FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 20, 2018
Setting The Record Straight On Lying Bob Krist
Lincoln, NE - In Election Night remarks and subsequent media appearances, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Bob Krist has made numerous factually inaccurate statements regarding Governor Pete Ricketts' record.
"Bob Krist has lied repeatedly, even lying about easily verifiable facts," said campaign Director of Communications Matthew Trail. "Nebraskans cannot trust Bob Krist."
Krist Lie #1: "... his biggest concern remains cutting taxes for himself, his powerful friends, and special interests."
The Truth: Every year, Governor Ricketts has fought for relief from local property taxes. Governor Ricketts' tax relief plans have been focused on property tax relief for all Nebraskans.
In his first term, Governor Ricketts has delivered over $840 million in direct property tax relief.
The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act's tax relief was overwhelmingly focused toward property taxes. In fact, it directed $10 in property tax relief for every $1 in income tax reduction and workforce development funding.
Alongside the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, the bill would provide $4.5 billion in property tax relief over the next decade. This would more than double the amount of property tax relief provided by the state over that period.
Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson said that the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act "puts us on a path for long-term relief for all property tax payers" and "provides relief as soon as possible."
-2015: Governor Ricketts worked with the Legislature to grow the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund by over 40 percent over the biennium.
-2016: Governor Ricketts signed into law LB 958 and LB 959, providing an additional $20 million per year in property tax credits for agricultural land and imposing new local property tax levy controls.
-2017: Governor Ricketts and Sen. Jim Smith proposed LB 461, which would have reduced ag land property valuations by $12 billion in 2018, providing an estimated $147 million in additional property tax relief.
-2018: Governor Ricketts and Sen. Jim Smith proposed LB 947, the Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act, which would provide an additional $2.3 billion in property tax relief over the next decade, for a total of $4.5 billion in overall property tax relief.
Krist Lie #2: "...T.D. Ameritrade, his father’s company..."
The Truth: TD Ameritrade is not Joe Ricketts' company, nor is it the Ricketts family's company.
Governor Ricketts has not worked at TD Ameritrade since 2006, and left its board of directors in 2014.
Joe Ricketts left TD Ameritrade's board of directors in 2011.
The Ricketts family's ownership stake in TD Ameritrade significantly diminished several years before Governor Ricketts took office. The Ricketts family is not the company's largest shareholder, and today only holds a combined roughly 10 percent of the company's shares.
Krist Lie #3: "...while you, the average homeowner, will get a property tax cut of $25 bucks."
The Truth: The Nebraska Property Tax Cuts and Opportunities Act would provide a property tax credit of up to $25 for homeowners only in its first year, on top of the state property tax credit already provided for in state law.
Over time, the bill would provide annual property tax credits of up to $500 for homeowners. The bill contained substantial property tax relief credits for ag producers as well, rising to 20 percent of property taxes paid on ag land when fully implemented.
Over the next decade, alongside the Property Tax Credit Relief Fund, the bill would provide over $4.5 billion in new property tax relief, more than doubling the amount of property tax relief provided by the state.
Krist Lie #4: "Hope you enjoy the yacht."
The Truth: Neither Governor Ricketts, nor any member of the Ricketts family, owns a yacht. This is a blatant lie.
Krist Lie #5: "The current administration has decided that less is somehow more when it comes to funding our schools..."
The Truth: In the face of revenue shortfalls, Governor Ricketts' budget recommendations have prioritized funding for state K-12 and special education aid.
Under Governor Ricketts' leadership, state K-12 aid has grown four times faster than the state's overall budget.
Krist Lie #6: "...going so far as to attack our state’s excellent public schools..."
The Truth: Governor Ricketts has helped strengthen public education by growing funding, expanding educational opportunities, and highlighting educators who are doing outstanding work.
Through programs like the Developing Youth Talent Initiative and Youth Registered Apprenticeships, Governor Ricketts is working to improve STEM and skilled technical instruction, preparing Nebraskans for the well-paying jobs of tomorrow.
Governor Ricketts has visited numerous schools since taking office to recognize excellence in our public schools. For example, in 2017, Governor Ricketts visited Nebraska's four Blue Ribbon schools. Just last week, Governor Ricketts recognized 22 Nebraska students in the Capitol for achieving a perfect ACT score.
Krist Lie #7: "...and working to tear them down through privatization."
