Governor Ricketts’ newest excuse for his cover-up of Senator Kintner’s scandal is nothing more than an insult to the people of Nebraska. Every person accused of a crime receives due process, but the public is made aware of the underlying facts because due process in not a secret process.
Like Dave Heineman when he was Governor, Pete Ricketts is the head of the Nebraska Republican Party. When confronted with information that suggested Lt Gov. Rick Sheehy used a state issued phone to call his many girlfriends, Gov Heineman did not wait or cover-up or suggest he had a duty to wait on the NE Accountability and Disclosure to rule, instead he immediately acted, revealing it to the public. Dave Heineman, like all Nebraskans, recognized that public officials are held to a higher standard, and insisted on the lieutenant governor’s resignation. Pete Ricketts, by contrast, when faced with an almost exact situation, aware of Kintners’ use of a state issued computer to satisfy his prurient appetite, refused to act. In fact, when the state patrol completed its investigation in October 2015 he did nothing and chose instead to cover up for the senator.
“The honest and hard-working people of our state can easily recognize when they are being hoodwinked. Gov. Ricketts is not being honest with people of Nebraska. Ricketts hid, covered up, and failed to address Kintner’s elicit behavior, in violation of the public’s trust,” said Vince Powers. “Even Dave Heineman with his own share of scandals, knew as head of the Nebraska Republican Party to cull out the bad actors in order to preserve the public’s trust” Powers continued, “this may be business as usual for Pete Ricketts but he is about to learn that it won’t work here in Nebraska.”
Whether he intended to hold this information over Kintner’s head during the balance of his tenure in the legislature or simply cover-up the scandal is unknown. What is clear is that Pete Ricketts has refused once again to act, leading to the inescapable conclusion that Governor Ricketts does not uphold a higher standard for public officials and has shown the willingness to cover up scandalous behavior as business as usual in his administration.
In the Governor’s comments he suggests that ‘if this is true Kintner needs to resign’, which implies the governor still doesn’t know the facts, which is simply unbelievable. He knew the facts when he was told of Kintner’s actions in July 2015; he knew the facts when the State patrol completed its investigation in October 2015. Pete Ricketts acting like he has been in the dark this whole time is a weak excuse offered now that his cover-up has been exposed.
This is just another example of Pete Ricketts bringing the culture of Wall Street to the governor’s mansion. The exact same Wall Street culture seen all too often today in politics. The culture of corruption where law and regulation are replaced by cronyism; where cover-up and secrecy are used to avoid accountability and transparency; and partisan politics and personal gain trump public service and trust.