Website awakening gives political clues.


It has been almost a year and a half since the We Support Chief McDonnell has posted anything on facebook until we got an update last night. Former Fire Chief Mike McDonnell is now a teacher according to facebook. He has a new profile picture and a new profile that reads more like a political resume. Is former Fire Chief McDonnell getting ready for a political run?

Rumor has it that City Council member Gernandt will not run again and Mello’s LD 5 seat will open up because of term limits. Many remember the very public power struggle between Mayor Stothert and McDonnell over the fire budget. McDonnell is well regarded in South Omaha and it should be his race to lose.



OHA problems were on Ashford’s watch

Nebraska Watchdog has been looking into Omaha Housing Authority and the problems that occurred during Congressman Brad Ashford’s tenure as the head of OHA. Ashford has contended that the problems occurred after he was gone in 2006. The current CEO of OHA clearly thinks that Ashford was part of the problem. In an email exclusively obtained by Political Insiders Report, CEO Clifford Scott said the following about the OHA from the time period of 2000-2011. According to Nebraska Watchdog, Ashford was at the helm of the OHA from 2002-2006 which is a good chunk of the time Scott is discussing.

Scott says the following about OHA from 2000-2011

  •  Lacked stability
  •  Several Directors were hired without significant experience in public housing
  •  Organization had issues with governance
  •  Organization suffered through lack of direction
  •  Failed to operate within acceptable parameters

Not a exactly a ringing endorsement for Ashford’s tenure. The full emails can be accessed by clicking HUD OHA Repayment Communications 2013-2014.

One of the key findings of the Audit was found “That the resident commissioner has routinely received benefits in excess of expenses necessary to discharge her official duties. Such actions violate Nebraska Housing Agency Act which prohibits housing authority commissioners from receiving anything other than reimbursement for necessary expenses for the discharge of their official duties.”

Political Insiders Report obtained the expenses back ten years from 2004 on all of the commissioners. Below are a listing of all of the Resident Commissioner expenses signed off for and reimbursed. What is disturbing is many reimbursements are not ever given any reason for the expense. As you can see by the dates of the expenses, many were on Ashford’s watch. Click below to access expenses.

Resident Commissioner Expenses





Death penalty constituent calls turn ugly: call for murder and rape of Senator’s families


We have heard of a number of nasty and borderline threatening calls Senators and staff members have received regarding the death penalty. Most of the time they are deleted, but they are increasingly becoming over-the-top. These calls are coming from voters who are for the death penalty as a pending override of the Governor’s veto could be coming up.

Political Insiders Report obtained one of these messages left on one of the Senator’s voicemail this morning and let us just warn you it is pretty bad. To listen to the message click the word Call below.

















Rumor has it



Rumor has it the often controversial Learning Community CEO is on his way out. It appears that Ted Stilwell will be retiring and stepping down from the Learning Community. No news on a replacement at this point. Over the years the Learning Community was no stranger to making headlines. Some good, mostly not so good. Here is a story that Political Insiders Report broke on the Learning Community with KETV. That story can be accessed by clicking here.


Ernie Chambers and his property tax conundrum

Ernie Chambers

Senator Chambers has been a barrier to property tax relief in the past and today was no different. When discussing LB 414 which is meant to provide property tax exemptions for fraternal benefits societies, Chambers spoke up against the bill that was introduced by Senator Haar from midtown Omaha. Chambers basically made the arguement that they should pay property tax as the rest of us should not be burdened to pay their share. Chambers also wanted to add an amendment to LB 414 which no doubt was a dig at churchs. The amendment stated the following.

Floor Amendment To LB414 Introduced by Chambers, 11.

The property tax exemption created by this act shall be available only to charitable and benevolent institutions which have a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Chambers, in the past, has also been very critical of Omaha Public Schools (which is mostly funded through property tax). Chambers over the years has fought against property tax relief for various years.

Seems like a rather consistent stance, right?

The conundrum is this. Senator Chambers pays NO property tax on his own home. None, as in zero, and has not for several years. This is most likely due to a homestead exemption he recieved based on his age or income.

Senator Chambers list his home address in North Omaha. Here is Chambers property tax bill which is on the Douglas County Treasury webpage.


So the point is that property tax relief is apparently not needed for fraternal benefits societies or you and I but ok for Senator Chambers. As the legislature grapples with the best way to deal with property tax relief, it would be nice if one of property tax relief’s most ardent opponent actually had some skin in the game.

Zero property taxes have been paid since 2010

Zero property taxes have been paid since 2010




Republican leader comes out against the death penalty. Says “death penalty not worth the costs, risks”


Former Douglas County Republican Party Chairman and current executive board member, Bryan Baumgart, wrote a public pulse featured in the Omaha World Herald stating that his opinion on the death penalty has changed. Baumgart had the following to say.

