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The Public Pulse: More moderate Dems?; Thoughts on Gov. Ricketts; Turning a blind eye

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Kerrey's comments

Having been actively involved in the Nebraska Democratic Party for nearly 20 years — 12 years on the state central committee, two years on the executive committee and other leadership roles — I was gravely disappointed in the OWH lead article, "Nebraska Dems urge more moderate tone," (Nov. 28). I assume the “several prominent party figures” are those cited later in the article, namely Bob Kerrey and Ben Nelson. They claim the party “needs a more moderate tone.” Bob Kerrey’s earlier comments on local TV and again in the OWH article are totally unfounded. (I let him know.) Now, publicly I ask in what way, when and where did the state party paint the Democratic candidates “more radical” than they actually are? The fact is the party did no such thing. The ads run by the Republican candidates and their supportive PACs would have you believe that Tony Vargas, Patty Pansing Brooks and Carol Blood were raving liberals. It would appear that is where the “more radical” perspective originated. Again, no factual basis for such ads.

The closing issue in the article should have been the lede — the numbers. When people complain to me about why we can’t convince more Republicans to vote Democratic, my simple reply is, “Could someone convince you to vote Republican?” It’s the numbers.

With all due respect to Kerrey and Nelson who served us well in their day, neither they, nor Kara Eastman, have been involved in the day-to-day knowledge or operation of the party in recent years, if ever.

Jane Kleeb is the fourth chair in my years of involvement. Although each prior chair had his strengths, Jane is the whole package. She has energized the activists with new tools, skills, national support and enthusiasm. It’s not Jane’s fault; it’s the numbers.

Peg O’Dea Lippert, Papillion

Thank you

This month, Gov. Ricketts was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in Tokyo by the Japanese government. He received this award for his work strengthening the trade alliance between Nebraska and the Pacific nation. I want to thank Gov. Ricketts for his dedication to our farmers and our state's economy. This honor is well-deserved.

David Rochford, Waterloo, Nebraska

Trustee, Village of Waterloo Board of Trustees

Looking back

Nebraska is about ready to celebrate the end of Pete Ricketts' term, who was in my opinion, the worst governor in living memory. Let’s look back: In 2006, Ricketts was trounced by Ben Nelson for U.S. Senate. He won the governorship in 2014 less by his own merits than the errors of his competition.

He immediately began to game the Unicameral system. If a legislator voted against his position, Ricketts would personally finance the campaign of that legislator’s opponent (gas tax). If the legislature overrode his veto, Ricketts would personally finance a petition initiative changing the decision (death penalty). When the citizens spoke, he dragged his feet (expanded Medicaid).

What has improved during his tenure? The tax system he promised to fix? No. The overcrowded prison system? Nope. How about the child welfare system? No way. In the meantime, he spent our money sending troops to Texas and joining frivolous lawsuits .

Has Ricketts finagled a path to the Senate that doesn’t require voter approval? We’ll soon find out. Eventually, he’ll have to face the voters if he wants that Senate seat. We, the citizens of Nebraska, are the second chamber of the legislature. Let’s start paying attention and send Pete Ricketts back to the family business.

Frank Logan, Bellevue

A blind eye

Trump said, that he never met and knew nothing about Nick Fuentes before he arrived with Ye at his club (Nov. 26). This makes me wonder if that decreases the odds of me getting into the club.

Donivan Huwaldt, Uehling, Nebraska

OWH Public Pulse November 2022

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