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Statement from Nebraska Democratic Party on U.S. Senate Race

Statement from Vic Covalt, Chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party


"The Nebraska Democratic Party does not typically endorse candidates for office prior to the primary election in contested races, nor do we discourage anyone from running for office.  Once we reach the campaign filing deadline, we will see where we stand in terms of candidates for the U.S. Senate race.

The fact that we have people battling to get on a statewide ballot shows the robustness and vitality of our Party.  It proves the Democratic Party of Nebraska is alive and well, contrary to recent commentary of some publications.  We are building the machine to victory in November and one thing is for certain: we will present a strong contrast to the ethical lapses of Jon Bruning and the extremism of the perennially rejected Don Stenberg."

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Heineman Tells Senators Not to Bother to Send Legislation to his Desk Until he gets Tax Cuts for Wealthy


LINCOLN - Nothing will get in the way of Governor Dave Heineman's plan to increase taxes on property owners while reducing taxes for the wealthy - absolutely nothing.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, Heineman said Thursday in an address to the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry that lawmakers should not bother to send him any legislation to sign until they pass his tax-cut package, as is.

Some of the legislation the Governor will apparently hold hostage include the child welfare reform bills that seek to rectify the millions the Governor has thrown away at the Department of Health of Human Services through mismanagement and inefficiencies.

"These threats are not just counterproductive to our legislative process - they are insulting and repugnant," said Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party.  "This Governor is like the child in the playground who takes his toys and goes home. Instead of temper tantrums, what we need is leadership."

The Governor won't let anything get in the way of his tax scheme. The plan will guarantee a $50 million cut for education for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 and county officials say it will result in an increase in property taxes

"The bill is bad on the merits and should not become law," Rogers said. "It would result in severe cuts to education and an increase in taxes for property owners. The wealthy would get the benefits while the middle class would get peanuts."

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State GOP Endorses Candidates before Filing Deadlines; Nebraska Democratic Party Welcomes All

Endorsed Candidates Include Former Legislative Staffer Who Helped Redraw the Legislative District He is Running In

By Chris Triebsch

In contrast to recent endorsements from the State Republican
Party, the Nebraska Democratic Party is keeping an open process before the
filing deadlines.

The Nebraska Democratic State Central Committee met over the
weekend without endorsing any candidates.

“It shows the contrast between our two parties,” said Jim
Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. “The Republican
Party closes people out. The Democratic Party welcomes people in. We already
have a great slate of candidates. In some races, we have multiple Democrats
running. We believe this is good for the process and good for the voters. While
the Republicans engage in backroom deals, we keep our doors open.”

Incumbents for office must file by February 15.
Non-incumbents must file by March 1.

The Lincoln Journal Star detailed some of the Republican
endorsements here:

One of the Republican candidates endorsed is John Murante, a
former legislative staffer who helped redraw legislative maps during last
session’s redistricting process. Murante announced his run for office
immediately after the maps were made official, and conveniently, already had
endorsements from top Republican elected officials.

“This underscores how the Republican establishment
operates,” Rogers said. “They pick candidates behind closed doors, redraw
legislative maps accordingly and then close the process to other Republican
candidates who may want to run. By contrast, the Nebraska Democratic Party is a
party of the people.”

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Nebraska Democratic Party Hosting State of Union Viewing Party

No Charge for Event, But Donations Accepted at the Door


LINCOLN - The Nebraska Democratic Party and the Lancaster County Democratic Party is having a viewing party for Tuesday's State of the Union Address. The event offers an opportunity to socialize and listen to the President speak.

Time:                    7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Date:                     Tuesday, January 24th

Location:             Zen's Lounge at 122 North 11th Street in Lincoln, NE.

Cash Bar - Donation Accepted.

Please join us!

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Midlands Voices: Democratic Party alive and thriving

NDP Chair Vic Covalt: The party is vibrant and very much alive. We are the party of solutions, growth and good government. We are the party of the future.

In reading the Jan. 10 Michael Kelly column titled "Time for Dems to
Rally Their Party," I recalled a famous Mark Twain quote — "The reports
of my death have been greatly exaggerated." I used that line the last
time The World-Herald ran with the same storyline.