“The Legislature’s Judiciary Committee unanimously approved a measure (Legislative Bill 268) to replace the death penalty with life without the possibility of release. With broad bipartisan support and increasing momentum, the bill now heads to the full Legislature for a vote.

As a conservative Republican, I have come to the conclusion that I do not support capital punishment. It risks innocent lives, costs more than its alternatives, fails to deter crime and even harms the friends and families of murder victims.

The death penalty is fiscally irresponsible. After a lengthy appeals process, sentencing someone to life in prison without the possibility of release is only a fraction of the cost of attempting to execute someone. The death penalty is a danger to innocent lives. The probability of executing the wrong person is far too high. Any risk of terminating the life of an innocent person is not a risk worth taking.

With all of the costs and risks, the death penalty still doesn’t keep society safe or provide the justice that the victims’ families deserve.”

Bryan Baumgart, Omaha


Don’t get mad at Planet Fitness, OPS could have a similar policy


When it comes to Planet Fitness controversy, there has been quite an uproar on both sides of the issue of whether someone identifying as another gender should be able to use that gender’s locker room or bathroom. Planet Fitness was very clear as to what their policy is and they might be alone. Gender identity is a very real issue and is having many schools and businesses rethink their policy.

The Superintendent of Millard sent out the following email that contained four questions on how do deal with gender identity issues. He sent the email to many of the Superintendents around the area. The four questions are as follows:



Lincoln Public Schools responded with a very thoughtful policy that had clear steps for accommodation and a very thorough process in place. They had been dealing with making the process more transparent because of the Purple Penguin ordeal. OPS Superintendent Mark Evans also had some thoughts on the matter and emailed the following response to the Millard Superintendent:



Then on October 8th at 4:58 am, it appears Mark Evans reaches out to OPS legal council Megan Neiles-Brasch to get answers to the above questions.



The email with the answers to the questions, based on what OPS does, appear to be by Mark Evans or Megan Neiles-Brasch in response to the Superintendent of Millard. It should be noted that these responses were left out of Political Insiders Report intial open records request and were not produced until after OPS legal got involved.




Regardless on where you stand, many institutions seem somewhat flat-footed on how to make suitable accommodations for people who identify as another gender. This will no doubt be an issue that will eventually hit the Nebraska Legislature.




Top Dem Loses County Contract After Ad Litem Scandal


Maureen Monahan is basically the second in command with the Nebraska Democratic Party. Her official title is 1st Vice Chairperson (Vice Chair) which would put her right under Chairman Vince Powers. This makes her a very powerful and high ranking member of the Nebraska Democratic Party.

Democrats as of late have been up in arms over State Board of Education member Pat McPherson’s racially charged blog posts–perhaps rightfully so. The key question is:  Will they show the same outrage when it is one of theirs?

Here is what we know. An audit was conducted by former state auditor and now Lt. Governor Mike Foley in the fall of last year. Monahan and another firm had been paid a combined $1.76 million in the past two fiscal years to act as an ad litem. Defintion: Ad litem (Latin: “for the suit”[1]) is a term used in law to refer to the appointment by a court of one party to act in a lawsuit on behalf of another party—for instance, a child or an incapacitated adult—who is deemed incapable of representing him or herself. Foley found the county board did not even put these contracts out to public bid.

The auditors found numerous inaccuracies in Monahan’s and the other firm’s books. They were doing work and billing on cases to which neither firm had been appointed, cases that already had been terminated, and cases that involved work outside the scope of the contracts.

Just to be clear, the State Auditor’s report found that the firms were billing the good taxpayers for cases that they had not been assigned AND cases that were no longer open. The audit found instances where the ad litems could not even be bothered to show up at the court date.

The audit report also showed duplicate payments and over 130 invoices which had a date that differed from the court order. Some invoices were even back dated to correspond with court records.

In 315 ad litem cases, the State Auditor found that Monahan utilized services of attorneys and employees not affiliated with her firm.

So what did this cost the taxpayer? Maureen Monahan’s firm was paid $25,000 a month to handle up to 315 ad litem cases.

On September 19th, 2014 the Judiciary Committee of the legislature had a hearing on the auditor’s finding and the ad litem program in general.

When the Audit findings were presented at the judiciary committee, State Senator Ernie Chambers was non too pleased. He stated  “And if there are heads that must roll, get a basket big enough to hold them all. And I’m glad that the audits were done and it helps to be able to see what kind of information these spongers at the public trough are trying to hide.

So fast forward to this week. The county board has decided not to renew Monahan’s contract as well as the contract with the other firm.

We will wait and see if Nebraska Democratic Party Chaiman Vince Powers demands his 2nd in charge to step down in light of all of this. Our suggestion is do not hold your breath.

The full State Auditor’s report can be seen by clicking here and scrolling to the bottom of the page.




