UPDATE:

"We always have to be on guard to stamp out this sort of hateful worldview, wherever we find it."

Gov. Pete Ricketts reacted to statements that a former campaign staffer is accused of posting online last year.

"We always have to be on guard to stamp out this sort of hateful worldview, wherever we find it," Ricketts said.

Twenty–two–year–old Bennet Bressman worked as a paid staffer for Ricketts' reelection campaign.

Bressman's alleged posts contained racist, anti–Semitic and homophobic remarks.

"This certainly is something that is appalling," Ricketts said.  "It's not who we are as Nebraskans.  "It doesn't reflect my beliefs."

Bressman worked for Ricketts' campaign until December.

The governor's office said Bressman's responsibilities included distributing yard signs and directing volunteers and interns.

But Ricketts said he didn't know about Bressman's views until Monday.

"That's part of what's really so shocking about this is he never expressed these views to me or anybody else on my campaign, that I know of," he said.  "And again, this is just horrible.  It's just horrible."

The governor's office also released a statement regarding this earlier to Monday.


Full Statement:
LINCOLN - TodayGovernor 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, Bennett Bressman, 22, of Omaha was a volunteer who was 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.
 
“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.”
 
Governor Ricketts has worked to support Nebraska’s Jewish community and to strengthen the bonds between Nebraska and Israel.
  • Hosted the Jewish community for a Hanukkah celebration at the State Capitol in December 2018.

  • Hosted the Israeli Minister of Agriculture at the State Capitol in April 2018. 

  • Addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas in 2018.

  • Wrote a column in the Jewish Press condemning anti-Semitism following the events of Charlottesville in 2017.

  • Issued a proclamation congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in 2017.

  • Supported the American Jewish Coalition’s fight against anti-Israel boycotts in 2016.

  • Sent a trade delegation to Israel to promote Nebraska beef in 2016.

  • Celebrated the reopening of the Israeli market to Nebraska beef in 2016.
_______________________________________________________________________________
 

Gov. Ricketts is responding to reports about a former staffer's internet posts containing hateful statements.

 

Ricketts wants to make it clear that he does not agree with what this person posted.

"This certainly is something that is appalling," Ricketts said.  "It's not who we are as Nebraskans, it doesn't reflect my beliefs."

Twenty–two–year–old Bennet Bressman worked as a paid staffer for Ricketts' reelection campaign.

Bressman is accused of making posts to an online chat room that contained racist, anti–Semitic and anti–gay remarks.

Bressman worked for Ricketts' campaign until December.  The governor said he didn't know about Bressman's views until today.

"That's part of what's really so shocking about this is he never expressed these views to me or anybody else on my campaign, that I know of," he said.  "And again, this is just horrible."

Ricketts' office said Bressman's campaign responsibilities included distributing yard signs and directing volunteers and interns.

The governor's office also released a statement regarding this earlier to Monday.


Full Statement:
LINCOLN - TodayGovernor 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, Bennett Bressman, 22, of Omaha was a volunteer who was 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.
 
“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.”
 
Governor Ricketts has worked to support Nebraska’s Jewish community and to strengthen the bonds between Nebraska and Israel.
  • Hosted the Jewish community for a Hanukkah celebration at the State Capitol in December 2018.

  • Hosted the Israeli Minister of Agriculture at the State Capitol in April 2018. 

  • Addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas in 2018.

  • Wrote a column in the Jewish Press condemning anti-Semitism following the events of Charlottesville in 2017.

  • Issued a proclamation congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in 2017.

  • Supported the American Jewish Coalition’s fight against anti-Israel boycotts in 2016.

  • Sent a trade delegation to Israel to promote Nebraska beef in 2016.

  • Celebrated the reopening of the Israeli market to Nebraska beef in 2016.
______________________________________________________________________________
Governor Pete Ricketts responded Monday to reports that a former campaign staffer 
had made anti-Semitic statements and other hateful statements in an online chat room.
 
The staff person, Bennett Bressman, 22, of Omaha was a volunteer who was 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, the release said. 
 
“I am shocked and horrified to learn that this former staffer made these statements and I had no idea he harbored these feelings," Ricketts said in a press release.
 
Bressman is alleged to have made racist comments, mostly aimed at Jewish people, online. 
 
Ricketts said in the press release that he was unaware of Bressman's views. 
 
"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," he said.
 
A spokesman for Ricketts confirmed to Channel 8 Eyewitness News that Bressman was never employed by the state and is no longer employed by Ricketts. 
 
More of the governor's statement can be read below. 
 
This is a developing story, we will continue to provide updates as they become available. 
 

Below is a portion of a statement released by Governor Pete Ricketts in regard to reports of a former campaign staffer making 'hate-filled' comments.
 
 
“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.”
 
Governor Ricketts has worked to support Nebraska’s Jewish community and to strengthen the bonds between Nebraska and Israel.
  • Hosted the Jewish community for a Hanukkah celebration at the State Capitol in December 2018.

  • Hosted the Israeli Minister of Agriculture at the State Capitol in April 2018. 

  • Addressed the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas in 2018.

  • Wrote a column in the Jewish Press condemning anti-Semitism following the events of Charlottesville in 2017.

  • Issued a proclamation congratulating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem in 2017.

  • Supported the American Jewish Coalition’s fight against anti-Israel boycotts in 2016.

  • Sent a trade delegation to Israel to promote Nebraska beef in 2016.

  • Celebrated the reopening of the Israeli market to Nebraska beef in 2016.