair.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Thanks and Let's Give Ben the Boot!

A word of thanks to my fellow Republicans who kindly elected me to a second 2-year term as Chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party.   I appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve and look forward to working together to give Ben Nelson the boot in 2012 and electing a Republican who doesn't support ObamaCare, wasteful earmarks and won't embarrass us with sleazy backroom deals like Nelson's Cornhusker Kickback.

At Saturday's Republican State Central Committee longtime Republican leader Tim O'Dell presented the NEGOP with a size 20 custom made boot--a single left boot given Nelson's support for liberal policies like ObamaCare--with the hand stitched lettering "Cornhuskers Kick Back".  Those contributing $100 or more to our Give Ben the Boot effort will have the opportunity to sign the boot.  It's fitting that the first contributor and signer was former NEGOP Chair and Omaha City Councilman Chuck Sigerson since he spent so much time educating Nebraskans on Nelson's penchant for breaking his promises, including his broken promise not to run for the U.S. Senate that helped lead to his eventual loss to Chuck Hagel.

If you are interested in contributing and signing the boot, call the NEGOP headquarters at 402.475.2122, or e-mail Erin at to make arrangements.