Ricketts’ Extremism Threatens Nebraska’s Economy

The right wing media routinely demonizes women, African-Americans, the LGBT community, Hispanics and anybody else who opposes the agenda of the radical right.  This kind of trash and nonsense is spewed out every day on a 24 hour basis.  That’s why State Party chair Vince Powers calls AM radio: “Hate radio.”  All of this daily paranoia, hate, misogyny and race baiting has had a profound impact on millions of Republican voters.

As I discussed here in a recent piece, the right wing media destroyed the Republican Party and created the Trump candidacy.  Like I said, Trump closely resembles the hosts that regularly appear on Fox News and AM radio.  Trump’s campaign has been marked by all of the outrageous and simply awful things he has said about millions of American who happen to disagree with him.

As part of the announcement of his candidacy, Trump falsely claimed that: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems…they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”  The reality television show entertainer also called Mexicans “killers” and contended that Mexico was sending us their criminals.

The presumptive GOP nominee’s remarks about women have been equally offensive.  Trump has called women slobs, pigs and dogs.  Mr. Trump once told a female attorney who requested a recess from a deposition to pump breast milk: “You’re disgusting.”  After taking some tough questions from Fox News entertainer Megyn Kelly at a debate, Trump said: “You could see blood coming out of her wherever.”  He even retweeted somebody who called Kelly a “bimbo.”

Some Republicans are sincerely repulsed by Trump’s vulgar remarks and un-Presidential behavior.  That led some of the delegates at the recent Nebraska Republican Party convention to offer a resolution condemning “degrading remarks toward women, minorities and other people by Republican elected office holders or party officials, including candidates for president of the United States.”  Amazingly enough, this resolution was defeated by a wide margin even though it didn’t mention the orange hued mogul by name and merely stated that the Nebraska Republican Party opposed the remarks themselves.

As State Party Chair Vince Powers said about the Nebraska GOP Convention: “It was the day that decency died in the Nebraska GOP – when they rejected a resolution that opposed degrading remarks towards women and minorities.”  In contrast, the Lancaster County Democratic Convention passed a resolution (by acclamation): “strongly opposing all degrading remarks toward women, minorities and other individuals by Democrats elected to office or party officials, including candidates for president of the United States.”

The intolerance and extremism of the party of Pete Ricketts hasn’t only manifested itself by it’s refusal to pass a common sense resolution, the Nebraska GOP also supports the kind of bathroom law that was recently passed in North Carolina. The legislature in the Tar Heel state recently passed a law that requires a transgender person to use a public bathroom that matches his or her gender at birth.

Since the passage of that discriminatory law, the NCAA passed a binding resolution that all sites that want to host a NCAA sporting event must “provide an environment that is safe, healthy, and free of discrimination.” Cities hosting NCAA events must prove they can guarantee the “dignity of everyone involved in the event.”

This may become a big problem for Nebraska since Omaha has hosted the NCAA College World Series since 1950. In addition, both Omaha and Lincoln have hosted NCAA tournament basketball and volleyball games in the past and hope to do so in the future. All of that is now at risk due to the extremism and sheer ineptitude of Pete Ricketts and his GOP followers in the Unicameral.

Leading GOP State Senator Bill Kintner thumbed his nose at the NCAA and said: “There is no reason for Nebraska to consider the NCAA policy or the possibility of losing out on hosting events when legislating.” Kintner went so far as to say: “The NCAA is a bunch of left-wing loonies.”

Governor Pete Ricketts echoed Kinter’s remarks – albeit in a much more diplomatic fashion. The rookie Governor recommended that local school boards reject the Obama Admnistration’s guidelines about transgender bathroom use that were issued in response to the North Carolina legislation on that subject. Ricketts told the Omaha World Herald that the NCAA policy or the potential loss of NCAA events would not affect the positions he takes: “They need to make rules as they see fit, but it doesn’t impact my thought processes on what we need to do here in Nebraska.”

What this means is that Ricketts and Kintner’s radical policies could cost Omaha the College World Series after it has based been based in that city for 66 years.   (Ricketts’ and Stothert’s incompetence has already chased Conagra out of Omaha.)  Moreover, the passage of a North Carolina style bathroom law could cause both Omaha and Lincoln to be passed over for other NCAA sporting events – even after the taxpayers of those cities have invested in the facilities and infrastructure necessary to host these coveted events.  How can Ricketts be considered pro-business in light of this potential harm he may cause to Nebraska?

The radicalism and incompetence of Pete Ricketts and the Nebraska GOP could badly hurt the Nebraska economy if they get their way in the next legislative session.  What’s more, this kind of intolerance from the party of Ricketts is simply wrong.  The Nebraska Republican Party is denying decent and humane treatment to many Nebraskans.

We here at the Nebraska Democratic Party are the party of inclusion and tolerance.  We are accepting converts and the Nebraska GOP is purging heretics.  If you are being demonized by the GOP, please join us.  We could use your help in stopping Ricketts from using his vast personal wealth to take over the legislature and turn Nebraska into North Carolina or Kansas.