Saturday, October 31, 2009


After weeks of secretly creating their partisan government-run health care plan behind closed doors, on Thursday Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats unveiled H.R. 3962, their latest version of the health care legislation (Read it here.)

It is still a government takeover of our health care system that will increase families’ health care costs, increase the deficit, increase taxes on small businesses and the middle class, and hasten Medicare's impending bankruptcy.

The House Democrats’ government-run health care experiment costs over $1 trillion and is 1,990 pages long – over 30 percent longer than Harry Reid’s bill and longer than Hillary Clinton’s bill for universal health care.

That’s not the reform Nebraskans want or need, and it is proof that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats have no interest in finding a bipartisan solution that will make health care more affordable and accessible.

Scary, huh? So scary that when it came time for my wife and I to decide what to wear to a Halloween party last night, dressing up as the "public option" seemed like the scariest thing we could think of.

Have a happy and safe Halloween.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Real Question: Where's Ben?

Today had to be an interesting day for Senator Ben Nelson.
On one side (that would be the left one), the Nebraska Democrat Party recently passed a resolution urging Nelson and his fellow members of Congress "to vote for such health care reform proposals that contain a robust public option at all stages of the legislative process including conference and reconciliation, and encourage legislators to pass such reform." Let's face it--this was meant for an audience of one--Ben Nelson. This is getting tremendous play on the liberal blogs, including Huffington Post.
On the other side (the rationale middle and reasonable right) Nelson was forced to answer to stories running on KRVN, KFAB and KLIN radio regarding his refusal to take a definitive stand on health care and to say once and for all how he will vote on cloture; a vote in favor will be the clearest sign to date that he has no intentions of running for reelection in 2012. Despite being in the heat of the health care battle, today Nelson was still telling people he hadn't made up his mind, refusing to follow the bold and courageous lead of Sen. Joe Lieberman, who announced his opposition to the latest version of the Senate's government takeover legislation. After all, Nelson himself has said that any health care legislation is not "legitimate" unless it garners at least 65 votes in the Senate.
What's a guy--someone who has taken so many (and so few) positions on this issue depending upon whether he was in Nebraska or Washington--to do?
Meanwhile, the Nebraska Democrat Party, perhaps feeling bad about their resolution and the effect it was having on Nelson, sent out a press release asking where Governor Dave Heineman is on health care reform.
Really? Are you serious?
Here's a brief civics lesson for my friend Vic Covalt and his fellow Democrats: Ben Nelson is in the U.S. Senate. Dave Heineman is Governor of Nebraska. The U.S. Senate is currently debating a proposed government takeover of health care. The Unicameral is not. Senator Nelson will soon have to vote on the Democrat's proposal. Governor Heineman will not.
The more appropriate heading for the Democrat's press release should be:
Where's Ben Nelson on health care reform?

Monday, October 26, 2009

District 16 Deserves Better

Congrats to the Nebraska Watchdog for breaking the story on Democrat Sen. Kent Rogert's deceptive and potentially illegal tax moves and his expensive party boat. One of the most interesting things is that Joe Jordan's website scooped the traditional media on this story.

The residents of District 16 deserve a serious, respected representative. Clearly they aren't getting it from Democrat Kent Rogert.

Time for a change.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Meeting with "Shields for Liberty" in District 30

Today the NEGOP held another of its Legislative District meetings, this time in Beatrice for Legislative District 30. This District, which encompasses all of Gage County and the southern portion of Lancaster County, is currently "represented" by
Democrat Sen. Norm Wallman.
This was one of our best meetings yet. Those in attendance spoke passionately about the need to fight for our country and the principles upon which it was founded. One attendee said we need to be "Shields for Liberty"--I couldn't agree more. With each passing day I grow more and more convinced that one of the overriding themes of the 2010 and 2012 elections will be FREEDOM and which party stands ready to fight for liberty.
The incumbent Democrat is a nice guy, but it's clear he's wrong on the issues and cannot competently represent the people of District 30. Sen. Norm Wallman has difficulty articulating his or any position, and admits his staff sometimes doesn't want him to publicly debate issues on the legislative floor (a good example is here). The NEGOP will soon be announcing at least one Republican candidate to replace Norm Wallman. Given the intensity of the interest of those attending today's meeting, I'm confident that District 30 will return to being represented by a Republican in 2010. Being represented by a principled Republican--someone who stands firm for a smaller, less intrusive and less expensive government, someone who will fight for our individual liberties, someone who respects the sanctity of life and understands the importance of faith, family and freedom--will be of tremendous benefit to the residents of District 30 and the State of Nebraska.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thank you Senator Johanns!

