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Election 2012 - The Voters Share Our Vision

Election 2012 is now in the books and we can all say that it was a good year for Democrats nationwide. President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney and was the first Democrat to get reelected with an absolute majority of the popular vote since FDR. The Democratic Party also gained 2 seats in the U.S. Senate and 6 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here in Nebraska, we were disappointed that Senator Kerrey was defeated in his bid to be elected to the U.S. Senate. However, the Democrats picked up three seats in the Legislature and State Senator Ken Haar is withstanding a strong challenge from the right wing. We are also well positioned to win city elections in Omaha and Lincoln next year.

  • When you look at the larger picture in election 2012, history will show that the voters endorsed our vision for the economy and society.
  • When the election cycle began, the GOP presented a radical agenda centered on privatizing Medicare and cutting taxes for the wealthy.
  • Mitt Romney appeared to welcome a robust debate on the future of the social safety net when he chose Paul Ryan to be his running mate.

We never had that debate because the GOP ran away from its platform which supported privatizing Social Security and Medicare. Suddenly, the likes of Romney and Ryan began to (falsely) posture as the protectors of these programs. Here in Nebraska, Deb Fischer surprised everybody when she came out against the Ryan plan in the first debate.

And as usual, Lee Terry did his usual election year conversion and came out against slashing the safety net programs.

The GOP ran away from its regressive platform because they know that the overwhelming majority of voters support Social Security and Medicare. It would be politically suicidal for the GOP to come out against these successful programs that have reduced poverty among the elderly from 50% to 10%.

This sudden flip flop by the GOP vindicates our vision of an economy and society in which we're all in it together. What this means is that in addition to our candidates triumphing, our core ideas also won. The American people agree with the Democratic Party that there should be a viable safety net and they will turn anybody out of office who threatens that safety net.

Many of the Republican candidates did a similar 180 degree turn on women's health issues. During the GOP primaries, Romney said he wanted to ban all abortions without any exceptions and that he favored allowing employers to make insurance and health care choices for their female employees. Beginning as late as October, Romney repudiated those previous extreme positions.

On the other hand, GOP Senate candidates Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock doubled down on their extremism and adhered to the position that rape victims shouldn't be allowed the option of having abortions. They paid for their extremism when the voters soundly rejected them on Election Day.

This support of the Democratic platform on Social Security, Medicare and women's health issues by the voters certainly lays the foundation for future victories by our Party. We are the Party of the people. Let's make sure the voters never forget that.

Before I close out this piece, I would like to thank all of our candidates who ran for office this year. We appreciate their sacrifices and devotion to public service. We also owe a debt of gratitude to their spouses and significant others. I also want to thank our volunteers and the staff at the NDP. Your hard work and dedication is appreciated by all of the leaders of the NDP.

One thing we should always keep in mind is that we can never rest on our laurels. There are always elections ahead to win. Beginning early next year, there will be campaigns for city offices in Omaha and Lincoln. In those elections, we will have a success story to tell.

Thanks to the hard work of our elected city officials, the cities of Lincoln and Omaha are among the best places in America to live and do business. I look forward to sharing those successes and our vision with the voters next year.




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Nebraska (And America) Needs Bob Kerrey

Former U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey grew up in Lincoln, and graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School and UNL. After he graduated from college, Kerrey volunteered for duty in Vietnam (when many people pulled strings to avoid military service) and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for his valiant service in that war. After he returned to Nebraska, Kerrey has owned a series of successful businesses in Omaha and Lincoln.

Kerrey first ran for office in 1982 when he upset Republican incumbent Governor Charles Thone. As Governor, Kerrey inherited a deficit and - with bi-partisan support - created a budget surplus by the time he left office in 1987.

After his service as Governor, Kerrey served two terms in the U.S. Senate between1989-2001. When Kerrey was sworn in as a Senator, the U.S. had then record budget deficits. In 1990 and 1993, Kerrey voted for balanced budget legislation which resulted in a budget surplus by the time he left office.

Since 2001, Kerrey has served as a University President and the member of the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission. The 9/11 Commission made many important findings including, but not limited to, the fact that then President Bush had ample warning of the attacks in the summer of 2001 and that Iraq didn't have an alliance with Osama Bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist group.

