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Ricketts Needs To Be Fired On November 6!

I wrote a piece about one year ago that has aged well in which I made the case that if Nebraska was a business, Ricketts would be fired. In that article, I outlined his numerous failures as governor. The Omaha billionaire has broken his promises of property tax relief, neglected the Nebraska prison system, failed to work effectively with the Unicameral and made a series of bad hires.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten any better in the last year. In the most recent legislative session, Ricketts once again prioritized tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations and ignored the outcry from our over taxed agricultural sector. Ricketts acted in a hyper partisan manner and failed to even work with moderate Republicans on property tax relief.

Things even got worse for Ricketts in just the last week. An avalanche of bad news put into sharp relief the incompetence of his Administration:

  • Ricketts’ failure to implement the collection of sales taxes on internet purchases has cost the state tens of millions of dollars in tax revenues.
  • In the last 30 months, the Lincoln Regional Center has racked up $5.6 million in overtime costs due to staffing shortages. Worker fatigue has led to more assaults on Lincoln Regional Center employees.
  • Auditors have questioned $26 million in Nebraska child welfare spending from last year. Payments were made in error, there were over payments and unauthorized payments.

The $26 million in mistaken payments were only the tip of the iceberg in the troubled child welfare program. Bob Krist excoriated Ricketts and (justifiably) blamed him for the abuse and deaths of numerous children in the child welfare program.

Krist asserted that: “Ricketts and his administration have buried their heads in the sand and done nothing to fix the problems, ignoring the warnings outlined in investigations as well as calls from lawmakers to act. How many more Nebraska kids need to die? How many more of our kids need to be sexually abused, sometimes while in custody?”

The issue of death has also reared its ugly head in connection with what might be the first execution in Nebraska since 1997. Nebraska is about ready to execute somebody with a secret and never used four drug cocktail. The Ricketts Administration has refused to disclose where they got the drugs and how they came up with the execution protocol. The state has even blocked the legislature from obtaining the testimony of Prison Director Scott Frakes on this critical issue.

Earlier today, the editorial board of the Lincoln Journal Star said it best: “ The lengths to which state officials have gone to hide the details of this process should trouble all Nebraskans. Both of these court actions are indisputably designed to hide specifics of the state’s death penalty protocol from the public, as if something unsavory lurks beneath the surface.”

Skepticism about this possible execution is warranted. In 2015, the Ricketts Administration paid a shady middleman $54,000.00 to obtain illegal execution drugs. The state never got the drugs or got its money back.

Ricketts is a terrible governor and doesn’t deserve a second term. As voters we have the power to fire him on November 6 and end his reign of error. Let’s all get behind Bob Krist and do everything we can to elect him. Krist is a distinguished Air Force veteran and a state senator who had the courage to stand up to Ricketts. Let’s get it done!

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

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