UPDATE: When asked about the issue by Nebraska Public Radio, Sen. Nelson refused to respond. The story may be found here. Instead, through a spokesperson, Washington Ben described the cloture vote as only a "procedural" vote. Nebraskans can expect the same duplicitous answer when it comes to his votes on card check, cap-and-trade, and government takeover of health care.

Every Nebraskan--especially our children and grandchildren--should thank U.S. Senator Mike Johanns for voting against cloture today on S. 1776--the so called "Doc Fix" bill. The legislation is nothing more than a gimmick that would permit the Democrats to move forward on their government takeover of health care while adding $247 billion to the federal budget deficit without any plan to pay for it.

Recall that President Obama promised that his health care legislation would be fully paid for, but would also protect doctors from annual cuts to their Medicare reimbursement rates. To accomplish this, the Democrats came up with a sleight-of-hand, i.e., leave it out of the health care bill and ramrod it through as a budget bill and merely add it to the national debt that our children and grandchildren will be forced to pay. The Wall St. Journal summed up the Democrats legerdemain quite nicely in a recent editorial found here.

That's how Democrats solve problems in Washington, DC.

Thankfully, the good guys won this vote. The cloture motion failed by a vote of 47-53. All Republicans voted in opposition along with 13 reasonable Democrats.

Senator Johanns' post-vote comments were right on point:

“A vote for this legislation was an end-run around fiscal responsibility since it would add another quarter trillion dollars to our record $11.9-trillion debt in order to pretend health care reform costs less. A concerned bipartisan opposition prevented this from passing. I support finding a solution to physician reimbursement rates to ensure patients have access to quality care. However, it has to be paid for in a responsible manner, not passed on to our children and grandchildren.”

And where was Senator Ben Nelson on this critical vote?

Washington Ben Nelson voted IN FAVOR OF THE CLOTURE MOTION. Clearly he supports the use of Harry Reid's legislative gimmicks and adding $247 billion to our already obscene federal budget deficit.

Given the chance to stand with Nebraskans, Ben Nelson chose instead to stand with Washington Democrats. Sadly, the 2012 election is still 3 years away.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Tom White Research Contest--Update!

We previously announced the Tom White Crowdsourcing Research Contest, which seeks to use crowdsourcing to analyze publicly-available information regarding Democrat Tom White and his campaign for Congress. As you may recall, the entry that the NEGOP believes provides Nebraska voters with the most useful information will win two (2) tickets to the November 21, 2009, Nebraska football game versus K-State. The deadline is November 1, 2009, and entries should be mailed to me at

Given that Democrat White has filed his first report with the Federal Election Commission, there's even more public information to be scrutinized.

Here's White's FEC report. Be sure to click on the individual tabs for receipts and expenditures.

And, as we've previously disclosed, Democrat Tom White's U.S. House of Representatives financial disclosure can be found here.

Tell us what you find that should be of interest to Nebraska voters, and keep the entries coming!

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Bright Side

Anyone who has ever served in a position with a political party understands that such positions are hardly glamorous. Purely volunteer. At any given time your friends and enemies criticize you. Everything that goes wrong is your fault, and anything that goes right was the result of someone else's efforts. But I knew all that when I ran for the position of Chairman of the Nebraska Republican Party in January of this year.

That's why I know it's important to cherish those truly special moments that make it all worthwhile. I experienced just such a moment last Friday at our Founders' Day event in Omaha. At that event we had the opportunity to recognize many outstanding volunteers and leaders in the Nebraska Republican Party. While Gov. Mitt Romney's speech was fantastic, the highlight of the evening for me was awarding the Nebraska GOP Hall of Fame awards to two individuals who have had a significant impact on me, on the Nebraska Republican Party, and on the State of Nebraska.

The first Hall of Fame award went to former Gov. Kay Orr. Gov. Orr served our state as State Treasurer and Governor--becoming the first Republican woman elected governor in the United States. She is a tremendously talented woman who served our great state with class and a bedrock understanding of the principles upon which this country was founded. In recent years she has spent her time on things more important than politics--her family. Her speech at Founders' Day literally brought a tear to my eye as she spoke from her heart about our country and her faith. She still cares very deeply about our state and our country. I've been blessed with the opportunity to know Gov. Orr and her wonderful husband Bill, both of whom have shared their wisdom with me from time to time.

