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"Why Are You A Democrat?" (Day 7)

It's a new week, a new month and time to re-energize ourselves by reading a few more stories about why we are Democrats:

On my refrigerator is a small piece cut from the newspaper, which
says:

"Hubert Humphrey said: "The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life--the sick, the needy, the handicapped." Bush seems to think they're all targets.

That is why I am a Democrat in Nebraska.

-Shirley A. Ritter
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I have always been a Democrat because this is the party that cares about what happens to people and focuses considers issues affecting families, children, the economy and jobs, health care, the environment and our quality of life in general, for us now and for the next generation. The Democratic party reaches out to all people, from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, and a wide range of persoal values. It is the party of inclusion, not exclusion. Individual Democrats may differ on individual issues but we know that our core values are centered in the community and the people who make up that community.

-Donna Bolz
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I'm a Nebraska Democrat because I believe that adequate health care is a right, not a privilege. Equal opportunity should be a reality, not a joke. We need to preserve and conserve what is left of our environment and wildlife, rather than weighing it against what is "good for business". We need leaders who care about the welfare of ALL CITIZENS, not just their "base" of the "haves and have mores". Each citizen should have equal opportunities and access to education, health care, housing, and the American dream.

-Melanie Baker McCain
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My father was an FDR Democrat, but thats not why I am a proud Liberal Democrat. I believed in the ideals of John F. Kennedy, even though I was only 7 when he was killed. I campaigned (in my little town of Phillips, NE.) for Bobby Kennedy, even though I was only 12 when he was killed. I was taught at an early age that people not only give their lives for their country in war, but also give their lives as public servants, so that these; the weakest, poorest, oldest, disabled, immigrant, minorities and so many others have a voice in our great Democratic Republic. I'm a third generation American and a third generation Democrat, because Democrats put people, before things. I am a Kennedy Democrat!

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Judging Meirs

This morning, President Bush nominated his White House Counsel, Harriet Miers, to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Miers is not a sitting judge, and therefore does not have much of a public record for Senators to scrutinize. There have been several Justices throughout U.S. history that had no prior judicial experience.

Do you think it was wise for the President to nominate someone who has never presided over a courtroom?

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Bill Bennett - GOP Thinker

"If it were your sole purpose to reduce crime you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," Bill Bennett, former GOP Education Secretary, said yesterday on his syndicated radio show.

And to think that GOP leaders still still rely on this pompous, self-rightious, blathering idiot.

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Jon Bruning's Worst Enemy: Jon Bruning

"this guy spends more time in the grandstand than a hotdog vendor…"

Ed Howard and Statepaper.com provide a wonderful analysis in this article about our Attorney General and his sensitivity to changes in wind direction

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Reforming a Culture of Corruption

This is a special guest post from Senator Matt Connealy:

When I ran for Congress last year, I was up against much more than Jeff Fortenberry. Turns out that Fortenberry was backed by $20,000 of the dirty money that recently brought indictments against House Majority leader Tom DeLay.

In return, Fortenberry voted with DeLay 100% of the time in his first three months in Washington. But Delay didn't stop there; Lee Terry received almost $10,000 as well.

That's not what Nebraskans want. We deserve leadership that values fairness, freedom, and reform. The culture of corruption that surrounds Tom DeLay and his cronies couldn't be further from that.

The Democratic Party refuses to rely on Tom DeLay tactics and Tom DeLay money to win elections. Instead of special interests, individual Nebraskans--$20 and $50 at a time--can change the way politics works in our state. What will you give to make this change?

http://www.nebraskademocrats.org/reform

Americans deserve a government free of corruption and ethical misconduct DeLay's recent indictment is a step in the right direction, but more work lies ahead.

Special interests and radical extremists that funded Tom DeLay's political machine have set their tentacles throughout the Republican Party.

They dump piles of cash into races--it's just a business investment for them--but we can fight that with the message people want to hear. That's why it's so important to build our Party from the ground up.

That takes commitment--and part of that is money. Give what you can--no matter the size--to build our Party.

http://www.nebraskademocrats.org/reform

This culture of corruption will end with the rise of Democrats. Americans demand a government that works for people, not profit--one they can trust to tell the truth, not distort the facts to suit a hidden agenda.

Thank you,

Matt Connealy
State Senator

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The Hammer Gets Nailed; Return the Dirty Money!

By now, everyone is aware of the latest development exposing the Republican Party's culture of corruption. House Republican Leader Tom DeLay's indictment can be added to the growing list of crime and embarrassment consuming the GOP. Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist and Bush crony Karl Rove are also under investigation for criminal activity.