Troubled DHHS has new leader

Lincoln – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced Courtney Phillips as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. Her appointment comes at the conclusion of a national search for a transformational leader for the department, which commenced at the beginning of December.

Phillips currently serves as Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. As deputy secretary she fulfills the role of chief operating officer and chair of the department’s Human Services Interagency Council, which provides a statewide planning process for the local governance framework for the delivery of human services.  She also provides direct management and oversight for the department’s major program offices, including behavioral health, aging and adult services, citizens with developmental disabilities and public health, as well as the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf.

Prior to her appointment as deputy secretary, Phillips had steadily risen through the department’s ranks since beginning her career at DHH in 2003, ranging from the Medicaid program manager overseeing the Money Follows the Person (MFP) and waiver programs to serving as the agency’s chief of staff. Phillips was a key architect of the legislation and process to create the agency’s Office of Behavioral Health.

Phillips is currently a doctoral student in Public Policy at Southern University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Master of Public Administration from Louisiana State University.

“It is an honor to serve as the next CEO of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services,” said Courtney Phillips. “As I work with Governor Ricketts to craft a strategic plan for the department, our focus will be driven by our mission to help Nebraskans live better lives.”

“Courtney is the leader that will help transform the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. We need a culture of continuous improvement. I look forward to working with Courtney to improve how we deliver services through DHHS,” said Governor Pete Ricketts. “Her expertise will help state government to work better for the children who are in the care of the state, for individuals who live in state facilities or through our support in the community, and for all those who rely on public services.”

The six divisions of Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, which provide critical services to Nebraska’s most vulnerable citizens, have an annual combined budget of $3.5 billion.

Phillips will take office on April 2, 2015. Her salary will be $200,000.


Another political run for Dan Welch?


Dan Welch is a successiful attorney, former Omaha City Council President, and former Omaha candidate for mayor. There seems to be some movement to get Welch back into politics albeit in a much different capacity.

J.L. Spray is not running for re-election as the Nebraska Republican Party Chairman and Welch might be the guy to take over as NEGOP Chair. By all accounts Welch is likeable, polished, and fiery when necessary. If Welch is elected by the state central committee, he will have his hands full raising money, winning back CD 2, and trying to pick up LD seats. If you recall there was quite a bit of infighting for this position in 2012. You can read about that 2012 inner-struggle by clicking here. 

Spray’s election after the intital fireworks went quite smoothly. Spray seems to be well liked by many and has been successful raising money and getting candidates elected. No candiates for the NEGOP Chair have offically announced, but we would imagine names will start emerging soon.


OPS School Board Members Fey, Snow, Vargas, and Wayne condemn racist posts on State Board of Education Member Pat McPherson’s Blog


Omaha Public School Board members Fey, Snow, Vargas, and Wayne today joined Governor Pete Ricketts and a host of other individuals and organizations in condemning racist blog posts on State Board of Education member Pat McPherson’s blog.

“In Nebraska we value diversity and we show respect for everyone – even those who we may disagree with.  There is a place for disagreement in politics – but there is no place for racist commentary,” said OPS Board Member Marque Snow.

“This is not a partisan or political issue.  It is about whether we as a community should be represented on the State Board of Education by someone who has shown little regard for the diverse population of children that come through public school doors, every day, in Nebraska” said OPS Board Member Vargas.

“As my elected representative on the State Board of Education, Mr. McPherson’s comments do not speak for me or the students and families I represent in the Omaha Public Schools. There is much important work to be done by the State Board and I believe this controversy has already created a distraction. Additionally, we deserve an elected official who recognizes the amazing benefits of having a diverse population in our schools,” said Marian Fey.

“I’m proud of Governor Ricketts for speaking out against McPherson’s actions and I think it sends a strong message to all Nebraskans that racism is not something we will tolerate, accept, or just wash under the rug.  I look forward to working with the Governor and the State Board of Education in the future on education issues, closing the achievement gap, and job creation in East Omaha,” said OPS Board Member Justin T. Wayne.

All four OPS Board members are asking McPherson to resign and allow the State Education Board to continue to focus on closing the achievement gap and providing a high quality education for all students across Nebraska.



A Letter From A Former Republican Party Official Also Asked To Resign


Former Douglas County Republican Chairman- Bob Pelsaw

Former Douglas County Republican Chairman- Bob Pelshaw

As a former, and embattled, chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, and as a “half-breed” Latino according to the standards on McPherson’s blog, I can say I am offended not only by the remarks on McPhersons blog but also by his utter defiance of the Governor’s, community leaders’, his fellow board members’, and now Sen. Sasse’s pleas for his resignation. To allow those postings on his blog is reprehensible. To defend that by not graciously bowing out as requested makes me further question the character, motivations, and judgments of someone who clearly is putting his own position above the well-being of his constituents and the Republican party.

