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How much of a Bushie is Nebraska's Republican Senate candidate Mike Johanns? Enough to be one of Rove's roving team of administration officials who campaigned for Republican incumbents on the taxpayer's dime.

Johanns was Bush's Ag Secretary in 2006, and made a whopping 38 "official government" trips to help elect Republican candidates in 2006.

Just check out some of the leading lights Johanns was campaigning for, according to documents released by Waxman's committee:

  • 4/21/06 Marilyn Musgrave, Colorado, Taxpayer Expense for Official Event
  • 7/7/06 John Doolittle, Auburn CA, Taxpayer Expense for Official Event
  • 7/7/06 Richard Pombo, Elk Grove CA, Political Event
  • 11/1/06 Heather Wilson, Albuquerque, NM, Taxpayer Expense for Official Event
  • 11/2/06 Rick Renzi, Casa Grande, AZ, Taxpayer Expense for Official Event

That's quite the track record. Musgrave/Doolittle/Pombo/Renzi are four of the 20 most corrupt Congressman in 2006, according to CREW. Quite a track record.

Johanns is a relatively popular former governor of Nebraska. Now, Nebraskans don't like to pay taxes any more than any other group of Americans. They're probably not going to be too excited at the thought that their taxes were being used for their former governor and would-be Senator to go off and reelect the likes of John Doolittle.

But are Nebraskans going to find out about this? Only if Scott Kleeb can tell them about it. Now, the DSCC could help with that a lot, with a minimum of expenditure. Nebraska isn't a terribly expensive media market, they have yet to commit anything to Kleeb's race, and obviously have money to burn.

What better way to sink the final nail into the coffin of Karl Rove's Republican party than to deny Mike Johanns this Senate seat? The DSCC should be playing to really win now--the Holy Grail of 60 is all of the sudden not looking so out of reach. They can afford to run the board--invest everywhere, including Nebraska. What have they got to lose in this environment? They've got the money to do it, and in Scott they have a very credible candidate--he proved that in 2006.

Going into Nebraska makes a lot of strategic sense beyond the Senate race. Obama has decided to make a play for the 2nd CD, opening three offices in Omaha in the last month or so. The DCCC is going in heavily for Jim Esch, who has a very real shot at beating the Republican incumbent. If the DSCC went in with as little as $100K, they would reinforce the Democratic message triple-fold in the eastern part of the state, where Scott is less well known than in the west, where he ran in 2006.

But we can help, too. And repudiate Rove and the "permanent Republican majority" to boot. We've talked about throwing them an anvil, breaking their backs, and crushing their spirits.

Let's do it in Nebraska.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:05 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Congrats on making Time Magazine! n/t (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, Eman, ksh01, mcmom, Randall Sherman, MaskedKat
  •  rethugs have no shame (6+ / 0-)

    They lie and corrupt without impunity.

  •  Mmm.... Bush chickens (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, ypsiCPA

    delicious with dumplings!

    Once again, I don't have a clever sig.

    by MaskedKat on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:09:18 PM PDT

  •  I can't stand Musgrave! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, Christopher Walker

    I used to live in Louisville, CO, and work for Clean Water Action. She has a horrible environmental record, and is an all around bottom feeder. But her district is super red. Another example of people voting against their interests

    I'm Joe the Plumber, and I suck at life.

    by Relevant Rhino on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:10:19 PM PDT

  •  Johanns was a total enemy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, polecat, Churchill, mcmom

    of strict organic standards and small organic operators while he was Sec of Ag.

    The suspense is terrific. I hope it'll last...

    by JeremiahRosemont on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:10:57 PM PDT

  •  Good luck in this race to blue candidate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Today start new series of poll for the virtual Obama's Cabinet in my diary. Click here:


  •  How about chickens abroad? (0+ / 0-)

    Look at what was in Sweden's leading paper this morning, front and center atop the page. Not kidding.


    McCains attacks not enough.

    They also has a poll asking who Swedes would vote for.


