He is great, politically. He speaks his mind. He is politically non-apologetic.
Pretty much EVERYONE else was wrong about that whole gorilla story with the Legislature, when he was getting hammered from all sides.
And he is one of the few people who stands up to the bullying by Senator Chambers and the Democrats.
The Timeline and the Facts
But the way this whole computer-sex scandal turned out is absolutely ridiculous for Kintner and Governor Ricketts, and Speaker Galen Hadley and Senator Bob Krist as well.
Here are the facts, according to the State Patrol report, and crucially, the TIMELINE:
Early AM, July 31, 2015: While in Boston hotel, Kintner has video chat – sex session with woman. Immediately after, woman demands Kintner pay her or else threatens to send video to everyone.
Later PM July 31, 2015: Kintner contacts Nebraska State Patrol and tells them about extortion attempt.
August 1, 2015: After returning home, Kintner continues contact with State Patrol as woman continues extortion attempt.
August 3, 2015: Kintner tells State Patrol everything, and gives them his state government-issued laptop.
THAT’s 100% of the relevant facts of “what happened”.
And then it takes A YEAR for this to come to the press.
Various people say that because of the “investigation” and “due process”, no one could talk about it for A YEAR.
Well, except that 100% of the “investigation” took place within the 4 days that it took Bill Kintner to tell the State Patrol that he had a video sex-chat session on a state-issued computer with a woman who then tried to extort money.
THAT’S THE INVESTIGATION.
Here, let’s sum up the investigation…
Q: Senator, did YOU approach US and tell us that you had a sex-chat session on a state-issued computer with a woman who later tried to extort money from you?
THAT’S THE INVESTIGATION.
So, here is what the LJS reported last week regarding what and when Governor Pete Ricketts was saying about the situation:
Ricketts said the Nebraska State Patrol told the governor’s office in July 2015 that Kintner had asked for an investigation into a computer-related crime he said was committed against him.
“That’s when I said the State Patrol needs to do a full investigation,” Ricketts said at a Monday morning news conference called on a different topic.
When it appeared that Kintner used his state computer for sexually explicit reasons, Ricketts told him he ought to resign, he said.
“Obviously, he didn’t resign,” he said.
Here’s another version:
In a statement issued Friday, Ricketts said he had phoned Kintner last summer and urged him to resign “if the allegations were true.”
Gov. Pete Ricketts said Monday that he never asked Kintner whether the video allegations were true. Instead, the governor told Kintner in July 2015 that if the allegations were true, he should resign, the governor said again Monday.
“He didn’t really respond one way or another, and obviously he didn’t resign,” Ricketts said.
So, let’s take a wild guess at a few things:
Ricketts knew 100% what the facts were on July 31st, or August 3rd or 4th, at the latest.
They’re not difficult to tell.
Kintner had sex-chat video session on state-issued computer.
Woman immediately tried to extort money from him.
Kintner told State Patrol everything.
And considering Kintner’s wife works for the Governor, there’s more than a good chance either the State Patrol or someone else told the Governor 100% of it, because there’d be a good chance Kintner’s wife could be involved, and thus the Governor, etc.
So let’s put all of the “ifs” and “maybes” and “full investigation” and “due process” aside. Because, arguably, Kintner wasn’t being “accused” of anything. He WENT TO THEM and told them EVERYTHING.
And keep in mind that the Governor now, a year later, says that this is so uproarious that Kintner MUST resign, “Period.”
Except that wow there’s a great chance that the Governor knew 100% of the same exact facts over a year ago.
Because Kintner TOLD the facts.
So yeah, Kintner didn’t resign then anymore than he is resigning now.
But then Ricketts sat on it for a year, because…because…well who knows.
Because he needed Kintner in the Legislature?
(Here’s news: Guess who would get to appoint Kintner’s replacement?)
But it is nearly political malpractice for Ricketts to sit on this, when he KNEW WHAT THE FACTS WERE.
And then what does Ricketts do for the rest of the year?
Oh, just have Kintner ride in the Governor’s Suburban.
Oh, just have Kintner on his slate to be a GOP Delegate in Cleveland.
Did Governor Ricketts NOT see what would absolutely be coming down the road?
BECAUSE KINTNER WAS THE ONE WHO TOLD 100% OF WHAT HAPPENED in July 2015?
And then there is Speaker Hadley and Senator Krist, head of the Legislature’s Executive Board.
See, Ricketts could put some political pressure on Senator Kintner, publicly or privately. But it is Hadley and Krist who are the ones responsible for a member of their branch of the government.
See, people keep hammering Ricketts for not “doing more” — and maybe rightly so — but let us remember that there are three branches of the state government. And Hadley and Krist — who had their own knowledge about what happened — decided to also sit on their hands. Because they figured the Governor should do what was their responsibility.
Oh, and now they think Kintner should resign.
So here’s the thing:
Kintner made a mistake.
Not the worst mistake someone could make.
For instance, it’s not like he got drunk, got in a car and, endangering who knows how many lives, slammed into a snow plow.
But that’s no biggie to the Legislature, apparently.
And it’s not like he stole campaign contributions and gambled them away.
Heck not only will that not get you kicked out of the legislature, your political opponents think you should continue your campaign!
But while the online sex stuff is pretty much between him and his wife…it’s not nothing.
First, and foremost, he put himself and his fellow legislators and others in state government at risk from an extortion attempt. Yes he resisted and immediately got the authorities involved. But it was a grossly negligent risk that he took in the first place.
That alone has the possibility of putting him at risk of the body kicking him out.
Then there’s the question of him not stepping up months ago to address this — instead of it dragging out with the NADC and the rumors swirling at the end. He knew 100% of it. There was no “investigation”. There was no “due process” problem. He should have stepped up. Did he, like Governor Ricketts think this was just going to go away?
And now if he does not resign at this point, he will be forcing his colleagues and others to defend him on an ugly issue.
Does anyone know for sure that all the GIFs of Kintner’s junk on display have been deleted? Is that really something that his fellow Senators want to have to defend, let alone others close to him.
So Senator Kintner will decide for himself whether those are good enough reasons for him to resign.
There are probably enough ways for him to skate around impeachment — not the least being the Supreme Court not wanting to do the Legislature’s dirty work.
And maybe he could garner enough votes to fight expulsion.
But at what cost?
At what political and emotional cost?
To his colleagues.
To his family.
So yes, Senator Kintner has a fair amount of self-examination to do.
Maybe he figures he has already done it.
But there are just a few more questions for the Governor and Senators.
Heck you wonder about “junior Senators” who also knew exactly what had happened, but chose to keep their mouths shut.
And the Democrats?
Oh, Senator Ernie Chambers is winding up the big gloves, is he?
Let’s see what CANDIDATE Chambers said when his opponent, state Senator Brenda Council, had been found guilty of stealing her campaign funds and gambling them away — and then only got a $600 fine:
“My history when it comes to people who have committed offenses is not one of harsh punishment,” Chambers said. “She is a lawyer. She knows she violated the law. She knows the law must take its course. But all that having been said, I do not want to see anything happen to her that could damage her further. She has damaged herself already as much as anything could damage a person.”
And not only did Chambers NOT call for Council’s expulsion or impeachment, he didn’t even call for her to step down from the race she was running against him.
If Chambers thinks Kintner should be expelled for “moral turpitude” then he should first address the mirror and kick himself out.
And the other Dems? They are angry at Governor Ricketts because by not telling about Kintner, they couldn’t use him for their own personal political advantages!
Hmm. Well, THERE’s an argument.
The crazy thing here is that the only one who handled things correctly was…Kintner, by going to the cops immediately after the extortion attempt, and telling them everything.
But things fell apart from there.
From the Governor to Hadley to Krist, and back to Kintner.
There are few good reasons why this should keep going.
Yes Kintner has been a good legislator.
Hopefully Nebraska will be able to produce good legislators after he is gone.