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Why Are You A Democrat? (Day 2)

Here are today:s "Why I Am A Democrat" selections. These responses were also featured in an email we sent out to all Nebraska Democrats. Remember, if you haven

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Why Are You A Democrat?

Yesterday, we posed a very simple, yet complex question to Democrats across the state: Why are you a Nebraska Democrat? What drives you to keep fighting for the Democratic Party, our candidates and our values?

The response we received was overwhelming and more stories and testimonies are still flowing in. We want to share some of the stories with you. Keep checking back because we will be posting new testimonials regularly. Please share your story if you haven't already. You can share it here or by clicking on this link


*I was born a Democrat.

*I believe in a quality public education for all of our citizens.

*I believe in access to quality health care for all of our citizens.

*I believe the right of all our citizens to a decent living wage.

*I believe in the right of our citizens to organize in the terms and conditions of employment, and the obligation of Government to aggressively enforce this right.

*I believe in a free society, in the civil liberties built into the United States Constitution, and the obligation of Government to aggressively enforce these civil liberties to protect the rights of our citizens. I believe our civil liberties are something precious, not simply an abstraction.

*I believe in faith, but also in the protection of separation of church and state as embodied in the United States Constitution.

*I believe in national security, and the need to use military force when necessary.

*I believe in the value of financial responsibility, both by private persons, private enterprise and Government.

*I believe in honesty, both by private persons, private enterprise and by Government.

-Steve Achelpohl
Nebraska Democratic Party Chairman
I'm a Democrat because I believe in a level playing field: equal opportunity for all. Those of us who are blessed with good fortune must be willing to help support the basic safety net that allows less fortunate citizens to have the opportunity for decent health care, a good education, and of course, basic food and housing. I believe if we provide this support, then the ability and will to work for a better life will follow. As an economist, I believe that "trickle down" economics has a limited impact. We need a fair tax system and those at the top of the income and wealth scale do not need further tax breaks. Taxing high-income dollars is nowhere near as painful to those citizens as the same tax on low- and middle-income dollars.

-Joyce Gleason
When I registered to vote at the age of 18, I registered based upon my presidential candidate preference, George McGovern. Since 1974, I have come to realize that the differences between the two parties are about ethics and whether you pander to the corporations & wealthy elite OR whether you represent all people before yourself, friends, and family.

I am a registered Democrat because I believe in the democratic principles that the United States was founded to uphold. There are times that I do not agree with the entire party platform…but I prefer a party with ethics to one without which says one thing while doing another. There is no room for hypocrisy in the United States.

Nebraska Democrats understand the ultimate responsibility of Americans is to all people, not just those with money or power.

-Debora McGee
I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe government can and should help the helpless, be a voice for the voiceless, and strive to improve the lives of all people (not just those who can pay the campaign costs). I believe in science over political strategies, tolerance over religious judgement, and in an individual's choice in deeply personal decisions over state interventions. I believe in education and its fundamental capacity to improve lives. I believe public policies should never favor business at the expense of community or the environment. I believe in diplomacy over warfare.
I am an educator, a single woman of modest income, and self-supporting through three college degrees. How could I not be a Nebraska Democrat?

-Lori Umstead
I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in equal rights for all human beings, regardless of their social class, race, sexuality or age.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe that all Nebraskans children deserve an outstanding education.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in responsible leaders who help the needy, not ones who only help their ‘friends'.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in a fair, unbiased judicial system; one that does not bring in personal religious beliefs and apply it to others with different views.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I want leadership that will spark our economy, not put out the fire.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe that Nebraska can stop the ‘Brain Drain' of young professionals by changing the archaic practices of our current government.

I am a Nebraska Democrat because I believe in an open and honest government.

-Robert Gittins

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On the Road - Sarpy County

Last night Amanda and I met with the Sarpy County Democrats.

Burke Summers, the County Chair, has been doing great things in Sarpy County and has really turned the party around from a "social club" to an active membership where almost 30 people turned out for the meeting.

Burke gave updates on events in the party and in the labor movement. Amanda and I spoke about what the party is doing and about our upcoming training in Scottsbluff on Saturday. There is still space to attend -- you can RSVP here

We heard from people interested in running for local offices in Sarpy County and about some tasks the party is going to undertake in the coming months. It is great to see such an interest from people of all backgrounds, ages, and professions.

Thanks again to Sarpy County for inviting us to your meeting!