In contrast, Fischer's qualifications for the U.S. Senate are rather thin. She served on her local school board and has been a State Senator since 2004. As a State Senator, Fischer voted to raise gas taxes and led a filibuster that cost Omaha area taxpayers $325 million.

Other parts of Fischer's background have come to light that are even less flattering. For the past 30 years, she has received an annual subsidy of $125,000.00 from the taxpayers to finance her ranching operation. Even more disturbing, she filed a frivolous lawsuit against her elderly neighbors in an attempt to steal some valuable land from them. After Fischer lost the lawsuit, she used her position as State Senator to prevent this scenic property from becoming a part of the Nebraska parks system where all Nebraskans could enjoy it.

The contrast between Kerrey and Fischer on the issues is equally stark. Senator Kerrey has announced detailed plans to balance the budget, and save Social Security and Medicare. On the other hand, Fischer has simply regurgitated the usual trite, tired talking points we get from the GOP about cutting spending. Even though Fischer has been campaigning for over a year now, she has yet to identify a single, specific spending cut that she supports. All Fischer has offered is a constitutional amendment to balance the budget which would cut Social Security and Medicare by 25% if it was ever implemented.

On health care, Senator Kerrey wants to maintain but improve Obama Care. Senator Kerrey knows that the landmark health care law is already doing some good. Approximately 6.6 million young people are on their parents' insurance policies. Seniors are saving $600 per year on their prescription expenses since Obama Care closed the Medicare doughnut hole. Earlier this year, millions of consumers received $1.3 billion in rebates from their health insurance companies.

State Senator Fischer is on record in favor of repealing Obama Care.

Apparently, she doesn't care if young people lose their insurance coverage and seniors pay more money for their prescription medication.

Fischer must also believe that it's better for the insurance industry to keep these rebates. The so-called "replacement plan" that Fischer put up on her website is the usual GOP claptrap about tort "reform" and allowing the sale of insurance across state lines. Her so-called "replacement plan" will do almost nothing to reform our dysfunctional health care system.

The choice in this election on women's health issues is also clear.

Bob Kerrey has always supported a woman's right to choose. In contrast, Fischer would like politicians to make health care choices for women. Moreover, Fischer agrees with Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock that there should be no exception to their proposed ban on abortions - even for victims of rape!

In my opinion, the choice in the U.S. Senate race is a no brainer. We can choose a seasoned statesman or a rank amateur. Bob Kerrey has offered up real solutions and Deb Fischer has only put forward the usual right wing slogans. Bob Kerrey has a history of reaching across party lines to find solutions and has been endorsed by several prominent Republicans. In contrast, Fischer would simply be a back bencher who could be counted on to simply and blindly vote the GOP party line in the U.S. Senate. That's why Nebraska (and America) need Bob Kerrey back in the U.S. Senate!



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The Case For President Obama

When President Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the economy was losing 700,000 jobs per month, GDP had just shrank 8.9% in the last quarter of 2008, the auto industry was on the verge of collapse and the U.S. was involved in two wars. The President inherited the greatest set of challenges any new President had inherited since Franklin Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933 during the height of the Great Depression. Just how did President Obama deal with these multiple crises? How effective have his responses been?

President Obama stepped up and began to make the tough choices even before he was formally sworn in. One of his first decisions was to provide federal assistance to the ailing U.S. auto industry. This was an unpopular decision (at the time) that ultimately saved millions of jobs and restored the auto industry to profitability. At the time Obama made this courageous decision, Mitt Romney and the Republicans said we should "let Detroit go bankrupt."

On the economic front, President Obama passed through the Congress - with the help of Ben Nelson - the $800 billion stimulus program.

According to three non-partisan sources, the 2009 stimulus bill saved anywhere from 1 to 3 million jobs, ended the recession and began the current recovery. Currently, the economy has created around 150,000 new jobs per month over the last year.

Another one of President Obama's most significant achievements was the passage of Obama Care - which will insure an additional 30 million Americans. This landmark legislation - which was also supported by Senator Nelson - will save thousands of lives every year and reduce the deficit. On the other hand, Romney (and Fischer) want to repeal Obama Care - a decision which would deny health insurance to about 45 million people.

