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Election 2018 Nebraska Republicans

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., speaks during a Nebraska Republican Party Get Out The Vote rally tour stop in Omaha, Neb., Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

I thought Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s reaction to University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Ari Kohen ("Fortenberry irked by Facebook reaction," Nov. 1) was overkill in the extreme.

That his aide wrote to the professor’s department chair and the UNL chancellor because Kohen liked a funny picture of Fortenberry borders on ridiculous. Yes, defacing a poster was vandalism by someone, but “liking” a humorous picture on Facebook is not such an egregious offense. It is hardly endorsing vandalism.

As the professor mentioned, he didn’t even know it was vandalized, assuming it was Photoshopped. It seems more likely that Fortenberry was trying to score political points.

What bothers me (and why I bother to write) is the attempt to threaten a professor over something so trivial. It seems like a thinly veiled attempt to shut down free speech.

I know Fortenberry argues that it wasn’t a threat, but it certainly appeared that way to me. In any case, Fortenberry has an extremely well-funded campaign and should have been able to withstand the minor indignity with out making a federal case out of it.

Thomas Cardwell, Lincoln

Retired administrator, Southeast Community College

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