It is a Monday, so per usual, the LJS’s Don Walton always makes for an interesting read — though being pretty much the only political columnist in the state has something to do with that…
Don hits on topics of the campaign for reinstatement of the Death Penalty, and says in the end it is this:
Sometimes, in political campaigns, the best ads win.
Yikes. Cynicism, much Don?
Yes, sometimes, that may be true.
But does anyone think that will be the case here?
“You know, I’m politically and morally against the Death Penalty, but that 30 seconds right before the Channel 3 news has really changed my mind.”
“I used to be all for the Death Penalty, but did you catch that ad right after America’s Got Talent? I mean they play it over and over, so of course I’m completely on the other side now.”
Now of course ads can make you think. But “the best ad wins“?
Really? That’s where Don thinks this campaign is at?
Here’s the thing, we aren’t talking about 2 unknown candidates running for the OPPD board.
We are talking about an issue about which the public is well aware, and is willing to hear a frank discussion. This isn’t, and won’t be, a soundbite campaign. This will be discussion on a fundamental issue and theory.
I had that discussion recently in my podcast with National Review’s Jonah Goldberg.
And surprisingly, it had nothing to do with soundbites or catchy taglines. No, not even “Decline to Sign!”
And then there was the Editorial Board of the LJS which tied itself up into knots trying to come up with a reason why it is OK for the Governor to campaign, lobby, cajole, twist arms — but NOT support a ballot initiative.
So it would be cool for the Gov to have paid government staff trying to overturn a law — ANY law — but he can’t privately support a ballot initiative?
I’ve seen Twister games with far less gymnastics than it took the LJS to arrive at that conclusion.
Let’s all just admit that if the Governor was giving money to, say, a pro-Medicaid initiative, the LJS would just be hunky-dory with it.
But trying to reinstate the Death Penalty?
Oh my, that’s just “unseemly”…
Oh, but spending a half-million dollars — or likely much much more — of out-of-state money to prevent Nebraskans from voting on a major issue?
Hey, the LJS is coooooool with that, baby.
Here is the problem with Pete and his Dad giving the majority of the cash to Reinstate the Death Penalty folks:
It makes the average Joe (as opposed to the above-average Joe Ricketts) think, “Why should I help? Ricketts is going to pay for it — just like he did in 2006.”
And it also creates a problem for potential signators or voters who are wondering, “Am I getting behind an important issue — or just one that Pete and Joe Ricketts want to push?”
There is certainly a sense of urgency in getting the needed signatures. And there have been a few other major donors — unlike the Anti-Voter Choice forces, who have a SINGLE donor in the out-of-state George Soros associated group.
But going this route immediately opened the Governor up to the known criticism of him trying to buy the vote. It’s the whole perception-is-reality problem, and working this another way would probably have been preferred.
Another curious line from The Don in his weekly:
“All of that uncertainty could affect votes at an election whose turnout should be substantial as voters choose a new president from what now is a circus of candidates.”
Well interesting, but the last time I checked the election — the General Election — only has two (or possibly three) major candidates to choose from.
But what of that “circus” Don refers to now? (You know he was THIS far away from making a “clown-car” reference, but held himself back.)
I’ve personally been to two of the multi-candidate forums in Iowa. At each, the candidates spoke at length, got out their opinions, then met with the voters.
And they’re ALL on C-SPAN as well.
Heck, even say what you want about Donald Trump’s views — at a recent Iowa event the guy stuck around for three hours taking photos and chatting with EVERYONE who wanted to say hello. And so did EVERY other candidate as well!
Compare that to the Queen, Democrat Hillary Clinton who has staff literally roping her off from people who want to question her.
So I’m confused: is Don not satisfied with the lively debate happening on the Republican side — where I would add, it’s not as if there are paid ads pummeling the airways? This is meet and greet politics.
Or would he prefer a lot of cigar smoke and party elders in a back room at a convention hall in Cleveland — with a pre-ordained candidate like Hillary?
Just trying to follow along here.