Death Penalty Repealed
This May, Winning Connections was honored to be a part of an historic coalition to abolish the death penalty in conservative Nebraska.
“Nebraska on Wednesday became the first conservative state in more than four decades to repeal the death penalty. Its legislature, officially non-partisan but dominated by Republicans, voted by the narrowest of possible margins to override a veto by Governor Pete Ricketts, and enact a law scrapping a punishment that the state has struggled to carry out.
The final vote occurred amid a fierce lobbying campaign on both sides, but the outcome was years in the making: In the end, a growing coalition of liberals, religious groups, and libertarian-minded conservatives overcame more traditional tough-on-crime Republicans who saw the death penalty as the appropriate, ultimate punishment for murder.”
–Russell Berman, “How Nebraska Abolished the Death Penalty,” The Atlantic, May 2015
The Winning Connections team understood the gravity of this issue and joined an in-state coalition led by Equal Justice to convince state legislators to support the repeal. Our patch-through program focused on two phases. First, we identified key legislators and targeted constituents in their districts to express support for the repeal. Once legislators were convinced, we maintained contact to thank them for their support. This strategy required close monitoring of the changing opinions of lawmakers and adaptation of targets and goals multiple times a day.
Upon Governor Rickett’s veto, we adapted our strategy once more to ensure the 30 votes needed to override the veto.