Tuesday, September 04, 2007

State Senator Mick Mines Resigns

by Kyle Michaelis
If we really want to see more progressive voices in the Nebraska Unicameral, Legislative District 18 - running from Blair to Northwest Omaha - just became a prime pick-up opportunity in November 2008 after the resignation of State Sen. Mick Mines only one year into his second term.

As Eric reports, Mines will be leaving office to set-up shop with his own lobbying firm. It seems he couldn't wait any longer to cash-in like former Speaker Kermit Brashear on all the fat lobbying contracts and legislative inexperience that abound in the post-term limits environment.

Of course, District 18 voters should be annoyed - perhaps even outraged - that Mines would abandon their interests to exercise his legislative influence in the name of corporate profits. Every voter across the state, though, should heed the warnings of this situation, which so well illustrates the dangerous expansion in corporate influence that has consumed Nebraska politics under the reigns of Gov. Dave Heineman and his predecessor, Mike Johanns.

Heineman will appoint Mines' successor for the 2008 legislative session. The example Heineman set with the appointment of Tony Fulton in November 2006 suggests he will look for a long-time partisan ideologue who can be counted on to serve his corporate agenda.

If that again proves to be the case, this is a district ripe for change where we must give the people the chance to break Heineman's lock-grip on the legislature, restoring much-needed balance to our state's democracy.

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