Video Special: Omaha House race explodes into Nikko Jenkins blame game

Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog

Picture this: A TV ad all but accusing Democrat Brad Ashford of letting convicted murderer Nikko Jenkins out of prison.

State Sen. Brad Ashford

Photo by Nebraska Watchdog

Rep Lee Terry

The possibility erupted Friday as the Omaha race for Congress boiled over and boiled down to a high stakes blame game involving the state’s controversial “good-time” law.

GOP Congressman Lee Terry started the fireworks (see video below) by tying Ashford, Chairman of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, to Jenkins’ prison release—a release which was quickly followed by Jenkins’ grisly four-person killing spree.

Terry: (Jenkins) was allowed out early because of the good-time law that (Ashford) passionately supported…It’s shameful and calloused (for Ashford) to say that if (Jenkins) was released later he’d just go out and kill again so we’ve got to keep our good-time law.

The accusation—one of the harshest seen in Omaha politics—was quickly ridiculed by a key pair of Ashford’s fellow lawmakers: State Sens. Steve Lathrop and Bob Krist.

Lathrop: It is offensive and it is desperation. I am really truly disappointed that Lee Terry would hold a press conference and try to blame Brad Ashford for Nikko Jenkins rampage when that blame belongs at the Department of Corrections and that’s run by the Heineman administration.

The fall-out in all this, sure to last until Election Day, has already cost Terry one Republican vote—Bob Krist’s.

Nebraska Watchdog: Are you voting for Lee Terry?

Sen. Bob Krist: The jury was out until the last few days. I’ve seen negative campaigning.

Nebraska Watchdog: Are you voting for Lee Terry?

Sen. Bob Krist: No.

As for that TV ad:

Nebraska Watchdog: Congressman are we going to see an ad with Nikko Jenkins picture and Brad Ashford’s picture side by side from your campaign or from those supporting you?

Congressman Lee Terry: Uh we haven’t…

Kent Grisham (Terry campaign manager, chimes in): No such commercial has been produced.

Congressman Lee Terry: No such commercial has been produced.

Contact Joe Jordan at joe@nebraskawatchdog.org.

Joe can be heard on Omaha’s KFAB radio every Monday morning at 7:40, KLIN in Lincoln every Tuesday morning at 7:35 and KHAS-AM in Hastings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

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Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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