The Nebraska Democratic Party is not only alive and well, but we are on the move.

to even suggest that The Democratic Party is "moribund" requires a huge
case of forgetfulness. We have not only been holding our own, we have
been winning elections.

In 2008, the efforts of Nebraska Democrats gave President Barack Obama a Nebraska electoral vote — the first since 1964.

2009, Democrats took control of the Lincoln City Council by electing
two at-large council persons. Lincoln, under the leadership of its
Democratic mayor, Chris Beutler, and its Democratic council, is now on
nearly everyone's top five lists for cities in America. That is because
Democrats believe in government and know how to govern and how to make
things happen.


Midlands Voices: Democratic Party alive and thriving

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Stenberg accuses Bruning of being in politics to enrich himself

State Treasurer Don Stenberg came out swinging today, taking shots at the GOP frontrunner in the race for the U.S. Senate by accusing Attorney General Jon Bruning of being in politics to enrich himself and awarding a $100,000 grant in an attempt to buy influence with a politically powerful farm group.

He also accused Bruning of running for attorney general to "personally enrich himself," referring to the news a few months ago that Bruning has become a multi-millionaire since being elected attorney general. According to Bruning's financial disclosure forms, his investments tripled between 2007 and 2011. Stenberg said people should run for public office because they want to be public servants, not to get rich.

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Attorney General Bruning dismisses grant flap as mere politics

Attorney General Jon Bruning defends a $100,000 grant to a political advocacy group for agriculture against questions about his motivation.

Bruning defends awarding the grant to the group We Support Agriculture against criticism by Democrats, who suggest Bruning made the award to help boost his campaign for United States Senate.

Bills have been filed in the legislative session that would remove the Attorney General's discretion is awarding settlement funds. Sen. Ken Haar of Malcolm and Sen. Health Mello of Omaha take different approaches, but the money would eventually go to education.

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Bruning says criticism of grant money is politically motivated

Republican Attorney General Jon Bruning said Thursday that two legislative bills aimed at taking control of a fund his office uses to give grants is politically motivated and meant to undermine his U.S. Senate bid.

Bruning, recently presented the check for $100,000 to Keith Olsen, outgoing president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, at the Farm Bureau's convention in Kearney. We Support Agriculture was formed by the Farm Bureau and other mainstream agricultural groups to portray farmer and rancher treatment of livestock in a positive light and to oppose efforts of the Humane Society of the United States and other animal advocacy groups to change livestock practices.

Critics of the grant say Bruning used it to curry political favor from the powerful Farm Bureau.

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GOP Senate hopeful Bruning defends $100,000 grant

Republican Attorney General Jon Bruning on Thursday defended his decision to award $100,000 in environmental settlement money to an industry-backed farming group, and said Democrats were only seizing the issue to thwart his U.S. Senate bid.

He denied that the grant was hurriedly approved so he could present it at a Dec. 5 Nebraska Farm Bureau convention in Kearney. Email records from his office showed a 32-minute window between the time the formal application was received and the grant approved, but Bruning said the short time frame failed to account for weeks of talks between his office and the group.

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Bruning calls Criticism of his Grant-giving Political Gamesmanship

Attorney General Jon Bruning responded today to criticism and legislation targeting his doling out of grants from settlement funds in what Democrats have called political gifts.

Democrats have criticized Bruning's $100,000 grant to an offshoot of the Nebraska Farm Bureau during its annual convention in December. Bruning gave the check to a three-month old group called We Support Agriculture, which the Farm Bureau and other groups formed to counteract negative portrayals of farming by animal rights' activists. Some Democrats questioned the grant, saying it appeared to be timed to curry favor with the politically powerful Farm Bureau while Bruning is running for the U.S. Senate.

In response, two Democratic senators proposed bills Wednesday that would take the grant money out of the attorney general's hands and give the Legislature more say in how it is spent. Sen. Heath Mello's bill would divert the money to Nebraska schools. Sen. Ken Haar's bill would send environmental settlement funds to the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund and consumer protection settlement funds would be subject to legislative review.

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