Friday, July 07, 2006

A Victory for the Rule of Law - "Degenerate Regent" Convicted

by Kyle Michaelis
Down goes Hergert! Down goes Hergert! Down goes Hergert!

The Nebraska Supreme Court returned a unanimous verdict today convicting (now former) University of Nebraska Regent David Hergert on two of the 10 articles of impeachment passed by a bare majority of state legislators. It should be noted that many of the state senators voting against Hergert's impeachment refused to stand up and enforce the state's laws because they believed it so unlikely the Supreme Court would convict. It was a weak and pathetic justification for inaction then, and it's sad that it took the Supreme Court to overrule their outright cowardice.

Hergert was asked to resign more than one year ago by the state legislature. He refused, hoping an assortment of legal loopholes and the public's short attention span would prevent him from being held accountable for his clear and flagrant violations of Nebraska's campaign finance laws. Today, he lost that arrogance-fueled gamble.

Thank you to prosecuting attorney David Domina for his powerful and efficient arguments before the Supreme Court. Thank you to State Senators Chris Beutler and Ernie Chambers for refusing to back down and let the issue die. Thank you to Attorney General Jon Bruning, who generally seems to be in over his head on difficult questions of law but at least showed enough courage to buck easy partisanship and speak from his gut against Hergert's misconduct.

Thanks also to UNL student body president Matt Schaefer, as well as those proud young Nebraska patriots at Huskers Against Hergert for making sure students' outrage was not just recognized by the Board of Regents but heard all across the state.

This victory is theirs. It is ours. It is all Nebraska's. It doesn't happen enough, but - today - we can say the good guys won.


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