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‘Reply All’ to email about Chris Janicek provides insight to political infighting

Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 9:45 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The “reply all” option to a campaign email provided some insight into a political situation among Nebraska Democrats on Wednesday.

At the center of the dispute is the party’s nominee for U.S. Senate, Chris Janicek. The Nebraska Democratic Party demanded last month that he exit the race following complaints of sexually inappropriate comments he made to a member of his staff.

Janicek was nominated in May to run against Republican incumbent Ben Sasse in the November general election.

Chris Janicek was nominated to run against Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska in November.
Chris Janicek was nominated to run against Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska in November.(KOLNKGIN)

In a Facebook posting and news release Wednesday, Janicek explained why he would not exit the race. The news release was sent to multiple email addresses, including local newsrooms. Some individuals who received it hit “reply all” and responded with a comment.

For Immediate Release 7/21/2020 RE: Senate Race The following statement was issued today by Democratic nominee for...

Posted by Janicek for Senate on Wednesday, July 22, 2020

From Precious McKesson with the NDP Black Caucus: “Remote me from your mailing list. RIGHT NOW.” Followed 35 minutes later by a second email: “As Chair of the NDP Black Caucus, I proudly support the removal of support for Chris Janicek. Next time use the BCC option.”

Activist Ken Riter responded to McKesson, writing: “Precious, stop lying about the process. The NDP does NOT have the authority to remove Janicek per Nebraska state statute. You can support his removal all you want, but the choice belongs to Chris, not you and not Jane Kleeb. When will the NDP bother to deal with other harassment complaints made by other Democrats about prominent Democrats in office? Punishing some while ignoring others is NOT equal justice. I condemn your hypocrisy as well ad the hypocrisy of the NDP and its Chair, Jane Kleeb. PS: NDP bylaws do NOT permit a paid staff member to occupy the position of Caucus Chair. Follow your own rules for a change!”

Preston Love Jr. of Omaha responded directly to the news release: “I OBJECT!! WHO TOLD YOU THAT I OR Nebraska DEMOCRATS DO WHAT Jane Kleeb TELLS US TO DO. THAT’S AN INSULT TO ME AND THE DEMOCRATS I RUN WITH. I WILL BE LOOKING FOR AN APOLOGY. COPYING THE PEOPLE ON THIS EMAIL LIST.”

Riter responded to Love, writing: “LMAO @ Preston. OK. It is only the truth. None of you stand up to Jane Kleeb, even when you should. Shame on all of you for letting Jane Kleeb run rampant in the NDP.”

Charlene Ligon with NDP responded to Riter’s original message: “Ken, You have the right to your own opinion, not your own facts. The rule you mentioned does not exist.”

Love followed up with a response to Riter, also stating: “Ken: You need to stay clear of stuff you are not aware of. I have a record of fighting for truth and for my community. Over time that has included disagreement with Jane. A few times it was public and reported on network TV. Shame on you for not during your research before jumping bad. This nonsense is all yours to peruse. I am stepping away .”

The Lancaster County Democratic Party responded with one word: “UNSUBSCRIBE.”

Janicek’s statement, which sparked the exchange, can be read here:

The following statement was issued today by Democratic nominee for United States Senate, Chris Janicek:”It is NOT ONE person that decides who will be on the ballot for elective office. In fact, it is not ONE GROUP of people who decide who will be on the ballot for elective office. Who decides? The ENTIRE electorate. All persons registered to vote have a say who will go to Washington to fight for legislation that is in the best interest in Nebraska.

Everyone should hear this and hear this now. I will be on the ballot come November 3rd. If you won’t or can’t forgive me, then don’t vote for me. Some say, step aside, we don’t have a chance with you as the nominee. The fact of the matter is Nebraska Democrats haven’t had a chance with ANY federal nominee since Jane Kleeb became Party Chair. How can you have a chance when you’ve let the party voter registration slip to a 10 year low of 29%. In fact, every year that Jane Kleeb has been chair, the percentage of voters registering Democratic has declined. With that comes lack of money. How can a party win drowning in debt like the Nebraska Democratic Party? So, when the party says they offer resources, I’d like to know what they are because our campaign didn’t see any.

Democrats have a solid history in this state. We’ve elected J.J. Exon, Ben Nelson, Bob Kerrey and Ed Zorinsky to name a few. But not lately. The current party leadership has been our demise. We can’t have a party chair who wants to be a “Kingmaker” but doesn’t make any kings. Nebraska hasn’t had a Democratic Governor for over 20 years.”

I am a proud Democrat. Now is the time for you to realize that I am not going away. I am here working for a chance to serve the people of Nebraska and I will not give up. If you would rather vote the way Jane Kleeb tells you to, then that is your choice. I for one, say it’s time for change. I want to help with that change. THAT’S why I will continue to run for United States Senate.

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