President Obama's accomplishments in the realm of national security are equally impressive. In 2011, U.S. Navy Seals found Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and brought this terrorist mastermind to justice.
In contrast, Mitt Romney told us in 2007-08 that he would oppose any U.S. military intervention in Pakistan to get Bin Laden.

In addition to President Obama's successes in the fight against terrorism, U.S. troops were withdrawn from Iraq at the end of 2011 and U.S. troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan at the end of 2014.
Once again, Romney has disagreed with President Obama on Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Romney would like to leave U.S. troops in both of these countries on an indefinite basis.

Elections aren't only about rewarding past success - they are also about the future. President Obama has a promising agenda which will improve the economy and reduce the deficit. In September 2011, President Obama introduced a jobs bill that would create 2 million new jobs and reduce the unemployment rate to 7%. The Republicans in the Congress have blocked this bill and refuse to grant it an up or down votes. In addition, the President has offered a deficit reduction plan that consists of both tax increases on the wealthy and spending cuts.

The choice on November 6 is clear. President Obama has both a record of accomplishment and a strong second term agenda. I would urge all of my Democratic friends to work hard for President Obama's re-election, as well as for our other fine candidates.

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.


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More Evidence Our Candidates Have The Wind At Their Backs

Today the Nebraska political world is buzzing with a brand new poll showing that Bob Kerrey reduced Deb Fischer's lead to a mere three points. The Omaha World Herald poll for October 28 provides strong verification the race has significantly tightened with Kerrey diminishing Fischer's lead down to 49% to 46%.

Ever since Kerrey's campaign has raised the matter of Fischer's junk lawsuit and abuse of power as State Senator, the Nebraska Republicans have been complaining about his aggressive tactics that have exposed the truth about Deb Fischer. These Republican complaints tell us a lot about the state of the race and led me to believe that the Senate race will come down to the wire. The GOP wouldn't be complaining if Kerrey's strategy wasn't working. It's obvious that the Nebraska GOP is concerned that Fischer could blow what they once thought was a sure thing.

What this all means is that we have a great opportunity to win some very important races next month.

Nebraskans can elect Bob Kerrey and John Ewing as well as carry CD-02 for President Obama. I would urge all of my Democratic friends to redouble our efforts. Man some phone banks, walk some precincts and make a contribution to the candidate of your choice if you can afford it. Our message is resonating with the voters and now we need to close the deal!

Read the full article about the poll at: World-Herald Poll: Bob Kerrey, Deb Fischer Senate race tightens

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.



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We Have The Momentum!

It's been a great week to be a Nebraska Democrat. Key developments in the U.S. Senate race and the U.S. House race in C.D. 2 prove that our message is catching on with the voters and that our candidates have the wind at their backs.

A brand new poll out on the House race in the Omaha dominated CD 2 indicates that this is a real horse race. This new poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee indicates that longtime incumbent Congressman Lee Terry only has a 48% to 44% lead over John Ewing - a result within the margin of error. In what is a good sign for Ewing, the voters polled who know both candidates favored Ewing by a 50% to 47% margin. This means that Ewing's message of standing up for senior citizens and the middle class is breaking through.

In another boost for the Ewing campaign, the Omaha World Herald endorsed him saying that after fourteen years: "it's time for a change." This is a remarkable development for the World Herald since it has endorsed Terry in all of his previous races and has a long time history of largely endorsing Republican candidates. The World Herald blasted Terry for two false and negative ads he had to pull and labeled it: "unseemly behavior for a veteran congressman."

The World Herald endorsement correctly pointed out Ewing's exemplary service as Douglas County Treasurer and lauded him for stepping forward and chairing the United Way of the Midlands committee that handled funds donated for victims and families after the 2007 Von Maur shootings. The World Herald stated that: "Ewing has a proven record of leadership and accomplishment in public service. He has stepped beyond political clichés, demonstrating thoughtful analysis and a depth of knowledge in discussing the many difficult issues facing the next Congress."

The news has been equally good for the Bob Kerrey campaign for U.S. Senate. An internal poll released by the Kerrey campaign indicated that he has whittled away at Fischer's former commanding lead and now Fischer only leads Kerrey by a 50% to 45% margin. This is a remarkable accomplishment because earlier polls showed Fischer leading by double digits; including polls Fischer herself touted showing her ahead by 25 points.

