Connect with us
The pick of Rep. Paul Ryan as the Republican vice presidential nominee has inspired conservatives.


A Democratic gov for Nebraska?

The Sheehy phone scandal opens a pretty big door.

The stunning political downfall of Nebraska???s Lieutenant Gov. Rick Sheehy Saturday night has upended that state???s political landscape???and, very possibly, opened the door to the election of the Cornhusker State???s first Democratic governor in 16 years.

Sheehy, considered the shoo-in for the Republican nomination to succeed lameduck Gov. Dave Heinemann next year, suddenly resigned from office late Saturday amid revelations he had used his state-issued cellphone to make thousands of calls to four different women who were not his wife. Sheehy — who separated from his wife of 29 years in July — had reportedly maintained relationships with all four, including a physician who told reporters ???I thought I was the only one.???

The Sheehy scandal leaves Nebraska Republicans caught off-guard regarding a successor to Heinemann and raises Democratic hopes of recapturing the state house 16 years after Ben Nelson, later a U.S. senator, was their last governor.

One month ago, Sheehy???s main rival for nomination also left the race in a major surprise. Former Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood revealed his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and said he wasn???t running. At the time of publication, the lone Republican voicing interest in the race is State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont. Considered a conservative, the 41-year-old Janssen has never been elected to anything beyond his senate district and has never run for anything statewide.

Two familiar names being batted about in GOP circles are eight-term Rep. Lee Terry of Omaha and State Treasurer Don Stenberg, who has lost four races for the U.S. Senate, including the primary last year won by freshman Sen. Deb Fischer.

Meanwhile, Democrats are now salivating for a crack at the governorship, with University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook and State Sen. Steve Lathrop of Omaha likely to run. In addition, talk is expected to grow regarding a bid by liberal State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton???if for no other reason than Republicans scored a coup by electing stalwart conservative Fischer their state???s first female senator since 1954.

In speaking to reporters after the Sheehy exit, State Democratic Chairman Vince Powers sounded what is sure to be his party???s theme in the race for governor next year: ???[The Sheehy affair] demonstrates that when you have one party in power for too long, arrogance and corruption and scandal follow it. It doesn???t matter if it???s Democrats in power or Republicans in power.???

Written By

John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com