Initiative Petition Tease

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.19.13 PMGovernor Pete Ricketts is making the hard sell on knocking back the veto-override on the Death Penalty Repeal.

We will hear more at his 3pm press conference — where we understand Nebraska law enforcement officials along with County Attorneys will make an appearance (though this has not been re-confirmed at this time).

But what IS making the rounds is that if the override succeeds, you will very, very likey see an initiative petition on this issue in 2016.

In order to make that work, you need an organization and…cash. And it looks like those who support the Death Penalty would have both.

And then you can also thank Dave Domina for the ability to make the petition process easier. Domina was the one who sued Secretary of State John Gale to make the process easier by not requiring a certain percentage of signatures per county.


to place an initiative or referendum on the ballot by petition, circulators will need only obtain signatures from an overall percentage of the state’s voters: 5 percent for a referendum to repeal a law, 7 percent for an initiative to propose a law and 10 percent for a constitutional amendment.

If the Death Penalty gets reinstated after the repeal, you will be able to thank Attorney Domina (who at the time was likely only thinking about minimum wages and Medicare expansion…).

More on this, very possibly, in the near future.


FWIW, there is also a rumor that a pro-Death-Penalty-Repeal Senator up for re-election in 2016 likely has a formindable opponent lined up.

And that opponent would be AGAINST the repeal.

And would likely have some (ahem) organization cash behind him.

Ah, but just a rumor at this point. Leavenworth St. will keep ya updated.


  1. Spineless says:

    Senators that campained on the premise of supporting the death penalty then voting to repeal it should be fired. Immediately. You should be ashamed of yourselves. Consider you lower than that pond scum Ernie.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I very rarely agree with Bob Loblaw, but we are both pragmatists. What’s the point of all of this effort expended on a penalty that is rarely (and may never again) be enacted and has no deterrent effect? It’s starting to say something about the blood-thirsty people pushing its continuance. Disgusting! And the point of representative government is not to simply vote as the majority wishes. Computers could be used to do that. In any case, the ACLU poll shows that only 30% want the death penalty over alternatives.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ll take the info from a potential candidate who is trying to take the temperature of the people before deciding to campaign, over the one of the most liberal organizations in America trying to create their point.

  4. Macdaddy says:

    What’s the point? Justice is too hard so let’s quit? That’s your attitude? Glad to know that you’ll stand for something, but only to a certain point. Even when guilt is not in doubt…it’s too hard! A life ought to mean something and when you say there’s nothing you can ever do to a human being or a thousand human beings that requires you to forfeit your life, then the murderer’s life is worth more than his victim’s life. I know people disagree with that and think repentance will come in time and therefore some good can come from it. But you’re a pragmatist and you don’t care so much about repentance. In your view, Justice isn’t worth the trouble.

  5. Anonymous says:

    1:36, it’s all in the wording. But your mind’s made up that the majority in this state want the death penalty, so keep your head buried in the sand. Ignorance can be relaxing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Oh WOW. Is this the same guber who saved Holy Name School single handedly? Seems a bit out of step in the talk of his walk.

  7. Bob Loblaw says:


    It’s not that Justice is too hard. It’s that the Justice System is too flawed to be trusted to carry out the ultimate punishment. I’ve said it time and time again, David Kofoed, Beatrice 6, the investigators in the Stock Murders, etc, etc. I trust very little the government does. That’s why I don’t trust them to do something that absolutely cannot be reversed or compensated for. I don’t understand how conservatives can feel any different.

    I also don’t understand why this has become the biggest issue of the legislative session. Do you honestly think the death penalty has really ever crossed any murderers mind before they pull the trigger? Do you think the murder rate will go through the roof because we no longer have it? Do you think this is the most important issue the GOP should be focusing on? Not our sky high sales, property, or income tax burden in this state? Why didn’t Ricketts have press conferences and twist arms when he vetoed the gas tax? I just don’t see why this is the fight that the GOP & Ricketts have chosen to make their stand on. Seems like an issue to distract people while the real problems in this state are never addressed.

  8. TexasAnnie says:

    Well upon your recommendation, Street Sweeper, y’all really SHOULD thank Dave Domina. The rights of initiative and referendum are precious and his effort benefited EVERY Nebraskan. I know that when the people ‘revolt’ against the lawmakers (including governors) by means of I&R, bureaucrats become uneasy. But who among you has any complaint about the PEOPLE voting on whether to continue the death penalty in Nebraska?

  9. Macdaddy says:

    Again, Bob, for the umpteenth time, if you want to tighten up the criteria for the death penalty, fine, but there are cases where the government can be trusted to get it right. What do you do in those cases? Oh, well, it’s never going to happen anyway, so we’ll let it slide this time. That isn’t Justice, that’s laziness. As for deterrence, dead men don’t kill anyone but that’s still beside the point. The point is for the murderer to answer for his crimes. If the highest punishment one can pay is three hots and a cot when you had no prospect of steady employment or making any positive societal contribution, then how is that punishment? Free health care? How is that punishment?

