I say this not to praise him mind; at the utilitarian level it would be much better for us if he were. A deliberate con man must at least be able to think practically, strategically, situationally. A con man could not get away with seeing himself and his own as too cosmically pure and good to ever need to think this way.
As it is Dave Heineman is indeed acting in an honest matter. He does indeed honestly speak as he imagines it to be. He is honestly convinced that people like himself are just better than everyone else; intrinsically cleaner, morally purer, more manly; that only landowners and good solid businessmen can possibly have any good fatherly wisdom of value to others and should therefore have exclusive social control, that the cartoon vision of white rural Nebraskan life and true doctrinaire Republican conservatism is the instinctive default of all decent people; while most of humanity on the other hand, the great galaxy of every kind of outsider, is most decidedly indecent in all the most fantastic ways one can think of.
And on one specific point of governance I'm sure that Heineman believes quite sincerely that undue empathy for criminals is the only true problem a legal system could ever possibly have. We have indeed suffered from horrific failures from our security state recently, and I'd presume to say that it should be quite clear to those of clear eyes that these failures are primarily the result of underfunding and overcrowding, not by any sort of fuzzy-heartedness. The governor and others could be addressing this problem by say, reforming our drug laws to something within the realm of sanity. Or failing this, if one insists upon incarcerating our neighbors at the current extreme degree, then at least to fund the prison system at the level it would necessarily require for such Sisyphean work.
But of course we shall get none of this from to soon-to-be-departing Heineman. Heineman "knows" that taxing and spending are always bad because they are bad because all the good and proper people say so. At the same time he honestly believes that society is best served by keeping all those Dirty Other People under lock & heel as commonly as possible by as many pretenses as one can think of.
Give me an old urban machine man if this is the alternative. If forced to choose I would happily take a slick-talking dirty dealer over a blindfolded straight-shooter any day.