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Gubernatorial Candidate Conspicuously Missing

30 May 2013
Untitled Document

Thursday, May 30, 2013
CONTACT:  Dennis Crawford
(402) 466-3040,

Gubernatorial Candidate Conspicuously Missing


LINCOLN—On Tuesday the Nebraska Legislature showed its independence from the Executive branch by overriding approximately half of the Governor’s line-item vetoes. But there was one State Senator that chose not to take part in the process; Charlie Janssen. Senator Janssen was present for the morning proceedings but did not return after lunch for the important veto override votes. This on top of his vote against $230 million in property tax relief for Nebraska families. Does the state of Nebraska really want a Governor who won’t tackle the big issues?

These are the issues Senator Janssen did not want to take a stand on:

  • funding for the University of Nebraska Nursing School in Lincoln
  • funding for the Omaha Area Learning Community
  • funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund
  • funding for Public Advocacy Legal Aid and Services Fund
  • funding for the Dept. of Roads public transit aid
  • funding for Court Appointed Special Advocates and salary increases for county court employees
  • funding for the Homeless Shelter Assistance Fund
  • funding for the Nebraska History Museum renovations
  • funding for Postsecondary Coordinating Commission data analyst position
  • funding for Capitol improvements
  • funding for Dental Services Aid
  • funding for the Dept. of Health and Human Services dental health director




Nebraska Democrats' Statement on Johanns' Announcement

18 February 2013

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."



Lack of Leadership from Nebraska Republicans

31 December 2012

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.




Mayoral Candidate Welch Goes Down In Flames

13 December 2012

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



Nebraska Democratic Party Statement on Johann's Vote on UN Treaty for Disabled Rights

10 December 2012
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.

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."


NDP Chair-Elect Vince Powers Responds to GOP Chair's Attack of Nation's Most Decorated Navy Seal

13 September 2012
Nebraska GOP Chair Launches Disgraceful Attack on Medal of Honor Recipient and Republican Kerrey Supporter

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:



Fischer Attempts to Distance Herself From Palin

6 August 2012
Fischer claims her politics differ from Palin's, but offers no examples

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."



"Dollar Sign Deb Fischer" -- Always Looking To Promote Her Sweetheart Deal

17 August 2012











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."




PRESS RELEASE: Nebraskans Asking, “Where is Deb?”

27 July 2012

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?


State Senator Deb Fischer Can’t, and Won’t, Refute her $3 Million Welfare Handout

10 July 2012
Fischer Remains Silent While Nebraska Republican Party Tries to Change the Subject

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."