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Heineman, the Political Playground Bully

Looks like Governor Heineman is taking a page out of the same bully handbook that TransCanada used on landowners earlier this month.

Except Heineman isn’t bullying Nebraska landowners, he’s bullying education groups.

In a bizarre press statement, conservative Governor Heineman is demanding three Nebraska education groups choose between education funding and access to health care for poor families and kids.

Great option—making sure kids have quality education or making sure kids have access to healthcare.

Out of all the bullying tactics and pure political moves Heineman has made, this one is the most over the top.  It is unclear why Heineman would make such a statement, especially since he recently decided to take extra federal money for Medicare and Medicaid.  Additionally, under his guidance, the state health department is currently setting up the new state health insurance exchange which is required by the new health reform law.  Heineman decided, after saying he wouldn’t, to also go after various federal grants to help the state prepare for the new health reform law.

So, is this another Double-Talk Dave moment? Or is this another pure political bullying move by Heineman?

Maybe its both.  Whatever his motivation for issuing the demand from the education groups, it is flat out wrong to bring education groups into the Governor’s fight against the current health reform law.

It is easy to be against something, but if the Governor is this opposed to the law then where is his alternative?  Where is his plan to balance the state budget?

We should not be choosing between education and healthcare for kids.  We have other options.  We could suspend some of the tax credits the Governor grants to wealthy corporations. We could tax companies that send jobs overseas (remember the Irwin plant in 2008 whose iconic jobs of making the vise-grip got shipped to China?).  We could stop wasting taxpayers’ money on political lawsuits. We could actually be innovative and look for new avenues of revenue, like stop dragging our feet on wind power.  We have options.

Choosing between kids education and kids healthcare should NEVER be an option.  Governor Heineman should absolutely be ashamed that he has allowed politics to blind him so much that he is now bullying education groups.

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