What’s the plan?

Attorney General Doug Peterson
Attorney General Doug Peterson

The OWH reports that Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps has been given the boot by Governor Pete Ricketts.

The matter of timing is very much a question here.

Phipps is quoted saying he heard this from the Governor “a couple of weeks ago.”
Yet has anyone else? And just now they plan on posting the job for the public?

Unless they already have someone in mind — and therefore posting the gig is actually a sham — who can take this sort of job? It is already into the second week of December for a job that should be filled by January 1st. Applying, interviewing, making a decision, giving notice to your present employer. In 2 weeks?

And while much of the job can be accomplished through the staff currently there, the person who takes over will have a significant learning curve before the primaries.

There has been a knock on Phipps that he didn’t communicate well with campaigns, and some of the polling place issues in 2012 and the vote counting in 2014 didn’t help. And then others note the goal of wiping the state clean of Heineman appointees.

But whomever takes over for Phipps will have to hit the ground running.
And the next obstacle is only a few feet in front of them.

Good luck.


Peterson’s father also not actually named “Peter”!

State Senator Ernie Chambers once sued God.

So Attorney General Doug Peterson could take it as a Supreme compliment that Chambers has filed a grievance against him.

But then maybe Chambers should start taking some Continuing Legal Education classes to get himself up to date on the Law, and how it is applied.

You know, and stop wasting valuable time and resources for his political ploys.

See, Senator Chambers thinks Peterson should be disciplined for advising his client — the State of Nebraska — to pursue acquisition of the death penalty drugs that the FDA has called “illegal”.

However, there are certain issues at stake — Federalism and differences in precedent among them.

For instance, the Food and Drug Administration recently decided that though a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against them, that didn’t really matter to them because not ALL courts, and not the Supreme Court, had ruled against them. So they didn’t have to follow that decision.

See how that works? So Attorney General Peterson has the discretion — and duty — to advise his client that the law on the subject is in flux, and thus they may proceed in a reasonable fashion.

One would assume that Chambers understands this, and is simply pursuing this angle as a political ploy to turn public opinion against the AG, Governor and the Death Penalty vote.

Then again, if Chambers were really that politically intelligent, he would realize that once you’ve sued God, the public doesn’t exactly take any of your accusations seriously. Could Chambers have handed this concept of going after Peterson to someone else? Maybe. But then he would be losing the spotlight he so craves — nay, NEEDS — and it might even succeed (politically, anyway) without him.

But the other side, of course, is that intelligent and honest lawyers know that Doug Peterson is honest, intelligent, diligent and ethical. So they would be unlikely to pursue this (arguably) frivolous claim against Peterson, no matter the political gain they hope comes from it.

It is possible that since Chambers has lost his fast ball, he is also unable to find the political strike zone. Too bad he’s unwilling to give up the ball.


Praising Fischer

After passage of the FIVE year highway bill she helped to lead, Senator Deb Fischer and her staff put out, along with the accomplishments in the bill, a nice compilation of compliments from various Nebraska officeholders…

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts released the following statement:

“The passage of the transportation bill today represents a new five-year commitment from Congress to building the 21st-century infrastructure we need to continue to grow Nebraska. Senator Fischer’s leadership and our Nebraska delegation’s commitment to this legislation have resulted in much-needed certainty for the state as we plan for future projects and work to determine how to best utilize all our transportation resources.”

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert released the following statement:

“Like many large cities, Omaha has an aging infrastructure. A long-term federal funding commitment will help us continue with needed infrastructure improvements across the city. We appreciate Senator Fischer’s support of the FAST Act and the many ways it will benefit Omaha.”

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler released the following statement:

“We appreciate the efforts of Senator Fischer and the Nebraska delegation to increase and stabilize the federal funding for street and transportation improvements. Lincoln’s economy and our high quality of life depend on projects and programs that these dollars help support.”

Kyle Schneweis, director of the Nebraska Department of Roads, released the following statement:

“It’s very gratifying to see Congress complete a five-year highway and transit bill. This renewed federal partnership with states comes at a critical time for the well-being of Nebraska and the whole country. I want to thank our congressional delegation for their unfailing attention to this important responsibility, and Senator Fischer in particular for her steadfast leadership.”

Curt Simon, executive director of the Omaha City Transit Authority (Metro), released the following statement:

“We are excited to extend our thanks to Senator Fischer as a member of the Conference Committee and the Nebraska delegation. Enactment of this new transportation bill will provide long term stability and allow for the much needed resources to upgrade buses in the Metro fleet. This is a big win for Nebraska and our Omaha metropolitan area.”

Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, released the following statement:

“We truly appreciate Sen. Fischer’s work on the Conference Committee in representing the views and needs of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. This deal not only provides five years of funding certainty for our nation’s highway infrastructure, it also provides relief to states looking to reduce the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers without the threat of losing federal funding. Lastly, the agreement reached to avoid the $3 billion in cuts to the federal crop insurance delivery system helps ensure that the key risk management tool for Nebraska farmers will be available at a time when it is needed most.”

Deb Cottier, executive director of the Nebraska Northwest Development Corporation, released the following statement:

“This major piece of legislation provides much-needed long-term certainty and flexibility for state and local governments and creates opportunities for improving rural highway corridors vital to safe travel, economic development, and energy development for Nebraska, the Heartland Region, and the United States. We have waited a long time for a multi-year bill, and we thank Senator Fischer for her leadership on this legislation.”

Larry Dix, executive director of the Nebraska Association of County Officials, released the following statement:

“The Nebraska Association of County Officials appreciates the efforts that Senator Fischer has put forth on the Federal Surface Transportation Act. Nebraska counties have worked with Senator Fischer for many years on infrastructure needs. She has served Nebraska counties very well through her leadership, when she was in the Nebraska Legislature, and now at the federal level. Senator Fischer’s experience knowing the needs of Nebraska counties roads and bridges is invaluable. Thanks to her leadership on infrastructure needs, we will have a bill that we can literally build on.”


This is for YOU Larry…

On this Carl Curtis Open Comment Friday, feel free to dive into any topics that you may have perused in the news. (Just a few of them out there…)

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Thanks for reading and listening!


  1. Anonymous says:

    State statute says that governor appointee vacancies do not need to be publicly posted. Governors do not have to make it public they are taking applications.

  2. repentinglawyer says:

    Thought Federal Circuit Courts were abolished in the 19th century, maybe Sweeper you and Ernie could take CLE together, I am too old. Fed agencies usual do not follow first Court of Appeals decision, hoping for a conflict of Circuits which makes issue cert worthy, if other Circuits fall in line with first they usually give.

  3. “The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (in case citations, D.C. Cir.) known informally as the D.C. Circuit , is the federal appellate court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. “

    • repentinglawyer says:

      ProfGH, He said Circuit Court, a different beast all together that used to exist but no longer does. Now its my turn. Remember that Irish accent phrase you taught me, back at you. How many cases have you handled in the various Circuits or SCOTUS, I have done my share. Guess they do not cover the history of the Federal Courts in chemistry.

  4. Wondering says:

    Did Deb Fischer have a face lift? The photos I’ve been seeing recently make her look younger than she did when she was campaigning. It looks like a lot more than a new hair style and some good photo-shopping to me.

  5. Liberty Rocks says:

    Having these politicians in Nebraska espouse Deb Fischer’s transportation bill does not make it a good bill. It just means that she needs them to legitimize the lackluster effort among Nebraska voters. We are not fooled. I’m sure that she will be voting for the reauthorization of ESEA as well and our children will pay the price. As more GOP pols like Fischer push for expansion of federal government, the closer Donald Trump gets to the presidency.

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