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2004 NDP JFK Award Winner Mark Martinez Honored

2004 NDP JFK Award Winner Mark Martinez Honored.

Mark was honored recently by the Mexican American Commission as Hispanic Man of the Year for his dedication and service to the Latino Community. He has served many organizations including St. Stanislaus Catholic Grade School, the Chicano Awareness Center, the Omaha South High School Curriculum Accreditation Advisory Committee and the Latino Police Officers Association.

Mark will be speaking at the Hispanic Democrats Open House on September 27th at 5:30pm in Omaha. You can RSVP for the event here

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Hagel Makes a Stink, While Nelson Gets Work Done

Chuck Hagel made a big stink today about opposing Senator Nelson's legislation stopping the U.S. from importing Japanese beef. What happened when the vote went to the floor? Hagel was one of only 26 Senators to vote against it. Nelson's amendment passed with a large bi-partisan margin of 72-26.

Of course, Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns isn't too fond of the legislation either. He wants to ease the ban on Japanese beef even though the Japanese still refuse to import American beef. Nelson's amendment to the agriculture appropriations bill will stop Johanns from spending money on efforts to resume imports of beef from Japan.

Once again, it's nice to see who actually stands up for Nebraskans on issues important to our economy.

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What Will You Fight For?

This message is from an email our State Chairman, Steve Achelpohl sent earlier this morning.

Dear Nebraska Democrat,

Democrats have a long and proud history in Nebraska--but these days people call our home a "red" state. Pundits and Republicans say that what we do doesn't matter, that Nebraskans don't want a choice. They think what we stand for doesn't count.

It's up to us to prove them wrong.

Our 93 County Strategy brings people together to build a powerful statewide organization. Each of us has to contribute to the goals and ideals that we stand for--not just the mechanism for achieving them.

Every Nebraska Democrat needs to be clear about what we're fighting for. Where do you want to take our state? What drives you to keep fighting for the Democratic Party, our candidates and our values? Why are you a Nebraska Democrat?

I want your answer:

We're going to create a permanent archive of these statements so that every Nebraskan knows exactly what we stand for and what we want for our state and our country.

This week, I'm going to put my own answer up on our website and we will be adding others daily. Going forward, we'll be showcasing statements from Democratic leaders and everyday Democrats across the state.

Take a moment and join them now with why you are Nebraska Democrat:

We're building a testament of purpose by candidates, volunteers and new voters that will make clear to everyone what Nebraska Democrats are fighting for.

We must stand for our common values--not only against someone else's. We will bring a positive message to everyone in Nebraska--and offer the inspiration and leadership our state sorely needs.

You're a part of it, and I ask and hope that you speak up now to tell the world why:

Together we're going to win--and we're going to win with pride.

Best Wishes,

Steve Achelpohl
Chairman, Nebraska Democratic Party

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Student Rep Rips Into Hergert

UNL Young Democrats President and ASUN Senator Matt Schaefer took his displeasure directly to the source on Friday: Regent Dave Hergert. Schaefer recently proposed a resolution unanimously passed by the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska asking Hergert to step down. At Friday's Board of Regents meeting, Schaefer had harsh words for Hergert, who still refuses to resign.

To read more about this young Democratic leader and his confrontation with Hergert, check out these articles in the Daily Nebraskan and the Lincoln Journal Star.

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Open Thread

"One word sums up probably the responsibility of any Governor, and that one word is--to be prepared" -- George W. Bush

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I Voted Against the Funding Before I Voted for it...

"Meth abuse is an immense problem in Nebraska and puts a severe strain on federal and local law enforcement. It is critical that Nebraska law enforcement officials have the resources they need to effectively fight drug abuse and crime." -- Senator Chuck Hagel, press release, Hagel website, 9.15.05

The last time Hagel had a chance to vote on funding for law enforcement to fight Meth he voted AGAINST it.

Maybe Weekday Hagel got confused with Sunday Hagel

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Republican Roadblock

Wednesday, the Senate voted against creating an independent commission to investigate the government response to Hurricane Katrina. Senator Nelson voted for the commission, while Chuck Hagel contradicted himself and voted with his party to put a stop to it.

Hagel said last week: "It may require an outside commission to not only do it right, but to assure that Americans trust the results and the recommendations." [Omaha World Herald, September 9, 2005]

But of course, when a Democrat proposed the creation of a commission, he was suddenly against the idea.

This Republican roadblock is wasting time. Republicans are playing partisan politics just as they did with the formation of the 9/11 Commission. As the Omaha World Herald reports, 70-percent of the American people want an independent commission, so sooner or later, it will probably be formed. The truth will come out.

How long do you think it will take before an independent commission is finally authorized?

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