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Lee Terry Endorses Jim Esch for Congress

From JimEsch.org:

Today, in a surprising move…my opponent Lee Terry publicly endorsed my candidacy in an interview with the Lincoln Journal Star. Or at least, it sure sounded like it. I quote Mr. Terry -- "We need to get rid of the DeLay group and elect new blood that was not caught up in the DeLay style and is open to reform," he said. "I think we need a clear break from the old regime."

Clearly Mr. Terry was referring to himself on all counts..he's most certainly a member of the "DeLay group", as Mr. DeLay and Mr. Terry go way back. Consider these facts:

Lee Terry has taken $8,308 from Tom DeLay's ARMPAC. Tom DeLay has campaigned for Lee Terry in Nebraska. No surprise that Terry voted with Tom DeLay 92% of the time between Jan. 1 2004 and March 31 2005.

Lee Terry voted to weaken the ethics rules in a move that many say served only to protect Tom DeLay.

When Republicans realized it was "impossible to win the communications battle" over the gutted ethics rules, Terry flip-flopped and voted to put the old rules back into place.

When Democrats offered a solution to clean up the House by strengthening ethics rules, Lee Terry voted twice to make sure it never even came to an up or down vote.

So yes Mr. Terry, we are in complete agreement that it is time to get rid of the DeLay group, yourself included, and make a clear break from the old regime by putting a reform minded candidate into office. Mr. Terry, I thank you for your vote.

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Your Prayer for the Unicameral

You may have heard by now about the controversial "prayer" at the opening of the Nebraska legislature's business on Tuesday. Delivered by Rev. Tom Swartley of Elm Creek in clear violation of guidelines prohibiting the state senate's morning prayer from being political in nature, it most notably denounced legal abortion and the teaching of evolution.

While this political speech was obviously inappropriate in this context, it presents a good opportunity to discuss our own prayers, objections, and hopes for Nebraska's legislative agenda for the remainder of the 2006 session and beyond.

What's not being talked about? Who, so far this session, is most deserving of your thanks or your wrath (even if not the Almighty's)?

And finally, though the Unicameral and its senators are non-partisan, what issues do we as Nebraska Democrats have a duty to take the lead on according to our principles?

A dangerous conversation, perhaps, but one I'd love to see take place without degrading into one of the stand-by debates over traditional hot button issues. Instead, think about your life, the lives of your neighbors -- what should state government be doing in Nebraska to improve the quality of our way of life?

Anyone care to comment? Anyone have an actual proposal he or she would like to share? The seeds of change may only be a click away.

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Blinded by the Right

From the New Nebraska Network:

Omaha World-Herald institution Harold W. Andersen may no longer be a registered Republican -- last year, announcing he was becoming an independent after his disgust over the GOPs exploitation of Terri Schiavo and her family -- but I'm sad to report that single act of self-liberation has not been reflected in his thinking and writing.

Yesterday's column offers a good example of the crippling limitations on his still-partisan perspective, whether such partisanship is official or not. After running through some of the enormous expenses on the horizon for the state of Nebraska and hinting at the inadequacy of Gov. Dave Heineman's calls to study them further, Andersen writes:

Heineman's performance is probably about what could be expected as he approaches a May primary election showdown with U.S. Rep. Tom Osborne, who is challenging Heineman for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

As for Osborne, his call for larger tax reductions than Heineman has proposed is not unexpected but is nonetheless subject to question.

I believe that until the need for tax revenue has been better determined -- the need to deal with such things as the meth epidemic and the well-documented malfunctioning of the state foster care system -- it is obviously premature for Heineman, Osborne or any state legislator to propose tax-rate reductions....

Let's hope that the Legislature, in which nearly three-fourths of the members are serving their last term, will deal more realistically with state spending needs than we apparently can expect from candidates whose political future, at least for the next four years, will be determined by Republican primary voters some 16 weeks from now.

Mr. Andersen, meet Mr. David Hahn (from Sunday's Lincoln Journal-Star):

Tax reductions, he said, "always would be on the table in my administration, but I think it's important to look at things realistically."

One of the factors that deserves serious consideration, Hahn said, is legislative fiscal analyst Mike Calvert's conclusion that the state may need a much larger cash reserve to avoid substantial budget cuts or tax increases in the near future.