Interestingly enough, the poll was taken from October 13 through October 16. What that means is that this poll does not fully encompass the time period after an ad was launched by the Kerrey campaign showing how Deb Fischer filed a frivolous lawsuit in a failed attempt to seize land from her elderly neighbors. (Highly placed sources with close ties to the Kerrey campaign have told me that the new ad has made a powerful impression on the focus groups that have watched it.)

The Republicans were quick to challenge the poll and questioned the credibility of Kerrey's pollster. However, those charges ring hollow because out of state billionaire Joe Ricketts has purchased $220,000.00 in TV ads bashing Senator Kerrey. If this race was a blowout and a foregone conclusion, it is doubtful that Ricketts would be spending this kind of money. Obviously, Ricketts knows that the race has tightened.

What this all means is that we Nebraska Democrats have an incredible opportunity this fall. We're in a position to win races for the U.S. Senate and House next month. Those who know me understand that I'm a huge Husker football fan. In my opinion, Tom Osborne's speech at halftime of the 1995 Orange Bowl against Miami is appropriate: "The fourth quarter is ours, they won't be able to stay with us. We are in way better condition than them, we outworked them, you saw them breathing hard toward the end of the half. We are going to be able to move the ball in the fourth quarter. Let's get it done this time, no excuses, let's get it done!"

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.




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Does Nebraska Want A Bully To Be It's Next U.S. Senator?

The junk lawsuit that Deb Fischer filed against her neighbor has been getting a lot of new attention lately. The Kerrey campaign has launched an offensive to inform Nebraska voters about this sordid chapter in Fischer's life by unveiling a new TV advertisement and putting up www.

The new ad and website repeat the already well known facts about how Fischer sued her neighbors in an attempt to steal their land.  The new facts that came out about the Fischer's junk lawsuit lawsuit paint an even darker picture about what happened in this fight that Fischer picked with her neighbors. As it turned out, Fischer's frivolous lawsuit cost Les and Betty Kime $40,000.00 in attorneys fees.  As we all know, after two years of protracted litigation, the judge ruled in favor of the Kimes.

What we also learned is that the dismissal of Fischer's lawsuit didn't end the dispute.  Fischer subsequently took her land grab attempt to a local fencing commission which once again ruled in favor of the Kimes. After this defeat, Fischer refused to pay the fees owed to the fencing commission until a lien was filed against her land and she decided to run for the Legislature.

Unfortunately, the decision of the fencing commission didn't mark the end of the dispute.  After Fischer was elected to the Unicameral, the Kimes attempted to sell the disputed (and beautiful property) to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission so that this special place could be enjoyed by all Nebraskans.  However, Fischer used her position as a State Senator to block the sale and deprive Nebraskans of the opportunity to enjoy this exceptional piece of land.

Fischer's response to these new revelations are almost as disturbing as her previous actions.  She tried to spin it by claiming this was a "routine" boundary dispute and claimed that she these kinds of lawsuits occur "everyday" in Nebraska.  There is nothing "routine" about a two year lawsuit that takes two years and costs the winning party $40,000.00.  Moreover,  this was not a typical boundary dispute. Instead, this was an was adverse possession action and only a handful are ever filed in Nebraska. If you consult any experienced attorney, they will tell you these suits are rare. Fischer attempted to seize the land in it's entirety and  just a handful of adverse possession suits have been filed in 21st century.

What all of this tells us is that Fischer is a bully. She is one of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens in Cherry County.  As a private citizen, she tried to exploit her wealth to seize some valuable land from a long time, good neighbor.  What is even more disturbing is that as a State Senator, she abused her power to settle an old grudge and deprived Nebraskans of the opportunity to visit this special property.

I can safely say that Nebraskans don't want a bully as their U.S. Senator.  As the GOP used to tell us during the 1990s, character counts.  Bob Kerrey is the candidate in this race who has the necessary character to represent us in the U.S. Senator.  He is a war hero, successful business owner, former Governor, former U.S. Senator and a member of the bi-partisan 9/11 Commission.  It is pretty obvious now who is most qualified to serve Nebraska in the U.S. Senate.

