LINCOLN - Today U.S. Senator Mike Johanns announced he will not seek re-election in 2014.
"The Nebraska Democratic Party wishes Senator Johanns the best of luck in his upcoming endeavors," said Vince Powers, Nebraska Democratic Party State Chair. "With Johanns' retirement, the Nebraska Republican Party continues to define their future by skewing even more to the right thanks to State Senator Charlie Janssen's announcement today that he will run for Governor in 2014 and Governor Heineman stalling his ill-conceived tax plan to hurt Nebraska's middle class."
LINCOLN- The Nebraska Democratic Party released the following statement:
The decision by House Republicans to not vote on any Senate compromise to prevent taxes going up on Americans means that House Republicans, Fortenberry, Terry and Smith and the rest of House GOP say to America:
"We only care about millionaires and billionaires"
Since Fortenberry, Terry and Smith have punted on the fiscal cliff issues, they should have had time to come up with common sense gun safety ideas.
Nebraskans have been waiting over five years since the Von Maur shooting for these representatives to attempt to protect Americans. Nebraska awaits their ideas.
LINCOLN- Yesterday, Dan Welch, candidate for Mayor, in discussing the fire contract stated, "Union folks will put in provisions we don't understand that will cost us money in the future."
The Nebraska Democratic Party issued the following statement:
"The Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Vince Powers agrees with Mr. Welch that he and other challengers to Mayor Suttle can't even understand a contract."
Mr. Welch's statement appears on OWH: Luncheon fans flames in fire contract talks
LINCOLN- Last Week, US Senator Mike Johanns voted last week against the ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities. In making this vote, Senator Johanns turned his back on some of our most vulnerable citizens.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, negotiated under President George W. Bush and signed by more than 150 nations, takes a stand against "discrimination on the basis of disability and in favor of respect for inherent dignity." This treaty was modeled after the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, which was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
The Senate rejected the Disabilities Treaty with a final vote of sixty-one to thirty-eight but it fell short of the two-thirds vote necessary for ratification. Former Senate Majority Leader and GOP Presidential nominee Bob Dole made a dramatic Senate appearance, sitting in a wheelchair just off the floor so that members would have to see him as they entered the chamber to vote. Eight Republicans broke ranks joining Senator Ben Nelson and rest of the Democrats in supporting the treaty, but the clear majority of the Senate GOP voted to block it.
"In voting against this humanitarian treaty, Johanns took the position of the most radical members of his party," said Nebraska Democratic Party State Chair Vince Powers. "Such party leaders as Senators John McCain and Richard Lugar supported the treaty but Senator Johanns was content to allow his vote to be influenced by the likes of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Senator Johanns should know better than to take his cues from the Right Wing Media which is more interested in higher ratings and profits than the responsible governance of this country."
LINCOLN - Nebraska GOP Chair Mark Fahleson took to Twitter this week to launch a shameful attack on Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton, the nation's most decorated Navy SEAL and a Republican supporter of Senator Bob Kerrey.
Fahleson tweeted "More signs #nesen is over: @kerreybob telling carpetbagger stories on Facebook and campaigning with a Texan."
The "Texan" Fahleson is referring to is Medal of Honor recipient Mike Thornton.
"Mr. Fahleson's attack on Mike Thornton is beyond the boundaries of legitimate political discourse," NDP Chair-Elect Vince Powers said. "Mike Thornton is a national hero and the most decorated Navy Seal in the country. He has earned the right to back whatever candidate he chooses. Fahleson should be thanking Mike Thornton for his service to our country, not insulting him."
Thornton, a Republican, came to Nebraska this week to offer his support for Senator Kerrey and to tell Nebraskans why he should be elected to the Senate.
"Bob has been to war," Thornton told the Lincoln Journal Star. "He understands the military and the sacrifices. He understands what our veterans need and deserve."
Thornton told the Omaha World Herald that Senator Kerrey is a "warrior."
"Senator Kerrey has the support of people across the political spectrum because they know he is the kind of person that puts country first," Powers said. "This is an inconvenient truth for Nebraska Republican Party leaders, but it does not excuse their shameful attack on the most decorated Navy SEAL in the nation."
Thornton's most prestigious decoration was bestowed for heroic actions on his last tour of duty in Vietnam, which resulted in saving the life of a fellow SEAL.
Lieutenant Thornton's personal decorations include:
- The Congressional Medal of Honor
- Silver Star
- (3) Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V"
- Purple Heart
- Meritorious Service Medal
- (3) Navy Commendation Medals with Combat "V"
- Navy Achievement Medal
- The Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star
- The Vietnamese Service Medal with one Silver Star and
- Two Bronze Stars
- Numerous unit citations
In May 1992, Lieutenant Thornton retired, being the last Congressional Medal of Honor recipient serving on active duty in the Navy.
Read more about Lieutenant Thornton here:
LINCOLN-- Sarah Palin made an unscheduled drop-in to Omaha this weekend to visit with Deb Fischer. The two women met for the first time, and Palin noted about Fischer, "I love her common sense. I love her passion for sound policy." In May of this year, Sarah Palin endorsed Deb Fischer in Nebraska's Republican Primary after Fischer wrote to Palin requesting her support as "a fellow female Republican" and strong conservative. In Sunday's Omaha World Herald article about the Palin-Fischer meeting, Fischer's spokesperson denied that his candidate is tightly aligned with Palin's political philosophy.