By the year 2053 the United States majority will be we “half breeds” and people of color. Nationally we Republicans are striving hard to fight the elitist “lilly white” perception that has been unfairly bestowed on us. This is critical for our survival. Well, maybe that’s not unfairly bestowed on McPherson who so defiantly chooses to defend his blog’s right to insult and alienate a growing group of people he has sworn to represent.

Pat the issue isn’t whether you posted the blog, or whether you are or are not a racist. The issue is that you have permanently driven a wedge into a large (and growing) segment of the population that you are sworn to represent and that is also critical to the long-term relevance and survival of our Party.

Pat, as you know nearly 22 years ago I stood in the difficult position you are standing in today. You were present when I was repeatedly publicly asked by party officials to resign as Party Chair here in Douglas County. I was asked to resign as the perception at the time was that I could not unite or lead the party due to mistakes in my past. After resisting the pleas for about a month I did the right thing and resigned for the good of the party, and I’m glad I did. Jeff Koterba even made a great editorial cartoon of the occasion that was published thereafter.

Pat: please do the right thing and heed the call of those of us urging you to resign. After years of public service you do not want these recent events to be your legacy. The longer you stay in office the more contentious and more prolonged this negative attention will remain focused on you, and hurt the Party you claim to love and represent.

I can tell you firsthand that life goes on after you resign. Choose to spend your future serving others less fortunate than you. Throw in some people of color, disabled, even those of alternative lifestyles. Prove with sincere actions to everyone that you are in fact not a racist as you claim and defend. I challenge you to please prove with your actions that we Republicans are not elitist but we are serious about being inclusive. That would be a very fine legacy indeed.


Pelshaw is a commercial real estate developer, consultant, and author of the book ILLEGAL TO LEGAL: BUSINESS SUCCESS FOR (EX) CRIMINALS which teaches (through self-initiative) offenders, ex-offenders and those at risk to offend how to use their life experience and innate business skills to support themselves apart from crime. 



Talking LPS with Coby Mach



Talking about a story that broke on LPS here on Worth a listen. Click HERE to listen.



Another black eye for Lincoln Public Schools


We here at Political Insiders Report received some disturbing information that LPS parents may not be aware of. Parent advocate, Rachael Terry, has shared information that you might want to be aware of.

It starts with her 11 year old daughter attending a bullying assembly at her middle school. Parents received no notification of the content in this presentation in advance. Her daughter was clearly upset about the content. Terry contacted the school for some answers and clarification. Eventually she was able to obtain a copy of the presentation that was put on by the Illusion Theatre Project for Lincoln Public Schools. The following are excerpts from the performance at the middle school. Keep in mind kids as young as 11 were present. The full performance script can be seen by clicking New Script for The Cameron Effect

Exhibit #1


C’mon, don’t tell me you are?


Well, if you really must know, I am.  That doesn’t mean anything and I’m not a fag.


So everyone who acts is gay?

Exhibit #2

ACTOR (to audience)

Why is homosexuality so hard to handle

Exhibit #3


What’s the matter with you, are you gay?


I’m happy, I’m not with you!


Hey baby, what’s your number?


You can’t count that high.


Let’s have  sex.

Exhibit #4

I asked her, “hey Emily, what’s going on?”  She told me girls had been calling her “Irish whore,” and telling her to “close her legs.”  I asked her if there was anything I could do to help.  She said she knew how to handle it.  I wish I would have known what she meant.

Mrs. Terry was no doubt upset that her 11 year old was subjected to this language. What would Lincoln Public Schools do to address her concerns? The simple answer is not much. The head of the Illusion Theater who put on the production for LPS did however reach out to concerned parent Terry but it was hardly an olive branch. Susan Letheby of the Illusion Theater instead threatens the parent with a lawsuit. Below is a snapshot of the letter.


The most perplexing part of this story is that Ms. Letheby, is the one who gave the script to parent Terry clearly showing profanity and sexual language. The parent refused to be bullied by the anti-bully advocate and retained legal counsel. The response by the parent Terry’s attorney is borderline epic. Below is a snap-shot of Terry’s attorney’s response.



Only time will tell if Lincoln Public Schools will change the content of this presentation that is being taught to thousands of LPS middle-schoolers. If you would like to see all of the emails between the parent and LPS as well as full legal letters click LPS content


Douglas County and early voting revisted


The Douglas County Election Commission just released the detailed election results from November 4th, specifically the early voting data. There was a perfect storm for Democrats in Douglas County. You had a massive GOTV (Get Out The Vote) effort for the minimum wage issue, the OPS bond issue, and the prospects of gaining a Congressional seat. When the first batch of absentee requests were released by the Election Commission, there was a collective gulp from many GOP campaigns. We are not talking about a slight advantage but a massive one. Insurmountable in some cases. Even after the first wave of absentees ballot request numbers were released and heavily in favor of the Democrats, few campaigns made any adjustments. Then the second and third day came in and the trend was not stopping. A few campaigns hit the panic button and aggressively started a vote by mail program which included postage paid return postcards. Democrat-favored candidates were getting postage paid vote by mail requests sent out by the minimum wage group, the NSEA, and the OPS bond issue group with a coordinated follow up to ensure their voters filled out their ballot request and sent them back in.

