Friday, April 27, 2012

A View From The Hill -- Nebraska's Senate Race

Thought we'd share with you an analysis of the Nebraska U.S. Senate race come from The Hill. Given the negativity of the ads, mostly from Stenberg and supporters, one can understand why doubts may arise about what should be a simple Republican takeover of a Democrat held seat. Check it out:

Nebraska battle complicates GOP effort to retake Senate

By Alexander Bolton - 04/27/12 06:00 AM ET
"The Senate Republican primary in Nebraska has turned into a proxy war between conservatives and establishment Republicans that could complicate efforts to wrest control of the Senate from Democrats.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leading voice for Tea Party conservatives in Washington, has made an aggressive bid to defeat Jon Bruning, the front-runner in the primary, because of lingering doubts about his commitment to conservative principles.


Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), DeMint’s home-state colleague, Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the third-ranking Senate Republican leader, and other GOP senators have supported Bruning. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has also backed him.

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the Senate Democrats’ chief political strategist, said GOP discord in Nebraska has helped his party’s chances of clinging to Senate control.

“In Nebraska we’re 50-50 and I think in Nebraska, once the primary is over and people get to focus on who the Republican actually is, Kerrey’s going to do even better,” he said of Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey, who represented the Cornhusker State in the Senate from 1989 to 2001.

“There’s only one state where the strong likelihood is there’s a pick-up. That’s Maine and that’s ours. You go to the next group, it includes North Dakota and Nebraska, and they’re 50-50 states, which is great for us,” Schumer said.

The Senate seat is currently held by a Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson, who has announced he will retire.

Some Republicans question whether DeMint’s strenuous intervention will do anything more than alienate a likely future colleague.

“There’s no question he’s the front-runner,” said David Kramer, a former Nebraska Republican Party chairman who ran for Senate in 2006.

“There would have to be a monumental effort for someone other than Jon to be the nominee,” he said, predicting Republicans would win in November because “Nebraska is a lot more conservative than it was 18 years ago,” when Kerrey last won election.

Yet conservatives remain concerned about Bruning’s record, and the candidate has been dogged by questions over how he amassed personal wealth while serving in public office.

“A question a lot of folks have deep down inside is whether Jon will cast a vote because he thinks it’s the right thing or because it’s the right thing for Jon,” Kramer said.

Jennifer Duffy, a senior editor at the Cook Political Report who specializes in Senate races said Nebraska presents the best opportunity for Republicans to pick up a Democratic-held seat.

She said Bruning is favored over Kerrey, who has received less then 40 percent of support in recent polls. But she predicted Kerrey would raise a lot of money and run a very aggressive race.

Conservative advocacy groups have poured money into the race to defeat Bruning, even though his strongest rival, Don Stenberg, has raised little money on his own and his three previous bids for the Senate fell short.

Club for Growth Action has made more than $350,000 in independent expenditures opposing Bruning, according to data reported by the Federal Election Commission.

The group has run devastating ads against him. One television spot smacks him for praising the 2009 federal stimulus bill, nearly doubling his office budget and proposing an increase in car fees. Another blasts him for once calling for higher gas taxes and Social Security taxes and voting as a state senator to increase Nebraska’s sales tax.

FreedomWorks for America, a Tea Party-allied group, has spent nearly $60,000 in independent expenditures supporting Stenberg.

DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund has invested $920,000 in Stenberg by acting as a conduit for donors and making independent expenditures for him.

A spokeswoman for Bruning’s campaign said the attacks are groundless.

“Jon Bruning has widespread grassroots support from conservatives in all 93 counties across Nebraska,” said Natalie Krings, the campaign’s press secretary. “Meanwhile, Don Stenberg is relying on money from outside interest groups to help him launch false attacks on Jon’s record.

“Newspapers and fact check groups have already denounced these attacks, calling them misleading. Nebraskans know and trust Jon’s proven conservative record of eliminating wasteful spending, lowering taxes and removing burdensome regulations,” she added.

Several GOP senators have given thousands of dollars to Bruning through their leadership political action committees. Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Richard Burr (N.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) have given in recent months, according to Federal Election Commission records.

But DeMint, who several years ago launched a mission to elect more conservatives to the Senate, has remained staunchly opposed.

He torched the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week for backing Bruning.
“As you may know, the Chamber supported the failed stimulus program, the Wall Street bailout, the auto bailout, cash-for-clunkers, as well as many other corporate welfare schemes,” DeMint wrote in a fundraising appeal for Stenberg. “The corporate welfare lobby in Washington wants to defeat Don Stenberg because he isn’t afraid to stand up to them.”

Anticipating the problems BruningCornyn (R-Texas) scrambled to recruit David Heineman, the state’s governor, to jump into the Senate primary.

Despite the Washington lobbying campaign, Heineman opted out of the race."

The Pernicious Buffett Rule / Ruse! -- Jerry Florine

Let us begin by wishing the Oracle of Omaha all the best in what will hopefully be a successful battle against the ravages of prostate cancer, and that he can continue hosting and helping to enrich all those “Berkies” who descend on Omaha each May for some time to come.


The avuncular Mr. Buffett, the most successful investor in history, would appear to be THE poster boy for the capitalist system, and a national treasure, building a portfolio of unparalleled value.

But politically, Mr. Buffett is an enigma.

The son of an ultra-conservative Republican Congressman, Mr. Buffett is a liberal Democrat, and openly supports what is certainly the most extremely left Administration in the history of the U.S. (one might argue that point with the depression era Roosevelt Administration).

