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Back in the day, July 24, 1985: Gov. Kerrey's girlfriend ticketed while driving state-leased vehicle
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Back in the day, July 24, 1985: Gov. Kerrey's girlfriend ticketed while driving state-leased vehicle

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1984 PHOTO: Gov. Kerrey and Debra Winger at a benefit auction for Duchesne Academy.

Actress Debra Winger, who was dating Gov. Bob Kerrey, was ticketed by Lincoln police for speeding and driving with an expired California license 36 years ago today.

The actress was issued the two traffic tickets in the vicinity of A Street and Twin Ridge Road in east Lincoln while driving Kerrey's state-leased Lincoln Continental.

Lincoln Police Chief Dean Leitner said a police officer stopped Winger, 30, after radar indicated she was traveling 51 mph in a 35-mph zone. The officer checked Winger's license, which was issued in California, and found that it had expired two months prior, Leitner said. The officer then wrote a second ticket.

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When asked by reporters who was authorized to use the car, Don Nelson, Kerrey's chief of staff, replied:  "I don't know the answer to that question. There are no rules that govern the use of that car."

Gov. Kerrey said he allows the actress, to use the car "when needed."

"The car is assigned to me, and I have use of the auto for myself, my friends and Debra," he said. "There is no requirement the car only be operated when I am in it."

After speaking with the governor in more detail about the matter, Nelson announced a new policy the next day for the 1985 Lincoln leased for the governor for $3,625 a year from Ford Marketing Corp., of Dearborn, Michigan. The new policy restricted Winger and any other guests of the governor from driving the state-leased Town Car anymore.

Winger, who had dated Kerrey since 1983, had ridden with the governor in state automobiles and attended many official and semiofficial functions with him in the past.

In December 1984, Winger made a trip of about 100 miles from Lincoln to Grand Island to join Kerrey in the governor's state-owned Lincoln Continental. On that trip, Winger was driven by a State Patrol trooper who was assigned to the governor as security.

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