First to get things rolling on your Friday, a little Separated at Birth…
State Senator Les Seiler of Hastings…
…and recently indicted former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert!
A roller coaster week, no?
Tragedy and mourning.
Political wheeling and dealing.
Overriding and cheers and jeers.
On this blog, at the beginning of the session for the Nebraska Unicameral, it was noted that between the new Governor with an inexperienced staff and the new members and old foxes in the Legislature, it could be like the Wild West.
Little did we know.
It started out with the Committee Chair votes, rolled over to the Presidential voting, and ended with defeat of the Governor on two issues that he declared and showed to be priorities.
All the while we kept hearing from the Dems how awesome of a guy he is. You can work with the NEW Governor. (i.e. not like that mean guy who previously occupied the McMansion). There was cooperation! Talking!
What they were talking about is anyone’s guess.
But here’s what we know:
The legislature passed a new Gas Tax over the Governor.
The legislature gave driver’s licenses to illegal aliens over the Governor.
The legislature repealed the Death Penalty over the Governor.
And hey, the Governor and his staff did seem to be fully engaged on the Death Penalty vote…starting last Friday.
He was talking to Senators, asking people to call.
Hey, apparently his staff was even yelling at Senators moments before the final override vote:
“Two citizens who were standing in the hallway reported seeing representatives from the governor’s office shouting at (Senator Robert Hilkemann) before the final vote.”
And hey that’s great.
Two did flip.
But that was on, what, the fourth vote? Think how difficult it was to get Johnson and Murante to change their votes after voting the other way all that time.
One only needs to look back to January to see the momentum on this and see what new Senators were signing on.
Giving it the ol’ “College Try” over the weekend is sort of commendable.
But it harkens more back to the college days of finally starting that semester long assignment, that was assigned the first day of class, on the weekend before it was due. Pulling an all-nighter, lots of hot coffee and bleary eyes.
Then handing in the final copy with pizza-grease stains on it and really hoping for a “C-“.
But the Death Penalty Repeal was Pass/Fail.
As far as those effort went, and the stories get written about who was behind what, we will probably see more and more as the plan for reinstatement of the Death Penalty gets going.
We know that the likes of George Soros poured cash into the effort. You don’t have a “grass roots” organization with paid staff without serious funds to get it going.
When folks have to come out of the weeds again, and actual campaigns have to be mustered, it all may become a little more transparent.
Here’s an interesting question though.
Take a look at this picture of the veto-signing ceremony:
What member of the administration is missing?
Annnnddd…Driver’s Licenses for DREAMers went by the wayside.
Not a surprise at this point, but another defeat.
So it’s off to Italy to tell the Italians how great Nebraska beef is.
(Any deals ready to be signed there? Usually when one goes on an international road trip like this — say to China or Cuba — there are deals THERE ready to be signed.)
This would have/could have been a good time to capitalize on the issues that just went through the legislature. When the public is still focused. A little jet-setting around Hastings, and North Platte and Norfolk.
Not really very sexy, huh?
On the Congressional front and the GOP nomination, things are eerily quiet.
There’s Don Bacon with a full-formed, endorsed campaign. There’s Chip Maxwell — who took a bit of a beating at the Douglas County Republican Party meeting the other night — who hasn’t had a full roll out yet.
And that’s it.
Sure someone else can roll in all the way up to March 2016. But as it gets later and later, that person would have to have some serious personal funds behind them, or have a solid funder.
Could happen. But the calendar pages continue to flip.
In the mean time Rep. Brad Ashford showed how moderate he is … by hiring Democrat State Senator Jeremy Nordquist.
I suppose that slightly less obvious than hiring, say, Jane Kleeb.
But only slightly.