And now Mr. Buffett has allowed himself to become the center of focus of the Obama Administration’s re-election gambit, by questioning whether he should pay a lesser percentage of his income in taxes than his well compensated secretary. Mr. Buffett suggestions, quickly adopted by the Administration, is that obviously the wealthy should, and can afford to pay more in taxes. And this fits nicely into the Obama Administration’s obvious class warfare strategy, pitting the extreme haves against the have less and the have nots!

The overriding question is, however, how does raising taxes on a relative handful of very wealthy individuals fit into and impact an overall national economic plan, which should in fact be the primary focus of this election The Administration has provided multiple rationale’s for implementing such a rule: It will help diminish the deficit (only, in fact, infinitesimally); It’s “fairer” (certainly a subjective, emotional approach); It’s essentially neutral by replacing the Alternative Minimum Tax (studies indicate the bait and switch actually increases the deficit); etc., etc.!

So let’s call this, in all honesty, the Buffett Ruse! It’s designed solely to stir up Obama’s welfare state base, drive a further wedge in the class warfare gambit, and assuage the consciences of a handful of leftist millionaires and billionaires who appear to be somewhat guilty of their good fortunes.

But then to the heart of the issue: How to rationally and effectively contest what is intended to be an emotional appeal to those legions of Americans who are being impacted by this economic morass? Already multiple studies have shown the complete lack of practical effectiveness and purpose of this ruse!

The focus, of course, must be on the re-generation of the U.S. economy. Narrow focus on increasing or decreasing taxes, the “fairness” issue, government size and intrusiveness, “investments” in infrastructure, etc., are all subsets of the issue of revitalizing and restoring the national economic engine.

The goal of the Obama Administration is painfully obvious: Expand the federal government and its involvement into every aspect of our lives on the basis of “economic fairness”, with the delusional promise that, with government spending and targeted “investments”, the economy can somehow be stabilized, if not restored. But the best that could be accomplished with this approach is the equivalence of a European welfare state, with high un-employment, unmanageable debt, and stifling government rules and regulations. Nothing less than the destruction of the American economic system that we know, and that has helped this nation become the freest and most economically successful in history.

President Obama has plainly stated that the old model just doesn’t work! He openly states that he wants to make structural changes in the system, and then cloaks those remarks with references to traditional values, i.e. continuously referencing Ronald Reagan as a source for even the Buffett ruse!

The steps for economic revitalization appear to be logically obvious, to any other than most ideological leftist / progressive, although implementation of necessary changes may be another matter, given potential Congressional obstructionism. It boils down to these simple axioms: larger and more expansive government, including ever expanding entitlements, saps more and more revenue from the economy, and recent studies indicate that both Social Security and Medicare will be exceeding funding much more quickly than anticipated. Additional taxes and uncontrolled spending drains ever more liquidity from the economy, and, combined with increasing government rules and regulations, stifles the private economic sector, thus virtually assuring a death spiral for the economic system as we know it. Much of Europe is in economic crisis as a result of such policies, and , it appears that, should domestic policies not be significantly altered, the U.S. is not far behind. California and Illinois, among states, and Detroit and Stockton, Calif., among cities, are examples of what may be in store nationally.

Even Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson states that “Warren Buffett has become a political pawn”, and “Buffett’s uncritical attitude lends credibility to Obama’s self-serving simplifications.” Whatever Mr. Buffett’s rationale is for allowing himself to become a “political pawn”, let us not forget that the ultimate goal of this campaign season must be to focus on restoring and revitalizing this economy.

Most financial indicators point to a potential fiscal Armageddon in the near future. There is every reason to believe that economic chaos will reign should this President be re-elected, and his policies be further implemented.

With absolutely no supportive rationale for using his economic record or plans for his re-election campaign, the President must divide and conquer the electorate; the rich against the not so rich; an alleged war against women by conservatives and the Catholic church; alleged anti-ethnic / immigration sentiment among those who opposed his policies, etc., etc. Yes, these points must be combated; however, without the overriding purpose of economic restoration, can any of the social issues be resolved?

We cannot allow the President and his media pawns to break the focus on economic restoration, and his Administration’s total incompetence and ideological fervor in undermining one of the very bases of our social structure.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Jerry (Gerald ) Florine is a political activist and regular contributor to the Objective Conservative

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Republicans Should Go After Obama Administration Red Tape

A.S.  (ante rather tha post). These regulations have now been abandoned by the Department of Labor only about 5:30 P.M. CDT.  As some of us with a military background would say, "As you were".

It occurs to us that the Republicans are really missing the boat.    You've heard for the last several days from our president that interest rates are about to double for college loans with the inference being that the Republicans are/are going to be responsible for it.   Of course, it was a Democrat House that passed the bill back in 2007 that called for the doubling of the interest this July.   And, of course, the Republicans have been working on this anyway fearful they might lose some youth votes rather than save the country from bankruptcy (see our two video posts below).  

Now we have the Department of Labor about to issue more regulations--this time aimed at kids working on farms.     Where is the Republican outcry about destroying the family farm and the values that kids have learned for decades about hard work?   We're not hearing much.    If a Republican administration was responsible for this, the Democrats would be calling in unison how the Republicans are destroying the family farm.   Demagoguery, yes.  

Yes, there are exceptions in the about to be released regulations, but the fact is that this is just more red tape from the Obama administration.    It will make it harder for kids to earn money during the summer and may, of course, create more jobs for illegal alien and migrant workers. 

Maybe it's time for Republicans and conservatives to start the same kind of national conversation about farmer worker regulations that our president has started about student loan interest rates on his government financed campaign over the last few days....

It Won't Be Long Before We'll Be In Greece: The 2012 National Debt Road Trip

Continuing our budget/debt tutorial for dummies (see below) here is a short one that illustrates the speed at which our country is headed toward fiscal disaster.   Again, it explains things in a succinct and understandable manner.