    As for why are we debating this maybe you should have asked Ernie Chambers why rather than just saying, oh well, let’s move on. Andrea Kruger is worth more than a shrug of the shoulders. Same with Officer Orrozco. This is what came up in the Unicam. Pardon us for not just rolling over because you are tired.

    Lastly, you are afraid of getting it wrong, and I understand that, but you are ok for sentencing an innocent man to LWOP? That’s just a slower death penalty. Are you also in favor of regular renivestigations of those cases just to make sure an innocent man isn’t slowly being tortured to death? If not, why not? Because you are just tired of talking about it you want it all to go away so we can talk about the average homeowner get $80/year more in their pocket? Good grief.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Iowa Has less murders than Nebraska but they don’t have the death penalty. Why is that? There is no deterring effect with the death penalty. You’re assuming people at emirdering out of rational thought. A concrete box for the remainder for your life is a hellish punishment. Your life is reduced to ameaninglessness hell and then it ends.

    Macdaddy daddy refuses to acknowledge that the Beatrice Six were “definitely” known to be guilty of their crimes, but the death penalty was used to coerce them into false confessions. Ignoring that is laziness. Ignoring that is saying big government is great only when it kills and falsely imprisons people. That’s utter lunacy!

    How many innocent people are you willing to sentence to death to justify killing Nikko Jenkins? Why in the hell would any of us want Nikko to dictate our public policy. Let him rot in a concrete box 23.5 hours a day for the rest of his hellish life.

  11. Bob Loblaw says:

    Ok Mac. What’s the new standard you propose for death sentences? Video of the actual murder? Of course I’m not in favor of innocent people getting LWOP. but it’s damn sure better than the death penalty. Go ask the Beatrice 6 what they would have preferred. And no I don’t think we should continually investigate all cases. But is new evidence comes up they should investigate that. How do you think cases get overturned? New evidence comes up and people go through the court system to get a hearing.

    And let’s see what affects more Nebraskans, hundreds of millions dollars of tax relief every year OR a punishment that we haven’t used in 20 years and only 3 times in the last 50. It’s just a stupid issue for Ricketts to spend a lot of his political capital on. He came in campaigning as a tax cutting, waste eliminating businessman. Instead his big issues that he’s fighting on are giving drivers licenses to a couple thousand people and 10 scumbags on death row. Great job Pete. I wish I would have known that being governor was nothing more than an ego boost for you. I’m sorry I actiually expected you to fight harder for what you campaigned on.

  12. To 6:26 PM says:

    Maybe true (or not) that Iowa has fewer murders than Nebraska. But to what extent does Iowa have a gang problem?

    You seem intent on taking away tools that help keep us safe. You need to think about the innocent victims.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Keeping the death penalty is meaningless if prosecutors won’t seek it, and judges & juries won’t impose it. And, if imposed, if its appealed through the state & Federal courts. No law you can pass about that, is there?

  14. Macdaddy says:

    No, the Beatrice Six were not on death row. Instead, they fell for the oldest trick in the prosecutor’s book and all six lied about committing a crime. If the criminal in the forensic’s lab hadn’t gotten caught, they would be in prison until they died. If this had gone to trial they would be there until the day they died. Feel better about that? Can you imagine screaming at everyone that you are innocent for 40 years? What do you think that could do to somebody? But you’re cool with that. You can sleep because you were able to get out of making a hard choice. Phew!

    For the level of evidence, Bob, I think videotape would be a big plus as well as forensic evidence independently verified by a second lab. Eyewitnesses would play a lesser role and there would need to be at least 2. You could even have a panel of judges and investigators review the evidence once the jury hands down the sentence. That’s just off the top of my head.

    And again, I did not introduce the death penalty repeal into the Unicam. You should ask those who did why we are wasting time on it not trying to blame me for standing up for what I believe in just so you can get a few more bucks. Oh, and in case you hadn’t noticed, the same Unicam just took money out of your pocket. I had nothing to do with that.

  15. It’s ironic the Nebraska Dems went to court to fight obstacles to the petition process. Those obstacles were put into place by DiAnna Schimek and her cronies because the Dems didn’t like the outcome of several previous petitions.

    They really are entirely without principle.

  16. Bob Loblaw says:


    You said:

    “Can you imagine screaming at everyone that you are innocent for 40 years? What do you think that could do to somebody? But you’re cool with that. You can sleep because you were able to get out of making a hard choice. Phew!”

    WTF are you talking about? This makes absolutely no sense.

  17. TexasAnnie says:

    Quite right, Gerard! It was DiAnna Schimek who brought the I&R “reform” bills, always under guise of “helping” the electorate. But irony? Yes, the outcome was ironic. But Schimek’s short-sightedness was stupid. Anyone who took the trouble to read her bills knew they would not “help” the petition process. I’m glad to know they have been struck down by the court(s) there.

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