Governor Pete Ricketts responded to the discovery that a former campaign staffer had made anti-Semitic statements and other hateful statements in an online chat room.
“I am shocked and horrified to learn that this former staffer made these statements and I had no idea he harbored these feelings.He never expressed these views to me. I condemn these statements and this hateful worldview, which do not reflect my beliefs or the beliefs of Nebraskans.”
The staff person has been identified as 22 year old Bennett Bressman of Omaha who was a volunteer and subsequently paid as a field staffer for seven months to do field work on the Governor’s reelection campaign. His responsibilities included distributing yard signs, as well as facilitating campaign volunteers and interns who did outreach to voters and walked at parades. His employment with the Governor’s campaign committee ended in December 2018.
According to Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska, Bressman leaked private chats of the nationalist YouTube show America First, hosted by Nicholas J. Fuentes. Bressman there expressed racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic and violent sentiments in more than 3,000 comments..Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska states that Bressman dropped enough clues to his identity as well as photographic evidence to confirm his identity.
Governor Ricketts says, “I unequivocally denounce his hate-filled views towards Jewish people, LGBT people, African Americans, journalists, women, and others.I am particularly concerned about his anti-Semitic statements.Anti-Semitism has no place in society no matter where it hides. The State of Nebraska stands with Israel and has been a home to thousands of Jewish families for generations.We are only a generation removed from World War II, during which millions of Jews who were killed because of their heritage and 400,000 American soldiers died to stamp out Nazism and its anti-Semitic ideology.We will continue to make this state a welcoming place for the Jewish faith and work with faith leaders to root out anti-Semitism wherever it may be.”
Congressman Don Bacon issued a statement in regards the reported comments of a former Nebraska political operative:
“I agree with Governor Ricketts in the condemnation of his former staffer whose comments and beliefs are contrary to the beliefs of Nebraskans and Americans. I have personally read the comments and find them morally vile and absolutely repugnant. These views have no place in our society, and there should be zero tolerance for this hate.”