Bumbling Omaha Mayor Attempts Chicago-Style Politics as Recall Election Looms

The latest blunder in a string of blunders by Omaha Mayor Jim “I’m not subtle about Omaha” Suttle and his “Forward Omaha” lackeys may impact local charities that help the homeless.  Fears are rising that donations to homeless shelters will dry-up if Omaha citizens blame charities for the Mayor’s attempt to bus, then allegedly pay homeless persons to vote early in the recall election. 

“Forward Omaha”—the anti-recall group funded and staffed mainly be Suttle campaign insiders—picked up homeless people at shelters, paid them $5 to attend “canvassing training,” then bused them to early voting sites. An investigation into the activities is scheduled to begin next week, the same week a recall election will be held to determine Mayor Suttle’s fate.

Local homeless shelters indicated they had no knowledge of the Mayor’s plan to bus, “train,” and then take homeless people to the polls. One shelter’s manager even denied “Forward Omaha’s” request to pick up individuals at her shelter, but the anti-recall group showed up with buses anyway. A staff worker at the shelter then intervened.

Mayor Suttle, the 50.7% to 48.7% winner of the 2009 Mayoral election that drew 31% of voters, has remained unresponsive and unrepentant throughout his short tenure. Some of the Mayor’s low-lights: committed the city to a lease for a “green” Mayor-mobile at a 25% interest rate, hired staff at nearly double the previous administration’s salaries, ignored City Council approval requirements for the hiring of Washington D.C. lobbyists, declared, “this is the deal of the century” when pressed over bloated police and fire union contract-deals, hired a “Bicycle Czar” from California at a time Omaha couldn’t even pay to fix its potholes, and rammed-through property, restaurant, and wheel tax increases.