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Exclusive: Nasty name calling at county meeting (hear it here).

By   /   December 6, 2012  /   63 Comments

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Nebraska Watchdog has uncovered shouts of “You’re ignorant…You’re a fool…” along with cussing, including the “f” word, pouring into a public meeting in Douglas County.

Mike Boyle

County Commissioner Mike Boyle and a woman in the audience hurled insult after insult (listen below) at each other this week.

Contacted by Nebraska Watchdog, Boyle—who was on the receiving end of the nasty expletive deleted— says he will apologize to the woman.

The scene was a meeting room on the usually quiet 9th floor of the City-County building.

The topic: sexually transmitted diseases.

It all starts with County Health Director Adi Pour announcing an $88,000 grant from Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

The money, private funds not tax dollars, will go to buy test kits allowing young people to test themselves for STD’s without telling their parents.

One woman in the audience appeared critical of the ‘don’t tell your parents’ policy.

That led to the following free-for-all with County Commissioner Chris Rodgers trying, unsuccessfully, to referee.





Joe formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • wow!!

  • Spencer

    Isn’t this the same type of behavior that got Boyle recalled when he was mayor in ’87? Some people never learn.

  • he is a tool

  • It is the law of Nebraska that minors seeking testing for STD’s or pregnancy can do so without parental consent or parental notification. I work in the health care field at a clinic that provides this testing for free. With Omaha ranking among the top 3 cities with the highest percentage of STD’s among young people in the entire country, something has to be done. The woman was wrong for making light of it and disrupting the discussion with obscenities and Boyle, while his intentions were to keep the discussion serious and on point, should not have continued to engage with this woman. I can tell you, if that woman has teenagers, she has no idea what they are up to. I see too much of it every day.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    But she’s still ignorant for thinking that there is not a problem, or that teens, possibly including her own, are not sexually active and getting STD’s. There is just way too much of this religious-based, head-in-the-sand ignorance about sexuality. Just Say No is a failure. Education IS the answer, ignorance is the problem. Not only does Omaha have one of the highest teen STD rates in the nation, but Nebraska as a whole also has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates, too. So much for that Conservative bible-thumping mantra and ignorance also reflected in much of our elected leaders statewide when it comes to topics such as teen pregnancy, unwed mothers, STD’s, etc.

  • Watching_From_Lincoln

    The point is that this is PRIVATE funding for this, NOT Public, and everything is within the bounds of State Law as far as notification goes. What this woman exhibits is just more of the far-right, conservative, politico-religious ignorance that has permeated this country over the last three decades. I honestly believe, unless she and her husband keep them locked in the basement 24/7, that they do NOT know what their children are doing at all times and whether they are sexually active or not – and with parents like that I wouldn’t be telling them if I were if I was them.

  • Sean YD

    “All right” is actually two words. But to be clear, I’m not calling anyone “ignorant.” Not after listening to that exchange. Wow.

  • Lori

    Although I feel the meeting went astray, on both sides, regarding the language and heated words, parents do need to recognize that there are youth out there having unprotected sex. With the state, however they are managing to do so, are closing clinics that provided free and/or low cost testing (affordable for any age). The state has given money to more generalized clinics in which the youth don’t feel as comfortable going to, so, self testing with instruction where to go for treatment is not a bad thing. Youth take risks. It’s a known fact. Even when you, as a parent, educate your children, doesn’t mean they will LISTEN. It’s possible they will still take risks. With saying that, wouldn’t you, as a parent, want to make sure your child takes care of their health if they feel they can’t/won’t talk to you?

  • Mike Boyle has ALWAYS been a blowhard pompus jerk (I have another word for him but I will be nice)!!!
    She raised a valid point &, in typical liberal form, he twisted her question to make her out to be a bad person.
    He wants to run his mouth to her about not knowing where HER children are, well let’s go back a few years & ask HIM why HIS 2 boys were arrested in 1986 (might have been 85) for soliciting a prostitue???
    They were in schoo at Omaha Central with my brother & basically bragged that the reason that they got off was because “their da was the mayor, & they could do whatever they wanted & get away with it”!
    Some parent HE was!!!