It was amazing at times to see how flat-footed some Republican campaigns were to this surge. The state wide candidates did not need to react but only a handful of down ballot candidates who needed to do react did. For Republicans, several hard working candidates had good ground games which made the difference in some races. Early voting is becoming a bigger and bigger push, and Republicans are going to have to budget for postage paid early ballot requests to continue to be successful in Douglas County. Below is the breakdown of some of the early voting numbers where early voting made a difference:











OPS superintendent Mark Evans and Alex Gates- the email exchange

Some have questioned why would a frustrated parent go to the school board meeting to discuss his concerns over privately discussing the matter. The answer is Alex Gates tried. These emails obtained by Political Insiders Report show a frustrated parent plead with the superintendent a month before he went before the school board to no avail. Not only was there no resolution to the parent’s concerns, Mark Evan’s replies could be deemed dismissive and condescending. Here is the exchange.


“Alex P. Gates” <> writes:

Mr. Evans -

My name is Alex Gates. My daughter XXXXXXXX is a 1st grader at Edison Elementary, and my other daughter XXXXX is a 3rd grader at Wilson Focus School.

I was wondering if you had a few minutes to share some insight. I’m copying in Melissa Comine (I’ve spoken with her about this issue) and also XXXXXXXXX, another parent from Edison.

The bottom line is this: We need new leadership at Edison Elementary, and I’d like your advice about what steps we should take to have the district consider our request.

I’ve had the opportunity to chat with Mrs. Comine about this a couple times. She has been incredibly helpful, and we’re tremendously thankful to have her as our Executive Director at Edison. I’m honestly blown away by her willingness to provide feedback and advice. However, we’ve managed to reach an area where Mrs. Comine isn’t able to offer any suggestions. So, I thought I’d turn to you.

This is my 4th year of involvement with the Edison Elementary PTA. Over the years, I’ve managed to develop close relationships with a few teachers at Edison who have been comfortable speaking with me candidly with me about the environment at the school. I’ve also met a number of parents who have had poor experiences with the leadership at the school, and because I’m involved with the PTA, they’ve turned to me.

Our principal has been at Edison for 16 years.  

I’m certain that over the last 16 years, teachers have spoken pretty openly on the end-of-the-year environment surveys. I’ve also been told about a situation that came up years ago (perhaps 6 or 7) where four really wonderful teachers decided to unite and speak up about the bullying that happens in staff meetings and behind closed doors. The following year, all four of those teachers were transferred to different schools.

We’re losing great teachers at Edison because of what’s happening with the school leadership. Our teachers are sick of waiting patiently for our principal to retire, but they’re absolutely terrified of speaking up. They don’t want to rock the boat.

Mrs. Comine had advice for the teachers. She suggested that, since there are channels, they absolutely need to speak with our principal about their concerns. Unfortunately, I know they won’t do this. They don’t want to be shamed at staff meetings or bullied.

You certainly don’t advocate for a policy at OPS that suggests students who are bullied have no other recourse than to talk to the person who is bullying them, so I don’t understand how this is an appropriate solution.

We need an environment where we can absolutely guarantee with 100% assurance that our teachers can speak up about the conditions at the school without fear of retaliation. This is essential.

While Mrs. Comine had advice for teachers, she wasn’t really able to offer any advice for a group of parents who are looking to unite and organize around the goal of getting new leadership at the school. It’s very important that we go about this in a way that is respectful and helpful. We don’t want to raise a stink, point fingers, or paint Edison in a bad light.

What would be the best way to approach your office and request that you consider placing a new principal in our school? Would you like us to compile a document of parent and teacher experiences? Would you like to us to come in and speak, face to face? Should we create a petition? What do you suggest?

We feel that 16 years is too long for a single principal to lead a school, especially after learning a about what happens behind the scenes. I feel compelled to speak up on behalf of the teachers at the school and for the parents who have come to me for advice.

Please let me know how we can work together. I’m happy to speak on the phone (402-XXX-XXXX), meet you for coffee, or drop down to your office to chat.

Thank you so much for your time and your dedication to our school!




As you know, this is a personnel matter and although we recognize your desire release the principal at Edison, we are not in a position to discuss this type of an issue.  Improvement plans for all employees needs to be inclusive of multiple data points, including your perspective as a parent. Melissa has heard your concerns and you’ve also made some statements in this email regarding teacher departures, climate survey, etc. that will be reviewed with HR staff. If you have additional data that has not already been shared feel to provide that information to Melissa but again she is restricted on discussing with you the desire for the termination of an employee.


