Omaha Public Radio News
3:26 am
Fri June 20, 2008

State Senator Ernie Chambers reflects on his Legislative Career

Omaha Public Radio – State Senator Ernie Chambers says he has only four words to describe his tenure in the Legislature: I did my job.

Chambers spoke Thursday at the Omaha Press Club's noon forum. He's served in the Nebraska Unicameral for 38 years. His last day as a lawmaker is January 6, 2009.

Among the topics the Omaha lawmaker talked about Thursday were:

Things Chambers believes he saved during his 38-year term. Senator Chambers says he saved the state Constitution, a death row inmate, and the Capitol Building.

Saying goodbye to the Unicameral. Chambers says he doesn't believe in farewell addresses, which is why he didn't give a farewell speech during the last day of the session.

His triumphs and disappointments. Senator Chambers says his triumphs include death penalty legislation that prohibits the execution of juveniles and the mentally ill. His biggest disappointment is realizing that the Legislature hasn't recognized what they have the power to do.

His political future. Chambers says he won't talk about what's next for him politically once his Legislative tenure is over. He says he's been under some pressure to run for the learning community board. If he does, Chambers says that will be his decision.

His term in the Legislature. Chambers says he had a successful Legislative career because he was feared, not because he was respected.

You can hear the entire Omaha Press Club noon forum with Senator Ernie Chambers July 14th on Omaha Public Radio.