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America Needs A President Who Is Smart And Experienced Enough To Turn This Economy Around

The Omaha World Herald recently endorsed Mitt Romney for President contending that Romney could break the partisan gridlock, reduce the deficit, and improve the economy. The World Herald's endorsement shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody since that newspaper has always endorsed the GOP Presidential nominee - including George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. Are the World Herald's claims about a potential Romney Presidency credible? Do they stand up to any scrutiny?

The World Herald began the editorial by cherry picking economic statistics in a deceptive way that leaves out the historical context.

Contrary to the World Herald's piece, history didn't start this month.

When President Obama took office, the economy was losing 700,000 jobs per month. Over the last 2.5 years, the economy has created 5.2 million new private sectors jobs. Since October 2011, the economy has created 150,000 new jobs per month.

Other economic measures have turned around. GDP shrank 8.9% in the last quarter of 2008. Over the last 2.5 years, GDP has grown around 1.5% to 2% per quarter. The World Herald also failed to mention the stock market. When President Obama took office, the Dow Jones was around 8,000. At the present time, the Dow is around 13,000 and nearing a five year high.

Yes, there is still more work to do and things need to get better.

However, it is beyond dispute that we're all better off now than we were four years ago. But can Romney improve on this performance? Is there anything in his proposals and background that would give us any confidence he could break the gridlock and improve the economy?

Sadly, the answers to these questions are no. It is seldom mentioned that Romney is the least experienced major party nominee since Wendell Wilkie in 1940. Romney's only experience in government was his four years as Governor of Massachusetts. The New York Times recently reported that Romney neither mastered the art of reaching across the aisle nor achieved success as governor. Apparently, Romney's relations with Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature were acrimonious at times. By the time Romney left office in Massachusetts that state ranked 47th out of 50 states in job creation. Moreover, Romney's approval rating had sunk as low as 35%.

Romney's current economic proposals would be as ineffectual as his economic plans were in Massachusetts. The GOP nominee's economic plan largely consists of a 20% across the board tax cut that favors the wealthy and the deregulation of big business - including Wall Street. Romney has yet to tell us how he would pay for his tax cuts and projected defense spending increases. Independent economic analysts have indicated that Romney's plans would add an additional $500 billion to the deficit on an annual basis.

The former Massachusetts Governor's economic plans would also fail to reduce unemployment. According to Mark Hopkins, a senior adviser at Moody's Analytics, Romney's policies would "do more harm in the short term. If we implemented all of his policies, it would push us deeper into recession and make the recovery slower." Hopkins also said that "lowering corporate tax rates and the marginal tax rate on high income earners would have little impact on short term job growth. Cutting these taxes won't solve the problem of weak demand."

The World Herald editorial called for a President who is smart and experienced enough to turn this economy around. What they didn't mention is that President Barack Obama is that "smart and experienced President." As we've discussed here, President Obama has already turned around the economy and has plans to make it even better.

President Obama's American Jobs Act would create 2 million new jobs and reduce the unemployment rate to 7%. Unfortunately, the Republican controlled House won't allow an up or down vote on this promising plan. We Democrats need to end the job killing gridlock in Washington, D.C. by re-electing President Obama and sending our excellent slate of Congressional candidates to Washington, D.C.

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.



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Deb Fischer - Lawsuit "Reform" For Thee But Not For Me

It has recently come to light in an article in the Omaha World Herald that Deb Fischer filed a lawsuit in 1995 against some elderly neighbors in an attempt to grab a piece of land from them. The background to this lawsuit was that Les Kime and Bill Fischer - Bruce Fischer's father - had a longstanding gentlemen's agreement that allowed the Fischers to run their cattle through the Kimes' large ranch and into the McKelvie National Forest, where the Fischers have permits to graze their cattle on the federal land. Apparently, that wasn't good enough for Fischer and she (and her husband) slapped Les and Betty Kime with a lawsuit that ultimately dragged on for two years.

In their lawsuit, Bruce and Deb Fischer argued they now owned the land because of adverse possession, a part of property law that allows someone to claim land they have cared for and maintained for a long period of time. Eventually, the judge assigned to the case ruled in favor of the Kimes and dismissed Fischer's lawsuit. After Fischer lost the lawsuit, she had the nerve to ask the Kimes if they could continue to drive their cattle over the Kimes' ground. Of course, the Kimes said no after being dragged through two years of expensive litigation.

