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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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