Monday, May 28, 2007

State Senator Brad Ashford: The Best Republican in the Bunch

by Kyle Michaelis
Returning as a State Senator 12 years after serving two terms in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Omaha's Brad Ashford has definitely impressed with his leadership of the Nebraska Legislature's Judiciary Committee. I'll refrain from singing any further accolades and simply let the man speak for himself, as quoted in a Sunday Lincoln Journal-Star profile:
Having grown up in Omaha, I’ve always really enjoyed the diversity of the people. Many, many different ethnic groups......

I’m committed to social justice. I grew up in a family that was grounded in that....

We need to constantly be vigilant against intolerance....

I think we ought to get back to our roots. We are, at our roots, a secular society that believes passionately about the freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. It’s a wonderful mixture where people have the right to believe and say what they will.

At the same time, we should be careful not to impose our views or our religion on others.
Not your usual Republican themes, there. But, damn if it isn't refreshing to see someone who really doesn't fit into modern political stereotypes.....who uses the supposed independence afforded by our nonpartisan legislative environment to answer to principle rather than any one side's partisan extremists.

Our hats off to Sen. Ashford, with thanks for the example he has set this legislative session.



Anonymous Trevor Fitzgerald said...

I'm usually the first to agree with the New Nebraska Network, but I believe the praise being heaped on Brad Ashford just for a few comments he made to the Lincoln Journal-Star is unwarranted. Anyone can give lip service to social justice, but is there anything in Ashford's record so far in his newly-resurrected legislative career that backs it up? Talk is cheap, and Ashford will get no praise from me until he's supporting common-sense progressive legislation.

Anonymous Tom Green said...

I agree with Kyle's remarks on Sen. Ashford. He has shown great leadership with the death penalty issue. I know he was upset at the republican party's paid calls against him on the death penalty. It would be good to reach out to Senator Ashford.

Anonymous Luke Peterson said...

Trevor -

That last time Sen. Ashford was in the Legislature, he helped out immensely for the updated version of Nebraska's Hate Crimes Law. He and others included language for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender community for the Hate Crimes law. I think that alone merits my support (and your's too, for that matter) for Sen. Ashford. Not to mention, his ardous work on LB 475 this past session was comendable.

Blogger Ryan Anderson said...

I'm sorry to say I voted against Ashford in the last election. If I'd known what a fine Senator he'd make, I'd probably have campaigned for himself.

Unfortunately, I am no longer a constituent, but I'm still a fan.

Anonymous Partisan Democrat said...

Trevor -

Senator Ashford isn't just talking a good game. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee, he's crafted two anti-death penalty bills (drawing fire from the GOP State Chair), made LB 475 his committee's priority bill, and been a more reliable vote than some Democrats on party-line votes (especially on the tax package and budget). I've a very partisan Democrat, but this is the one election I can recall in my entire life where I'm happy the Republican beat the Democrat.


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