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Weekend Open Thread

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Jim Esch for Congress

An exciting development in Omaha. Stay tuned to find ways to help Jim in his quest to take back NE-2!

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Funny Friday

For those of us who've written speeches for politicians, this is a must see. Regardless, it's worth your three minutes -- I promise. Play

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From the Road: Antelope County

Carmyn and I stopped by to talk with the Antelope County Democrats about the 93 County Strategy at their monthly meeting last night in Neligh.


Ian Russell discusses the 93 County Strategy with the Antelope County Democrats.

Barb Ross, the county chair, is working with a dedicated group of folks to rebuild the Democratic Party in this rural area. They've started meeting monthly to share ideas and find candidates for local offices.

We talked about where they can find great candidates for local offices: economic development boards, the Chamber of Commerce, community leaders, etc. Since a good name goes along way in a rural area like Antelope County, it's important to find potential Democratic candidates who are already opinion leaders in small town politics. Barb brought up the fact that many candidates don't actually campaign for local offices, meaning that we can win them by knocking doors and turning out voters.

Thanks to the hard work of the resurgent Antelope County Democrats, they'll be new local Democratic elected officials in 2006 and more votes for our statewide candidates.

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Open Thread

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The Sick Reality of Health Care and Race

For those people who claim we've overcome the racial divide in this nation, I encourage them to read the follwing:

The New England Journal of Medicine released the results of three studies indicating we have a long way to go in regards to access to health care, and in fact, it seems to be getting worse.

In the last decade, black Medicare recipients were less likely to get nine kinds of potentially life-saving surgery than whites, even when the overall medical needs were the same.

In one study, despite much higher rates of cardiovascular disease, 63% of black men enrolled in Medicare were less likely than their white counterparts to have heart bypass surgery. Black women were 30% less likely.

Blacks of both sexes were less likely than whites to have angiograms to detect blocked blood vessels -- in addition to procedures opening those blocked vessels.

Seems to me we have a long way to go. Remember, if you vote Democrat enough you'll never have to pay another medical bill as long as you live!

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From the Road: Nance and Dodge Counties

This week has been a busy one for the field department -- and it's not over yet!

We have spent time traveling to Nance, Dodge, Adams, Wayne, and Cuming Counties meeting with county party activists, chairs, and interested community members.

Kerry, the Nance County Chair spoke of ways her community is getting involved and the potential for a barbeque in the near future. We also heard from Annette Dubas, our candidate for Legislature in 34. She is a wonderful person -- I certainly encourage you to attend her kickoff on September 5th at the Loup River Inn in Nance County.

The Dodge County meeting last night was highlighted with a special visit from Steve Achelpohl, the Chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party. He spoke to the group in part about the new national interest in Nebraska from organizations like the DNC. He talked about issues of importance to the people of Nebraska like finding quality and affordable health care for our children, outsourcing, and agriculture.

Today we are off to Antelope, Merrick and Polk Counties. Stay tuned!

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Competing Across the State

In case you weren't able to see last week's front-page Lincoln Journal Star story about the "93 County Strategy," check out some of the excerpts:

"This will be a concerted effort to build a structure in all 93 counties (and) compete in areas that now may be considered hostile," said Barry Rubin, the Nebraska Democratic Party's executive director.

and,

"The party plans to create a permanent ‘political force that still is operating the morning after the election,' said Ian Russell, who will travel the state as field director, building upon what the party calls its ‘Democratic community' in every county."

lastly,

"In devising its plan, the party decided its first obligation was just to ‘show up' in counties it had previously abandoned or simply forfeited to Republicans…No longer, it decided, would Democrats in some communities be left alone on an island…What the Nebraska party is doing is similar to the effort now under way nationally, Rubin said."

But what the Lincoln Journal Star article failed to mention was that only you can make this strategy and Party work.

Help grow the NDP community by sending out an email about the "93 County Strategy" to your friends, family, co-workers, and classmates:

http://www.nebraskademocrats.org/spreadtheword

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From the Road: Hastings

I stopped by the Hastings Democratic Meetup to talk with them about the 93 County Strategy and get feedback on what we can do to help them build the party.

Hastings is an important community in central Nebraska. With four city council seats and several county offices up in 2006, it's important that we begin to build a strong local party that can help elect Democrats to these positions. Also, our statewide candidates will need to do well in this city, since it's one of the population centers in the area.

The Meetup folks will be working hard over the next few weeks to build up the Democratic community in Hastings: they're meeting in two weeks to address and handwrite postcards to other Democrats in Hastings, inviting them to the next Meetup, and they'll be meeting monthly to strategize on implementing the 93 County Strategy in their community.

The Hastings Meetup takes place on the third Tuesday of every month at Blue Moon Coffee on 2nd Street.

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Catholic Democrats of Nebraska

This is a guest post by Dan Schnizel from the Catholic Democrats of Nebraska.

The role of faith and religion in the American political arena is an issue as old as the country itself. Yet, it seemed to reach a boiling point with the 2004 presidential campaign and election, which forced Americans to confront the uneasy relationship that exists between personal faith and political belief in this country. Though our forefathers intended to create a wall of separation between religion and government, we do not and cannot practice democracy in a moral vacuum. Every voter brings a set of moral convictions, usually influenced by a particular religion, to the voting booth. Though these convictions vary in scope and depth from one person to another, the political reality is that to be successful, a party or candidate must acknowledge that faith is often the decisive factor in determining how an individual votes.

Nowhere is this more evident than with the Catholic vote. A generation ago, the term Catholic Democrat was redundant. At that time, Catholics were heavily blue collar and, because of the strong ties between labor and the Democratic Party, were a consistent voting block. Times change and upwardly mobile Catholics became more affluent and the voting pattern changed. Many Catholics became the Reagan Democrats of the 1980

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