What is unseemly?

IMG_4890It 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.


  1. The Grundle King says:

    Also a bit unseemly is having two companies that will be vying for contracts for Lincoln’s new emergency radio system donating to the campaign to pass the tax increase to pay for said radio system. I mean, isn’t it ‘unseemly’ to have the companies who stand to benefit from a government contract donating to support legislation that will authorize that very contract? Apparently the LJS editorial board holds no such reservations over that…perhaps because Mayor Beutler supported the sales tax campaign as well. He’s just so dreamy…

    Mewonders if the company that wins the contract won’t also happen to be the company that donated the most in support of the campaign.

  2. Purple Penguin says:

    If it aint liberal, gay, progressive, or increasing taxes, the LJS Editorial Board won’t support it

  3. Liberal media and taxes says:

    Maybe it’s time for higher taxes on advertising revenue, and maybe we should have fees on newspaper sales to deal with the problems they cause in landfills. Wonder how progressive they’d be then? I’m sure they’d be mighty unhappy then. We should require newspaper recycling bins everwhere newspapers are sold. Of course documentation should be required to show they are in compliance with the collection of old papers for recycling purposes.

  4. Sparkles says:

    Something far more unseemly.
    From a just released July 6, 2015 Quinnipiac Univ. poll –
    “Republicans support 72 – 23 percent sending U.S. ground troops to fight ISIS in Iraq and Syria.”

  5. The Grundle King says:

    From the same poll, Democrats favor leaving the fates of civilians in Iraq and Syria to be decided by ISIS by a margin of 63-29 percent.

    But that’s totally ‘seemly’.

  6. Anonymous says:

    By all means, try restoring the death penalty. I can’t wait ’till the state & Federal courts get hold any initiative petition that gets passed.

  7. The Eye Ball says:

    How can Ricketts give tens of thousands dollars to the death penalty issue but give zero money to run a petition drive for charter schools? The Gov is taking on lots of credibility issues in funding the death penalty effort.

  8. KHDS says:

    Other than Vince Powers, the faculty at Corn U and Sweeper, no one reads the LJS editorials and Don Walton.

  9. The Grundle King says:

    “You can catch ass Liberalism.”

    What’s the difference between that and ‘normal’ Liberalism?

  10. The Grundle King says:


    You can either complain about the bar being low, or you can try to raise it…James Cameron style.

    So, let’s discuss the matter at hand, being the LJS editorial staff’s bemoaning Gov. Ricketts’ “unseemly” involvement in the death penalty petition initiative.

    It’s often been said that, in Nebraska with her unicameral legislature, “the people” (i.e. the voters) are the 2nd house of the legislature. Obviously, the Governor’s office (complete with veto pen) couldn’t be the 2nd house, because it’s part of the executive branch, not the legislative branch. So in this case, the 1st house of the legislative branch has taken an action that apparently quite a few people in the 2nd house find disagreeable, which is certainly not uncommon, as I’m sure you’d agree.

    Of course, the vast majority of the people in the 2nd house aren’t nearly as well-funded or well-connected as those in the 1st, who have ties to all sorts of political donors. But, alas, this is where the Governor comes into play. Whilst officially employed as a member of the executive branch, he’s also a member of the 2nd house of the legislature (which, as it turns out, is true of EVERY elected official…Unicameral members included). As such, he’s fully entitled to lend his support to measures he believes are worthy. There’s nothing unseemly (which the Google machine defines as improper or inappropriate) about a citizen of the state of Nebraska lending his or her support to whatever measure they so choose, regardless of whether he or she happens to hold a political office. So long has his/her support of said measure doesn’t interfere with his/her ability to fulfill the duties of that office, then it’s all above board, and certainly not worth a lengthy editorial by a group of liberals who oh-so-occasionally put on a conservative mask in a thinly veiled attempt to appear open-minded.

    The only “unseemly” actions being taken right now are by those who would attempt to quash the democratic process of voting by urging people to ‘decline to sign’. How often is it said that voting is not just our right, but our civic responsibility? The petition initiative process is one of the very few tools available to voters in which they can place a check on politicians who either change their official stance for political expediency, or who outright lie to the people of their district with the sole intent of becoming an elected official en route to a career as a lobbyist. Sure, the people in their district could attempt to recall each senator individually…but why accelerate their career as a lobbyist when the populace can offer a collective slap to the face of all of those who willfully chose to ignore the people who put them in that nice leather chair at 1445 K Street?

    Many of those who oppose the death penalty, as well as the initiative to put the matter on the ballot, say that there is no longer majority support for use of the death penalty…that polls taken in the last few years don’t accurately reflect the current will of the people…that the majority of people actually oppose the death penalty.

    Well then, shut your mouths with this ‘decline to sign’ crap, and let’s find out if you’re right.

  11. Anonymous says:

    That was a nice speech at 1:23PM, but Ricketts is still using his and Daddy’s paycheck to buy his way to a possible victory literally at all costs. Is it permissible? Does his lead advisor get paid privately while entertaining clients in the people’s house? It’s all in how you spin the smoke and mirrors. Money is the root of all evil and this man needs…..roots.

  12. “Unseeml” is a word you use if you don’t like something, but can’t figure out or don’t want to admit the real reasons you dislike it.

    Not a word I use very much.

  13. SO 5:07 says:

    Your upset because someone is spending money. Boo freaking hoo. You can beat money by outworking someone, wearing out shoes, knocking on doors and the like. But, let’s think about what you want. Your objective is to STOP an issue from being voted upon. Let’s think about that for a moment. You and your ilk don’t want a perfectly legal and democratic process to take place. You hate democracy. Awesome.

  14. The Grundle King says:


    Sheesh. First you complain about the level of intellectualism being too low, then you complain about my speech. Is there anything you don’t complain about?

    Who cares whose money he’s spending? The opposition to the death penalty reinstatement is spending over TWICE as much money…money that is coming from out-of-state . This is a matter for the people of Nebraska to decide, and I’m much more bothered by some out-of-state PAC interfering in our politics.

    Your closing remarks reveal much more about you than they do about Gov. Ricketts. They offer proof that the root of your opposition is your hatred for the man…not his conduct. It doesn’t matter what he does if your hatred is based on who he is.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Grundle, complaining about a lack of intellectualism and complaing about your speech is the same thing.

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