The Truth: Governor Ricketts does not support the privatization of public schools.
Governor Ricketts supports parents' right to pursue the education that best meets their own child's needs, whether in a public, private, charter, home, or parochial school.
Krist Lie #8: "This is a governor so cavalier about children’s safety, that when Senator Walz found a way to help rural children access mental health services without spending a dime of taxpayer money in a tight budget year, Ricketts vetoed the bill!"
The Truth: Sen. Walz's bill, LB 998, did not "find a way" to do anything. Her bill proposed to create a state-run, bureaucratic structure to meddle in, and regulate, already-legal, private donations to each of Nebraska's 17 educational service units (ESUs) to hire a single social worker per ESU.
ESUs can already receive private donations. New state bureaucracy is not necessary to obtain or spend these donations.
Walz's bill is not about mental health. It would have directed funding for a single social worker per ESU, each of which serves multiple school districts. The bill contained no provision specifically providing for licensed mental health professionals for ESUs or in schools.
The bill contained no provisions establishing the role of parents in decision-making concerning their child's access to services. The bill did not respect parental rights.
Governor Ricketts takes nothing more seriously than public safety.
The Governor has proposed allowing off-duty law enforcement officers to carry firearms on school grounds to improve security.
Governor Ricketts introduced a youth behavioral health System of Care to improve the state's provision of services for children and families. Nebraska's is the first statewide system of care in the nation, and has become a model for other states.
Governor Ricketts and the Department of Health and Human Services have been awarded the B4Stage4 Leadership Award from Mental Health America, and Nebraska is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #5 among states in Mental Health.
Krist Lie #9: "Our prison system is a mess and the governor fails to act."
The Truth: Governor Ricketts has made transformation of the Department of Correctional Services (NDCS) a top priority of his administration. The Department's challenges date back long before Governor Ricketts' election. While there are no easy solutions, progress is being made every day.
Governor Ricketts has led successful NDCS efforts to raise staffing levels, increase prison capacity, and prioritize educational and life skills programming.
Governor Ricketts' budgets have called for more than $87 million in additional NDCS operating funds and over $111 million in new capital construction.
Unlike Krist, Governor Ricketts opposes releasing inmates from prison before they have completed their sentences and the steps required for parole.
Krist Lie #10: "Our state patrol has become a hotbed of scandal under the leadership of Pete Ricketts."
The Truth: With this lie, Krist dishonors the men and women of the Nebraska State Patrol.
When conduct issues were brought to Governor Ricketts' attention, immediate action was taken to investigate and resolve these issues, including appropriate terminations and disciplinary action.
Governor Ricketts has pushed for legislation increasing transparency in officer hiring practices and enhancing accountability and disciplinary measures. This legislation, LB 791 and LB 792, was opposed by Sen. Krist.
Krist Lie #11: "More than 30 nursing homes have been forced to close for lack of adequate funding."
The Truth: Governor Ricketts' line-item budget vetoes did not result in provider reimbursement cuts. They did not close any nursing home or assisted living facility in Nebraska. The facilities Krist refers to, those formerly owned by Skyline, remain open and operational, and are serving residents to this day.
Krist Lie #12: Services to the special needs community are cut back because the governor says 'no.'"
The Truth: Governor Ricketts' line-item budget vetoes did not result in provider reimbursement cuts, nor did they reduce or eliminate services to the developmentally disabled in Nebraska.
Governor Ricketts has made serving Nebraska's most vulnerable citizens a top priority. Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued more offers for developmental disability services than it had in the previous five years combined.
The Ricketts administration has also reduced the length of developmental disability service applications from 14 pages to only 3, making it easier for families to apply. The period to review these applications has been reduced from an average of 69 days to just 16, helping families get the services they need faster. Better serving Nebraskans who rely on DHHS has been a major focus of the Governor's reform efforts.
Krist Lie #13: "Mental health services are denied to our school children because our governor said 'no.'"
The Truth: Under Governor Ricketts' leadership, Nebraska has been nationally recognized for the provision of mental health services.
Again, Governor Ricketts and the Department of Health and Human Services have been awarded the B4Stage4 Leadership Award from Mental Health America, and Nebraska is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as #5 among states in Mental Health. Nebraska is a model for the nation in its provision of youth and family behavioral health services under Nebraska's System of Care.