Wednesday Morning QB

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.48.32 AMInteresting comments from Governor Pete Ricketts yesterday regarding the prison riots in Tecumseh.

Director of Corrections, Scott Frakes was asked if prison officials “should have known” something like this would happen, given that the prison is over capacity (and has had staffing issues). He responded:

“It’s easy after the fact to say we knew or should have known, because there’s always the potential for something bad to happen in a prison.”

Governor Ricketts, stepped up though and threw this out:

“Director Frakes was being polite but I’ll be more blunt. Those comment are irresponsible and Monday morning quarterbacking.”


Well, maybe there is some MMQing going on there.

But…after a PRISON RIOT…where TWO GUYS WERE MURDERED…when ALLLLLLLL anyone has been talking about for the past nine months is sentencing and prison overcrowding and new corrections policies and yadda yadda yadda…



“Irresponsible” would be NOT asking those questions.
Irresponsible would be NOT suggesting that overcrowding is the cause.
Irresponsible would be to NOT ask if this should have been foreseen.

Now, of course, overcrowding may have had nothing to do with it. (The Director says it’s 60 people over capacity, and that is not “overcrowded”. He says that’s 106% or so. He’s the expert. It’s not 300%…)

But to not ask the question — or even to speculate —  would be negligence on the part of the media.

Being alarmed at “tough” questions like this is what happens when one hasn’t had to deal with any tough questions in a while.


And kudos to the Gov for taking questions from reporters on other topics after they were done talking about the prison riot.

Though, frankly, this is one of those times where it probably would have been completely appropriate to restrict questions to that topic.

Beef is Awesome Day” is when you can let things fly.


While overcrowding may or may not have been an issue in the prison riot, it is interesting that “staff retention” certainly IS an issue in Tecumseh.

Frakes noted…

“We’ve got some recruitment and retention issues in some locations.”

Well, one would think Tecumseh is one of them.

In my most recent podcast on The Wheels Down Politics Show, Tom Becka — now with KPTM Fox42 — talked about how he raced down to Tecumseh on Sunday night to witness what was going on.

Here’s a clip about one interesting thing he saw:

Becka notes that he saw signs where they are advertising for guards in Tecumseh.

Again, does this mean that this was a cause, the cause or not a cause? Don’t know. But it is certainly worth asking and pursuing.

In honor of the NBA Playoffs, we’ll call it Monday Morning Point-Guarding…


Senator Deb Fischer is taking the tools she developed as a legislator in Nebraska and applying them to her job as United States Senator.

She proposed an Infrastructure Bank to fund transportation projects to help states build and repair roads and bridges throughout the country.

“My bill adheres to three important points: reduce regulatory burdens, redirect funding, and provide states with more authority to manage their highways and bridges. Nebraska has gained successful results with this model and it’s time to bring best practices from our states to the national discussion. By letting our states manage these projects, we can get America moving safely and securely for decades to come.”

Read more in the OWH or LJS.
Or from Reuters, Politico, The Hill, or (your favorite) Transportation Topics.


  1. The Problem with Pete says:

    Pete is a nice guy. He is very generous and sincere. Pete’s problem is that he is always being reactive to everything instead of being proactive as Governor. I lay the blame for this on his political gurus. I love the commenter that calls herself Governor Moenning. I have no idea what Jessica gets paid but if I had to rate Pete’s performance so far at best it is a C-. Running government is different than campaigns. Pete has virtually no influence in the Unicameral. (once again that is a staff issue) I think Heath is more powerful that Pete and that does not bode well for Team Ricketts

  2. Intersted Observer says:

    I thought that the Nebraska Legislature threw out Deb Fi$cher’s big idea to put the State of Nebraska half a BILLION dollars in debt to build more roads faster. Why is she now trying to put all the states in debt with her failed, recycled ideas? It’s just one more example of her total lack of fiscal conservatism.

    Based on the 4 filings in Lancaster County Court yesterday afternoon, she should try to clean up her own ranch first!

  3. Some things never change says:

    Interested Observer makes angry and bitter attacks Deb Fischer on this blog for years and years and years.

    Deb Fischer continues her political rise from small-town school board member to Nebraska’s Senior Senator in under 10 years.

    Could there be a correlation here?

    Just an “interesting observation” from a reader who will now let others “Monday morning quarterback” this topic.

  4. Where is Pete? says:

    I hope Pete Ricketts asks for Bill Kitner’s resignation over using the derogatory and racist term “Wetback” today. Clearly he must use the same logic in this matter as he did with Pat McPherson,

  5. To Where is Pete? says:

    I agree, I hope Governor Ricketts addresses calls for his resignation as fast as he called for McPherson’s.

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