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Facts and figures from Ernie Chambers' time in Nebraska Legislature

Facts and figures from Ernie Chambers' time in Nebraska Legislature

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Ernie Chambers

State Senator Ernie Chambers won reelection 11 times in total, including a write-in candidacy in 1988 when he made a simultaneous bid for U.S. Senate.

Below are some facts and figures from Ernie Chambers' career in the Nebraska Legislature.

* * *

In short

» First elected in 1970.

» Won reelection 11 times in total, including a write-in candidacy in 1988 when he made a simultaneous bid for U.S. Senate.

» Left the Legislature in 2009 when he was term limited. 

» Returned to the Legislature in 2013 after sitting out one term.

» Longest-serving Nebraska state senator.

Among his accomplishments

Wrote laws that:

» Instituted district elections to foster black representation on the Omaha City Council, the Douglas County Board and the Omaha school board.

» Banned corporal punishment in Nebraska schools.

» Eliminated the sales tax on groceries.

» Required grand jury investigations of deaths of people in law enforcement custody.

» Established government liability for innocent bystanders injured in police chases.

» Narrowed capital punishment’s application with bills barring execution of juveniles and those with mental disabilities. 

Demanded investigations of alleged wrongdoing, including:

» Mock lynching of a Black Nebraska National Guardsman in 1976.

» 1984 shooting death of Cairo, Nebraska, farmer Arthur Kirk in a State Patrol standoff.

» Allegations about the business dealings of former Attorney General Paul Douglas with the failed Commonwealth Savings Co. that led to Douglas’ impeachment in 1983.

» Sexual misconduct allegations arising after the 1988 failure of Franklin Community Credit Union in Omaha.

» Campaign finance violations that led to the 2006 impeachment and removal of NU regent David Hergert.

» Use of legislative computers for cybersex that led to the 2017 resignation of Sen. Bill Kintner of Papillion. 

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