Welcome to Greece: The United States Budget Dilemma

We're going to do our budget tutorial for dummies today using a couple of videos.    This one in particular shows the dire state of our current budget/debt situation.

We've said before we're on our way to becoming Greece.    Yes, we can continue to print money while Greece can't but there is no question that at some point the straw becomes heavy enough to break the camel's back--and that date of reckoning is coming.

We have a 5 minute video here but it explains things pretty succinctly and understandably.    Check it out.

Will Catholics Wake Up This Fall?

This isn't the kind of commercial that the current occupant of the White House would like to see this fall.   It's created by a Catholic group, Catholics Called to Witness, and aimed at the Catholic Vote, but would be equally inspiring to value-voters, Evangelicals and most conservatives.    Unfortunately, it's about two minutes too long.   A shorter version would sure give the president a headache--well deserved.

Sadly, a majority of Catholics voted for Obama (Sorry we're so disrespectful, Bob Kerrey) in 2008.    Sadly, many of the Catholic clergy are more worried about 'social justice' when it comes to their vote than they are about a president that favors the continuation of a holocaust that has exterminated nearly 50 million American lives over the last 40 years and who would redefine marriage and religious freedom.

One can only hope that the clergy and laity of the Church will wake up before it is too late.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

State Senator Brasch Doing Better

We shared our skepticism and disappointment with some of State Senator Lydia Brasch's comments earlier in the year (Tuesday, January 17, 2012 Senator Brash Drinking the Kool Aid???).   But we feel it is important to acknowledge that she seems to have done a good job getting away from the 'leadership' of her college professor State Senator Bill Avery, at least politically.

While Senator Brasch may not have totally satisfied us--or for that matter Governor Heineman---she did a pretty fair job of holding up and voting for conservative issues this past year.    We appreciate that and hope she'll continue to define, refine and articulate the conservative ideals that her constituents believed she represented when they voted her into office.

With that said, here is a piece that we received through the Washington County Republican Party's website which is a pretty fair critique of Brasch's performance over the last year.

For state senator, some veto votes were personal
Posted: Monday, April 23, 2012 2:31 pm | Updated: 2:38 pm, Mon Apr 23, 2012.
Doug Barber news@enterprisepub.com | 0 comments


"State Sen. Lydia Brasch voted to sustain four of Gov. Dave Heineman’s vetoes in the last week of the recently completed session of the Nebraska Legislature.

The Legislature voted to override two of the four vetoes and let two of them stand.

Brasch, whose District 16 includes Washington County, said for her some of the votes were personal, specifically the bill that extends government-paid prenatal care to illegal immigrants, which the Legislature restored over Heineman’s veto.

“I am a first-generation American,” said Brasch, whose parents came to the United States in 1950. “When I was born, my parents were still poor, but the doctor gave them a bill and the hospital gave them a bill and my parents were so proud and eager to pay, knowing that in American you are free from all of the strings of the government.”

Brasch said she supports prenatal care for pregnant women and their children, and it was not a vote against illegal immigrants, “but it’s a question of responsibility and an obligation to pay our debts for services rendered. I am concerned that we are going in a direction where people are just expecting the government to pay for everything.”

Brasch also voted to sustain Heineman’s veto of a bill to allow cities to levy up to an additional 1/2-cent sales tax, if voters approve it.

“When I was going door to door campaigning (in 2010), everyone said, ‘Don’t raise my taxes,’ Brasch said. “It was one of the most common complaints made to me.”

Brasch said she also is concerned about ag producers who do not have a voice in cities’ sales taxes, but who must pay them.

“Our voice isn’t even heard,” said Brasch, who lives on a farm, “but when we go to the farm implement dealer or to pay for input, we are the ones most greatly affected by this.”

The Legislature also overturned that veto on the final day of the session.

Two vetoes that were sustained killed bills to allow electronic betting on “historic” horse races at racetracks and allowing health clinics in schools.

Brasch, former marketing director at State Fair Park in Lincoln, said she does not believe the argument supporters of the racing bill made that it would help generate revenue for bigger purses for live racing."

“Common sense tells me it’s going to hurt live racing rather than enhance it,” she said.

Voting to sustain the governor’s vetoes, Brasch said, “were all in line with my experiences or after visiting with the majority of constituents.”

But the high-profile issues at the end of the session were not the most important things done this year, Brasch said.

“The biggest priority of this session was trying to fix the foster care program,” she said. “That was an urgent issue, we had foster kids in harm’s way and foster kids who were suffering.”

The Legislature passed several child welfare-related bills, including bills to create a commission and inspector for child welfare, increases to foster care payments, changes in case management and service contracts and development of a statewide child welfare information system."

Soro or ALEC: Whom Would the Founders Support? -- Doug Patton

Who would the Founding Fathers have trusted with the future of the nation they created, George Soros or ALEC? And just who (or what), you may be asking yourself, is ALEC? Well, I’m glad you asked. And don’t feel ill informed, because until a few months ago, ALEC was not on my radar screen, either.

ALEC is an acronym for "American Legislative Exchange Council." It was started by conservative activist and icon Paul Weyrich in 1973 and now bills itself as "the nation’s largest nonpartisan individual membership association of state legislators, with over 2,000 state legislators across the nation and more than 100 alumni members in Congress." ALEC’s leadership says its mission promotes "free markets, limited government and federalism throughout the states."

Sounds good to me, but I can certainly see why they are so vilified by the loony left.

My introduction to the group came about when a local television station in my area featured an "in-depth expose" of the "shadowy outside organization" that supposedly was trying to rewrite state laws all over the country, apparently to suit its nefarious ends.