Congressmen Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry should return the $28,308 in contributions they received from DeLay's PAC. They should follow the lead of fellow House Republican Jeb Bradley (NH) who announced today that he will return the $15,000 he received from DeLay's PAC.

If Terry and Fortenberry continue to show support for DeLay (which they did this morning), they are dishonoring themselves and the seats they hold.

We issued a press release earlier today demanding Terry and Fortenberry return the dirty money. You can find it in the Communications Center

I also posted talking points linking Terry and Fortenberry to DeLay as well as detailing the history of DeLay's unethical behavior.

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Open Thread

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Why Are You A Democrat? (Day 6)

With the Republican culture of corruption saturating the headlines, this is the perfect time to reflect on our Democratic values and progressive ideas. Here are several great testimonials revealing some of the reasons we are proud to be Democrats:

I have been a NE Democrat since I worked in the NE Presidential Primary in 1968, for Robert Kennedy's campaign. In those past years, we had strong democrats in NE like Ed Zorinsky, George Buglewicz, Sam Howell, Jim Exon, etc. We had democrats in the mayor's office, county offices, and state offices. What I will fight for today is the right of all Americans, and all Nebraskans, to the labor law protection against 18 hour shifts with no overtime, and no regulation. I will fight for the separation of church and state so all citizens can have personal religion and secular government protection of thier personal rights. I will fight for the truth to be written and communicated to all the citizens, rather than "spin" of a group's agenda. I will fight for environmental prtections and economic equality and opportunity. And, I will teach my children to continue these fights as Democrats and as good American citizens. So that, when I am gone, their children will have the opportunities and freedoms that we enjoyed.

-Mary Jackson

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I believe that being a Nebraska Democrats is mainly about priorities. We prioritize peace and prosperity for EVERYONE, not just a privileged few.

We also believe in responsible budgeting and spending. For years, Democrats have been falsely accused of overspending but in the last few years the Bush administration has proven that Republicans can and will overspend without any regard to how the public feels about it. Their priorities are not in line with most Americans and I feel that it's our responsibility to see that elected officials represent our values in a better fashion.

-Angela Koch

My family has unique origins. My grandfather was an AFL leader in Boston in the 1950's. His efforts on behalf of firefighters led to the first pension for widows in Massachusetts. He instilled in his family the belief that if you sacrifice for your community, your community should take care of you.

I was raised believing that an active government that promoted shared sacrifice was true leadership by example. Clinton and Carter have used their time after their terms to make a difference for people in need, instead of taking corporate jobs.

I'm a Nebraska Democrat because I believe that our nation best exemplifies it's strength, not when it creates war, but when it shows compassion and commitment to people. Hurricane Katrina has brought us back to the reality that government can make a difference. We CAN reduce poverty, we can rebuild communities, we can give everyone basic health care.

It's sad that it takes a national disaster before the republicans are ready to commit to the public. I'm a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in the common man. I believe in a strong national defense and a sound foreign policy that works toward stabilizing peace.

-Brian Eckberg

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I truly believe that as a group we have the ability to build a fair, free and open society. I believe that the Democratic Party strives to be champions who fight to prevent ignorance and poverty. We celebrate non-conformity and diversity. Most importantly, we focus on the dignity and well-being of our citizens. The Democratic party works hard to disperse power. We care about our state and take part in our communities because we know that the decisions we participate in will affect our lives today, and the lives of generations in the future. We fight for the basic rights of equality, liberty and community.

-Carol Blood

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I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in fulfilling our state motto "Equality before the Law".

Equality is an old-time American value which was central to the foundation of our country, but which has become unfashionable in the last 20 or 30 years.

The founding fathers started out the Declaration of Independence with the phrase "We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal".

We have grown to see how equality must also include women and other races to be true equality, and I hope we may grow to learn that equality also means true equal opportunity, and equal access to the basic resources (medical, educational, vocational) necessary unlock the most human potential in our great society.

We all have our special gifts and unique differences, so we will never be, nor should we be absolutely equal.

Still, a vastly unequal society cannot be a truly free society.

That is one of the most important lessons of American history, and lately it seems like we are forgetting that there is no freedom without equality.

The Democratic party is still the place which does remember this important truth, and it is returning to its roots now to strengthen this message and this vision even more.

-Tom Fennell

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Nebraska Hispanic Democrats Open House

Last night, the NDP staff traveled to Omaha for the Nebraska Hispanic Democrats Open House.

Steve Achelpohl and Barry Rubin opened the evening and told the group about our DNC training in Scottsbluff this past weekend. You can read more about it here. They also talked about steps the NDP has been taking to involve the Spanish-speaking community.