"Deb Fischer now wants Nebraskans to believe she's not a student of her mentor Sarah Palin," said Vince Powers, Nebraska Democratic Party's National Committeeman and Chair-elect. "If there's a contrast between Fischer and Palin, then Deb Fischer needs to tell Nebraskans which of Sarah Palin's positions she disagrees with and which positions she supports. The two Tea Partiers do have one sharp contrast. Palin claims she wants to end government subsidies and Fischer plans to keep her big money government handout, available to a select few."
LINCOLN- While most Nebraskans are struggling to make ends meet, Deb Fischer continues to benefit from being a welfare rancher. The irony is that the brand for the Fischer's Sunny Slope Ranch is a dollar sign (see link below.) Deb Fischer not only takes advantage of a sweetheart grazing deal, but she reminds other ranchers that some people are so happy with what they've got...they want more.
"For someone who benefits from a federally subsidized sweetheart grazing deal that saves her over $100,000 annually, Welfare Rancher Deb Fischer sure likes to advertise it and rub it in the faces of the 99% of Nebraska ranchers who don't, and can't receive this assistance," said Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. "The brand for Fischer's Sunny Slope Ranch is a dollar sign, which reminds Nebraskans that Fischer benefits from a program which has shelled out over $3 million in tax payer dollars to her."
LINCOLN-- As wildfires are ravaging north central Nebraska - particularly in Legislative District 43 - Deb Fischer has been absent from her home turf. Nebraskans are wondering where Fischer has been since she still serves as their State Senator until January 2013. Fischer did take the time to issue a press release about the devastation saying, "In times of crisis, Nebraskans pull together and help each other."
However, on Wednesday, July 25, 2012, Deb Fischer was at 30th and Woolworth in Omaha filming a television commercial rather than remembering that people's lives come before polling numbers. The footage of Fischer's Omaha TV shoot is available at:
"Deb Fischer can't seem to remember that she is still the State Senator for Legislative District 43 because she's too focused on plotting her political career," said Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. "If she were really interested in helping her constituents during their time of need, Fischer would have spent the last week doing the job she currently has, instead of filming commercials for the next job she craves. It's no shock that Nebraskans are asking, ‘Where is Deb?'"
Is this the type of representation Nebraskans can expect from Deb Fischer if she is elected to the U.S. Senate?
OMAHA - While State Senator Deb Fischer remains silent on the nearly $3 million she has made on her sweetheart cattle grazing deal, the Nebraska Republican Party issued a release today that didn't refute the TV ad and the information.
"It's a bunch of bull," said Vince Powers, Democratic National Committeeman. "We correctly pointed out yesterday that Deb Fischer and the Nebraska Republican Party couldn't refute the nearly $3 million that Fischer has received in government handouts. Today, they just proved our point. Republicans again responded with a bunch of meaningless nonsense."
The Nebraska Republican Party falsely claims that the Democratic Party ad insults ranchers, conveniently forgetting that 99 percent of Nebraska ranchers don't, and can't, receive this assistance.
"These distortions by Fisher and the Nebraska Republican Party are an insult to the 99 percent of Nebraska ranchers who are at a competitive disadvantage," Powers said. "What about those ranchers who don't even have the opportunity to bid on these contracts because of Fischer's exclusive entitlement? This subsidy does nothing to reduce the cost to the consumer, but instead is just a direct benefit to Deb Fischer."
Conservative organizations like the Cato Institute have long called for an end to these subsidies. Since 1995, the Cato Institute has called for an end to sweetheart grazing deals, such as those enjoyed by Deb Fischer, which cost taxpayers at least $144 million a year. Cato calls the "distortions" of the grazing deals "cowboy socialism"
Another conservative organization, the Platte Institute is also opposed to the government handout on cattle grazing. The Platte Institute is funded by Pete Ricketts, son of Joe Ricketts, who spent $250,000 to help Fischer win the Republican Primary.
"Perhaps Fischer is silent because she doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds her," Powers said. "The Ricketts family supports the Platte Institute, which opposes the subsidies. Now that she has been caught receiving welfare, she has some explaining to do to her benefactors."
Lincoln -- Deb Fischer, Nebraska's GOP Senate nominee, claims to be a "fiscal conservative who wants to reduce the size of the federal government." Fischer, however, forgets to mention that she has benefitted for decades from a federally subsidized land deal that saves her over $100,000 annually.
The Omaha World-Herald has even criticized this sweetheart grazing deal, saying that "Fischer has benefited from a federal program that environmentalists and others describe as an expensive subsidy that needs to be trimmed or eliminated."
Fmr. Agriculture Secretary and current U.S. Senator Mike Johanns has put on his high-waders in the last seventy-two hours. On Monday, June 11, Johanns told the Omaha World-Herald, "In the era of farmers going broke because prices were so low, you could make the case for direct payments. You can't now."
Today, Johanns reversed course and claimed to take issue with the term "subsidy" and defended the current criteria used in providing ranchers with grazing rights on public lands.
"As a former Governor of Nebraska, former Secretary of Agriculture, and U.S. Senator from Nebraska, Mike Johanns should know how to define subsidy, which is direct financial aid - especially by a government," said Jim Rogers, Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party. "Just like Deb Fischer's do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude, Johanns finds himself knee-deep in horse manure as he falls in line with the GOP to support Fischer's bid for Senate."