    Listen to Noam Chomsky's Necessary Illusions. (mp3!)

    by borkitekt on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:18:50 PM PDT

  •  Oversight Means Making Them Work (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, larryrant, mcmom

    Johanns was Bush's Ag Secretary in 2006, and made a whopping 38 "official government" trips to help elect Republican candidates in 2006.

    Proper oversight of the Agriculture Department would force its secretary to spend at least 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, running the Agriculture Department. If they're moonlighting on the public's time, they should be warned a couple times, then fired. If they can't be fired, Congress should revise their budgets to reduce the power they're exercising in that job.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:20:52 PM PDT

  •  You need a better word that "repudiate." (0+ / 0-)




    or maybe even:


    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    -Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:22:32 PM PDT

  •  strategic spending (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The DCCC is going in heavily for Jim Esch, who has a very real shot at beating the Republican incumbent. If the DSCC went in with as little as $100K, they would reinforce the Democratic message triple-fold in the eastern part of the state,

    You've had a good thought, here. I hope it attracts some attention, and some cash.

    I often wish we saw more evidence, in the activities of the big national Party Committees, that they've carefully weighed the leverage available from low-cost media markets, when they decide where to spend.

    I know the Kleeb campaign is doing all they can to stay competitive. Claire McCaskill made a campaign appearance for him; Senator Bob Menendez signed one of the letters I've received from the Kleeb campaign. He's on my ActBlue slate for thuis cycle:

    Some of the other Senate races this cycle are in states where advertising is so expensive... it does seem as if smaller investments both here and in Oklahoma would pay dividends up and down the ballot.

    And, who knows? maybe provide an upset.

    A Republican is a person who says we need to rebuild Iraq but not New Orleans. - Temple Stark

    by Christopher Walker on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:22:55 PM PDT

  •  C'mon, Schumah! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant, mcmom
    Open yer freakin' wallet!  Think of it as legacy spending.
  •  it's quiet in here, hope you don't mind the OT (0+ / 0-)

    Andrew Sullivan has been cracking me up in a major way lately....

    16 Oct 2008 03:59 pm

    Charlie Crist isn't married to a woman yet. He's due to get married around the time that Bristol Palin is due to give birth.

    Permalink :: TrackBacks (0) ::

    Share This

    It's naughty but funny. I mean, yes, family is off limits, but it captures a certain zeitgeist of this election.

  •  What are the current poll numbers? nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Kleeb needs to look older, some gray hair, please (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

    by Churchill on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:35:05 PM PDT

  •  Scott can do well in Eastern Nebraska. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, larryrant, Churchill, mcmom

    But he needs support.

    He has performed amazingly in Western Nebraska, and all he needs are resources here in Omaha.

    Johanns has many enemies.

    Go Scott!

  •  I kicked in 25 to Kleeb, so I can say "look older (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ogre, mcmom

    I mean, the guy barely looks 25.  He needs to look closer to 40, for crying out loud.

    I kicked in, so I can say it.

    80 percent of success is just showing up - Woody Allen.

    by Churchill on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:36:54 PM PDT

  •  I hope Scott Kleeb wins but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    he has been running a horrible campaign.  For example, look at his ads.  What is the message in them?  In a few he doesn't even mention he's running for Senate.  

    I am proud to admit that I come from one of the districts that had the least votes for George W. Bush in the entire country.

    by ThePrometheusMan on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:42:41 PM PDT

    •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

      I hate to say it, but Kleeb's campaign has been weak.  
      I live in Omaha, on a major traffic artery, and I see tons of yard signs for Jim Esch, Lee Terry and Johanns.  Not one for Kleeb!  Why?  Because his site makes it impossible to request one.  I wrote a long while back, requesting information and got no reply.  Nothing.  And I have shelled out cash to this guy! No response to a doner?
      I think Kleeb is just making the motions.  
      Sad, he seemed like such a great candidate.

