Secretary of State John Gale’s office says it will stop airing a public service announcement (PSA) over strong objections.
The 30 and 60 second spots were produced in collaboration with the Nebraska Broadcasters Association and aimed at explaining the wording of Referendum 426.
The objections were over the wording for the vote to retain the repeal of the death penalty.
The spot did not mention the change in the maximum penalty for the crime of murder in the first degree to life imprisonment, which is the actual ballot wording.
In a news release from his office, Gale said he knows and respects those on both sides of the debate over the public policy of having or not having the death penalty in Nebraska, and has been very impressed with the thorough and factual presentations by both sides at the public hearings held by the Secretary of State and at community forums across the state. By withdrawing the PSAs, the focus can continue on the substantive issues.
“We respect the position of Secretary Gale and his decision to suspend airing these announcements,” Jim Timm, president and executive director of the Nebraska Broadcasters Association stated in a news release. “I have notified all member radio stations accordingly.”