Former Congressman John Cavanaugh addressed the crowd and explained for the past 35 years the Hispanic Community has been a cornerstone in Nebraska politics.

OPS Board Member Mark Martinez ended the program talking about his own experiences running for office and issues the school board has faced recently. He mentioned his strong need to find good Latino candidates and the need to involve the younger generations in politics.

Overall, it was a great event. If you would like information about joining this group, please email me.

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Why Are You A Democrat? (Day 5)

In these daily posts, folks have been bearing their souls explaining why the Democratic Party is the only Party that truly resonates with their values and ideals. Here are today's batch of posts, including a special one from activist Monie Brownson. Her participation and support over the years has been steadfast.

I'm proud to be a Democrat, and I appreciate what the Democratic Party has done for millions of people in this country. My association with the Democratic Party has been formed by my early life experiences and influenced by my grandparents. Growing up in Big Sandy, Montana, with one grandfather who was a Democratic state representative and two other grandparents who emigrated from Canada, profoundly affected my interest in government, politics, and world affairs. Early on, it was deeply impressed upon me that it's vitally important to be a good citizen, to support your government, to learn about your government officials and to always vote.

Starting in the 1950's, I promoted the education of voters by posting campaign materials of all the political candidates in my six-lane bowling alley. My active participation in Democratic politics includes work with my late husband Jim Brownson on the campaigns of Senator Max Baucus and Governor Ted Schwinden, my experience as Democratic Committee Woman for eight terms, and my activity as a delegate for Gary Hart at the State Convention. My first political event in Nebraska came when I marched in a parade for Senator Bob Kerrey. One of my proudest moments was being elected as a voting delegate at large to the National Democratic Convention in Boston during July 2004, an experience that I shared with my granddaughter Kendra Brady.

Although I belong to several organizations, I give the Democrats more time when needed. And now is that time. This country was built on a middle class, but the Bush administration has worked to cause bitterness and divide the classes. If our country and government don't exist on a successful basis, nothing else will matter. Throughout history, the Democratic Party has made much of the progress for the common man. Democrats are positive and caring people, who have experienced many hardships. We know that life isn't always easy. But we persevere -- this is why I am proud to be a Democrat.

E. Ramona "Monie" Brownson
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I am a democrat because I am my brother's keeper.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe that being a Christian is not only talking the talk but it means that you are walking the walk because I believe every word of Matthew 25:32-46

I am a democrat because I believe what Jesus taught and that is to give with your heart expecting nothing in return.

I am a democrat because I believe it is moral to help the poor, sick, elderly and young. It is moral to be good stewards of the land and sea. It is moral to love my brother as I would love myself.

It is moral to be tolerant. I am a Nebraska Democrat because I know that it is right to show love patience and tolerance. That it is right to expect transparency and accountability in our elected officials.

I am a Democrat because being progressive isn't just a political choice but it is inherently who I am as a person. I am a Democrat because I know no other way to be.
-Robin Quarles
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I have always been a Democrat because this is the party that cares about what happens to people and focuses considers issues affecting families, children, the economy and jobs, health care, the environment and our quality of life in general, for us now and for the next generation. The Democratic party reaches out to all people, from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, and a wide range of persoal values. It is the party of inclusion, not exclusion. Individual Democrats may differ on individual issues but we know that our core values are centered in the community and the people who make up that community.
-Kathryn Bellman
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To say I was born Democrat is to over-simplify. I was born poor. My first generation Irish-American parents struggled to make a living on a farm in South Dakota through the depression and the drought years. They ended up owning the farm. In 1948, thanks to the REA, we got electricity. Years after I left home, they got an indoor toilet. I was baptized Catholic and raised Christian catholic by New Deal Democrats. The family discussions at every meal involved religion and politics. The two were intertwined in a belief system based on the beatitudes.

Part of maturing is to review again the tenets learned as a child, to sift and to refine. The process is enhanced by education, both formal and experiential. I find these many years later; I have not thrown the baby out with the water. The adages of my father have become my "truisms." "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" (in Republican years). "It is preferred to perk up rather than to drip down" (democracy comes from the people for the common good, not imposed by the few to enhance themselves).

I believe in inclusion and compassion for all without regard for race, color gender, religion, national origin or sexual preference. I believe in creating opportunity for those who otherwise lack it. I believe in equal opportunity for all in regard to immigration, medical care, education, housing, employment and a just wage.

The Democrat party is the party who cares about people, fairness, justice and equality. My Irish roots are of a rebel clan and I will press on to my dying day for a system of fairness, social justice and peace. I choose to live in Nebraska and that makes me a Nebraska Democrat.
-Peg O'Dea Lippert
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