I appreciate your desire to be “respectful and helpful”, thanks again.


Mark A. Evans
Omaha Public Schools

Thanks so much for your quick response.

If I understand correctly, the only thing we can do is compile data that clearly shows instances of negligence, bullying, and poor leadership at Edison over the last 16 years and deliver that document for Mrs. Comine. Correct? Can you guarantee our teachers won’t face any retaliation from the district or the principal for speaking up?

I’m willing to organize this, but the purpose of my email was to ask that you and your team take a thoughtful review of the situation at Edison Elementary. This would include talking to the teachers and parents, and assuring everyone that they’re free to speak without the fear of retaliation.

That’s all I’m asking here. I’m not asking you to discuss every last detail of the process and your investigation. Instead, I’d just like assurance that you’re actually taking this seriously. I know, without a doubt, that other parents have spoken up about this issue. To be quite honest, they feel like the district has brushed them off. The teachers especially feel this way. I hate to sound melodramatic, but they’re hopeless over there and just waiting for the principal to retire.

Teachers at our school are bullied into silence, and that environment has an affect that trickles down to every single student in the classroom. This has been an issue for years, and nothing, it seems, has been done about it. It’s not right. I can’t sit idly by and continue to wait for our principal to retire so we can have fresh leadership in our school. It’s not fair to our teachers, our students, or our parents. It’s just not right.

It’s my understanding that principal swaps are indeed a thing. It’s also my understanding that 16 years as the principal of the same building is uncommon. I never suggested you terminate anyone. I’m just asking for fresh leadership at Edison Elementary.

It all boils down to this: I have tremendous respect for you, Mrs. Comine, and everyone at OPS. You all work tirelessly to make Omaha schools function. I know you inherited lots of challenges when you came to Omaha.

My point in emailing was to respectfully ask that you and your office address the issues we’re facing at Edison Elementary. All I need is an assurance that you’ve heard us loud and clear and that you’ll actively work to investigate the situation, and if necessary, kick off the 2015-2016 school year with fresh leadership at Edison.



Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 at 9:43:40 AM
Subject: Re: Edison Elementary needs a new principal, and we need your advice.
Yes Alex,
we have heard you “loud and clear” on your desire to have a new principal at Edison.
Mark A. Evans
Omaha Public Schools







Political Insiders Report’s Chris Scott on the Morning Blend

Changing up from politics, Chris Scott was asked to give his take on school choice. Watch the panelist discussion below.


The ACLU goes after OPS Superintendent Mark Evans


An early October OPS school board meeting seemed to upset OPS Superintendent Mark Evans. Enter Alex Gates. Gates is a parent of an OPS student and the PTA President of his kid’s school. At every school board meeting there is an opportunity for public comment. Gates took this opportunity to discuss what he felt was poor leadership at his child’s school. The comments by the parent were delivered professionally with no voices being raised. No big deal right? The comments by Mr. Gates can be heard by clicking here. It starts at minute 59.

Apparently Mark Evans was very upset and confronted the parent in public the next day when he ran into him at another meeting. Evans was very upset that Gates would criticize an OPS employee and told Gates he should probably get a lawyer as well as some other choice words.

It didn’t stop there. Through an open records request we learned Evans not only wanted to silence Gates but also any parent or stakeholder that would speak against OPS employees. This is part of the email that was sent to the OPS School Board by Evans about Mr. Gates comments.


Evans was not done in the email. He went after the Gates too writing the following.



In comes the ACLU. After Gates free speech was threatened, the Nebraska ACLU hits back. We at Political Insiders Report obtained a copy of that letter. The following is part of that letter.



The ACLU was not done there. The Nebraska ACLU cites a few free speech cases as examples and ends the letter with potential legal action against OPS writing the following.



It will be interesting to see how this plays out. We will keep you posted.


After posting this article, Political Insiders Report received the full email without redactions from an OPS employee. Mark Evans went on to say more about how he threatened Gates with legal action. Alberta is the principal that Gates spoke up about at the school board meeting.

“I added that she may be contacting legal counsel which is her right and decision to make. Alberta is a protected class because of her age, gender and race, and she was publicly attacked by a white male under 40.”

Someone should let Evans know that protected classes were created to stop discrimination and not criticism. More updates as the come in.


Omaha Police Officer’s Association makes endorsements


The OPOA has selected its preferred candidates for the legislature this fall. Reforming the “Good Time” law is a top issue for law enforcement and could become one of the top campaign issues in the general election for legislative candidates as well. Below are their candidates.




Pete Rickett’s ad hits TV

Here is a look at Rickett’s first TV commercial of the general election.



