Thursday, June 15, 2006

Heineman's Henchman Can't Spin Boss' Cowardice

by Kyle Michaelis
David Hahn continues to impress with his willingness to tackle tough issues and to challenge the record of Republican governor Dave Heineman in a manner this state hasn't seen in many, many moons. One senses that, if anyone is going to wake-up Nebraska to the failures of the Johanns/Heineman machine threatening to permanently cripple our state, it's going to be this candidate, this year.

Just look at the way Hahn's been making headlines - and inviting response - by taking a proactive approach that won't allow the silence and complacency that has otherwise resulted in a black hole of endless Republican domination.

Today, Hahn's done it again - taking Heineman to task for his notable failures of leadership on a whole host of issues of great importance to Nebraska voters:
Five months before he bumps into Gov. Dave Heineman on the November ballot, David Hahn is suggesting leadership will be an issue in their battle.

“Nebraskans want somebody who will take action,” the Democratic gubernatorial nominee said. “I don’t need polls to tell me where the political winds are blowing. I’ll not wait to see which direction the political weather vane is pointed.”

Hahn targeted several issues he said he’s ready to act upon and the governor is not. “It seems to be a trend,” he said in a Lincoln interview.

On Hahn’s list are immigration reform, a spending lid initiative, rapid development of broadband Internet service throughout the state, and what to do about the newly enacted Omaha school reorganization law that has raised the issue of school segregation and is headed to court.

Heineman's campaign manager, Carlos "Tio" Castillo, however, has taken issue with Hahn's characterizations. First, on immigration:
Castillo said Heineman has made his views known in support of securing U.S. borders, enforcing laws now on the books and streamlining legal immigration.

“I’m not sure whether David Hahn was living in a cave for the last six months,” Castillo said. “Immigration was the issue we talked about the most in the last four or five weeks of the (primary) campaign.”

Ah, but there is talking about immigration. Then, there is leading on immigration. Heineman may have done the former when it was to his poltical advantage to separate himself from Tom Osborne, but with a golden opportunity to speak up on behalf of the people of Nebraska when President Bush was in town last week, he dodged the issue completely, declaring:
“It’s a federal issue....I haven’t reviewed these proposals in any detail. I try to keep my focus on state issues."

Huh? Maybe Castillo's been the one living in a cave, since it seems he's not familiar with his candidate's own statements.

Meanwhile, in response to the spending lid amendment, Castillo actually took the cue from his boss, and explained Heineman's position (or lack thereof):
Castillo said Heineman will carefully review the proposal before taking a position.

Note that this is 9 days after the Omaha World-Herald reported:
Republican Gov. Dave Heineman had not decided if he would support the petition because he has not had time to review it in detail.

Just how much time does this guy need? Petition circulators have been going door-to-door for weeks. The language hasn't changed. The facts haven't changed. The time to lead is now - not once Heineman's had an opportunity to look at some polling data. That is the only thing Heineman "will carefully review," and Castillo damn well knows it.

David Hahn is right to take Heineman to task for these leadership failures. If George W. Bush is the decider (as he so famously asserted), then Dave Heineman has proven himself the waffler.

That's all well and good - I like waffles as much as the next guy. But, after eight years of the Johanns and Heineman permanent campaign, it sure would be nice to have an actual leader in our Governor's mansion - a man willing to stand and fight for the things he believes. Here's hoping that the people have had enough....that the waffler will be toast come this November.


Blogger Ben Hamilton said...

After watching the new Rickets attack ad I wonder if he knows what state he is running in. If he wants to attack Hillary or Ted Kennedy maybe he should run in New York of Massachusetts. After all, Ricket's dad done have a penthouse in New York City. Maybe his attack ads should say "New York or Mattachusetts values, New York or Massachusetts common sense."


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