  • There are many, many parents out there that have become grandparents because they “knew what their kids were doing”. There have also been alot of STDs that have spread much farther than they should have because their parents “always knew what their young adults were doing.
    In bible belt states like Nebraska, de nile is much winder than the Platt river.

  • Malone1610

    Just say no is a failure????? You must be Mike Boyle. I f you don’t have sex you can’t get or get someone pregnant you fool or pass on STD’s.

    The real problem are lousy liberal Parents that encourage their kids to run to the government for everything. The government is more than happy to get in the way of the parents and how they want to raise their families.

    The liberal school system actually encourages frivolous sexual behavior by telling kids how they can get contraceptives and testing for STD,s.
    Don’t worry about it kids just go have fun and don’t listen to you stupid parents, what do they know. They just don’t want you to have any fun.

    Who cares for you the most your parents or the government. After all its just your parents job to feed you, cloth you, and put a roof over you head.
    The woman was mad because its just another way the government can get involved in peoples families. The children belong to their parents, not to the school system and definitely to the government.
    God, will Mike Boyle never go away, he has been living off the taxpayers forever.

  • Tyler

    It’s actually equally acceptable to use either “alright” or “all right”.
    From (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alright?s=t)

    Usage note
    The form alright as a one-word spelling of the phrase all right in all of its senses probably arose by analogy with such words as already and altogether. Although alright is a common spelling in written dialogue and in other types of informal writing, all right is used in more formal, edited writing.

  • Sean YD

    From the AP Stylebook: all right (adv.) Never alright. Hyphenate only if used colloquially as a compound modifier: He is
    an all-right guy.

  • resistwemuch

    The really ignorant individuals are the ones who continue to elect people like Mr. Boyle and the other self proclaimed intellectuals on the county board. He and his wife couldn’t make it in the private sector and continue to feed off the public taxpayer.

  • midwestandglad

    First, I worked in the medical field for many years…tell me what STD you are going to diagnose AND treat by sending a kid home with a test kit and not telling their parents? Who’s going to follow up with them? Who’s going to re test? What if the kid decides not to be treated? What if the kid has a medical condition or allergy he doesn’t mention? What if the kid lies about his test result? In what universe did politicians take over the medical needs of our kids?

    This parental consent law ought to be repealed. What statistics showed the majority of Nebraska parents don’t care about their kids? What stats showed this would specifically reduce STD’s? It’s been the law for quite awhile…so how is it the STD rate didn’t improve? MOST parents know where their kids are but we get these interfering laws passed that are for the minority of parents who are lousy parents. How does that make sense? The city can interfere with ANY kid and automatically assume some politician knows better than the parent? Are we going to start meatless Mondays soon? Require breathalyzers in ALL cars? Punish the majority because of the minority. Slippery slope when Nebraskans let this stuff slide by.

    This mom went to a meeting, asked a question and got attacked by Boyle.
    He then yelled at her about her own kids. That was way out of line. Nobody attacked him or his kids…and as I recall theres ammo there.
    And just for the record, SHE apologized to him first for the way she reacted to his attack on her. (not for her reaction but for the way she reacted when he attacked her family) It was only after being asked if he was going to apologize too that he even considered it. Let’s see…the MOM took the high road and Mr. Boyle had to think about it. Maybe Boyle should quit and let an adult take his position.

  • midwestandglad

    You’re generalizing. MOST parents know what their kids do and teach them what NOT to do. And for Boyle to tell her what she knows about her own kids was out of line. In addition the liberal agenda of sex education, the parental consent laws and do what you want when you want has been in place in our public schools for many years now. This grant was to Rodgers district…they weren’t talking about kids who go to private schools. Hows that liberal attitude workin’ for the STD rate so far? Not well obviously.

  • midwestandglad


  • Goblin Shark

    You never win when you get into a “you are”, “no, you are” situation. Mike Boyle just comes off as a bully in this recording. I sympathize with the difficulty of dealing with a broad spectrum of the public in an elected capacity but he should have respectfully discussed that woman’s objection.

