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Non-partisanship Rules Ashford’s Event 1//30/15  01/29/15 11:46:28 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

–Photo by Lorraine Boyd
Non-partisanship Rules Ashford’s Event
Brad Ashford earns a standing ovation from Judge Laurie Smith Camp and her fellow federal jurists, from left Thomas Thalken, Joseph Bataillon, Richard Kopf, John Gerrard and Lyle Strom, as well as the courtroom gallery of well-wishers. Ashford was sworn in – for the second time – in a ceremony the morning of January 26 at the Roman L. Hruska Federal Courthouse in downtown Omaha. Judge Smith Camp administered the oath.
Ashford noted that he was sitting outside the Russell Building where Sen. Roman Hruska had his office some 45 years ago and thinking, “I sure wish I could have one of these jobs like Sen. Hruska’s.” He marveled that now he was being sworn in in the building named after Sen. Hruska.
Offering some remarks were former U.S. Rep. John Cavanaugh and Ashford’s law school classmate Joe Bataillon. Smith Camp said it was the hope of the court that similar swearing-in ceremonies for federal elected officials be held in Omaha to emphasize their service to the state.
Just as Ashford has pledged throughout his years of service in the Nebraska Unicameral, the gathering was non-political. Cavanaugh paraphrased John F. Kennedy, saying, “This is a celebration not of party but of freedom.” He noted that the notion was deeply ingrained in the Ashford family: “Brad’s mother was the head of Republicans for Cavanaugh!”
Rep. Ashford, who is a Democrat, campaigned on bipartisanship. He paraphrased the late Sen. Ed Zorinsky saying, “We are members of the United States Congress, not the Republican or Democratic Congress. When we are sworn in, we are no longer a Republican or Democratic candidate. We are U.S. Representatives.” He noted that his colleagues in Washington are already sick of him noting, “I tell them we have a unicameral in Nebraska; it’s non-partisan. They say, ‘Yes, we know, Brad.’”
But that non-partisanship that we enjoy here, he said, “has to be returned to our Congress. … I will always put my constituents above party and above special interests. I’ll listen to anybody.”
 
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