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Ricketts’ Growing Credibility Gap

As I’ve said before, well connected Republican insiders have told me on background that Pete Ricketts is a true believer conservative. I suppose it’s easy to believe it will all eventually trickle down if you’re a billionaire by virtue of inherited wealth. In any event, being a true believer conservative has its disadvantages because most of them are poorly informed due to their reliance on the entertainers in the right wing media for information.

Ricketts’ over reliance upon the right entertainers was revealed by two recent delusional statements that he has made. The billionaire governor recently made the false claim that Representative Alexandra Ocasio Cortez’s Green New Deal would “end cattle production.” At first I thought that Ricketts had been smoking pot but I do take at face value his claim he has never inhaled. I digress.

The agricultural portion of the Green New Deal doesn’t even mention the cattle industry. The farming plank of the Green New Deal reads as follows:

“Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including —

  • by supporting family farming
  • by investing in sustainable farming and land use practices that increase soil health
  • by building a more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food.”

What’s wrong with that? It sounds like common sense to me. Perhaps I should email this platform plank to Mr. Ricketts so he is better informed. I suppose he would call it “fake news” since it probably was never mentioned on Fox or the Limbaugh show.

Ricketts further revealed his ignorance by coming out in opposition to medical marijuana in Nebraska. At a recent townhall meeting in Wahoo, Ricketts alleged that: “There’s no major medical organization that says smoking marijuana is any way to deliver (health) benefits. ” The billionaire governor went on to say that medical marijuana should go through the same FDA approval process as other drugs and medications.

The medical marijuana proposal from Senators Adam Morfeld and Anna Wishart would create one of the most conservative medical marijuana systems in the U.S. According to the Lincoln Journal Star, their plan would: “(W)ould give the people of Nebraska the right, if recommended by a doctor or nurse practitioner, to use, possess and access cannabis, products and equipment to alleviate serious medical conditions. People would also have the right to safely and discreetly produce an adequate supply of cannabis.”

Morfeld’s response to the Governor’s opposition to his plan was both clever and creative. The north Lincoln Senator tweeted as follows:

“Let me just summarize for those not paying close attention.

Ricketts on the death penalty: Violates FDA rules and regulations/federal law and smuggles in drugs from India for the death penalty.

Ricketts on medical marijuana: I can’t support it because it is not FDA approved.”

In addition to exposing Rickett’s contradictory position on the issue, Senator Morfeld challenged Ricketts and Attorney General Doug Peterson to a debate on medical marijuana. “We feel as though it is important for the public to hear from leaders on the issue,” Morfeld wrote in a letter that was hand delivered to Ricketts and Peterson last week.

Ricketts, through his spokesman, was quick to duck the challenge from Morfeld. To the best of my knowledge, Peterson hasn’t responded. That’s unfortunate because the Attorney General was an outstanding trial lawyer before he was elected to that post in 2014. Peterson would be a worthy opponent for Morfeld.

Unfortunately, Ricketts will most likely block the medical marijuana bill in the current legislative session. However, Morfeld and Wishart will make sure it comes up for a vote by the people in November 2020. I’m confident that it will be approved by the voters once we get past Ricketts and his out of touch right wing allies in the Unicameral. This is because the people of Nebraska passed a much needed minimum wage increase in 2014 and the Medicaid expansion in 2018. We can do it again!

I’m a trial lawyer, a Democratic activist and a sports fan.

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