‘First, they ignore you’: GOP attacks Libertarian legislator over movie screenings

Laura Ebke wearing red suit standing speaking at microphone from the senate floor - man seated in background

Libertarian Senator Laura Ebke of Nebraska

When the Republican Party attacked Libertarian Senator Laura Ebke (Neb.) for hosting Christmas movie screenings in her district, the Lincoln Journal Star reported on the Libertarian Party’s return fire. From the article, “GOP attacks Christmas movie showings; Libertarian Party asks about Ricketts’ tailgate parties,” by Don Walton (Dec. 4):

The Libertarian Party of Nebraska on Monday described recent Republican Party attacks aimed at Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete for hosting free Christmas movie screenings as “completely ridiculous,” questioning whether the GOP applied the same concerns to tailgate events hosted by Gov. Pete Ricketts before Nebraska football games.

The Republican Party had accused Ebke’s re-election campaign of engaging in “ethically and legally questionable conduct” by hosting movie screenings in her legislative district.

“These movie screenings were a gift to the communities which she serves, celebrating small theaters, and were an effort to bring communities together,” the Libertarian Party stated in a news release.

“If the Republican Party of Nebraska is so worried about elected officials holding social events, maybe they should be concerned about all the tailgate parties the governor has been holding before Husker games.”

Ebke, who changed her party registration from Republican to Libertarian last year, is a candidate for re-election to the nonpartisan legislature next year.

Ricketts, a Republican, will be seeking re-election to a second term as governor.

The Nebraska GOP is “attempting to sway voters [by] creating and disseminating outright lies [in] an effort to tarnish Senator Ebke’s campaign,” the Libertarian Party stated, because it is “unable to attack either the senator’s track record of policies or her service to her constituents.”

The GOP had questioned whether Ebke’s action in hosting constituents at free Christmas movie events violated Nebraska campaign laws.

But Ebke said she checked with the Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission beforehand to make sure the activity did not conflict with any state law.

Ebke will be opposed in her bid for re-election by Al Riskowski, a Republican who has the endorsement of Ricketts and other top GOP officials.

Sen. Ebke also issued her own response, headlined “They Obviously Don’t Understand Our Communities,” writing that that the attacks “deeply saddened” her, but that “we will not allow Mr. Potter/Ebenezer from the big city [to] ruin our holiday season.” She called her constituents’ response to the movie showings “overwhelming.”

Learn more about Sen. Ebke’s 2018 campaign at LauraEbke.com.

Read Sen. Ebke’s response at the Libertarian Party of Nebraska website.