Nebraska Politics

Let’s be Frank(ing) Violations

We started Seeing Red Nebraska because we noticed a rising trend of Nebraska GOP politicians lying to the media. Those lies frequently went unchecked and repeated without any real context straight to the public narrative. We saw that trend continue tonight on 10/11 News.


Let’s be Frank(ing)

In their report of Dr. Reyn Archer’s threat against UNL Political Science Professor Dr. Ari Kohen, tonight’s 6:00 PM 10/11 news broadcast called Dr. Archer Fortenberry’s “Campaign Manager.” Dr. Archer is Fortenberry’s Chief of Staff, as numerous other sources have reported including Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World HeraldWashington PostNewsweek, and more. Also, Dr. Ari Kohen correctly states his title as Chief of Staff in the very same broadcast just moments before.

This distinction is particularly important because as Fortenberry’s Chief of Staff, Dr. Archer likely committed a federal offense in his threats to Dr. Ari Kohen. Specifically, he violated the Franking Regulations, which state that emails sent by a congressional office should not be related to a campaign. Dr. Archer was using taxpayer resources, including his time, email, and potentially his phone to call and threaten Dr. Ari Kohen.


Okay, Jeff.

Beyond that, Jeff Fortenberry also attempts to drum up sympathy during the broadcast by claiming that he is particularly sensitive to what he calls vandalism because it has happened at his home. He says it’s up to community leaders (and references himself as a community leader) to “elevate the discussion.” What do you call it when someone invents a problem and claims that they themselves are the answer?

It took me just 31 clicks and 15 minutes on publicly available sources to find out just what he was talking about. This includes finding the police reports accompanying his claims of vandalism. That he has gone to the media before to decry vandalism, all seemingly toilet humor related, certainly makes for quick research.

I found a 4:41 minute long video of him on Fox News calling a sign in his yard “aggression.” The sign said, “Do the right thing {censored} head.” (It may have said farthead, fathead, or similar.) Lincoln Police Department did not classify this as vandalism – they called it Misc/Other, like a towed vehicle. 

I also found a similar local news report with pictures of a second set of signs. This pair apparently referencing his votes on DACA, CHIP, VA, SSI, and Medicaid – things that actually hurt real Nebraskans. These signs also appeared to call him a {censored} head. Again, Lincoln Police Department did not list this as vandalism. The paper sign was listed as a disturbance, like loud music, construction noise, or a noisy dog barking. 


With publicly available tools so easily accessible, it is a real shame that we take repeat liars for their word. It’s a shame our news cycle is such that these basic facts go unchecked. It’s a shame so many public resources have gone toward Jeff Fortenberry’s victimization complex over potty humor. It is a shame that he is continually spinning a narrative that compares the slaughter of over a dozen people to a sign that hurt his feelings. It’s all such a shame.