Will Lincoln Voters Reject Republican Lies and Distortions?by Kyle Michaelis
The biggest election in Nebraska politics in 2007 is tomorrow, as the voters of Lincoln head to the polls to cast their vote for Mayor between long-time State Sen. Chris Beutler and current City Councilman Ken Svoboda. Also up for grabs is conrol of Lincoln's officially nonpartisan city council, with the current one vote Democratic majority to be maintained or lost depending on the outcome of the District 4 race between incumbent Annette McRoy and attorney John Spatz.
Beutler started the campaign at a significant disadvantage because of the prevailing negativity towards sitting Mayor and fellow Democrat Coleen Seng. But, having worked harder and run a better campaign than Svoboda on every front - from fundraising, to building a message, and most importantly to presenting voters with an actual vision for Lincoln's future - Beutler has positioned himself not only as a contender but likely as the frontrunner. This was evident after his impressive 13-point victory over Svoboda in the primary. But, Beutler came up short of 50% four weeks ago, so this race conceivably remains a toss-up.
The fact that Svoboda has remained competitive has done nothing to relieve the growing desperation of both his campaign and the Nebraska Republican Party as they've lost hold of what once seemed a near lock for their anointed candidate. So, it comes as no surprise that Lincoln politics have once again been dragged into the mud by the Republican Party with a series of long expected but no less disappointing attacks against Beutler, claiming to present the truth about Beutler's record on taxes with a poorly-doctored, sliced and spliced video clip that shamefully distorts a 2006 statement made by Beutler on the floor of the Nebraska Legislature.
The 10/11 News (KOLN/KGIN) has the report:
Readers may recall that this is the exact same distortion that NNN exposed 3 1/2 months ago. To get a good sense of just how terrible a job the Republican Party did splicing Beutler's statement to lie to Lincoln voters, watch this video clip currently featured on the party's website. As you can see, this is trash politics using the same insulting and dishonest tricks employed by Pete Ricketts in the closing days of his similarly desperate 2006 Senate campaign. This is also a fitting addition to the Republican Party's record of shameless, unprecedented personal attacks that made Lincoln's 2005 city elections one of the ugliest spectacles in Nebraska political history (1, 2, 3, 4).
The race is in the hands of the voters now. In my opinion, it would be a tragedy if Lincoln voters passed up this opportunity to elect a mayor with such a proven record of progressive and visionary leadership as Chris Beutler's.
Although I labeled Ken Svoboda "idiotic" for his road construction plan that even the Omaha World-Herald condemned as irresponsible political pandering, I'm not going to sit here and say that he's a terrible guy. His party has done some despicable things to win campaigns, and he's allowed his partisanship and ambition to color his judgment on the City Council to an unfortunate degree, but my beef with Svoboda is not a personal one. He's just not the right choice for the city of Lincoln.
That choice - the right choice - is Chris Beutler, a man whose election would portend good things and a brighter future for the entire state of Nebraska.
Go to full text...