  • Goblin Shark

    how many Nebraskans, or Americans even know what a stylebook is?

  • Sean YD

    Journalists with college degrees do.

  • Jazzee


  • Jazzee

    for years they have been gov employees…..great job if you can get it eh Boyle?
    And as a parent, it may be law it can happen but guess what? I am still the parent and don’t like all these little secret laws that keep me out of what my kid may do …it’s a shame how the family has fallen apart

  • Jazzee


  • Bill

    Boyle has always been a bully and a pompous idiot however, to attack someone asking a question is rude and ignorant. I believe he has outlived his usefulness and should just retire completely.

  • She had every right to stand up to government’s mentality of “government knows best” effort that would bypass parents knowledge and consent with a medical issue involving their child(ren). To say she was treating this issue lightly is incorrect and to say she has no idea what her children are up to is pompous, presumptuous and arrogant.

  • The behavior Douglas County Commissioner Boyle displayed towards this concerned parent is outrageous and unacceptable. Lodge your complaint one of two ways call/email info at http://www.douglascounty.ne.gov/Commissioners and/or express your disgust at their next board meeting 9am on Tue. 12/11/2012 on the second floor of the Civic Bldg at 18th & Farnam St.

  • ProgressiveOasis

    Nebraskans need to lance both boils, Mike and Ann. They have been enriching themselves at taxpayer expense for decades and are as corrupt as they come. If Nebraska Watchdog wants to investigate something, how about the Boyles and their influence peddling, etc.???

  • ProgressiveOasis

    It’s good to see that the public schools aren’t doing any better teaching sex ed than they are reading, writing and arithmetic. There is a long term upside to the rampant STD epidemic in the minority/poverty community. The females if left undiagnosed and treated become sterile thereby providing a natural limit on their already exploding birth rate…thus eventually reducing the number of future Obama voters…LOL!!!

  • Franklyn Fahrkwhar

    This exchange is a painful reminder of why one should never feed a troll.

  • Real Nebraskan

    As opposed to journalists without college degrees. And for the record, journalists don’t set the rules on how to use proper grammer.

  • racefish

    Wow. Somebody actually pins Boyle to the wall. That’s funny.

  • Jazzee

    OH that won’t happen Jordan is one of them…..loves the Boyles

  • Richard

    So what is the next step? Treating STD’s without parents consent?

    I don’t buy the argument that providing free kits will stop the behavior that causes the STD’s in the first place. My gut tells me that the child will be relieved they have not contracted a STD and not stop because they think they have dodged a bullet. Further, if the test turns out positive, there is no guarantee that they will seek the parents help.

    We cannot legislate our way out of bad parenting. I would rather see the money spent on PSA’s attempting to convince parents to be more involved in their child life. Perhaps showing that the parent will not necessarily react the way the child thinks. Show a positive lets work together to treat and resolve the issue.

    What will happen when the grant money runs out? Will the community be any different? Will you have made a difference?

  • 30 years ago I was a big donor to Planned Parenthood. I educated my girls that if their ‘friends, hint hint’ were to become sexually active, Planned Parenthood would help them avoid pregnancy and STDs.
    I don’t donate anymore as Planned Parenthood took golden handcuffs and gave up their independence from government and now must dance to the tune of whichever party is in power.
    Maybe we, the women, need to replace Planned Parenthood with a fully privately funded group to help women with contraception, STDs and unwanted pregnancy options.

  • JoeSixPack56

    I want to hear the rest of the meeting, before and after this exchange.

  • JoeSixPack56

    How did they vote on the issue that caused the verbal exchange?

  • While I realize Mike Boyle suffers from a fair amount of hubirus, having worked in customer service situations in the past, you have to remember that he is dealing with people that often cannot be communicated to. That dont see the whole world.
    When I worked at a local tv station as a young man, the public called in thinking that the network news anchors were reporting locally rather than from NY, they thought every show was live, etc., etc.