What this lawsuit tells us is that Deb Fischer is a lawsuit "reform" hypocrite. In her campaign, Fischer has come out in favor of so-called tort "reform." Tort "reform" would limit the rights of injured persons to file medical malpractice lawsuits in the hopes those limits would reduce medical costs. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has told us that all costs associated with medical malpractice total around 1% to 2% of all medical costs. One could completely gut the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial and it would just be a rounding error when it comes to the costs of our health care system.

The frivolous lawsuit that Fischer filed against her elderly neighbors also tells us a lot about her character. (Remember back in the 1990s when the Republicans told us that character mattered?) Fischer's lawsuit is very telling because it reflects an attitude of greedy entitlement and a willingness to knowingly attempt to steal property from a friend and neighbor. The Kimes were very well respected old line Sand Hills ranchers. They didn't deserve to get hit with this lawsuit.

She has also taken a similar attitude when it comes to government spending. As we know, Fischer is the beneficiary of a taxpayer financed grazing subsidy worth around $125,000.00 per year. Fischer wants to keep her lucrative grazing subsidy but she believes that other people should have their own programs cut. For example, Fischer's budget plan would cause significant spending cuts in farm programs, Social Security and Medicare.

Senator Fischer's blatant double standard on lawsuits and federal spending is deeply disturbing and should raise a red flag for voters. Apparently, Fischer has an entitlement mentality that is present in all too many politicians that leads her to believe that she can play by a different set of rules than the rest of us. Do we really want to send yet another politician to Washington with this sense of entitlement?

I believe that character counts and that we should send Bob Kerrey back to the U.S. Senate. Kerrey is a proven leader who has already sacrificed for his country and is willing to do it again. Senator Kerrey will put the country - not himself - first if he is elected to the U.S. Senate.

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.


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Mark Sullivan: Adrian Smith Should Be Fired For Representing The Washington Bosses And Not The Nebraska People

Earlier this year, Mark Sullivan filed for the 3rd Congressional District seat and began his challenge to Representative Adrian Smith. Sullivan is from rural Hamilton County and is a fourth generation Nebraska farmer. Sullivan's grandfather and father farmed near Doniphan, where Sullivan now runs a 950 head feedlot and farms about 500 acres. He and his wife of 41 years, Karen, have four adult sons with their own families who also live and work in central Nebraska.

Sullivan says he felt compelled to run for Congress because of the gridlock in Washington. Sullivan says he and the voters share a frustration over partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill that he says has stymied the political process and contributed to the downgrading of the country's credit rating last year. Sullivan has correctly pointed out that Smith has only contributed to the problem. "When did compromise become a dirty word?" Sullivan asked. "Adrian Smith ought to be fired for representing the Washington bosses and not the Nebraska people."

Adrian Smith is certainly part of the problem in D.C. and his background certainly forecast that. In 2006, Smith was elected with the help of then President George W. Bush and the Wall Street-based Club For Growth. Back in October 2006, Smith was locked in a tight race with Scott Kleeb and only a last minute campaign visit from Bush saved the 3rd C.D. seat for the Republicans. Smith's 2006 campaign was also assisted by hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising from the Club For Growth, which supports the end of all farm subsidies.

Smith's performance in the House of Representatives this year has been especially harmful to the 3rd C.D. The Senate recently passed the farm bill with a large bi-partisan majority. Over in the House, the farm bill was reported out by the Agriculture Committee and enjoys bi-partisan support. However, House Speaker John Boehner refuses to allow an up or down vote on the farm bill because it is opposed by the radical Tea Party faction. Adrian Smith has supported Boehner's efforts to bottle up the farm bill.

The radical House Republicans' failure to pass a farm bill will kill jobs in the 3rd C.D. (and the rest of the country). During one of the worst drought in modern history, it is time for Adrian Smith to stop appeasing the Tea Party faction and help pass the farm bill. Even Jeff Fortenberry and Deb Fischer have called for swift passage of the farm bill. This demonstrates just how extreme and out of touch Smith is with his constituents.

