Will prison scandal hamper Heineman’s bid for NU’s top job?

Posted: Aug 25, 2014 9:19 AM
Will prison scandal hamper Heineman’s bid for NU’s top job?

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

In recent weeks many of Republican Gov. Dave Heineman’s critics have all but said they’d like the state’s prison scandal to scar Heineman’s last few months in office.

Photo by Joe Jordan

Gov. Dave Heineman

When the governor announced an “independent” investigation, the Nebraska Democratic Party pounced—calling for a special prosecutor.

“The investigation should not be limited to the ‘Corrections Department’ but instead should include both the Governor’s and Attorney General’s office,” said NDP’s Dan Marvin. “Each office is intricately involved with this scandal.”

Although there is no special prosecutor and no sign one is coming, the anti-Heineman voices believe one key item has already been accomplished.

By the way it has nothing to do with prisons.

It has plenty to do though with Heineman’s future and his quest to run the University of Nebraska. More than one Democrat thinks the prison scandal has taken Heineman out of the running for the NU presidency.

Nebraska Watchdog has asked GOP Chairman J.L. Spray to weigh in and while he says the NU job is “not his patch” he quickly added “that said (Gov. Heineman) is a great leader.”

Heineman is also good at math.

He’s made a career out of counting votes and as Nebraska Watchdog has reported this time he only needs a handful, literally. Land five votes from the 8-member Board of Regents and he’s in—and by the way he opens his bid with strong ties to at least four board members.

He’s worked for one, appointed two, and endorsed another:

  • In the ’80′s Heineman was chief of staff to then-Congressman Hal Daub.
  • In 2013 Heineman appointed Rob Schafer to the board; likewise Bob Phares in 2006 noting in Phares he “could not have asked for a more capable, qualified person.”
  • In 2008 the governor gave his blessing to Tim Clare.

Of course the governor’s critics are quick to point out all those occurred long before Nebraskans found out there was a prison scandal in Heineman’s own back yard.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday at 7:40 a.m. and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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