    When you deal with people who are unwilling to listen, it is very frustrating and sometimes your going to fall to their level

  • I don’t think being “liberal” or “conservative” is the issue. Ms. Ward is far from conservative, but she IS a mother and a concerned citizen. As parents and as citizens, we should be concerned whenever initiatives are pushed through that could have longer-term ramifications that go beyond the feel-good stated intention.

    Ms. Ward said nothing to criticize the value of testing for STDs. Her only questions involved the concern of pushing parents aside as a matter of course (based on the misperception reflected during this exchange that parents “don’t give a damn” about their own children – which isn’t true at all), and her concern about what happens when the $88,000 grant (good for 1000 test kits) runs out, at which time Douglas County will be faced with paying to keep the program going.

    In addition, I am concerned about what happens to the test results if our children were to test positive. That is an invasion of privacy that parents – the primary caregivers of children and the adults in charge of their own families – should have some opportunity to consider before sensitive information is sent about and shared with whatever government agency may be privy to the test results.

    In this climate where parents are more and more discounted in favor of school administrators, caseworkers, guardians ad litem and judges – all who presume to care more about our children than we do – it seems very dangerous to allow such an initiative to go through without more public input and many more answers.

  • Sarah, Omaha ranks at the top for a lot of things, and we should consider why that is without just trying to rush through experimental initiatives and laws that end up doing more harm to youth and their families than was ever intended by those who just want to do good.

    Nebraska is second in the nation for removing children from their families for so-called “neglect,” too. And the percentage of black children who live in poverty in Omaha ranks NUMBER ONE in the nation. That’s right.

    And Ms. Ward is a mother who is raising children through poverty, so she knows all too well what these sort of statistics mean.

    But she also knows that government officials are all too happy to quickly come in to take over by labeling her children and her as a mother – using stereotypes and correlative logic to make policies and laws under a false shroud of “doing good” that actually makes all families (and especially poor minority families) even more vulnerable to harmful interventions by over-powerful government agencies.

    Asking questions is not only a good thing to do, it’s essential.

  • Excellent and appreciated comments Susan. You hit the issues (and the ONLY issues that related to Ms. Ward’s points) directly on the head. Thank you.

  • This mother never said there wasn’t a problem with STDs. It’s disingenuous to implicate her for things she didn’t mean and didn’t say and then argue your own point. She said nothing about “just say no.” She said nothing about the value of education to help kids prevent STDs. She is not a conservative or “bible-thumping,” but ignorance certainly comes in all forms of arrogant and self-righteous assumptions about the motivations of those who speak out as concerned citizens for a variety of reasons.

    It should be conceivable to you that this is actually a very caring and involved mother who also is concerned about the rush to push parents aside by presuming that kids are always better off trusting government officials to do the right thing with sensitive private information.

    She’s acting responsibly by asking questions, and we should support that sort of discussion, rather than blindly accepting that everything will just work out as you want it to.

  • It’s not a liberal or conservative question. It’s a question of parental value and our rights to protect our own children from undue government interventions and “fishing” for private and sensitive information (even if the parents are poor and minority). It’s also question of funding, as the Blue Cross Blue Shield grant that will purchase 1000 of these kits to get this initiative moving, but then what? It’s also a question of the simple right we have as citizens to ask for answers and not be intimidated into just going along.

  • That very well may be. But there are many other realities, too – like the fact that the state makes a very poor parent. It is dangerous to begin from the assumption that government can do better, care better, and react better to situations involving children than parents and families do and can.

    The mom didn’t argue any of these issues, anyway. She asked questions about this particular initiative that seems to have lots of unanswered parts to it, which responsible citizens – and parents – should want answers to before blindly going along. Do YOU know the details of this program?

    Heck, I guess I could start anything I want and just paste a label on it that sounds good, and I’ll get all sorts of support. Unless only government officials get to do that….

  • You assume to know the motives of this mom, which is arrogant and ignorant. You couldn’t be more wrong. Ms. Ward is not “far right,” “conservative” or driven in her concerns about this initiative by religion.

    Whether or not her children (whom you do not know and therefore should refrain from generalized assumptions and comments, for your own credibility’s sake) are sexually active or not has no bearing on her questions or concerns about this particular initiative.