Careful consideration also ought to be given to future obligations attached to such issues as current and new business tax credits, Medicaid reform and prison overcrowding, Hahn said in a Friday interview.

"Not one Republican is talking about this," the Lincoln attorney and Internet entrepreneur said….

"How can you talk about tax reductions until you talk about the cost of business incentives? It's not that I'm against tax credits to (stimulate) business, but we need to know what the costs are.

"And I am not against tax cuts," Hahn stressed. "They will always be under consideration by me. But one of the reasons I got into this race was I was not hearing reality-based positions on these issues."

While opinionated and prideful enough that he's never been strictly constrained to the Republican party line, it's clear Andersen has the unfortunate inability to think as anything but the life-long Republican he remains at heart. It's impossible to know whether he fails to mention Hahn and give him credit for being a better, more principled candidate because he doesn't want to say anything nice about a Democrat or simply because he's deaf to the truth when it comes from a Democrat's lips.

Let's just pray the people of Nebraska aren't similarly afflicted -- trapped by a partisan allegiance that violates common sense, shatters hope, and can actually bring a man to betray his own intellect.

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Site of the Day

Congratulations to jimesch.org! The Esch for Congress website was picked as "Site of the Day" by politics1.com.

Winning websites are selected for effectively using the internet as a political tool and are judged on things like good content, sharp design, clever humor, creativity, and innovation in organizing. I personally dig the volunteer banner with the rotating silhouettes. Very catchy.

Check out his site and tell us what you like about it.

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Mail Call, Jeff!

Tom Dorsch of Beatrice recently wrote a letter blasting Rep. Jeff Fortenberry for not returning Tom DeLay's dirty money.

Why is Fortenberry blind to his ethical obligations and unable or unwilling to do the right thing?

Maybe we can't compete with the special interests when it comes to the money we pay. But we can decide whether our elected officials deserve to keep their government job.

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Weekend Open Thread

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A New Face

Hello Nebraska! This is my first Blog post since I started working for the NDP. With one busy week behind me in this position as Field Organizer, I thought now would be the best time to introduce myself and let all of you know where we are headed in our journey for the 2006 Elections.

I was born and raised in Falls City, Nebraska. I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Public and Political Speech Communications. After graduation, I interned for U.S. Senator E. Benjamin Nelson's Omaha District Office, as well as, for the Douglas County Election and Jury Commission. I am currently residing in Omaha.

I want to get to know you, your community and your ideas on how to make our Party effective in the 2006 Elections. With positive and open communication between our office and your community, we can only grow and be more effective as a Party.

As the 2006 Election gets closer, we need Nebraskans like you to get involved to elect strong, democratic candidates. Click here for opportunities to volunteer.

Your "virtual" and "social" involvement with the Party is important over the next few months to getting our candidates into elected offices. Get your family, friends, and co-workers to volunteer and we will achieve our goal.

Feel free to email me or call me with any ideas.

Thanks for everything you have done and continue to do in Nebraska's efforts to rebuild the Democratic Party and win back our state.

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Moul Coming to a Town Near You.

I just finished posting Maxine Moul's Kick-off events on the Event Center.

Next week, she will be visiting Plattsmouth, Nebraska City, Auburn, Falls City, Beatrice, Syracuse, Fremont, Oakland, South Sioux City, Norfolk, and wrap it up with a rally in Lincoln on her birthday on the 26th. Again, you can find all those events posted in the Event Center. If you are anywhere near those towns, you should come out and show your support.

Also, check out these stories about her candidacy in the Omaha World Herald, the Lincoln Journal Star and the Sioux City Journal.

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Moul set to take on Fortenberry

Maxine Moul filed to run for Congress for the 1st District today. Read about it here.

Check back tomorrow for a list of events Moul will be holding around the district next week.

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NDP's New Home

If any of you have tried to get a hold of NDP staffers over the last week, than you are well aware that we are in the process of moving into a new home. Our office is now located at 1327 H Street. It is directly to the east of Billy's and right across from the Capitol.

We spent the end of last week packing up, and the beginning of this week settling in. We still have a few boxes left to unpack, but as you can see, our signature picture of Senator Exon made the trip safely and is now hanging proudly in our new conference room.

Monie has been a great deal of help over the entire weekend. Here she is with the kitchen area that she generously organized.

I will add more pictures tomorrow to show off our new home.

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