Interesting day yesterday, no?
The Nebraska Legislature decides to get rid of the penalty of death.
This while also planning on getting rid of mandatory minimum punishments for criminals.
Repeal of the Death Penalty is led by a guy who said the following:
“If I was going to carry a weapon it wouldn’t be against you, it woudln’t be against these people who come here that I might have a dispute with. Mine would be for the police. And if I carried a gun I’d wanna shoot him first and then ask questions later, like they say the cop ought to do. Could I get away with it? You know I couldn’t get away with it. They better hope I never lose my mind and find out I’m on my way out of here.”
(We were told, by numerous Senators and others how this wasn’t a big deal, how this was just Ernie being Ernie, how he had a good point.
How about all of those folks stand up and repeat it today?)
And then in the afternoon in Omaha, a criminal guns down a police officer performing her duties, who also happened to be a new mother.
Everyone can feel free to discuss the theology and justice implications of all of this (FWIW, I found this discussion on the theory of “revenge” to be interesting).
Just throwing out some of the day’s events.
Back to politics…
State Senator John Murante’s vote on the Death Penalty Repeal could have some political consequences.
Murante — who has been a guest on The Wheels Down Politics Show — has been pro-Repeal of the Death Penalty.
Murante also has been thought for some time now to be a likely candidate for the GOP nomination for Nebraska’s 2nd District Congressional seat. He has not yet announced. (Right now the only ones who have are Don Bacon and Chip Maxwell.)
While there have been some who have said that being against the Death Penalty is actually a “conservative” position, it would be interesting to see whether 2nd District Republican voters agree with that.
Or, whether it would be an issue — or whether Don Bacon, or say an independent PAC, would make it an issue.
This subject will likely come up in Legislature races, but the 2nd District would be the most high-profile — and if loudly discussed, would MAKE it an issue in those races.
When Republicans have a hard time differentiating themselves from each other, there are usually a few issues that come to the fore.
And on that note, where a few months ago the feeling was that it would be a Battle Royal for the GOP nomination for Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, right now there is an eerie silence.
Shane Osborne and Bryan Slone have dropped off of the top rope and out of the ring. Brian Buescher, who has run for other offices seems to be pretty unlikely.
We have yet to hear anything from Dan Frei on the “Tea Party” wing.
There have been some low-level rumblings about some candidate recruitment, but nothing that is really hitting the Richter scale.
Which leaves us with Don Bacon — who has a full-time campaign, serious endorsements and an impressive background.
Then there is Chip Maxwell, who announced last year that he would run, but hasn’t had a full announcement roll-out…yet. He is scheduled to speak — presumably as a candidate — before the DCRP. But as noted here, he is already getting some push-back from the Sarpy County GOP for not being a team-player in the past.
And would Maxwell put together a big-time operation, or go with the shoe-string approach?
Is the 2nd District GOP content with these two — or maybe three — battling it out for the chance to take out Brad Ashford, in what would likely be the best time to defeat him?
A bit of a surprise, no?
Finally, here is an interesting question.
The Governor got what he wanted on “Tax Relief” in the budget.
The LJS noted…
“The additional money for property tax credits — $64 million a year more than before — amounts to about $33 for the owner of a $100,000 home, or $83 for the owner of a $250,000 home.”
Democrat State Senator Heath Mello said,
“Governor Ricketts displayed tremendous leadership today.”
Gas Tax increase, Death Penalty Repeal, Drivers Licenses for DREAMers, Medical Marijuana, Voter ID, Winner Take All, Public Votes for Chairman — all going, or went, against Ricketts’ public positions for these votes.
Would Governor Heineman have gotten the rug pulled from under him on these?
So here’s a Q:
Did Governor Pete Ricketts really care about ANY of those votes?
Was he ever willing to really spend any political capital on them?
Or has the goal all along just been to say, “Hey look! Tax relief!”
And have the Democrat state Senators roll with him on that — while not really pressing them on these “side” issues.
Or, did he simply get rolled on these issues, not appreciating the effort that it takes to herd the cats in the Unicameral?
Just looking for a little rhyme or reason for all that has happened over the past few months.