Bob Krist and Lynne Walz win Democratic nominations for Governor and Lt. Governor
OMAHA, NE – Sen. Bob Krist, candidate for Nebraska Governor, and Sen. Lynne Walz, candidate for Lt. Governor, made the following comments at their Primary Election victory celebration on Tuesday, May 15 at Sen. Krist’s neighborhood tavern, the North Shore Tavern, Omaha.
Sen. Lynne Walz
Thank you, Nebraska.
And thank you for nominating our next governor, Bob Krist. As many of you know, Bob is a combat Veteran who has served our country in the Air Force for 21 years. For that, Bob, we are grateful for your service.
And if I might, I’d like to give a shout-out to my own son, Patrick, who is in the army, stationed at fort campbell in Kentucky, and has recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Today I also have with me my wonderful husband Chris, thank you for encouraging me on this journey for Lt Governor.
But tonight I am here to talk about Bob. His dedication to our country did not end when he left the Air Force. For the past ten years, Bob has served in the Unicameral and has been widely recognized as a thoughtful, compassionate, and fearless leader who works with people, not because of their party affiliation, but because of the strength of their ideas and their willingness to find solutions that make life better for all Nebraskans.
Some of you may not know this but Bob is also a small businessperson. He took the aviation skills he learned in the military and used them to start a private business. He is the exactly the kind of hardworking Nebraskan that
knows what it is like to build a company from scratch.
If there is one theme or consistent thread throughout Bob’s life, it would be service. Service to his country, protecting our freedom.
Service to Nebraska, working in the unicameral and for the people he represents.
Service to his community, especially those in special needs community who are so often overlooked.
Bob is also a fiscal conservative who will shepherd our tax dollars in a smart and efficient manner while working to make Nebraska’s future is the best that it can be.
He understands we need to invest in our kids and invest in our people. He knows that government is here to serve the citizens; not the select few. He understands that what is good for Pete Ricketts is not always good for the people of Nebraska. And finally, he understands that when you put him in the Governor’s office that he is there to serve you!
So without further ado it is my pleasure to introduce the next governor of Nebraska, Bob Krist!
Sen. Bob Krist
Thank you, Lynne, for that great introduction. I know together we’re going to do great things for the people of
In a very short time, Lynne has demonstrated remarkable skills and the capacity to seek common ground among members of the Unicameral.
As someone who has worked in the special needs community, was a teacher for several years, and is now a small
business person, Lynne will bring an important perspective to this job and our administration.
I also want to thank the voters of Nebraska, who tonight have given me the chance to represent their hopes and dreams for a better state and a brighter future—for all of us, not just a few.
This election represents a fork in the road, and the path we choose will determine whether our state government will work on behalf of the people of this great state, or against them.
It will determine whether we slide toward mediocrity, or whether we invest in Nebraska’s future and our children’s future. Will we repeat the mistakes of our neighbors to the south, Kansas and Oklahoma, or will we strive to be the best we can be?
This election will determine whether our government exists to benefit only the very wealthy, or whether we listen to the better angels of our nature and afford all Nebraskans the opportunity to pursue the American dream.
The current administration is like Robin Hood in reverse. It takes from the poor and gives to Pete Ricketts—Wall Street Pete–and his special-interest cronies.
The governor cares more about his own political future, than doing what is right and good for the people of
There is no better example of his failure of leadership than on the subject of property taxes. The governor runs a television ad claiming he has reduced property taxes. Let me ask everyone in this room.
Have your property taxes gone down? I didn’t think so.
While the governor likes to point fingers at others for his own failings, the fact remains that he’s had four years to restore fairness to our (property) tax system and yet his biggest concern remains cutting taxes for himself, his powerful friends, and special interests.
Here is Wall Street Pete’s idea of fairness: He wants to give the folks at T.D Ameritrade, his father’s company, a tax cut of $13 million dollars. While you, the average homeowner, will get a property tax cut of $25 bucks.
Thanks for the pizza night, Pete. Hope you enjoy the yacht.
Pete seems to be confused about his job description. He’s convinced himself that what’s good for the Ricketts family is good for Nebraska. He’s consistently asking the wrong questions.
What we need is a governor who’s unafraid to wipe the slate clean and build a tax system that is fair to hard-working Nebraskans.
We will do so not behind closed doors, but in the open, where the citizens of Nebraska can be heard and ideas are
measured against one standard: is this fair to the people of Nebraska?
In addition to tax reform we need to restore our commitment to education. Our future depends on it.
The current administration has decided that less is somehow more when it comes to funding our schools, going so far as to attack our state’s excellent public schools and working to tear them down through privatization. We disagree.
There was a time when 20% of state income tax revenue was allocated to education. That figure has dropped to less than 3%. (That’s one reason why property taxes are so out of whack.)
While the funding mechanism for our schools is complex, the difference between the Ricketts administration and a Krist-Walz administration is simple: We want to invest in education; they do not.
There is no more important role in state government than to ensure we prepare our children for the future by giving them the best education possible.
From pre-K to the University of Nebraska system, and everything in between, we must raise our standards of excellence, inspire our students, faculty and administrators, and never settle for average. Investing in education will provide the biggest return we can ever get in building Nebraska’s future.
This is a governor so cavalier about children’s safety, that when Senator Walz found a way to help rural children access mental health services without spending a dime of taxpayer money in a tight budget year, Ricketts vetoed the bill!
He then had the audacity to speak to the National Rifle Association a week later about the need to do more on mental health.
That’s what we can expect from Wall Street Pete. But Nebraska can and must do better. In addition to tax reform and investing in education, we need to do a better job of governing, and, as I noted
before, making sure that our state government works on behalf of the people, not against them.
Our prison system is a mess and the governor fails to act. Our state patrol has become a hotbed of scandal under the leadership of Pete Ricketts.
More than 30 nursing homes have been forced to close for lack of adequate funding. More than 90,000 Nebraskans are without health insurance because the governor refuses to access the federal
dollars waiting on the table. Women are denied access to vital preventive health care services because the
governor says ‘no.”
Services to the special needs community are cut back because the governor says “no.” Mental health services are
denied to our school children because our governor said “no.”
Is this the pathway to a better future? I don’t think so. Is this government of the people, by the people and for the
people? I don’t think so.
What we have instead is an administration that cannot lead, that cannot govern, that will not invest in our future,
and will not offer a helping hand to those in need.
It is also an administration that has abandoned the rich tradition of non-partisanship and civility when it comes to
Wall Street Pete is a “my way or the highway” type of governor who threatens those who oppose him with retribution and electoral defeat. And he has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars doing just that.
He has turned the Unicameral into a partisan legislature that carries water for the governor and his political cronies while ignoring the wishes and needs of our citizens.
Indeed, we should never even ask whether or not a policy is good for Pete Ricketts and his special interest friends but, instead, whether it is good for the people of Nebraska.
The governor has consistently failed to do so.
So there you have it. This is our campaign for the citizens of Nebraska: Tax reform; investing in education; making government work for the people, not against them; and restoring civility and non-partisanship to the way we govern.
These four principles will be the hallmark of the Krist-Walz administration. We will stop the slide toward mediocrity that Wall Street Pete Ricketts seems determined to achieve and will restore Nebraska’s future and ensure that our brightest days have yet to come.