The voters in the 3rd C.D. now face an important choice. They can either support Adrian Smith and perpetuate the job killing gridlock in Washington, D.C., or the voters can elect Mark Sullivan who has promised to compromise and work across party lines to get things accomplished for the 3rd C.D. and the country. I predict that the voters of the 3rd C.D. will tire of Smith's hyper-partisanship and send Mark Sullivan - a true man of the people - to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.



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Korey Reiman Would Be A Fighter For Senior Citizens, Veterans And Women

Lincoln Attorney Korey Reiman is our candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Congressional District 1 and is challenging longtime incumbent Jeff Fortenberry for the seat. Unlike Fortenberry (who grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Reiman is a lifelong Nebraskan who grew up on a farm in Pawnee County. Reiman earned his undergraduate degree at Peru State College and graduated from the Nebraska College of Law in 1999. Since Reiman graduated from law school, his law practice has focused on veterans' benefits and criminal defense.

Reiman entered the race because Fortenberry isn't the moderate he pretends to be and has cast many votes that are harmful to senior citizens, veterans and women. Even though Fortenberry tries to lead people to believe he is a mainstream conservative who reflects Nebraska values, his record shows that he frequently votes with the most extreme members of his party.

While he has been a member of the House of Representatives, Fortenberry has voted twice in favor of the Paul Ryan Medicare privatization plan. The Ryan/Fortenberry plan would convert the Medicare guarantee into a voucher, bring back pre-existing condition clauses, and cost the average senior $60,000.00 in additional out of pocket medical expenses over the course of their retirement.

Last year, Fortenberry continued to posture as a moderate when he claimed he was no longer beholden to corporate lobbyist Grover Norquist's no new taxes pledge. It's true that Fortenberry has (partially) bucked the Norquist line on the tax issue but Fortenberry's votes on taxes indicate that he doesn't share Nebraska's values. Fortenberry voted for taxes cuts for the wealthy when he supported the Ryan plan since this regressive budget plan reduces taxes for the wealthy and corporations. On the other hand, though, Fortenberry voted against the payroll tax cut aimed at the middle class that has put an additional $1,000.00 in the average workers' pocket this year.

Fortenberry has also demonstrated his extremism by his vote in favor of the Blunt Amendment. The Fortenberry/Blunt amendment would allow institutions, small businesses and others to refuse to provide medical services that violate their beliefs. What this means is that Fortenberry's legislation would make it so that employers would be free to decide whether to cover contraception for their employees.

Apparently, Fortenberry's idea of freedom of choice doesn't extend to all Americans, just to those who do the hiring. Reiman believes that women's (and others) health care coverage is their business and not that of their employers. In other words, Reiman believes that employees should have the freedom to seek whatever health care services they deem necessary and that the boss doesn't have the power to make those choices for them.

The Democratic challenger (correctly) believes that Fortenberry has become overly influenced by the well-heeled special interests that finance his campaigns and has lost touch with the concerns of the citizens of his district. It's evident that Fortenberry talks the talk about being a moderate but he doesn't walk the walk. Fortenberry consistently votes with the radical elements of the GOP.

Korey Reiman has pledged to maintain and improve Obama Care. He also has come out in opposition to the Ryan/Fortenberry Medicare plan. The repeal of Obama Care and the enactment of the Ryan plan would badly harm the interests of senior citizens. This is because the enactment of Fortenberry's extreme agenda would bring back pre-existing condition clauses and cost senior citizens an additional $6,000.00 in annual out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The return of pre-existing condition clauses would simply make health insurance unaffordable - if not unavailable - to veterans because many of them have come back from combat zones with medical conditions they contracted while defending our country. Reiman strongly rejects Fortenberry's belief that our veterans should finance the enactment of yet more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations by paying more for their own necessary health care.

The voters of Congressional District 1 appear to be catching on to Fortenberry's extremism and have become receptive to Reiman's message.

It's time for Nebraskans to get behind Korey Reiman in his effort to end the job killing gridlock in Washington, D.C., which has been created by the radical Republicans like Fortenberry. Korey Reiman can restore Nebraska


Dennis Crawford is our newly elected 2nd Associate Chair. He will begin serving his term on the NDP's executive board at the first State Central Committee meeting following November's election. Thank you to Dennis for his contribution to the NDP's blog.


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