Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Debate Update

by Kyle Michaelis
The Nebraska Republican Party has been having a hard time getting its candidates to debate one another. Don Stenberg continues to be a bully and a coward(exhibit a, exhibit b) by refusing to debate the other Republican senate candidates, in the belief that such debates will hurt the best (if not, only) hope he has for victory: his advantage in name recognition after two failed earlier campaigns for the same office.

On the gubernatorial front, however, there has finally been some movement. A debate schedule has been released after Gov. Dave Heineman held-up the process, forcing the other candidates - Tom Osborne and Dave Nabity - to gang-up and pressure Heineman into making a commitment. It worked.

The Omaha World-Herald reports:
After several weeks of sometimes heated wrangling, the three Republican candidates for governor said Monday that they have agreed on six debates in cities across Nebraska.

How many debates to hold was an issue among the GOP hopefuls, and it underscored the competitiveness of the three-way race among Rep. Tom Osborne, Gov. Dave Heineman and Omaha financial planner Dave Nabity.

Nabity initially called for eight debates before the May 9 primary. Osborne wanted three, saying he thought that was enough to handle the issues. Earlier this month, Heineman proposed six debates.

Heineman...argued that there was a need for more debates this year to give more Nebraskans a chance to see the three candidates and to give the candidates more time to discuss key issues.

After Heineman called for six debates, Osborne issued a press release that he would debate Heineman "anytime, anywhere".....

Nabity said he was pleased with six debates but wished that the campaigns had started discussions earlier so that there could have been two more. "The unfortunate thing is it's taken this long to get this thing settled," he said.

About two weeks ago, Nabity and Osborne complained that Heineman was dragging his feet on debates.

Now that Heineman's Stenberg-moment has come to an end, the six debates will be in:

• Omaha: March 19
• Lincoln: March 26
• North Platte: April 12
• Norfolk: April 19
• Scottsbluff-Gering: April 24
• Grand Island: April 30

Six debates in the primary. Sounds like a good number. With all the candidates' talk about giving Nebraskans an opportunity to hear about the issues from their own mouths, it seems supremely reasonable to expect that they will make sure voters have at least the same number of opportunities to see and hear them debate with Democratic nominee David Hahn before the general election.

Best keep a record of all those statements on file, though, because both Heineman and Osborne are likely to consider themselves crowned governor if they make it out of the primary. Just watch as they abandon the principles espoused above - "more debates...more discussion" Heineman and "anytime, anywhere" Osborne will almost certainly try singing a different tune in the fall - - - we can't let them!

David Hahn is going to surprise people. He's a smart, capable, and incredibly thoughtful candidate who is going to make for a real choice between the Republican status quo (no matter its champion) and an actual agent of change with a vision for the future of this state.

Nothing more dangerous than a man with ideas - at least from where Osborne and Heineman are standing. Let's just hope they are able to put aside their fears and do what's right for Nebraska by allowing a true statewide debate to take place in the general election. The people of Nebraska deserve and demand no less.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heckuva Job, Nellie.

Thanks for voting to confirm Alito, you spineless, logrolling, DINO creep!


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