      "I have sworn upon the alter of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." - Jefferson

      by SWicklund on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 10:26:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  mcjoan, Scott says "hi" (6+ / 0-)

    I went to a small fundraiser, a "Beers and Boots" he did in Boston, and got to meet him and talked for a while.  Even though I am in MA, I work with educators in NE so have some interest in the race.  I did NOT just go to see how darn good looking he is, but WHOA.

    But, I was so impressed with him and his ideas on energy and education (among many others).

    I can say with all sincerity, WE ALL NEED SCOTT in the Senate.  He sees beyond NE, and will be a huge asset to our party.

    And he did say I should email you and say Hi from him!  He sure knows who you are!

    Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace ~~ Dalai Lama

    by happy in MA on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:48:42 PM PDT

    •  I was there too!!! (4+ / 0-)

      Kleeb's "Boots and Beers" get-together in Boston was the very first event I have attended to meet an electoral candidate.  Scott is humble, candid, and straightforward.  His ideas are well-thought out, and he fully understands the needs not only of Nebraskans, but of all of the citizens of the United States.  I asked him whether the DSCC has helped him in the race, and he replied that they haven't.  I sincerely hope that Chuck Schumer takes a good look at this great opportunity to bring an intelligent and competent individual to the United States Senate.  We don't need another Bush crony in D.C.; all of them must be purged.

      Based on what he said, he needs help in the Omaha market.  Indeed, it's not too expensive to advertise in Nebraska, so if you guys have a chance, contribute.  If you are in or around Nebraska, volunteer.  He needs all the help he can get.  Spread the word!

  •  Ex-Nebraskan for Kleeb (6+ / 0-)
    Nebraska has a history of electing Dems, and they could do no better than Kleeb, a bright young progressive who could hold this seat for years.

    I grew up in Omaha in the dark days of Roman Hruska and Carl Curtis, and I see an opportunity for change here -- not just for Nebraska but for the Democratic Party and the country.

    I gave Scott $100 yesterday.

    Join me!!

  •  Would this be in violation of the Hatch Act? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think that's an important question:

  •  Exactly! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcjoan, Christopher Walker, mcmom

    We went to a debate-watch party at Scott's house last night.  It's our anniversary and that's what my wife wanted to do to celebrate.  Good head on that lady!  Scott was in Omaha where he should be, but did a conference call.

    Kleeb would be a wonderful improvement for NE in the US Senate.  And he would fit an Obama administration very nicely.

    Oh, and for our anniversary we donated again to Scott's campaign.

    It's odd.  Scott is doing well in the ultra-red western 2/3 of the state.  The very Republican dental hygenist who worked on me this morning said she and her husband "really like Scott."  But he really needs some shekels to impact Omaha, which is where he would be expected to do better than anywhere else in the state if only people knew him.

    "We must become the change we want to see." -Gandhi

    by larryrant on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:09:17 PM PDT

    •  Odd to an Extent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have a feeling if Scott was running as a candidate from Omaha things might be different(I acknowledge that this probably would hurt him in NE-3).  There is still a fairly large disconnect between Omaha and the rest of the state or Omaha/Lincoln and the rest of the state. That is the only way I can explain it.  

  •  Count me out! (0+ / 0-)

    "Breaking their backs?" "Crushing their spirits?"
    Count me out of such ugly language. I want to be part of something higher and better.

  •  My great-uncle (Very internet savvy guy) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Christopher Walker, mcmom

    Lives in Lincoln with his wife and family.    He was not into Hagel as the rest of us are (reasons not about the war) but he has grandchildren in the military and cannot stand John McCain.  He is for Obama and it does give me reason to believe he will vote Kleeb.

    Go Kleeb!  

    All the races in 2006 sans Ben (DINO) Nelson's race was close in NE.  It can happen!

    "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." Thomas Paine

    by Cait Strummer on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:37:43 PM PDT

  •  it'd be nice if Obama helped out the effort (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant, mcmom

    i can't find where I saw this, but I swear that within the last couple of days, I saw a report saying Reid or the DSCC asked the Obama campaign for monetary support and was rejected on the grounds that they need every dime they can raise to finish off McCain.