And what sort of terrible legislation was ALEC pushing? They favor a number of reasonable proposals despised by liberals — pro-2nd Amendment gun laws, market-based health care solutions, energy independence initiatives — but the one that has progressives in their most recent snit is legislation requiring identification in order to vote. This, of course, does not fit in with their left-wing agenda to pack the voting booths of America with people who do not belong there, especially illegal aliens who, it is anticipated, will vote for another round of "hope and change."

So I started wondering which would arouse a greater degree of ire among the Founders, ALEC or that world-class leftist demagogue, George Soros. A perusal of the views and goals of each gave me an obvious answer.

ALEC is an association of businessmen who, having determined that the federal government as it is currently configured is the greatest enemy of free enterprise in the history of the nation, have chosen to band together and defend their livelihood by collaborating with like-minded state legislators to create legislation within constitutional parameters. Period.

George Soros is a one-man, anti-American wrecking crew who hates everything the United States represents, from its Constitution to its venerable institutions to its people. With billions of dollars at his disposal, mostly of it accumulated through the questionable manipulation of currencies around the world, Soros’ favorite causes read like a who’s who of leftist organizations. Here is just a partial list: ACORN; the Apollo Alliance; National Council of La Raza; the Tides Foundation; the Huffington Post; the Southern Poverty Law Center; Soujourners; People for the American Way; Planned Parenthood; and the National Organization for Women.

Soros has also been a major backer of Media Matters for America, a liberal supposedly non-profit media group. Founded by David Brock and largely funded by Soros, this organization has openly declared war on the Fox News Channel. Brock calls what he is doing to the cable network "guerrilla warfare and sabotage," and his talking points are regularly used by the Obama mouthpieces at MSNBC. (And the critics of ALEC say they are outside the bounds of their 501(c) (3) status!)

Other recipients of Soros money have been MoveOn.org, the left wing group that compared George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler and called Gen. David Petraeus "General Betray Us," and the Center for American Progress, headed by Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, John Podesta. This organization has a revolving door with the Obama administration.

Finally, former Obama green jobs czar Van Jones' environmental extremism has enjoyed Soros funding through the Ella Baker Center, Green For All, the Center for American Progress and the Apollo Alliance, which was a key player in obtaining $110 billion in green initiatives included in Obama's stimulus package.

So I leave it to you. Who do you think would get a thumbs up from Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and the boys — George Soros or ALEC?
______________________________________________________________________________
Copyright symbol 2012 by Doug Patton
______________________________________________________________________________
Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself much more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns of sage political analysis are published the world over by legions of discerning bloggers, courageous webmasters and open-minded newspaper editors. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to e-mail him with their pithy comments at dougpatton@cox.net.

On the Light Side: President Obama: "Dog Eater," the Music Video

Bobby Kerrey, the would-be THIRD U.S. SENATOR FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK will not approve of this highly disrespectful video.   But it's Wednesday and everyone needs a little laugh so check this video out.

Running Government Like A Business--Yeah


There's a good article from the Heritage Foundations 'Free Market Focus' today which illustrates why the U.S. Post Office is in the trouble it is.   Basically, our government won't let it function as a business and the result is that taxpayers are on the hook ultimately for billions of dollars as it keeps the organisation of life support.  

It's worth the read.  Check it out.

Too Small to Fail? The Case for Post Office Closures

By
April 19, 2012

Revised April 24, 2012.

"The post office in Hope, Minnesota, is no doubt a quiet place. During a typical business day it sees eight customers, who require a total of seven minutes of service. The Postal Service wants to close the facility, and instead serve the 90 residents of Hope from the adjacent town of Ellendale, 10 minutes away. Home delivery of mail would not change. The closure is being appealed to the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Coyote, New Mexico, 70 miles from Santa Fe, may also be losing its post office. Open 42 hours per week, the two postal employees in Coyote see on average seven customers a day. The Postal Service wants to close the office, sending its business to the post office in Youngsville, just four miles away. This decision is also being appealed.

It is no secret that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is in financial trouble. Its business is shrinking, with first-class mail revenue dropping 25 percent since 2006. As a result, the government-run enterprise is facing a sea of red ink, losing some $25 billion in the past five years. Losses of up to $20 billion annually are predicted for coming years.

To stem the tide, USPS is pursuing a wide range of cost-cutting measures. One of these is the closure of underused post offices. Such restructuring, however, would become more difficult under S. 1789, authored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I–CT) and Susan Collins (R–ME), which would further tighten procedural rules for closures while barring any closures until USPS establishes new service standards for mail, effectively delaying action for six months. This goes in the wrong direction. Congress should give the Postal Service more flexibility to reform itself.

Postal NIMBYism

Closing a post office is never a popular move. To some extent, there is a kind of reverse NIMBY (“Not in my backyard”) effect at work: No one wants to lose the perceived benefits of a local post office. For small communities, there is a symbolic benefit to having a post office to call their own. And for Members of Congress, post offices are perhaps the oldest form of pork. Many Members have been re-elected based on bringing in a post office—which often ends up bearing his or her name. Few see an electoral advantage in closing an obsolete facility.

But despite this political popularity—or perhaps because of it—many of the nation’s 27,000 post offices are simply not needed in order to provide service. Fully 80 percent of post offices lose money.[1]

The problem is getting worse. Americans are using their local post offices less than ever before. Electronic alternatives such as stamps.com, as well as sales at supermarkets and other retails stores, have meant fewer trips to the post office. As a result, traffic at America’s post offices dropped 21 percent from 2009 to 2010.[2]

Cumbersome Processes

The Postal Service, however, lacks the ability to quickly and effectively respond to changing market conditions. In fact, under current law, USPS is barred from closing any small post office because it is losing money. Instead, Postal Service rules and federal law require USPS to weigh four factors in considering possible closures: the effect on postal employees, the ability of USPS to provide universal service, the effect on the community and—lastly—the economic savings to the Postal Service.[3]

USPS’s decisions are then subject to a lengthy and cumbersome review process, including a 60-day public comment period and an appeal before the PRC. The PRC then has another 120 days to decide the case.

These procedural delays and the attendant cost imposed on the Postal Service by this extended process—plus political pressure from politicians anxious to avoid home state closures—is a significant barrier to necessary restructuring. Despite several previous reform efforts, the number of USPS retail facilities has remained almost unchanged in recent years, declining 1.5 percent from 2007 to 2011.[4]

USPS Restructuring Plans

In its latest restructuring initiative, USPS identifies about 3,700 post offices as candidates for closure. The list includes many rural facilities and many in urban centers. New York City, for instance, has 34 post offices on the list. Washington, D.C., has 19, including several in government buildings, such as the Capitol and the State Department.[5]

Over three-quarters of the offices are miniscule, garnering less than $27,500 in customer transactions each year. The remainder are facilities that have at least five alternative postal facilities nearby available to customers.[6]

Similarly, USPS job losses from these measures would be limited: USPS estimates that 4,500 employees would be “affected” by the 3,700 closings, although many of them would be reassigned rather than let go.[7] Certainly, deep reductions in the postal workforce are necessary to USPS’s survival, but they do not come from this initiative.

The stated savings from these closures are deceptively small—only $200 million under USPS’s estimates. But some 15,000 other locations are being considered for possible closure by 2015, and USPS has also identified 264 processing centers for closure for a savings of $2.1 billion.[8]

The larger number of closures would doubtless involve larger and busier facilities than those identified so far. But few services offered by USPS require an owned-and-operated facility; there are a host of other alternatives, ranging from automated postal “kiosks” to “approved shippers” for packages to stamp sales at supermarkets and other stores.

These are sensible solutions that could actually improve—rather than just maintain—service for postal customers.

The (Postal) Route Ahead

The future of the Postal Service is being determined now. It could continue as an obsolete, politicized institution doomed to extinction. Alternatively, it could become a taxpayer-supported dinosaur existing on billions in taxpayer funding each year. Or will it be allowed to restructure and innovate, giving it a chance to find a place in today’s economy? Congress should support the third of these and give the Postal Service a chance to save itself—and taxpayers—from disaster. That means allowing the Postal Service to adopt reforms, not stopping it.

James L. Gattuso is Senior Research Fellow in Regulatory Policy in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. "

77% of Money Kerrey Raised In March Comes From Outside Nebraska

Cosmic Bobby Kerrey had a pretty good March, raising $900,000.   The would-be THIRD U.S. SENATOR FOR THE STATE OF NEW YORK raised 77% of his funds from outside Nebraska.

Now in today's political environment we expect that U.S. Senate and House campaigns are going to get lots of money from 'interested' persons and groups outside their home state.    Otherwise, Nebraskans could expect a U.S. Senate race this year that would raise and expend about $5 million between two candidates in the general election.   This year, it will probably be a $25 million race before it's over, still cheap by national standards. 

What is interesting about Cosmic Bobby's fundraising is that only 23% has come from the state thus far.    There should be lots of 'low hanging fruit' on the Democrat political trees here so one would expect more.   On the other hand, the national sources probably provided Kerrey the quickest way to raise money fast so he could start 'reintroducing' himself to Nebraskans.   And with a late decision to enter the raise, or so he said, his campaign hasn't probably had much opportunity to put together Nebraska fundraisers.

Of course, you probably won't see fundraisers in Nebraska headed by Kerrey's 'national supporters' like Barack Obama, oops, President Obama and Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer (a potential fellow U.S. Senator from Kerrey's New York State).

Kerrey raises big outside of NebraskaBy: Robin Bravender
April 25, 2012 12:02 AM EDT
"Since when were friends with money a liability?

Ask Bob Kerrey.

The former two-term senator raked in an impressive $900,000 in the month after
announcing late February his bid to replace retiring Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.). But
all except $210,000 of it came from supporters outside Nebraska, including friends
from New York and Washington — the latest reminder of his decade outside the
Cornhusker State.

Kerrey is raking in checks from allies he made on Capitol Hill and during his
decadelong career as a university president in New York City. Among them: sitting
lawmakers, billionaire Democratic super donors, New York investment bankers and
K Street lobbyists hoping to support Kerrey and improve Democrats’ chances of
holding on to control of the Senate.

His fundraising boost from wealthy East Coast donors won’t help the reputation
he’s developed thanks to attack ads from conservative groups like American
Crossroads and Americans for Prosperity, which are painting him as a liberal New
Yorker who has lost touch with Nebraskans.

It’s not uncommon for lawmakers in relatively small states, like Nebraska, to rely
heavily on donors from outside the state to boost their war chests.

“It’s not as if we’re a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Kerrey campaign
manager Paul Johnson said of Nebraska.

But Kerrey’s fundraising has offered critics new fodder for their attacks.

“All of Bob Kerrey’s networks and relationships right now are outside the state
of Nebraska,” said Brad Stevens, AFP’s Nebraska state director. “So it’s
absolutely no surprise at all that he’s tapping into that liberal but well-connected,
well-funded network.”

Billionaire Democratic donors, including Progressive Insurance Chairman
Peter Lewis, New York investment banker Herbert Allen and California
businessman Sidney Kimmel, donated the maximum amount of $5,000 apiece
to Kerrey last month through the Nebraska Senate Victory Fund, a joint
fundraising committee formed by Kerrey’s campaign and the state Democratic
Party.

Employees of the New York investment firm MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings
also donated to Kerrey last month, giving the former senator’s campaign at
least $36,000. Kerrey was appointed last summer as the chairman of the
company’s education investment arm. The company’s chairman and CEO,
Ronald Perelman, and at least nine other employees of the company
contributed to the campaign.

His friends in Washington haven’t forgotten him, either.
At least 33 senators — a majority of the 53-member Democratic Caucus —
shelled out to Kerrey’s campaign in the first month of his candidacy through
their leadership PACs, campaign committees or personal bank accounts,
including former colleagues and others elected after Kerrey’s departure in
2001, according to the most recent campaign finance reports. Senate
Democratic leadership has also shelled out for Kerrey, including Majority
Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois and
No. 3 Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York.

Top Democrats, including Reid, had urged Kerrey to jump into the race,
seeing him as the party’s best shot at holding on to the seat. Kerrey told
the Omaha World-Herald last month that Reid assured him that he would
respect his previous 12 years of service when it comes to handing out
committee assignments after the November election.

Kerrey also received checks last month from former Arkansas Sen.
Blanche Lincoln’s leadership PAC and former Senate Majority Leader
Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) and his wife, Linda Hall Daschle.

K Street lobbyists dished out cash for Kerrey, too, including Stephen Bailey
of Heather Podesta + Partners, Jeffrey Forbes of Cauthen Forbes &
Williams and Capitol Hill Strategies’ Paul Bock, who is former chief of staff
to Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).

In the 2000 election, when Nelson was running to replace Kerrey, he raised
66 percent of his cash outside the state, according to data compiled by the
Center for Responsive Politics.

Johnson said he’s confident that Kerrey’s fundraising in Nebraska will pick
up as the campaign continues. “That will obviously grow,” he said, noting
that Kerrey already has broad appeal among donors across the country.

The Kerrey campaign touted the fact that 1,030 Nebraskans have donated
to the campaign, constituting the majority of the campaign’s 1,600 individual
donors last month.

Still, Kerrey’s first cash haul marks a sharp contrast with that of his chief
Republican rival.

State Attorney General Jon Bruning — the front-runner in next month’s GOP
nominating contest — has raised $3.3 million so far this cycle. Bruning has
raised 58 percent of his cash from inside Nebraska, according to CRP.

Kerry was trailing Bruning by 17 points in a Public Policy Polling survey in
late March.
© 2012 POLITICO LLC"

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Will Kerrey Get Hagel's Endorsement????


After watching the latest video from Cosmic Bob Kerrey, the would-be THIRD U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW YORK,  a thought occurred to us that just about resulted in a case of our computer screen being covered with the contents of a case of projectile vomiting.     Could it be that this anti-war commercial is aimed at getting the endorsement of war-pacifist and former failed Nebraska U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel?

We think that Jon Bruning had better make sure where he stands with Chucky.  Not that he really needs his endorsement, but it might just wise to be prepared for Obama supporter Hagel's next act.....

Bob Kerrey Says Don't Go to War



Gosh, the e-mails and the videos just keep coming today.   Our latest is from Cosmic Bob, would-be THIRD U.S. SENATOR REPRESENTING THE STATE OF NEW YORK.   Yes, Bob is trying to stir up the public distaste for the war in Iraq that we are no longer fighting and trying to scare us against going to war in Iran, which Bobby apparently must believe is imminent.   Wonder what he would say if asked the question, "War against Iraq or No Israel?"

But anyway, we guess Bobby is trying to create an issue that might connect with voters so read and listen on.....


"Jerry,

We can't make the same mistake again.

There's growing talk in Washington these days about invading Iran, but someone has got to stand up and lead. Someone's got to be willing to step up and say, "Invading Iran will be a disaster."

Watch my short video making the case against invading Iran:

Three trillion dollars for Afghanistan and Iraq. Six thousand Americans dead.
I think invading Iran will make Iraq and Afghanistan look like a cakewalk. There are eighty million people living in Iran. If we were undersized with 250,000 men and women going into Iraq, it's going to take a million to go to war with Iran.

But despite it all, there are folks in Washington building an under-the-radar case for an invasion.

This is important. Please watch my short video opposing an Iran invasion and share it with your friends and family today.

America needs to step up its game in order to overcome the immense challenges we face. We can't do that if we're repeating the mistakes from our past.

Thanks for your support,

-Bob Kerrey"

Another Financial Dilemma--Lunch with Ann

Sometimes we may appear to be a little flippant, if not intentionally cynical which we are.   But of course in that vein we want to always be fair and more importantly 'objective'.   Having just shared the invite from our friend 'Barack' (see posting immediately below) we felt it was only balanced to share one we just got from 'Mitt'--hopes it's okay to call him that until he becomes president in November. 
Anyway, Mitt wants us to join his wife for lunch and, of course, all we have to do is send a few buck to participate in the 'lunch with Ann lottery'.    So here is his invite:


Friend,

In a few weeks, one of you will be grabbing a bite to eat with Ann. 
You've got 48 hours left to enter for the chance to be that lucky
person.

Donate $5, and you'll be automatically entered for a chance to
share a meal with my lovely wife.


I've been lucky enough to sit across from Ann at the dinner
table for 43 years. Now it could be your turn:

http://www.mittromney.com/donate/grab-bite-april

Best of luck,
Mitt Romney

Barack Writes Us

We'll probably be called on the carpet by New York State's aspirant THIRD U.S. SENATOR Bobby Kerrey (and his campaign guru Paul Johnson) for the disrespectful use of the term 'Barack' rather than President Obama in our heading.   But then, 'Barack' did sign his e-mail to us today as 'Barack' so maybe he just thinks so much of us that we have a personal relationship that allows such informality.....


But back to serious stuff as opposed to contrived reasons to criticize an opponent.  We've previously discussed the invite we got from the Obama, oops, President Obama campaign regarding our invite to potentially have dinner with him and his superstar friend George Clooney.   Of course, all we have to do is make a contribution to the president's campaign to get our 'lottery ticket' chance to do so.   Of course, we're still thinking about making this 'investment' but thought we'd send the e-mail we received directly from our friend 'Barack' today since it really came from him rather than just his campaign--which we presume means we're special friends and can, indeed, call our great leader 'Barack'.

"James,

I'll be going to a special event at George Clooney's house in a few weeks, and two grassroots supporters and their guests will join us.

The only thing we've still got to figure out is whether two spots belong to you and your guest -- or somebody else and theirs.

So let's nail it down: Any donation you make today will automatically enter you and a guest to win.

Once you decide who you're inviting to join you, we'll be all set. The campaign will take care of your airfare and hotel for you.

Please pitch in $3 or whatever you can today, and keep your May 10th clear:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Clooney-and-Me

Hope to see you soon.

Barack"

A Governor Who Doesn't Despise Guns

In today's "We Get E-mail" category we got a response from the Governor Heineman in response to an e-mail we sent him in regard to LB 804, a pro-gun bill since it made positive changes in allowing folks to defend themselves.   It's nice to have a governor who, unlike Omaha's Mayor Suttle, doesn't despise guns.....

Here is his response:

"Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding LB 804, which would change provisions relating to justification for use of force. LB 804 was presented to me for consideration on April 5 and I signed the legislation into law on April 11.
Please know that I support an individual’s right to bear arms as protected by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, and that I am opposed to further gun control restrictions on law-abiding citizens. Thank you, again, for contacting me on this issue.
Sincerely,
Dave Heineman
Governor"

Monday, April 23, 2012

Die Before 2024 or Take Reduced Benefits

Healthwatch, The Hill's Healthcare blog, reported today that you'd better die before 2024 if you don't want to see your medicare benefits reduced or by 2032 if you don't want to live on less than you were promised for your social security.  Of  course as noted, the Democrats say that Obamacare deferred the insolvency of Medicare.    But then, they, didn't bother to say that Obamacare will add some $3.4 trillion to the national debt over the next 10 years.....

One can't help but wonder what it will take for Congress to do anything about extending the life of these programs.   Seems to us George W. Bush tried in 2005.   The longer our legislators wait the worse the crisis will become and if anyone thinks that the recipients of these benefits will take less than 100% of what is promised (they are senior citizens who vote), they are sadly mistaken--which means increased taxes on everyone and even greater escalation of the national debt.

Here's what they reported:

Trustees say Medicare, Social Security funds running out quickly

By Sam Baker - 04/23/12 01:45 PM ET

"Medicare and Social Security are on a fast track to deep fiscal problems, trustees for the two programs warned Monday.

By 2024, the trustees said, Medicare’s trust fund won’t be able to cover seniors’ hospital benefits. Social Security is expected to reach the same tipping point in 2033 — three years earlier than the trustees estimated last year.
The funds won’t be entirely empty on those dates, but rather will not be taking in enough money to keep paying 100 percent of the benefits they’re supposed to provide.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the trustees’ reports show a clear need for Congress to make significant changes to entitlement programs, but he continued to hold firm against Republican proposals to partially privatize Medicare.
“We will not support proposals that sow the seeds of their destruction in the name of reform, or that shift the cost of health care to seniors in order to sustain tax cuts for the most fortunate Americans,” Geithner said.

Many Republicans — including presidential candidate Mitt Romney — want to convert Medicare into subsidies to help seniors buy private insurance.

Democrats, though, argue that saving Medicare from insolvency doesn’t have to come at the expense of seniors’ benefits.

The trustees said last year that President Obama’s healthcare overhaul had extended the life of the Medicare trust fund — a point Geithner highlighted Monday.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney used the announcement to batter Obama for his handling of entitlement programs.

“Today’s report reminds us that Medicare must be reformed and strengthened or it will soon collapse. It also reminds us that President Obama continues to play shell games with the health care of our seniors, taking hundreds of billions from Medicare to spend on Obamacare and now using a bogus experiment to conceal the damage until after the election," Romney's campaign said in a statement.

This story was updated at 2:42 p.m."

Lee Terry for Congress Commercial

Congressman Terry has a new ad going up on your local television station.   It's well done and accurate.  

Lee's Republican opponents will continue to criticize broken promises and votes of years ago but clearly they offer limited differences and virtually no opportunity to provide the clout for the Second Congressional District that Terry does.   While other blogs and media may infer the race is heating up the truth is that Terry is just closing the deal.

Hopefully, those Republican rivals will come to their senses after the primary and quickly endorse Terry.   Readers might remember that even a Democratic rival for the Second Congressional nomination, Richard Carter now a candidate for the legislature, came to his senses after his loss and not only endorsed Lee but became a Republcian.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Come Drink the Obama Kool Aid

For those of you who doubt the early efforts to organize the 2nd Congressional District for that ONE OBAMA ELECTORAL VOTE (including Erica Fish who stands absolutely no chance to win election to the Legislature and yet supports the current non-winner-takes all system), here is a e-mail from the Obama camp asking us to come to South Omaha tomorrow and join the effort.  

Somehow we can't fit it in our schedule and besides, we suspect conservatives aren't welcome.