    Most things of value or relevance are not black and white. Please refrain from compartmentalizing the characters of others based on your own limited information and biases.

    I know it’s easy to take this opportunity to rail against a political or religious ideology you take issue with, but that is unrelated from the points this mother was trying to make or her general concerns. And it definitely is way off the mark when considering the question of citizen rights to question government officials about these things before just going along with them.

  • This is likely true, David, that Mr. Boyle’s frustration has some sympathetic basis. But so does this mother’s frustration. To suggest that Mr. Boyle’s opinion and consideration of this initiative is either more informed or less riddled with conflict of interest, etc., than a mother whose family may be directly (and possibly adversely) affected by practices that push her aside and get to her children’s privacy, is a dangerous notion.

    Moreover, the rights and responsibilities of citizens to be actively involved with overseeing and contributing to considerations of government decisions should be encouraged, even if officials disagree with what is being expressed.

    Within most concerned comments are relevant issues that are worthy of thought.

  • They didn’t vote. It was a report offered by Dr. Adi Pour to the Child & Youth Services Committee – a subcommittee of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners chaired by Chris Rodgers and attended mostly by people involved in juvenile “justice” and child “welfare.”

  • Also relevant questions, which I believe should be answered before we – as Douglas County citizens – should just go along. What happens if a test comes back positive? Who gets that information? Is there any scenario where other government officials would be privy to this sensitive information? What if the youth tested is below the legal age for sexual activity? Would CPS or juvenile officials find justification to assume control over that family and youth?

    These may not be questions that concern some people, but I advocate for families who are dragged through juvenile court and the horrors that are called “child protection” and “services.” I think the question of privacy is very important.

  • Lori, yes, if we lived in an environment where our government officials didn’t assume parents are neglectful and the state knows best, I would say we could discuss how to make our communities even healthier.

    But when we live in a state that removes children from their homes for alleged “neglect” at the second highest rate in the nation; and when we live in a city that is FIRST in the nation for poverty among black children; and when we are now faced with the threat at every turn of prosecution for “educational neglect” (even while trying to responsibly raise special-needs children or nurture our kids’ special interests, etc.) – parents are already feeling under siege.

    The state does not make a good parent. And it is a myth that the majority of parents are not responsible, caring and capable of addressing their own children’s healthcare needs.

    The problem isn’t so much whether a few kids give up some DNA to the government to test. It’s what happens to that information afterward, and how the project will be treated and funded longer term.

  • The state is a terrible parent, much like too many biological parents. If the home family unit has great relationships/communications, the child would have little trouble talking to their parents about problems and mistakes, hopefully before they are made.
    Unfortunately excessive work, drugs, low self esteem, some religious dogma, mental illness, etc., etc., etc., makes state intervention necessary.

  • You are right, the state is a TERRIBLE parent, so think longer before suggesting that state intervention can be justified for anything less than very serious circumstances where the terrible parenting of the state can really be offset by the benefits of intervention.

    I can’t think of many situations when that would be the case – unless a child is being beaten, raped or starved on purpose. But then again, that happens too often when children are taken by the state and dumped into the hands of strangers who collect money to “foster” children that aren’t theirs. Did you know that as many as 30 percent of foster care alumni (kids who have aged out of foster care) report having been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused in out-of-home placements?

    If that happened to you, or you were vulnerable to it simply because you were poor and unknowing people tend to believe the government and its program administrators just have everyone’s best interests in mind, you wouldn’t be arguing for easy government interventions. You would be a bit more wary of the resultant invasions of privacy and the ongoing threats against your children and you as a parent.

    It’s not all as it seems, and I’m glad this mother raised questions for us all to discuss, before yet another program with feel-good marketing got pushed onto us without thought of negative ramifications.

  • JoeSixPack56

    How many people do you know who never had sex except after they were married and then only with that one person – never had sex as a teen or youngster or got divorced and picked up a new sexual partner?

    I’m very conservative and have many friends but I don’t think any of them were pure except for in their marriage.

