Oh my God.
That was my first thought. For real. Not some hyper-abbreviated OMG slang speak. All three words. Oh. My. God.
When I posted my comments the other day about Terry desperately trying to paint a nearly lifelong Republican as “too liberal for Nebraska,” a friend said “I thought you were going to talk about the other ad.” To which, I had to ask, “which other ad?” And then he told me about the other ad.
And then I threw up in my mouth.
If you haven’t heard about Lee Terry’s vile, manipulative, misleading, desperate mudslinging, you cannot really fathom how bad it is. I mean, you can try, but I don’t want your head going to those dark places, so I’ll just tell you. Terry is trying to link Brad Ashford with Nikko Jenkins, the maniac who slaughtered people here in Omaha. BRB, pukin’ in mah mouth again…
Okay, I’m back.
The total bullshit “logic” that Terry’s camp uses to make this desperate “Hail Mary” of negative association goes like this: As a state senator, Ashford supported the current version of the Good Time law that allows prisoners to reduce their sentences via good behavior. This was in the early 1990s. Jenkins was arrested for robbery in 2004. He got a sentence of 14-15 years but another few charges were tacked on while in prison. He had an 18-21 year sentence and served about 10.
So, clearly, Brad Ashford is responsible for Nikko Jenkins murdering people last year. That anyone could even make that argument with a straight face is just deplorable. But it gets better…and by better I mean much, much worse.
The current Governor of Nebraska, Dave Heinemann, is leaving quite the legacy. Right now, I’m pretty sure his tombstone could one day read “Dave Heinemann, a man who could give two shits about following the rules.” He wrote a “special column” that ran in some newspapers in the state blasting Ashford for this Good Time issue. YOU CAN’T DO THAT, DAVE!
The only reason those newspapers run a column from you is because you’re the governor. When you use your position to run a blatantly partisan column that attacks one candidate (from the other party), you are breaking the law that says you can’t use any public resources to campaign for or against candidates. You are putting the bully in bully pulpit!
What is going on here? It’s like the f**king Thunderdome when it comes to GOP control of this state. In just the last month, they have violated campaign restrictions and ignored the state constitution. What’s next? “We’ve decided to separate the polling places for Republican and Democrat voters. Republicans, you can vote at any Starbucks. Democrats, you can only vote inside this lit oven.”
But back to Terry, because this ad shows just how desperate and stupid he is.
Lemme break it down for ya.
1.) The argument makes no sense – Nebraska has had a good time law on its books for the last 45 years. Yes, it has been changed several times. But the core concept has held for more than four and a half decades. Brad Ashford didn’t create the goddamn good time law! Also, when he voted for the current version, HE WAS A REPUBLICAN! Or as Lee Terry would say, “Too liberal for Nebraska.”
2.) Jenkins was a time bomb – Nikko Jenkins told everyone around him what he was going to do. He begged to be treated for mental illness or committed to a mental hospital. But in this state, we don’t care about people who are ill. I mean, that’s the only reason I can think why our Governor rejected Medicare funding. The REAL problem here is that a man looked around, said “I will kill people if you don’t stop me,” and we said “You have fun out there, send some postcards!”
3.) Blame game – If you DO want to blame someone, I have an idea where to start. Here’s a hint: It’s with the same people who accidentally released a ton of criminals because math is hard.
This is from a great article over at Nebraska Watchdog that summarizes the Terry/Ashford/Jenkins mess: “Prison officials can also dock good time if prisoners misbehave, but Jenkins only lost a year-and-a-half of good time even though he assaulted a guard while on furlough, helped incite a prison riot, attacked inmates and participated in gang activities while imprisoned.” What kind of a good mood was the guy who reviewed Jenkins’ case in?!
I tell you what….you know what would look REALLY bad for Terry and Heinemann? You know what would be REALLY damning and ridiculous? If Brad Ashford led a charge to increase the amount of good time a prisoner can lose for bad behavior by asking Governor Dave Heinemann to administratively double the punishments. Here is a link to an article about the time that Brad Ashford wrote a letter to Governor Dave Heinemann asking him to administratively double the punishments.
I mean HOLY SHIT, right? Like, not only is the argument that Terry used insane, not only should Heinemann not be getting involved, but Ashford and Heath Mello ACTIVELY worked to fix the problem. It’s the trifecta of douchebaggery!
4.) The real problems – Let’s put a big f**king bow on this whole thing, shall we? Terry is, among many things, exceptionally bad at his job, which is technically to improve conditions for Americans, specifically in our area if he can. Do you know why we have good time laws, why ALL states have good time laws? Because the United States has the highest incarceration rate IN THE WORLD. Forget North Korea or wretched dictatorships in the Middle East, the good ole US of A puts more people in jail per population than anybody else. For once, we really ARE number one.
When you imprison people at this rate, you run out of places to put them. Now, unless the Government seriously considers my proposal to turn Kansas into one giant prison, the only choice states have is to soften up the sentences. The real issue is our ridiculous position against drugs, specifically marijuana. More than HALF of our prisoners are in there for drug-related crimes. We can’t keep someone like Nikko Jenkins, who robbed and beat people, in prison because we have to put a guy who sold some weed in there instead.If you think I’m kidding, consider that nearly 28% of all people in prison for drugs are specifically there for marijuana offenses.
And do you know what the SECOND leading cause of imprisonment is? Immigration, clocking in at just over 10%. If only someone, like I don’t know an elected Representative in congress, could propose reviewing how we handle drug laws and how we handle immigration (60+% of convicts combined), maybe we’d have room to treat someone like Nikko Jenkins when he tells people he’s going to commit murder.
You’ll notice I’m not suggesting that it’s Lee Terry’s fault that Nikko Jenkins killed people. Because it’s not. But THAT argument is actually easier to make than Terry’s fantasyland argument against Ashford. Sweet Moses this is crazy. I beg everyone so often “not to be fooled.” I’m not asking for that here. I’m asking you to see what this says about Terry. He’s wrong on facts. He’s desperate to stay in office at all costs. And he is a part of the problem that’s choking this country and state. You can vote early. Go do that now and get this clown out of the office he’s sullying.