Why is Dave Heineman So Deathly Afraid of Debate w/David Hahn?by Kyle Michaelis
Huh? What the hell? Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? It is one thing for the Heineman campaign to have, as expected, shamelessly reversed its call for 6 debates this spring by agreeing to only 3 in the general election - a number he'd called insufficient for the primary, then claiming more than 3 debates were needed "to give more Nebraskans a chance to see the...candidates and to give the candidates more time to discuss key issues."
That's just politics-as-usual from a man who cares nothing for democracy beyond the power he can gain from election.
But now, beyond cynically minimizing his exposure to the risks of facing an opponent such as Hahn who has an actual vision for this state and who speaks with a candor the people of Nebraska have not heard in years, Heineman is using behind-the-scenes influence to make sure the debate is not even accessible to voters as they start paying attention to the race in the post-Labor Day political environment.
This may be a new low for Heineman, though - in terms of sheer political paranoia on the part of his campaign - it's still pretty evenly-matched with his attempt last March to back out of the Republican debate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as soon as he realized students were involved and were even being allowed to submit questions.
At that time, Heineman's campaign manager, Carlos Castillo, relied on an insignificant deviation from the agreed-to terms to justify their cowardice, telling the Omaha World-Herald "neither he nor Heineman has anything against students but [they] believe the original agreement should be honored."
Ha! Clearly, there is no such thing as honor with this bunch. Fast forward just a few months and the Heineman campaign are the ones seeking to change the terms of debate with new diva-like demands just days before it's scheduled to take place.
Luckily for Nebraska voters and Nebraska democracy, Hahn has not acquiesced to such ridiculousness. In a press release sent out tonight, Hahn's campaign responds:
We have heard Dave Heineman’s concerns about limiting the use of any video footage from the debate by the three gubernatorial campaigns. While we do not understand why a candidate who is so far ahead of every other candidate would be so concerned about this issue, we have heard him and want to put aside his fears. David Hahn remains committed to participate in the Farm Bureau debate despite the fact that the Farm Bureau has been a significant financial supporter to Dave Heineman’s 2006 election campaign and an active participant in attempting to reopen the already negotiated and agreed to terms for this debate.
Let’s not forget that this is a debate that Dave Heineman said he would participate in at the end of July. Dave Heineman announced the Farm Bureau Debate as one of only three debates he would participate in with David Hahn. If the Heineman’s campaign’s previous statement that the governor had reached an agreement on the terms for debate with all of the involved parties is not “an agreement,” then I am afraid Dave Heineman is living in a much different world than David Hahn and the rest of Nebraska. Heineman’s world appears to be filled with political gamesmanship and intrigue and devoid of any value for realistically helping the people of our state.
As Castillo said in the primary, "the original agreement should be honored."
This is sickening and pathetic. This is just one more instance of shameless hypocrisy on the part of Heineman to avoid being exposed for the visionless servant of the status quo he has proven himself time and again since taking office.
The debate is Saturday, August 26th at 1:30 pm at the State Fair grounds in Lincoln. Be there if you can. If the cowardly Heineman had his way, that's the only opportunity you would have to see this important showdown for yourself.
He knows he can coast to victory so long as the people remain ignorant of the candidates and the issues. Heineman's enemy is not David Hahn. His enemy is the truth and the outside chance that it might actually reach the people in time to wake them before November.
Heineman's is a race against reality - a race against the future. Quite clearly, it is also a race he intends to win....no matter the costs.