  • JoeSixPack56

    Do our grade, middle, high schools and public colleges give out free condoms? If they don’t, they should. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It would be much more effective to fight the epidemic of STD’s in Douglas County by handing out LOTS of free condoms.
    Condoms don’t cause people to have sex, people’s hormones do. Proper use of condoms prevent many but not all pregnancies and transmissions of STD’s.
    Free condoms could prevent many abortions!

  • Kent Goertzen

    Except it isn’t a government knows best situation.

    This is an option, not a government take over.

    It is far better to have multiple options rather than the myopic ideas you are pushing.

  • Kent Goertzen

    She has no general concerns. The claim it is the government saying it knows best is a completely false claim.

    This is an OPTION, not a government take over of this.

  • Kent Goertzen

    ” I f you don’t have sex you can’t get or get someone pregnant you fool or pass on STD’s.”

    Every state that pushes only abstinence has had HUGE increases in pregnancy.

    You are naive if you think teaching them that means that is what they are going to do.

    You have to have other options and teach them ALL the ways to be safe and prevent STDs.

  • Kent Goertzen

    “MOST parents know what their kids do ”

    No, most parents THINK they know. In actually they don’t.

  • Kent Goertzen

    It isn’t government intervention. It is an option for those kids that wouldn’t do a thing otherwise.

    This isn’t a government take over or government saying it knows best. that is a completely false characterization, and I suspect dishonest one presented by these parents trying to hide they are just being close minded about sex and STD education.

  • Kent Goertzen

    “We cannot legislate our way out of bad parenting. ”

    We also can’t just stand by and ignore the issues either.

  • midwestandglad

    Not sure what you mean by that; whether parents think the worst or the best. Parents know what their kids do…what parents don’t do is admit it out loud. I am just going to go by my experience which is moms do talk about this. And moms know if it looks like trouble it likely is. For example, I do know plenty of parents who KNOW their minor kids drink. Some parents think its a right of passage, some don’t. Whatever way they react to it they do know their kids are drinking. Parents look the other way until something bad happens: MIP, DUI, or worse. It’s selective memory not unconsciousness that the parents exhibit no matter if it is drugs, sex or alcohol.

  • When “OPTIONS” involve sensitive private health information of our children, it should be a public discussion before decisions are made in spirt of relevant concerns of citizens. You don’t think she has general concerns, but she does, and they have to do with the increased mythology promoted that parents are not to be trusted with the care of their own children, but government officials, attorneys, judges and caseworkers care most about our kids.

    Government take over? That’s your overblown straw man, not mine. And maybe one single initiative isn’t much to worry about in itself. But when it’s part of many “initiatives” that push aside parents and thrive off a mis-notion that government has our children’s and family’s best interest, then it becomes part of a larger government direction that arrogantly whittles away at citizens’ basic responsibilities to question and contributes to the conditioning of citizens who are coming to believe that we don’t have much right to do exactly that.

  • I can assure you that I’m not close-minded about sex and STDs, so somehow your argument should be framed differently to include my own concerns.

    That Nebraska already finds many ways to not only violate privacy of families, but also is quick to mischaracterize parents and children (and even use subjective and limited information to remove children from their homes), it is not an exaggerated worry parents have about “initiatives” that find ways to connect with our children, collect bodily samples, test them in a lab, and then …. ?

    This may be great in theory (who doesn’t want to address the problems with STDs?), but theory doesn’t always lead to reality. Also, after the 1000 “free” kits paid for by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, then who pays for the program? Certainly Blue Cross/Blue Shield isn’t just investing in this out of the goodness of their hearts.

    And if Douglas County taxpayers are going to be picking up this ongoing bill, then don’t we have a right to question the details ahead of time?

  • It is not a Government take over, you silly fool! If your children are angels that would never do anything wrong -ya right- you have nothing to worry about. There are way too many kids out there that are for all intents and purposes, on their own. If you cannot help, shut-up!

  • Goblin Shark

    next time I buy gas I’ll ask the guy working at the register, that’s where journalists usually seem to find employment, anymore LOL