Thursday, June 2, 2016

Nebraska state senator Ebke joins Libertarians

'Frustrated' State Sen. Laura Ebke switches from Republican to Libertarian - Legislature:

June 2, 2016 - "Saying demands for party loyalty don’t always result in good lawmaking, Nebraska State Sen. Laura Ebke has switched her affiliation from Republican to Libertarian.

"The senator from Crete, elected as a Republican in 2014, said she filled out online forms last week with the Secretary of State’s Office to make the change. But she said she’d been considering the switch for months.

"'I got frustrated with some of my colleagues who don’t recognize civil liberties and don’t seem to agree with getting government out of people’s business,' she said Wednesday.

"Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts’ recent hardball play with GOP senators like Ebke who don’t always vote along party lines was one of 'many factors' in her decision, she said. The governor called out several lawmakers by name last month during the state GOP convention, saying the Legislature needs more 'platform Republicans.'

"'I suspect that better policy would be made if there was more conversation and fewer demands of partisan loyalty,' Ebke wrote in a letter to donors explaining her decision.....

"Clerk of the Legislature Patrick O’Donnell said Wednesday that he could not think of another registered Libertarian who served, although other senators have had strong libertarian leanings. But because the Legislature is formally nonpartisan, his office doesn’t keep records of past members’ party affiliations.

"Michael Knebel, a party spokesman, said that a Libertarian now serves on a City Council in the state, but said Ebke is the first in the Legislature.

"Libertarians favor a limited, fiscally responsible government that does not infringe on personal freedoms — 'making sure government is out of your wallet and out of your bedroom as much as possible,' Knebel said."

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