Standing in a picnic shelter in Omaha’s Walnut Grove on Saturday afternoon, former State Sen. Bill Kintner gave an impassioned speech that began with a comment that he’s glad he’s no longer a politician.
“Now I can say what I want,” said the former Papillion senator.
In his more than 10 minutes of commentary at the Independence Day Tax Rally, Kintner repeatedly said politicians are liars and said Nebraska should “scrap the Unicameral.”
The crowd of about 75 people in lawn chairs for the event chuckled occasionally at Kintner’s comments, particularly when he called himself a “terrible politician.”
“I wouldn’t have said the things I said and done the things I did if I was a good politician,” he said.
Kintner resigned in January after four years in the Nebraska Legislature. He admitted last year to using a state laptop to engage in cybersex with a woman he met online. The pressure for his resignation came again in January when he retweeted a post that appeared to make light of sexual assault.
Saturday’s rally, put on by the group Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, brought in several other speakers to discuss taxes, including Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert and U.S. Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb.
Doug Kagan, president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, said he had hoped to see a bigger turnout at the rally. He’d planned to circulate petitions to place property tax reform on the November 2018 ballot, but the petition — drafted with the help of other Nebraska groups — likely won’t be ready for another month, he said.
“We can’t solve the property tax in one year or with one petition,” Kagan said. “But you can take a first step.”
In his brief remarks, Bacon said the House will work on tax reform, aiming to lower capital gains, inheritance and corporate taxes.
Kintner was scheduled to be the last of 12 speakers but was called to the microphone early when Bacon was delayed getting to the stage.
After listing what he saw as accomplishments by the Iowa Legislature, Kintner said: “Let’s look at what we did in Nebraska. Not one crappy thing.”
He called the last legislative session “a disgrace” and referred to the Appropriations Committee as “freaking worthless” and “ridiculous.” The state’s officially nonpartisan Legislature, Kintner said, has allowed more liberals to “sit in our seats.”
“The whole thing is a scam,” he said.
Kintner went on to talk about what he called an “indoctrination” process in the Legislature.
“They call it orientation, but it’s indoctrination to teach you to think like the herd, to teach you to think like trained monkeys,” he said.
Before leaving the microphone, Kintner quoted a Bible verse and added that “not all hope is lost” for the Nebraska Legislature. The crowd applauded and one woman whistled in support.