Mark Fahleson, the Nebraska Republican Party Chair, does his best to defend Governor Heineman in today’s Omaha World-Herald. It is his job as the party Chair to do as much, so I give it up to Fahleson for giving it a good college try.
Fahleson is responding to several articles, including one from Richard Fellman, in the Omaha World-Herald and other papers about the need for more balanced representation in our government and the reality facing the Democratic party in Nebraska.
Fahleson, in typing bully fashion, calls Fellman a liberal as if it were some disease. He also leaves out the shared profession between Fellman and Fahleson… they are both lawyers. Fellman is also a professor of political science and a deep thinker on big issues facing politics in our state.
But, lets get to the meat of Fahleson’s attempt to protect Heineman…
Governor Heineman is anything but bold. I actually almost spit my coffee out when I read that Fahleson uses bold to describe the man who was appointed to his position (like many Republicans are in our state rather than winning in an election) and then uses his incumbency status to push through ultra-conservative bills (which are costing our state plenty of money in legal fees) while making Speaker Flood, Fahleson, Bruning and Julie Schmidt Albin do his dirty work.
You see, Governor Heienman is not bold at all. If he was bold he would stand on his own two feet and say very clearly where he stands on important issues. But, he doesn’t. All he does is kick the can to others or show his reckless disregard for cancer by speaking at a pro-tanning bed rally.
Bold Nebraska or others have asked these questions, and while Heineman may give a canned response in the press, he often kicks the can to others…
Question: Will you serve your full term as Governor if re-elected or are you planning on resigning to run for Senate?
Answer: NONE (let Communications Director who moonlights as a gossip blogger on Leavenworth Street answer those questions)
Question: Where do you stand on Fremont and will you be leading a push for an Arizona law in our state?
Answer: NONE (let Sen. Janssen answer all of those questions)
Question: How do you call yourself pro-life when you opposed and actively worked to kill the prenatal bill?
Answer: NONE (let Julie Schmidt Albin with Nebraska Right to Life answer that, but I will show up for the magazine cover photo shoot and take her endorsement)
Question: What did you do to ensure that a company which is part of our state’s history, Irwin Tools, was not shipped over to China?
Answer: NONE (on this one, no one say anything, it’s a small town maybe no one will notice, I will cut a ribbon somewhere near there and hope all is then forgiven)
Question: What have you done to recover the almost $30 million dollars a year our state lost because of the mismanagement of the Beatrice Center and what have you done to improve the care?
Answer: NONE (let the folks over at HHS take that one, while I ask that the lawsuit be dismissed)
Question: Will you seek out ways to generate revenue, like selling wind power, rather than only make cuts to the budget?
Answer: NONE (let Speaker Flood figure that out in the public, I’ve already told him to cut, cut, cut — have to get started on my senate campaign ads)
Question: Are you using any of your $1.5 million campaign account to fund Republicans running state senate races?
Answer: NONE (let Bruning take on that question, his name is also on a lot of the pac checks, and he will take the heat because he owes me)
Lastly, Fahleson closes with this statement:
Should [Democrats not find a candidate], Nebraskans will have immediate clarity on two widely held Republican beliefs — that many Nebraskans don’t care for the Nebraska Democratic candidates and the liberal policies they support and that Gov. Heineman has done a job that even his most ardent partisan critics are content with.
Dead wrong. Nebraskans want more voices in our state government, not just conservatives. Additionally, established businesses, nonprofit groups and professional associations are all frustrated with Heineman’s reckless and kick-the-can leadership style. But they know the political reality if they speak out against him.
Nebraskans do have clarity on two things — Heineman has a tight grip on all Republicans and Heineman will block anything he doesn’t want (including prenatal care) even if what he is blocking is in the right interests for our state growth and our common humanity.
So, Fahleson you are right on one thing, Democrats need to get it together and stand on their own two feet. Because the values they hold and the ground they are standing on — and the ground progressives, moderates and independents are standing on — is strong. And in the end, bullies are seen for what they are: wimps with no ideas and no leadership.