Governor Pete Ricketts yesterday went from saying state Senator Bill Kintner should resign because of the NADC report (“Period.” said his press release) to Ricketts asking Kintner to resign, “because I don’t think he can be an effective advocate for his constituents.”
Is THAT why he should resign?
Why are we dancing around the issue?
It is perfectly legitimate to argue that Kintner should quit because he was grossly negligent in his duties as a state Senator. The argument is that Kintner should quit because of what we KNOW he did — not because we THINK he can or can’t do something in the future.
Ricketts’ argument for Kintner quitting is the same as Kintner’s for staying: about how effective he CAN be in the Legislature.
But the discussion should be about a punishment for his actions. If one does not meet a certain standard, they are kicked out. It is clarity. It is about his actions from a year ago.
And it is first (at this point) up to Kintner to decide if he thinks he met the standard. And if he doesn’t resign, his fellow Legislators must decide if his actions were egregious enough to kick him out.
If it were about what he may or may not be able to do in the future, the voters decide.
But that is not the decision now by Kintner, or the Legislature, or even the Governor.
What they REALLY don’t like
And here’s the thing about demanding Kintner’s resignation, a’la the Omaha World-Herald’s Editorial page.
Are they demanding it because of him using the state computer and letting himself be the subject of an embarrassing and dangerous extortion episode…or is it because they don’t like his politics?
The OWH writes in their editorial:
He has anointed himself the Legislature’s conscience, lectures colleagues who disagree with him on social measures and said fellow senators act like “monkeys” and “prostitutes” — hardly the mark of a mature adult or an effective lawmaker. He once tossed a pen toward a senator who voted against his priority bill.
So, OWH, is it because you don’t like Kintner’s politics, or is it because of his actions a year ago?
Which is it?
Because your use of the word “anointed” and your dimwitted, obtuse and intellectually dishonest recurring argument about “monkeys”, shows that you have a political axe to grind against Kintner, unrelated to what got him in trouble.
Either Kintner’s actions mean that he should resign, or they don’t. This is not some cumulative judgment upon Kintner based upon how much you like him.
But of course, the OWH just can’t help themselves.
State Senator Ernie Chambers issued one of his “Erniegrams” today — on official letterhead and, Leavenworth St. is told, making copies of it on the state copying machines and then passing them out to fellow Senators.
This political press release contains a caricature of Senator Bill Kintner and contains “rhymes” from Chambers.
So at some point will this “Ernie being Ernie” be chastised by the Legislature? Are drawings and limericks part of the duty of a Senator? Is the caricature issued on state property “for a purpose in accordance with prescribed constitutional, statutory and regulatory procedures”?
Is there ANY backbone in the leadership?
In 1993 Chambers said of an assistant Attorney General: “She will have to get her ecstasy some other way, maybe with a vibrator. I doubt she can get a man.”
Not an eye batted.
In the mean time, Democrats in Kintner’s district are taking to the County Fair with a “petition” to oust Kintner.
Would it really kill the local press to point out who is putting this stuff together? This isn’t to say that there aren’t Republicans calling for his ouster, but to pretend that there isn’t a partisan aspect to the proceedings is also dishonest.
And oh by the way, interesting that the deadline for a booth at the fair was back in June, but there was time for one last table for the anti-Kintner guy.