Ill advised

Executive_BoardThe Legislature’s Executive Board hearing today provided another opportunity for state Senator Ernie Chambers to flail and wave and talk himself in circles — without anyone interrupting him.

If you missed it, first of all state Senator Bill Kintner did not show up. His attorney, J.L. Spray, wrote to the committee:

It is unclear to me what authority the Exec Board has, or perceives it has, as to these issues. Without knowing what action might be taken, or even the procedure for doing so, an informal discussion on the record is ill advised.

So this is essentially a lawyer telling his client, keep your mouth shut. It is not clear what good Kintner could have done at the hearing anyway, except get bashed for not quitting.

And then some others spoke and suggested that the Leg shouldn’t be wasting taxpayer money on a special session.

Chambers took quite a bit of time extolling the issue of charging Kintner with a crime for Skyping on a government computer. Not the online sex-chatting, mind you. But simply using a government computer for non-government use.

But there was just one difference between what Kintner was doing online in Boston and what Chambers was doing for minutes on end up on the legislative board dais: Kintner’s version of self-gratification was subject to extortion.

And that is the issue that should be focused on.

Sure many, many people feel he should resign. Duh. Thanks for the input at this point.

But if they are going to talk about impeachment or expulsion, the issue isn’t some misuse of a government computer. Who cares about that?

The issue is whether Kintner was so grossly negligent in his actions as to subject the Legislature — and the Governor’s office where his wife worked — to criminal extortion.

Now whether that rises to the level of impeachment is another story — though the level for expulsion is certainly lower (non-existent?), even if the vote standard is higher.

And the funny thing is, while no one is going to say Kintner’s use of Skype was for a government purpose, Chambers’ use of the government copiers to send out caricatures of Kintner is very arguably not under a government purpose either.

Ah, but that’s just Ernie being Ernie…

 

Brenda being Brenda

And a correction came in from a local Democrat that Chambers did call for Brenda Council’s impeachment back in the day — but only if she beat Chambers in the election.

In the mean time he did not demand that she resign.
And he did not demand her expulsion from the Legislature.
As a matter of fact, he said, “the Legislature would have not much choice in the matter of impeaching her.” Again, not a call for the Legislature to act.

Splitting hairs? Know that words matter very much to Chambers.

 

Pravda

And here are a couple of strange Tweets immediately following the hearing:

So it would seem that Krist is trying to…what?
Guard Senators from taking questions from reporters?
Stop reporters from reporting?

Just so he is aware, here is what the rulebook says:

“Executive sessions shall be open to members of the news media who may report on action taken and on all discussions in executive session.”

Someone let the Politburo there know that Senators don’t have to talk, but if they do, Americans can hear what they say.

 

Action!

And after all that, Fred Knapp at Nebraska Radio Network reports…

Woohoo! The Nebraska Legislature in action!

And here’s the thing: If’n Kintner DOES resign after Thursday, but before September 9th, it means his seat will be on the ballot, but the winner will be by write-in vote.

One can only hope…

 

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24 comments

  1. Bluejay says:

    The Unicam circus makes Nebraska look like idiots. We get the government we deserve so maybe we are idiots. I do know it is completely idiotic that all of our Electoral College votes don’t go to the winner of our state’s Presidential election.

  2. Impeachment is a political, not a criminal matter. The fact that he was videosexting rather than, say, posting a comment to L St. is irrelevant to the possible criminal case against him, but it does have the potential to bring the legislature into disrepute.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        Sweeper, Very little case law and Douglas case tailored to AG’s office, still standard is not as wide as a political judgment. There is a note in 19 Creighton U Law Rev on standard and procedure. You argument that Kintner made a temporary joke of himself and Unicameral, but did not impair the functioning of theUnicameral seems a fair reading. Given supermajority requirement, impeachment would be a total waste of time.
        Beyond that the guy is a jerk and not worthy of any defense , beyond time being wasted.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, Impeachment ought to reflect the grounds that will govern at trial, though if it does not remedy is acquittal. Clinton was impeached as .. .wan Justice Chase both acquited. Chase is usually treated as establishing a non political standard for judicial removal, perhaps Clinton demonstrates non removal is political, though with only two POTUS impeachments, who knows.

      • RL:

        Of course, you’d be the expert, but my reading of the statute is that impeachment is a civil procedure, and the offense “need not rise to the level of an indictable offense to be considered an impeachable offense”.

        “Misdemeanor under this section is violation of positive statute or Constitution amounting to crime, or willful neglect of duty with corrupt intent or gross negligence inferring willful or corrupt intent.”

        I’d say using a state computer to get one’s rocks off is probably willful neglect of duty.

        But I’m fine with expulsion. It’s just the impeachment circus would be bigger, longer and more entertaining. So to speak.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        ProfGH, You are right that impeachment and removal need not be for a crime, but I share Sweeper’s view on seriousness.
        Harmless fun rule could argue for impeachment, I agree with you on that.

  3. buck turgidson says:

    That Ernie Chambers would take this proceeding – and frankly every other proceeding – for an uninterrupted self-mythological monologue is boring and gross.

