Is Fortenberry The Worst of All Time?
One of the many prices for longtime one party rule is that Nebraska has been saddled for decades with ineffectual Republican members of Congress who lack any significant accomplishments. The voters return these ineffectual backbenchers again and again to Washington due to party affiliation, cultural wedge issues and religious issues. The lack of any real accomplishments doesn’t seem to trouble many voters.
Senators Roman Hruska and Carl Curtis were re-elected numerous times for decades despite their obvious mediocrity. They were best known for an infamous quote that Hruska made in support of Richard Nixon’s nomination of Harrold Carswell to the Supreme Court in 1970. One of the main arguments made against Carswell was that he was mediocre and not a suitable candidate for the nation’s highest court.
In response to criticism that Carswell had been a mediocre judge, Hruska contended:
“Even if he were mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren’t they, and a little chance? We can’t have all Brandeises, Frankfurters and Cardozos.”
Hruska’s opponents found his remarks to be autobiographical in nature.
Hruska and Curtis’ incompetence was later matched by hapless Representative Lee Terry. The former Omaha Congressman had no legislative accomplishments during his sixteen years in the nation’s capital.
Terry’s political demise stemmed from his infamous gaffe during the 2013 government shutdown aimed at throwing 20 million Americans off insurance and ending pre-existing condition protections. During that failed GOP shutdown, many members of Congress pledged not to take their paychecks during the shutdown.
When Terry was asked whether he would continue receiving his paycheck, he ended his political career with this tone deaf statement: “Dang straight,” he said. But you know what? I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.”
Unfortunately, Jeff Fortenberry has been every bit as ineffectual as his former House colleague from CD02. The sixteen year CD01 House incumbent has never chaired a committee or served in a leadership role. That is a real vote of no confidence in his abilities — or lack thereof. Moreover, Fortenberry has only been responsible for the passage of four largely symbolic bills.
Jeff Fortenberry isn’t only incompetent, he is a radical. Earlier this year, Fortenberry voted to stiff America’s creditors and wipe out 6 million jobs. The longtime CD01 incumbent has also voted to kick 20 million people off insurance and end pre-existing condition protections over sixty times!
Fortenberry isn’t only an extremist, he has abused his power as a member of Congress. He called the police on his opponents after one of them altered one of his campaign yard signs. Then Fortenberry didn’t have the courage to show up in court to testify. What’s more, Fortenberry, tried to get a professor fired for “liking” a Facebook post that was critical of him.
Fortenberry’s attempt to jail and intimidate his opponents shows the man’s hubris and belief he will never face any accountability for his actions. This sense of privilege and entitlement led to Fortenberry getting indicted for lying to the FBI. Now the CD01 incumbent has been barred by a judge from possessing or being left alone with evidence gathered by confidential informants during a federal investigation into illegal campaign contributions. Apparently, Fortenberry has been tampering with witnesses.
Fortenberry tried to poison the evidence because he knows the federal government rarely loses. Fortenberry is in a lot of trouble. As Lee Terry said: “I think maybe Jeff made it worse for himself.”
Fortenberry’s extreme record, abuse of power and indictment has shaken up the Nebraska political scene. State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks has announced her intention to run against Fortenberry in the 2022 cycle. Upsets frequently occur when a longtime incompetent incumbent becomes mired in scandal. Pansing Brooks would be a breath of fresh air and lead with integrity in the U.S. House.
Patty has been a friend of mine since 1980. She has always been one of the best and the brightest. Let’s get behind Patty and repeal and replace Fortenberry! This our time! Let’s do it! We can get it done!