Bob Kerrey Will Not Seek Nebraska Senate Seat

Former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey would have made more than just a formidable candidate this fall had he chosen to run for office.  More importantly had he run and been victorious he would have made a wise and moderate member of Congress; a body that is in need of some civility and reasonableness.

In an email statement, Kerrey said, “I have given the decision of becoming a  candidate for the U.S. Senate very serious thought and prayer. For many reasons  I nearly said yes. In the end I choose to remain a private citizen. To those who  urged me to do so, I am sorry, very sorry to have disappointed you. I hope you  understand that I have chosen what I believe is best for my family and me.”

California Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down, Human Dignity Of Gays Underscored

This is the most welcoming of news, and one more step to the realization that all couples in this nation will have the right to marry.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down Proposition 8, finding that California’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because it deprives gay and lesbian couples of the equal right to wed.

With a decision that pushes the gay marriage issue a step closer to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld former San Francisco Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker, who invalidated Proposition 8 in 2010 after conducting an unprecedented trial.

“Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples,” Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote, joined by Judge Michael Daly Hawkins.

 

Process Be Damned: GOP Lawmakers Signed Legal Agreements To Shut Out Public Comments Over Redistricting

A fundamental flaw has taken place in the political process in Wisconsin.  The news today that almost all Wisconsin Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the redistricting maps while they were being developed is both stunning news, and wholly inappropriate.

Government should at all times strive mightily to be open and transparent when conducting the public’s business.  How did that concept so clearly elude those who campaign so hard for the office, and offer to do the best for their constituents?  The Republicans who signed the legal agreements may call themselves conservatives, but they are not classic conservatives with a higher calling concerning the process of government.  These actions of modern-day Republicans were not modeled on the constitutional figures that they often like to tell the rest of us about, and seek to model themselves after when fighting ‘big government’.

What is more ‘big government’ than hiding behind a legal agreement that shields the process of governing from those they were elected to serve? 

Every ten years one of the most important legislative actions is the work of drawing new redistricting maps which creates the lines for new voting boundaries.  While all have a vested interest in the process, it can only be viewed as credible if the public is allowed to be engaged so the creation of the maps is viewed as being fair.  There is no way that can be claimed this year with the news today.

This is just sad.

Other newly released documents also show almost all Republican lawmakers signed legal agreements promising not to discuss the new maps while they were being developed.

GOP lawmakers fought releasing these new documents and testifying about the maps in a pending court case but relented after a panel of three federal judges based in Milwaukee last month found they had filed frivolous motions in trying to shield the information from the public.

Included in the documents released Monday was a set of talking points that stressed that those who discussed the maps could eventually be called as a witness in a court case.

Senate President Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) said Monday he had never before been asked to sign a confidentiality agreement during his four decades in office.