    That the Legislature and news media continue to be complicit in his antics is worse.

  4. The Eye Ball says:

    According to the World Herald, “Legislature’s IT staff would begin monitoring Kintner’s computer”.
    Excuse me, but should Legislature IT director have been doing such monitoring of ALL the government laptops? Is this not more proof, the Legislative IT director is not doing their job?

    • Anon says:

      Please don’t try and make sense of this. You sound logical, and the legislative IT director would not comprehend that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Concur with The Eye Ball. What the hell is the IT staff doing just monitoring Kintner’s computer? Doesn’t that allow Kintner’s attorney to use this info as defense that Kintner is being singled out and turn around and sue the STATE, Legislature et al for pain, suffering, malfeasance of office. Or whatever. (I’ve watched a lot of Law and Order.)

    • repenting lawyer says:

      Anonymous, while your imagination is vide your law is wrong, between immunity and non willingness of courts to deal with selective enforcement case would not fly. Law and Order was not a good substitute for law school, though more fun.

  6. Hotdog with Relish says:

    “Kintner’s version of self-gratification was subject to extortion.” True. But if Kintner pulled a Bill Clinton and aired his cigar-vagina info, would that make it okay? You cannot morally extort people who lack shame. But for voters the threshold is lower; as we see with Hillary’s new Weiner headache.

    Trump is visioned to the point of prescience. He predicted Muslim massacres of innocents, the European border crises, and he even warned us of Hillary’s impending “Weiner-gate”. It has arrived!

    One year ago, 8/29/15, POLITICO magazine headlined, “Trump slams Clinton aide Huma Abedin, husband Anthony Weiner” calling Weiner a “pervert sleaze” and noting deep concern for the undoubted transfer of Top Secret classified information from Hillary Clinton’s top aide, Weiner’s wife, to Weiner who epitomizes the sort of person to whom the FBI most readily denies security clearances.

    “Think of it” Trump said in August 2015, “Huma is getting classified secrets. She is married to Anthony Weiner, who is a perv… Do you think there is even a 5% chance she is not telling Anthony Weiner — now of a public relations firm — what the hell is coming across?”

    Today’s headline is, “Anthony Weiner sexting scandal involving his toddler son.”

    How creepy is that? Cigar in vagina creepy? Indeed. So the spotlight shifts back to Hillary. How can any woman take that sort of insult from a perv husband and not be expected to bend over for America’s enemies as a wimpy President Hillary? — In Obama’s autobiography, he admits he wrote poetry to his man-babysitter’s “yellow stains” on the guy’s underwear. Obama is creepy too and he is a wimp. Hillary however makes Obama seem like a paragon of strength.

    These morally adrift Progressive leaders are not typical Democratic voters. These are not the moral, hardworking Union miners Hillary is putting out of work. These are perverts and their women who all but pimp for them.

    This isn’t like the Email scandal. Voters don’t know the results of Hillary’s TS Emails hurting America and killing people. But voters understand male perverts and the women who coopt and fuel and perpetuate their perversions. Voters see Four More Years of Bill humping Monica in the Rose Garden atop a pile of Top Secret documents. If it comes down to voting for either Pervert Bill as First Lady or else Trump’s wife and kids, it’s a slam dunk for Trump. But its Hillary’s weakness as a person, in all ways that a person can be weak, that will scare the shit out of voters. Trump pegged this exactly.

  7. ricky says:

    What a waste of time. Let Kitner stay and be the laughing stock of the legislature for two more years.
    If Mr Ricketts was really serious about wanting Kitner to resign, he would have said so prior to last years legislative session. But we all know why Ricketts was silent for so long. Krazy Kitner was a reliable vote for the righys in the Unicam.
    Kintner is the poster child for GOP bible waving hypocrites. His appearance in Lincoln will be a reminder of his ilk as long as he lasts.
    Ernie will make sure of that.
    ricky

  8. Senator Krist should be impeached says:

    So, if it is true that Sen. Krist told the members of the press to not directly quote the Senators, he has impeded on 1st Amendment rights, violated Legislative rules and was abusing his office. He too should be asked to resign and impeachment proceedings should be started immediately. In fact, which is worse, abuse of a government computer or abuse of the foundation of government?

  9. Anonymous says:

    For once, Ricky is mostly correct!
    1. Kintner should stay, and yes he will probably get laughed at
    2. If the gov were serious about wanting Kintner to resign, he would have been all over this a year ago when it happened
    3. Ricketts was silent because he knew Kintner was a reliable vote. I think he was hoping mastergate would never become public.
    4. Ernie will make sure that Ernie is the center of attention, and that nobody forgets about Kintner.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t Ernie getting self-gratification with his grandstanding and threats? So Kintner falls once in hotel room and Ernie holds the Legislature hostage year after year, all for self gratification.

  11. Dale Gribble says:

    State-issued computers are public property, right?
    Are records of the internet sites users of those computers visited public records?
    Im not that into pot calling the kettle black thing with Kintner, but Im pretty curious if
    all the Pharisees would mind revealing their usage data to us?

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