Unicameral watchers! Let us get this clear, OK?
If you suggest that the Nebraska Legislature is continuing to operate the same way, simply because they have always been doing it that way…
1) You will be publicly chastised by the Speaker from the floor. More specifically, you’ll be told, “If you don’t like being in the body, leave. Get out.”
2) Have multiple stories written in the press
3) Mocked by the OWH’s editorial cartoonist
If you suggest, like State Senator Ernie Chambers did, that “if you were a white guy” that you would get your “semi-automatic weapon and come down here and mow everybody down”…
(Hear the whole audio, here.)
And by “come down here” that would be to the floor of the Legislature…
Oh, well hey, that’s cool!
I mean, as Speaker Hadley suggested immediately afterwards, “What could I do?”
[Note: The “What could I do?” quote is from Zach Pluhacek’s story in the Lincoln Journal-Star. Zach was offended that this link was omitted earlier, because he works for a “real media outlet”. We will note this the next time the LJS or OWH refers to a Leavenworth St. story as “in the blogs”.]
Right, because far be it for anyone to suggest that what Senator Chambers had said was going beyond the pale.
Here’s a little “thought experiment” for you readers:
What if State Senator Bill Kinter, the malest, whitest guy in the Legislature (OK, the mantle for “whitest” is actually about a 10-way tie, but follow me…) went on the floor and said…
“If I were a BLACK guy, I’d grab my machine gun and wipe you all out.
Thankfully, I’m a WHITE, peaceful man, and wouldn’t do that.”
Now just how quickly would his head be called for on a silver platter by the newspapers and every Democrat from coast to coast?
A few seconds, or a few milliseconds?
So where are you Omaha World-Herald?
Where are you Lincoln Journal-Star?
Or should we assume by your silence that you are cool with what Chambers said?
Go a few feet out of that legislative chamber and many would consider that a terroristic threat.
Back during the death penalty debate, the OWH chastised a Facebook message from Kintner, because, the OWH said, such a debate (even though Kintner wasn’t speaking in the Legislature) must be “sincere, sober, thoughtful and respectful.”
Looking forward to hearing from the OWH about which of those adjectives describe Senator Chambers’ semi-automatic weapon threat.
But Speaker Hadley DID, sort of, address the issue in the Legislature today.
He said that “words matter” and with all the gun violence in the world Senators need to be responsible in what they say in the Legislature.
The Speaker then received a standing ovation for his comments.
Senator Chambers then responded by going after gun rights advocates. He defended his comments and talked about the outrage his comments provoke.
And finally, he vowed to keep making his points in how he saw fit.
Looks like the ball is on your court, Fourth Estate.
The LJS’ Don Walton wrote yesterday about a poll that was distributed around the legislature about favorability, taxes and a few other issues.
Then he also mentioned a poll question about Governor Ricketts and former Governor Dave Heineman.
Many were confused about this “poll”.
Because it is actually 2 different polls from 2 different pollsters.
The first was one commissioned by State Senator John Kuehn, ostensibly about a proposed “Right to Farm” amendment.
But the poll only hit that issue as the last question.
Here were the others, broken down by Congressional District:
Q: What issue is most important to you?
Q: Which tax should state government prioritize for tax relief?
Q: Nebraska voters could be asked to vote on an amendment to the state constitution protecting the rights of farmers and ranchers and preventing the Legislature and environmental groups from imposing restrictions on crop and livestock production. If the election were held today, would you vote for or against a Right to Farm amendment?
Ricketts, Fortenberry and Smith all generally have great numbers.
Note that Ashford’s Fav/UnFav are under 50% in his district, with 30% “unknown”. That should perk up the ears of the various national observers to note over 50% view Ashford as either UNfavorable, or are still thinking about it. And that the 2nd is still very much a swing district.
The “top issues” among people are terribly surprising.
And they are focused on property tax relief.
That Right to Farm thing, frankly, still seems neither fish nor fowl.
Look at that question: Should farmers and ranchers be allowed to do their jobs? Uh, well yes. Overwhelmingly Nebraskans agree that farmers and ranchers should be allowed to do their jobs.
But what would be the effect of such an amendment, from any which way? Probably debatable no matter what percentage think the amendment is a good idea.
The other poll
So separate out that poll — done by pollster 0ptimus.com — with the other one reported — done by Long River Research.
The Long River poll was a live-person call (i.e., they don’t have to file a transcript with the Public Service Commission) and asked a favorability question about Governor Ricketts and former Governor Heineman, along with some other more generic issues such as abortion, taxes and Medicaid expansion.
Now the immediate response from one person who received the call was, Does this mean a Heineman challenge to Ricketts in 2018?
Well, Don Walton notes that the poll “was not commissioned by anyone associated with the former governor, a close associate said.”
So who would be asking about that, if not Heineman’s peeps?
Well, could it be someone with Walking Around Money to blow on random political things? Someone to whom dropping large amounts of cash out the window is negligible? Someone verrrrrrrry paranoid about a primary challenge from Dave Heineman?
It’s a crazy world.
Someone oughta sell tickets.
Shoot, I’d buy one.
Say, that ‘minds me…
The Godfather’s blessing
With the Ricketts family going nose to nose with Donald Trump, look who has stepped up to defend the Rickettses…
Democrat Chicago Mayor — the Godfather — Rahm Emanuel.
The Donald responded to the recent Ricketts family spending on ads against him by saying that the Ricketts were doing a very poor job running the Cubs (of all things, probably the worst retort he could have come up with).
Emanuel then came to the family’s defense. More or less.
He noted that he has disagreed with the Ricketts family on Chicago Cubs issues, such as tax-payer supported improvements for Wrigley Field. But he then went on to call them “examples of good corporate citizens,” which is probably as good as you’ll get out of Emanuel.
Still looking forward to Round 3 of the Ricketts-Trump battle.
(And one local observer thinks Governor Ricketts will put himself up as a late-round alternative at the GOP Convention in Cleveland. So there ya have it…)
What is most likely Trump’s problem with the Ricketts family is that Tom Ricketts was Separated at Birth from Ted Cruz…
Because it’s the talk of Nebraska politics…
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