Thursday, March 30, 2006

The David Hahn Difference

by Kyle Michaelis
Today is not the day to write about how exciting a Democratic nominee for governor David Hahn might prove in 2006. The man has courage, conviction, and - more importantly - a true vision for the future of Nebraska. How well his campaign will come together remains to be seen, but I believe he has the potential to be the most exciting and generation-spanning candidate this state has seen since Bob Kerrey ran for governor in 1982. Still, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves with such proclamations - especially with the steep and mighty odds standing before his young campaign.

No, for now, let's let Mr. Hahn's words, his passion, and his knowledge speak for themselves. The Lincoln Journal-Star reports:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate David Hahn said Monday he’d veto legislation similar to South Dakota’s restrictive new anti-abortion law.

Taking a position counter to the three Republican candidates, all of whom said they would sign such a bill, Hahn said the issue shouldn’t be approached in theoretical terms.

“What the South Dakota law means,” he said, “is that I as governor would have to look a young woman in the eye who has been raped by a family member or by a stranger walking home and tell her she and her doctor are going to jail if she has an abortion.

“I’m unwilling to say that,”
Hahn declared in a telephone interview.

The South Dakota law prohibits abortions except when required to save the life of the mother. Hahn said he essentially agrees with abortion rights defined by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade.

“And, frankly, I get a little grumpy when people suggest I am anti-life or pro-death or not a good Christian if I have what I believe are moderate views on abortion,” he said.

“We can be religious and still believe allowing a woman to make that choice is the right thing to do.”

Hahn said he’d also have practical reasons to veto a law patterned after the South Dakota legislation. “It’s against the law of the land,” as determined by the Supreme Court, he said, and therefore would be “constitutionally unsound”....

During a Republican gubernatorial debate in Lincoln Monday night, Gov. Dave Heineman, Rep. Tom Osborne and Omaha businessman Dave Nabity all said they would sign legislation patterned after South Dakota’s new abortion restrictions.

As a Christian, Hahn said, he is comfortable with his own view on abortion rights.

“I’ve sought counsel of clergy, I’ve studied Scripture, I’ve read the writings of theologians and I’ve prayed about this,” he said. “On certain moral issues like abortion and divorce, there are times when individuals need to make their own decisions, taking into consideration their own faith.”

If government controls that decision, he cautioned, “they’ll soon be in our gun cabinets, too.” Hahn said he is a strong supporter of 2nd Amendment gun ownership rights.

A total ban on abortion does not reflect the will of the people of Nebraska. On this, it's clear Hahn is the only moderate in the race....the only candidate who isn't pandering to the anti-choice activists' insistence that public policy be controlled by religious doctrine.

An educated man of reasoned rather than reactionary faith as governor; dare we even dream? Obviously, here is a candidate who prides himself on asking the tough questions and who might just have the vision to lead Nebraska through the challenging days ahead, everyday made more challenging by the ruling Republicans' proven inability to move this state forward after eight years in power.

The people of Nebraska are conservative but not of the sort who inhabit an ideological bubble. No, we are common people with real concerns who care about doing things the right way, not doing things the Right's way.

Yet, here we have Tom Osborne, Dave Heineman, and Dave Nabity each trying to seal themselves away more completely than the others behind a brick wall of false promises and petty partisanship. How refreshing, at last, to have a candidate such as Hahn who will be more about tearing walls down than building them up. Pardon my Clintonism, but this is a man who will actually build a bridge to the future rather than blowing it up and taking out a mortgage on the property (to be paid, of course, by future generations).

You can call Hahn the rational choice. You can call him the principled choice. But, let's be honest. If this state is going to get back on the path to prosperity, the voters of Nebraska will recognize that there is no choice here. In 2006, it might just be David Hahn or bust.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does Hahn stand on other issues? Economic development, tax and fiscal policy, water, the immigration debate, education -- there hasn't been a grat deal of substantive issue discussion on his website or in the media. I do see from the LJS article he supports gun rights. Voters need to know where he stands on the issues.

Blogger Kyle Michaelis said...


I encourage you to find a chance to listen to Hahn speak. In person, he's very forthcoming and impressively knowledgeable about the issues. And, I fully expect that voters across the state will be learning who Hahn is and where he stands as soon as the Republican primary is over.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Hollister anonymously types:

Next-Gov. Hahn drew a huge cheer at the Center For Rural Affairs forum last month for stating that one of his first acts as governor will be to publish all the dark secrets-the who,when, how much, and what happened- behind LB775.
Kyle, the Kerry comparison is pretty sound. The main question-Are the people of Nebraska ready to build a sound, dynamic economy or just waste 4 more years at number 49 in economic growth??

Blogger elisabeth said...

Hahn will be speaking this Sunday, April 2nd, at 7PM at the UNL Student Union Ballroom (14th and "R" Streets, Lincoln). The UNL Young Democrats are sponsoring a forum, free and open to the public.


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