    If the polls get more favorable for Obama over the next week to ten days, I hope they might reconsider in time to make a difference on some of these Senate races.

    The less Republicans can interfere in Congress, the better chance Obama has to make his mark....I'm sure that he and the campaign realize this.

  •  doesn't every poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have Kleeb back by double digits? Kos rightfully criticizes McCain for wasting money on lost causes like Pennsylvania; doesn't the same expectation of discipline apply to us? I prefer to support progressive candidates early in the process, and then only the successful ones (meaning those that have a legitimate chance of winning) closer to the election. My comment doesn't apply here if I'm mistaken and Kleeb is within striking distance or closing fast. Is he?

  •  go vote for scott now on a local tv website (0+ / 0-)

    by janefleming on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 03:08:07 PM PDT

  •  Kleeb is a great candidate but he still (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    trails by double digits. The same applies for Andrew Rice. As much as I'd like them both to win I'd rather have the DSCC invest in GA and KY, where the polling movement has been more solidly in the Democrats' favor.

    •  It's not either/or !! (3+ / 0-)

      The DSCC has enough money to do both.  Kleeb is not just someone to fill out our 60 vote majority, he is a true progressive who can represent Nebraska for decades.

      Here is a communication I received from his campaign manager Joe Zepecki yesterday.

      Scott just needs to get up on TV to win this!

      This race has always been premised on Scott overperforming traditional dem performance in the 3rd CD. Scott won 45% there in his 3rd CD bid two years ago and 41% there was what Kerrey and Nelson got in their first wins statewide. Scott's retained that strong base of support out there so we have been focusing our efforts on the 1st and 2nd CDs, where Scott was not known.

      That strategy has paid off, we are within the margin of error with Johanns in the 2nd CD (largely Omaha), where Obama and a targeted congressional will turnout historic numbers of Democrats, in this CD alone the registration gap between R's and D's has shrunk by thousands to result in a virtual tie at this point. We need to keep Scotts message on tv and bulk up our weight to ensure voters stay down the ticket rather than vote for Obama and leave.

      In the 1st CD our biggest remaining hurdle is the northeast part of the state, where Scott remains unkown. Our plan calls for investing in TV there the last two weeks, contributions today will ensure that happens. In the rest of that CD we're doing fine.

      As to the being outspent, it doesn't concern me. Scott was outspent 3:1 in the primary and won 70% of the vote. He cuts through on tv in a way that's remarkable. Johanns on the other hand, has nothing new to say, they already know who he is, they already know what they get from him. And in a climate where fewer than 1 in 10 Nebraskans feel America is on the right track, they are open to voting for someone new. We just have to ensure those folks see him.

      Scott is outworking Johanns daily, getting in front of more voters in every corner of the state, but as you know, you can never reach everyone you need to that way-so it comes down to expanding our media buy in the final 20 days.

      Finally, I want to point out that before Scott went up on tv, we were trailing among Independents 30-47. In the last public poll, we had taken the lead among this group 41-37. That is serious movement that I believe proves that when people see Scott, they will move to him.

      Give to Scott on my Act Blue pagetoday!!

  •  i've given multiple times to Mr. Kleeb (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    larryrant, Christopher Walker

    i've also donated money to the DSCC.  time for the DSCC to step up to the plate.  i'm tapped out.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 04:23:41 PM PDT

  •  Hillary Clinton in Omaha on Tuesday (3+ / 0-)

    It looks like Hillary is going to hold a campaign event on Tuesday here in Omaha.  This is definitely good news to continue the momentum for Kleeb, Esch (candidate for NE-2), and of course Obama.  

  •  Musgrave. (0+ / 0-)

    The only one left standing.  In that she's still running.  Go Betsy Markey!

    John McCain voted against health care for kids.

    by Land of Enchantment on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 05:26:14 PM PDT

  •  50 State Strategy (0+ / 0-)

    Means fielding good candidates in every state -- and Scott is good.  I hope he wins in NE.  And if he doesn't he is a trailblazer to what is hopefully a better result in the near future.

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