In the Lincoln Journal Star, reporter Algis Laukaitis quoted Governor Dave Heineman summarizing a closed-door meeting of midwest governors:
OMAHA — Fearing a repeat of the flood devastation that occurred this year along the Missouri River, governors from five states asked the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday to take a pre-emptive and unprecedented step and lower the level of Garrison Dam in North Dakota this fall.
“The No. 1 priority we are all concerned about is flood control,” said Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, who hosted a meeting of governors at the Gallup Campus in Omaha on Monday.
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer didn’t attend, instead phoning in by conference call. Heineman clearly didn’t realize that Schweitzer had allowed reporters to sit in on his end of the conversation, because it turns out Heineman is lying about what happened.
From the Associated Press:
Schweitzer, who allowed reporters in his office for what was expected to be a private meeting, phoned into the Omaha conference in which governors from Iowa, Kansas, North Dakota and South Dakota took part. [...] The host, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, clashed several times with Schweitzer during the meeting.
Afterward, Heineman told reporters in Omaha who were not allowed into the meeting that “the No. 1 thing we all agree to is flood control.”
There was no unanimity on that topic during the meeting, however, after Schweitzer strongly challenged the notion of it as a priority.
One can only speculate as to why — the appearance that he accomplished something in the meeting he called, maybe? — but Heineman just flat-out lied about what happened in his failed attempt at a closed-door meeting. Via his staff, he had no comment on the discrepancy.
The arguments between Schweitzer and Heineman seemed to be pretty weird. As reported in North Dakota’s Plains Daily:
…a disagreement between Schweitzer and Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman erupted over the sharing of information and Schweitzer’s attendance at the meetings. Schweitzer, who has a background in soil science, indicated that he was the most qualified of the governors to comment on flooding issues and wanted to make a Power Point presentation to the meeting. Schweitzer alleged that the other governors weren’t “getting good information” and “weren’t basing their information on the latest data.”
Because of this Schweitzer said he “didn’t see much sense to the meeting.”
“If you show up you could bring that damn data with you and share it with us,” said Heineman who later added the meeting site did not have the capability for Power Point presentations.
“Don’t you have electricity?” Schweitzer asked.
That’s our governor!