Governor Pete Ricketts handed down another veto yesterday, this time on LB 580, the redistricting bill. He called the idea of a separate board set up to re-draw the Congressional Districts, “unconstitutional, unelected, and unaccountable”.
And he’s probably right.
There has been a recent idea among legislative bodies that they can let someone else make the hard decisions — and then just give them an up or down vote. The idea is that they are just too gosh darn partisan or intractable and this is the next best thing.
And Ricketts makes some solid points that this may indeed be unconstitutional. But it is the “unelected” and “unaccountable” part that makes the difference here. These decisions are SUPPOSED to be hard. They are supposed to invite scrutiny. And they are supposed to be subject to voters hammering those who make a bad decision.
If it is all just, “well, THEY came up with it! What was I supposed to do?” then there is no real responsibility for what happens.
And the idea that, “Well, this new board will be INDEPENDENT! They will only take the interest of the people in mind when they draw the lines,” is bull. EVERYONE is influenced one way or the other. And maybe their influence is not a bad influence. What if it is just the WRONG influence.
Heck, why don’t we just let toddlers draw the lines with a crayon, and let the chips (or cheerios, in this analogy) fall where they may? Who could be less influenced and partisan than a toddler? (Sure, you’re thinking a cage full of monkeys. But I would just remind you what happens when you suggest that a cage full of monkeys is less partisan than the Unicameral…)
So here you have an actual battle set up on the veto override. If everyone stays firm, after the 29-15 vote, you’re looking at one vote to make the difference. And even that isn’t crystal clear.
To his credit, Senator John Murante noted that redistricting does not happen until 2021 in any case, and his goal is to get it right.
When you only have one house in your legislative body, that is a sound principle.
UPDATE: The Governor’s veto has been supported by the present and four past Chairmen of the Nebraska Republican Party, including Dan Welch, J.L. Spray, David Kramer, Mark Quandahl, and Mark Fahleson.
The treasurer ate my homework
The Nebraska Republican Party filed a complaint against Democrat State Senator Rick Kolowski for failing to file his required campaign finance report with the NADC.
Kolowski, a Democrat running for re-election in West Omaha / Millard’s District 31, told the LJS it is not his fault. It is his campaign staffer’s fault.
Kolowski is a former school principal. And though the “dog totally ate my homework and that is why it is over a week late” answer wouldn’t cut it with a Western Civ teacher, he is trying that out on the NADC.
From the LJS:
Kolowski said he gave Beiting the envelope weeks ago, and he put it aside and didn’t get back to it.
“I’m not making excuses for anything, but he just made an error,” he said.
So again, he is not making excuses for something that is his responsibility. He is just saying that he didn’t follow-up on something that is his responsibility. Otherwise, he totally DID do it.
On a side note, this story is in the Lincoln Journal-Star — and not in the Omaha World-Herald — so you can count on 0.00% of Kolowski’s constituents reading it.
It should also be noted that Kolowski is a Democrat, and the Democrats in the Legislature pretty much vote in lock-step on every issue — unlike what the great George Norris hoped for when he planned that “non-partisan” body.
Not that you will ever read or hear that from any of the state’s major news sources.
Wonder if the voters in that district will figure out that means he votes against their interests most of the time.
Kolowski is running against Republican Ian Swanson, who was interviewed on The Wheels Down Politics Show just a few months ago and Republican/Libertarian Peter Mayberry.
It’s up to you
Hey, that New York primary is today!
Get your predictions in now! Give a name or a moniker, and your “educated” guess for percentages.
A few interesting notes:
As some have noted, the moment Ted Cruz made his “New York values” statement, he was doomed. You could argue that without that, Donald Trump wouldn’t have gone over 50% — which makes all the difference in the state’s delegate count.
Think if Cruz or anyone else had made a bad crack like that about Nebraska. Something like, “Some states only think about their college football teams, while others are concerned with the direction our country is going.” Nebraskans would crucify him. And I mean they would actually try to nail him to the Memorial Stadium goal posts.
You think New Yorkers aren’t just as sensitive to this kind of stuff?
So, after your predictions on that, the question is, is New York an aberration, or is Trump now really on board to hit over 50% in other states? Remember when EVERYONE predicted his ceiling was 20%? 25%? 35%?
Can he continue that across the northeast?
And, just because, does Trump have a shot in Nebraska?
Inquiring minds from the campaigns want you, commenters from THE Nebraska political blog, to weigh in.
They are reading.
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Giddeyup, and keep an eye on @LeavenworthSt tonight as the results come in.