As for the week in Lincoln, it wasn’t all bad, if you don’t include the sickening and the frustrating.
The good news last week was LB 586. It was pulled from debate. Rumor has it that they knew the homosexual rights bill was so unpopular that it was better to remove it voluntarily than to let it be defeated. And though it will be back again next year, we can rest a little easier for now.
The sickening and the frustrating are the chaos, “sidewinding” and vote trading of “Republican” senators on the gas tax repeal and the death penalty vote. The liberals at least get credit for sticking together and voting their principles. But RINO’s seem to lack even basic principles, to the point where no one can trust them.
Here’s one interpretation of the death penalty vote:
As you know, a bill can be filibustered (talked to death) unless 33 senators vote for cloture, to stop debate. A filibuster was in process on Thursday. It could have succeeded, killing Ernie’s bill, but here’s where it gets interesting. Suppose you want to tell the folks back home you voted to keep the death penalty, but another senator told you he would support one of your bills if you would just vote for cloture. Wonderful. You trade your vote for cloture, which is a vote to repeal the death penalty, for help with your bill. Debate stops.
THEN there is an actual vote on the bill. Since they don’t need all 33 votes to advance it, you can now vote against the bill, to keep the death penalty.
What just happened? You voted against the death penalty to keep Ernie’s bill alive. THEN you voted against the same bill (for the death penalty), knowing the other side had the 25+ needed to win. Wasn’t it John Kerry who coined the infamous “I was against it before I was for it?” That cute little maneuver let a few senators vote with the libs first, to gain support for their pet bill, but now lets them tell you folks back home that they voted with the conservatives.
Who would actually do that? Appearances say there were at least 4 – Gloor, Larson, Schilz, Smith. That makes them poster children for having no principle and playing vote trading games to fool you. And for whatever reason the terms “vote trading” and “Jim Smith” are the most commonly heard in the same sentence. IF WE LOSE THE DEATH PENALTY, THESE 4, MORE THAN ANY OTHER SENATORS, WILL HAVE BEEN THE ONES TO TAKE IT FROM US!
And several Republicans who openly supported Ernie are up for re-election next year – Davis, Seiler, Hilkemann, and Johnson (Johnson and Hilkeman indicated they would support the death penalty, then flipped at the last minute). If you’re one of their constituents they should catch some heat on this vote – and a stern warning about any vote to override the governor’s promised veto.
Here’s a link for more detail. http://nebraskavoice.net/dada_mail_support_files/file_uploads/files/268%20and%20610%20votes.pdf It’s a BAD VOTE COUNT scoresheet for the 2 votes on 268 and for the override of the governor’s veto of 610, the gas tax. Now compare that to this weekend’s straw poll – in Omaha, hardly a conservative fortress. http://www.ketv.com/ The Unicameral once again represents itself, not you.
The Petty Political Games Have Turned This Into A War. There’s Still Time To Save The Death Penalty If You Treat It Like One.
“I Voted Against It Before I Voted For It” Senators:
Forgot That They Are Up For Re-Election Senators:
Might Be Persuaded Senators: