Monday, May 09, 2005

Heineman the Quiet Man

by Kyle Michaelis
Pseudo-incumbent Governor Dave Heineman has promised to win over Nebraska voters with his leadership, but so far he's proving unwilling as only a politician could be to lead. Most indicative of this is his failure to stand with the majority of state senators in their call for University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert to step down from office or face impeachment for his blatant violations of state campaign finance laws.

The AP quoted Heineman saying of Hergert:
"I certainly don't condone what he did. There is no question that he violated the law, and he's been penalized for that. Whether or not he should be impeached or asked to resign is a legislative matter."
So, Heineman feels confident to assign guilt, which is the domain of the courts, but he won't simply share his opinion on what the punishment of such acts should be because that's "a legislative matter?" Who is he kidding? This is a question of who is fit for office and what kind of standards Nebraskans should expect from their representatives and Heineman thinks he can just opt out without sharing an opinion? How is that leadership?

If Heineman's going to claim to be a leader, he has to start by acting like one. That means standing for something and, yes, speaking out when a mockery is made of the laws it is his consitutional duty to uphold and execute. If this duty were taken seriously, Heineman would be the most outspoken critic of the campaign hijinks for which several Regents, especially Hergert, are responsible. As is, he appears to have no backbone, as well as little integrity or understanding of his office.


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