The other recipient was Omaha City Councilman Chuck Sigerson. Chuck gave me the opportunity to serve as legal counsel to the NEGOP when he was state chair, and for that I'm forever grateful. Chuck was a great state NEGOP chair, perhaps the best in modern times. He singlehandedly pinned then-Gov. Ben Nelson down to sign the pledge to not run for the Senate. When Nelson tried to reneg on his commitment, Sigerson nailed him, Chuck Hagel was elected, and the rest is history. Chuck recently suffered a heart attack and stroke and, thanks be to God, was released from the rehabilitation hospital on the night of Founders' Day, but he was unable to attend. Instead, he sent his son Andrew to accept the award on his behalf. Andrew and I go way back, and it was great seeing him and watching him in action before the packed crowd at the Doubletree Hotel in Omaha. Like Governor Orr, Andrew spoke from the heart and candidly shared his faith with those present.

Kay Orr and Chuck Sigerson--two great Nebraskans.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Recent developments have confirmed something liberal activists and many in the Nebraska political press feared.

The Nebraska Democratic Party is on life support and nearing death.


1. Democrats have been unable to recruit any candidate to run for a Nebraska constitutional office. No candidate for Governor. Lieutenant Governor. Secretary of State. Attorney General. Auditor. Not even for the open State Treasurer's office being vacated by Shane Osborn.

How about for federal office? No challenger to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, and the only announced challenger to Congressman Adrian Smith is a young Yale theologian who moved back to Nebraska to run. Sound familiar?

Democrats claim they have a strategy. Over the weekend the Associated Press uncovered the top-secret plan being employed by the Nebraska Democratic Party to challenge Governor Dave Heineman in 2010:

But so far the Democrats don't have a candidate to propose change, and it could be months before one is announced. Covalt said it is even possible the party may wait until the state party's convention in July to announce a gubernatorial candidate.

Huh? Wait until July 2010 to see who gets the shortest straw at a meeting and becomes the next Stormy Dean? That's a strategy?

2. As the Nebraska Republican Party was holding its Founders' Day event featuring Gov. Mitt Romney (with 600 in attendance and raising around $100,000 for the NEGOP), Nebraska Democrats distributed a class-warfare fundraising e-mail. Here are some of the lowlights:

Times are tough in America today. Foreclosures, lay-offs and mounting debt are pressing down upon the shoulders of the average American. Most of us are struggling with basic necessities like health care and the ever increasing cost of living. The jobs the middle class have long depended on are disappearing before their eyes almost as fast as their pensions are shrinking.

Amidst all of these hardships the Republican Party hacks and GOP cronies are donning their penguin suits, peeling out their checkbooks and scrawling out $5,000 dollar contributions in exchange for photos with Mitt Romney presidential wannabes. Tonight the NEGOP hosts its annual Founder's Day dinner with flash-in-the-pan, primary contender Mitt Romney as their special guest. For five grand you too can have an awkward thirty seconds with the Republican ideologue.

That's how they come up with the coinage time and time again to run their races, by relying on the same handful of corporate execs and neo-con tycoons to cut checks of that size.

Now it's no surprise that the Nebraska Democratic Party doesn't have pockets that deep. We've never been the party of silk lined brief cases and golden parachutes. We are here for you, for the average American who feels it when the economy dips. America is hurting right now and we understand that, we're not going to ask for $5,000 dollar contributions from each of you. But we are asking for your support. We need to demonstrate to the GOP moguls that they may have the money but we have the hearts and minds of the people. We are here working for America, while all they can do is attempt to obstruct the progress we have all made.

Oh, there's so much to say in response, but I'll limit it to three points:

  • "Hacks" and "cronies"? "Penguin suits" (sorry folks--Founders' Day wasn't a black tie)? "Silk lined brief cases"? Obviously NDP is short of funds and cannot hire a communications director.
  • Members of Nebraska's political press have shared that there appears to be a growing split between Omaha Democrats and the current leadership of the Nebraska Democratic Party, in part due to this class-warfare rhetoric being deployed. You can't bash job creators and then go to them with hat in hand asking for financial support for your party and its candidate (singular). The business community will take a pass on the next Democrat fundraising event and should turn a blind eye to the next Tom White fundraiser.
  • Tom White--the Democrats' purported savior--is worth as much as $7 million according to his financial disclosures. Wealthiest member of our congressional delegation? Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson. The party of "silk lined brief cases"?

3. Tom White danced, twisted and strained to avoid any mention of the word "Democrat" during his announcement for Congress. Why is Tom White embarrassed of being called a Democrat--which is what he is? Is it because of the moribund condition of the NDP? Or because he wants mislead voters about his support for Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her radical agenda?

Meanwhile, the Nebraska Republican Party continues to build for 2010 and develop a strong bench for 2012 and beyond.