Former Speakers Talk Money in Politics

CRETE – Brew with a side of politics, and money in politics taking center stage with three former Speakers of the Legislature.

“You know, you spend a quarter of a million dollars on a Legislative race. I’m concerned about the whole issue of money in the elections,” said Kearney’s Galen Hadley. “I don’t know the answer to it, but I bet if you go back and look at the money people are spending now versus what they spent a few years ago, it’s pretty different now.”

“If there’s money on one side, there’s going to be money on the other,” said Norfolk’s Mike Flood.  “If you get into politics and you don’t want anybody to hit you, you’re in the wrong business. It’s a contact sport and you’ve got to have the skin to go out there and stand for what you believe, and someone’s going to exercise their right to free speech. That’s just the nature of politics.”

Flood, Hadley and Greg Adams of York fielding questions from the crowd, one person wondering about governors who make personal campaign contributions, something Gov. Ricketts does regularly.

“I feel bad for some of the senators, that in my opinion, are darn good senators that are wondering, ‘Is the Governor going to put somebody out against me?’ It’s a tough game.,” said Adams. “They realize that going in and I’m a firm believer in, if there’s too much of it – I don’t know where you draw the line, I think nature draws the line. If there’s too much of it, I think nature will come back to bite.”

Rickett’s contributions have raised concerns that the officially non-partisan Unicameral is becoming more partisan.

News Channel Nebraska asked Hadley to weigh in.

“To some extent all Unicamerals are partisan, it’s probably a little more partisan now than when I first went in. But maybe it runs in cycles, I don’t know.”

Hadley was sure of one thing: “It’s great that people are interested in the Unicameral and how it works and I hope we gave them some answers on the inner-workings of the Unicameral.”

Senator Laura Ebke hosted the “Political Brew” event along with Senator Mark Kolterman. Ebke hosts political conversations once a month at Crete’s Brew House.