Governor Pete Ricketts is defending his donation to the group seeking to reinstate the death penalty in Nebraska.
Governor Ricketts was asked during a press conference on Wednesday about his $100,000 donation to the organization leading the petition drive.
“I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate about allowing Nebraskans the opportunity to be able to vote on this,” the governor says. “I think the legislature was out of touch with what the vast majority of Nebraskans feel. I think it’s up to Nebraskans to be able to make this decision.
The Unicameral abolished the death penalty in May when legislators overrode the governor’s veto of a repeal measure. The ballot measure could reverse the Legislature’s action.
Ricketts and his father, Joe Ricketts, each donated a six-figure check to the cause.
“The death penalty is an important tool to help protect the people who protect us,” the governor says. “That’s why I believe so strongly that Nebraskans ought to have the ability to vote on this. That’s why I contributed to Nebraskans For the Death Penalty.”
The effort must gather around 57,000 signatures by the end of August to put the issue on the ballot in 2016.
By Kevin Thomas, KLIN, Lincoln