Chris Scott talks with Drive Time Lincoln about minimum wage push and down ballot races

DTL logo


Kevin Thomas and Chris Scott discusses the Chip Maxwell factor in the Lee Terry race, the minimum wage, Governor’s race, and the down ballot impact of the minimum wage issue.

To listen to the discussion, click 7-10-14-Chris Scott.


Immigration – Filling the Void



By Bryan Baumgart, Douglas County Republican Party Chairman

The United States is not alone its struggles to replace an aging workforce and the important tax revenue attached to it.  As America continues to “gray”, it must find a way to care for its aging population.  While other countries such as Japan and China struggle to find a solution (see charts below), the United States has a distinct advantage in that immigrants continue to flock to this country seeking freedom and opportunity.



The facts are undeniable. Our country is quickly sinking in debt, Social Security and Medicare are rapidly approaching insolvency, and the ever increasing number of laborers leaving the work force only compounds the problem our country is facing. A healthy immigration policy is key, not only to fill the labor demands of American businesses, but to effectively care for our aging population.

According to the latest report from the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees:

“Neither Medicare nor Social Security can sustain projected long-run programs in full under currently scheduled financing. Both programs will experience cost growth substantially in excess of GDP growth through the mid-2030s due to rapid population aging caused by the large baby-boom generation entering retirement and lower-birth-rate generations entering employment and, in the case of Medicare, to growth in expenditures per beneficiary exceeding growth in per capita GDP.”

Because US birth rates are not sufficient to fill the void left by an aging American workforce, immigration reform with an emphasis on targeted immigration continues to be our best viable solution. Targeted immigration provides a fighting chance for both Social Security and Medicare by filling in the voids of the population pyramid (see below).

US Population 1950


US Population 2015


The follies of failing on immigration reform

An aging workforce is not the only increasing burden American taxpayers must confront.  Our current immigration policy has led to an estimated 14 million plus undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States, often living at the expense of American taxpayers.

A recent story in the Washington Post explored the burden placed on school budgets by the rising percentage of students who qualify for subsidized meals and extra English instruction:

“Immigration reform could help families more easily attain legal status and begin adding to the tax base.”

Some of the most vocal opponents of immigration reform decry propping up benefits for noncitizens at taxpayer expense. Ironically, these same critics then turn around and oppose allowing their participation in the system.

The undeniable facts remain. Our current immigration process has left us with 14 million undocumented immigrants. Most of which are hardworking, law abiding, family and faith oriented individuals who came seeking the same opportunity and pursuing the same happiness that our ancestors sought. Their children, born in America know no other country or way of life.

Logic tells us that deportation is not an option, nor should it be. Past attempts to solve the problem through amnesty have obviously failed. Construction of a border fence will certainly prove futile as the human spirit cannot be held captive by a fence or means of force. Immigrants will continue to flock to this country seeking freedom and opportunity with the same furor that drove our ancestors to risk all in the pursuit of a better future.

The solution is to address the failing immigration policy that has caused this problem in the first place. The legal process must first be simplified in order to act as an incentive rather than a deterrent. Once effective reform of the legal process is achieved, undocumented immigrants should be allowed to self-report and enter into that legal process…AT THE BACK OF THE LINE. Temporary citizenship should be granted during this time in order to avoid tearing families apart and other unnecessary societal distress. Rather than living at the expense of American taxpayers, immigrants would be welcomed out of the shadows and could pull their own weight becoming contributing taxpayers themselves.  Immigration should then be targeted at filling the labor demands of American businesses. It’s a problem with a rare win/win solution.


* I’d like to congratulate my friend Yeny Curruchich Martinez who after a long journey, this week became a proud American citizen. Your story which began in Guatemala, led through California, and finally brought you to Nebraska where you passionately serve fellow Nebraskans as a nurse does not end here. Today marks an exciting new chapter in your story.  A story that serves as an inspiration to me. You truly embolden everything that makes America “that shining city on the hill”.


Chris Scott talks with Kevin Thomas of Drive Time Lincoln about the minimum wage and some politics

DTL logo


To listen to that interview, click 6-9-14-Chris Scott.


The money behind the push to raise the minimum wage in Nebraska


Political Insiders Report pulled back the curtain to see who is funding this major state-wide ballot initiative to raise the minimum wage in Nebraska. You might be surprised at the big money being put into this. Many speculate that the minimum wage increase on the ballot is merely to increase Democratic turnout in a off Presidential year. The group behind this is Nebraskans for a Better Wage. Below are their donors.





The questions that come to mind are:

  • Why are unions fighting so hard to raise the minimum wage when none of their members make minimum wage?
  • Are some of these union contracts tied to the minimum wage and thus would be a pay increase?
  • Why did the teachers union donate $25,000 when this does not seem to deal with education or better pay for teachers?
  • Is this just a way to take an emotional issue and get Democrats to the poll or is this a legitimate attempt to address income inequality?

These questions will probably be answered soon. One thing is clear, when fighting to raise minimum wage and income inequality, you might not want to put your workers up at the nicest Omaha hotel, and buy your office equipment at Walmart. Kinda sends the wrong message. Below are the aforementioned expenses.




Nebraska’s Republican Liberty Caucus will NOT be helping Chip Maxwell



In one of the most bizarre moves in Nebraska political history, Tea Party candidate Chip Maxwell will be running against Republican Lee Terry and Democrat Brad Ashford as a petition candidate who is strangely a registered Non-Partisan.

There has been much speculation on Maxwell’s motives, but most people agree that his chances of winning are slim to none. The Nebraska political blog, Leavenworth Street, opined on Maxwell’s motives in a recent post. That post can be read by clicking here. As he mounts his petition campaign, he will have to do it without many members of the liberty movement in Nebraska. Below is the RLC’s recent press release.

RLC-Nebraska not involved in petition campaign.
A Republican organization, the RLC-Nebraska does not support or endorse non-Republican candidates if a Republican is in the race.
OMAHA, MAY 21, 2014 - With the announcement of Chip Maxwell that he intends to pursue a petition effort to enter the 2nd District House race, the RLC-Nebraska wishes to affirm its position.
We are a Republican organization. Our by-laws prohibit the organization from endorsing or supporting any non-Republican in any race in which a Republican is running. Mr. Maxwell is no longer a Republican, and he is (or would be if his efforts are successful) running against a Republican, so we are obviously not involved in this effort, officially or unofficially, as an organization.
While individual members may choose to participate in the effort in some way, that is a purely personal decision on their part, and does not reflect the views or position of the Republican Liberty Caucus, and we are not encouraging our members to engage in any activity which would increase the likelihood of a Democrat victory in the fall.
About the Republican Liberty Caucus-Nebraska
Founded in 1991, the Republican Liberty Caucus is a nationwide grassroots organization which promotes individual liberty and limited government within the Republican Party. It has chartered groups in many states, including Nebraska. The Republican Liberty Caucus-Nebraska received its Charter in June of 2008.


You can find more information about the Republican Liberty Caucus at or the RLCNE at &n bsp;


Candidate commercial gaffe falls flat with the farmers


There has been a real push by all of the Nebraska candidates for Governor to show their agricultural roots. Commercials showing trucks, farmland, and livestock have covered our televisions.

Many farmers and workers in agriculture would tell you that one of the more vital tools to their livelihood is their pickup truck. For many, it goes beyond just their pickup truck being a tool, but rather an extension of their identity. What type of pickup you drive can say a lot about you.

When candidates and trying to convey how genuine and authentic they are through a commercial, this isn’t a good start.

A recent commercial by Beau McCoy shows he is clearly trying to show his agricultural roots. Beau is dressed the part, speaks the part but something goes a bit wrong. You see off in the distance him driving his Chevy Silverado shown below.


McCoy discusses how he will be driving around that state in his pickup. Then it gets weird. The next shot is of McCoy driving in his pickup, only it isn’t his pickup.


Take a second and look at the picture as it was pointed out to me by a farmer’s wife. After this shot of McCoy in a Ford pickup, the commercial continues showing McCoy back is his Chevy pictured below.


This is the kind of gaffe that out of state commercial producers might not realize or even think it is a big deal but Nebraskan’s do. If you are trying to endear yourself to the agricultural community, at least get the truck right.

Below is the full commercial.




Some interesting developments at the Douglas County Assessor’s Office

lawsuit-paperworkChris Scott and Tom Becka delve into a recent lawsuit filed against the Douglas County Assessor’s Office. They also dig it to a 2003 deposition by another employee that had similar claims about the office being very political. The 2003 deposition makes some very shocking claims about about the then number two in charge at the office.

This is worth a listen. To hear the interview, click here.


Tom Becka and Chris Scott discuss local politics












Tom Becka and Chris Scott discuss the Nebraska Senate and Governor’s race. They also discuss what we have learned about the candidates thus far. Chris also discusses his takeaways from a recent Ben Sasse speech. Click here to listen to that interview.



Nebraska conservatives fight back against DC anointed Sasse

468436Nebraska conservative activists are taking pen to paper to show their opposition to being spoon fed Ben Sasse as the Tea Party/Conservative candidate for the Nebraska U.S. Senate race. Tea Party national groups Senate Conservative Fund, FreedomWorks, and the Club for Growth have all decided that Ben Sasse is the best candidate for Nebraskans. The only problem is that they did not confer with any Tea Party groups or conservative activists in Nebraska.

To not included Nebraska conservatives in the conversation about who is the best candidate for Nebraska is a bit odd and clearly angered many local activists.

Click here to see the letter that went to the media.


Chris Scott talks Nebraska Senate and Governor’s race with Jack and Dave of KLIN



To listen to that interview click here.