Obama - Biden
James

  Volunteers here in Nebraska come from all backgrounds, but they all have a couple things in common: a personal stake in this election and a passion for making sure President Obama and other Democrats win this November.

Our volunteers here in South Omaha are buzzing with energy -- so you should come out and get to know everyone at our kickoff meeting tomorrow. We'll relax with some food and drinks, and hear from some guest speakers on how we're organizing in the area, including our Latinos for Obama program. You'll come away inspired and ready to get involved.

Can you make it? Here are the details:
What: South Omaha kickoff meeting

Where: American GI Forum Omaha Chapter
2002 N Street
Omaha, NE 68107

When: Saturday, April 21st
4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
RSVP now

Volunteers are the foundation of this campaign -- one person reaching out to another, who reaches out to another, building the organization we need to win from the ground up.

Many people start volunteering because they believe in specific causes -- like health care reform or a woman's right to make her own choices. But ask any person you meet at an event like this one and they'll tell you: They stick with it, week in and week out, because of the people they've met there.

The other side has corporations and special interest groups supporting them. We've got friendly faces, powerful stories, and team events like the one coming up tomorrow that will help us win in November.

Be a part of this. Come out to the South Omaha kickoff meeting tomorrow:

http://ne.barackobama.com/South-Omaha-Kickoff

Hope you can make it,

Zack

Zack Burgin
Nebraska State Director
Obama for America
-----
Can't make it to this event?
Help grow the campaign now by making a donation.

Heineman Out of the V.P. Run?

As our regular readers will note, we read Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball Blog every Thursday.   Sometimes we quote it or provide it.   Last week we skipped discussing his discussion of potential Romney Vice President picks.  In reading it, however, we did note that our dark horse, Governor Heineman wasn't on his list.   Probably not surprising.

Well, anyway, this week Sabato had a little follow up and it basically proves that we aren't the only one giving consideration to Heineman--although our first pick is Rubio.

Here is a little commentary from Sabato's report, written by Kyle Kondik yesterday:

VEEPWATCH: READERS REACT
By Kyle Kondik
Political Analyst, U.Va. Center for Politics

"John Adams, the Founding Father who served as the nation’s first vice president, had this to say about the No. 2 job: “My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.”

Nowadays, few people -- well, few politicians anyway -- would agree with the sentiment. The vice presidency is a coveted prize that can serve as a springboard to the presidency, as it did for Adams and others throughout our history.
Last week, we identified 23 Republicans who we think might be selected as likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate. But we knew that there were more names out there, plausible and otherwise, so we asked readers to submit ideas that we did not include in our Veepwatch.

The three submissions we liked the best -- the ones we’ll reward with a University of Virginia Center for Politics prize package -- are all big-time long shots, but ones worth assessing:

-- J.P. Ludvigson was one of a number of readers to suggest South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and he did so at length. Among the pluses, Ludvigson said that being a minority woman would “blunt the gender gap and ‘war on women line’” from Democrats and that her Tea Party ties would act as a “base motivator” and also balance Romney’s “Northeast elitist image.” Among the negatives, Ludvigson mentioned that Haley isn’t from a swing state and that rumors of affairs (which Haley has vehemently denied) could be a vetting hurdle. We didn’t include Haley on our list because she’s a relatively new governor (elected in 2010) whom the press, and probably the public, would view as Sarah Palin 2.0. That’s a headache that Romney doesn’t need.

-- Michael Torrey suggested a bipartisan pick: retiring Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC). Shuler is “on the same page with many conservative Republicans (i.e. illegal immigration, spending, gun control) and has even tried to backdoor [Nancy] Pelosi out of the House minority leader position. His blue-collar background would appeal to conservative Democrats in key states like PA, and the idea of a Republican/Democrat ticket would certainly be exciting.” The concept of a unity ticket is always an interesting one -- independent Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman (CT) was high on John McCain’s Veep list in 2008, and the independent Americans Elect group is attempting to construct one this year -- but it’s also a hard thing to imagine. Shuler’s record, while more conservative than many House Democrats, is full of votes he would have to renounce or reinterpret to fit with Romney’s platform. And Shuler, an ex-NFL quarterback, isn’t a national political figure like Lieberman; he’s a little-known member of the House.

-- Adam Snoddy named Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. “His strengths include: strong social conservative credentials, Midwestern appeal, military background, the ability to help Romney carry NE-2 (which Obama won in 2008), and his status as one of Romney's earliest endorsers in the primary. Heineman's drawbacks include: ‘unexciting’ pick, from a solid GOP state, completely unknown to 99% of the country.” Heineman would be a real dark horse and is a plausible safe pick, but there are others on our list -- Sen. Rob Portman (OH), Sen. Bob Corker (TN), ex-MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty -- who are more prominent and could potentially bring more to the ticket."
We've gotten so many invitations to have dinner with or spend a day campaigning with such as Mitt, Barack, Newt, Rick, etc.   All we have to do is send three measly bucks and we might just be the luck one.     It's just been so hard to choose so, frankly, we haven't bought our $3 lottery ticket yet.

But now we have one where we can 'hang out' with George Clooney and the president at George's house.   What an opportunity?    Just two things, we can't stand George Clooney and his politics or the guy he wants us to support.....


Obama - Biden
John

Want to meet George Clooney and Barack Obama -- at Clooney's house?

He's hosting supporters at his home next month to help build support for this campaign and elect President Obama in November. And he's saving seats for two grassroots supporters like you and their guests. It's just not a chance most people get -- well, ever.

For a chance to hang out with President Obama at George Clooney's house, donate $3 or whatever you can to be automatically entered to win.

George Clooney is doing his part to help re-elect the President, but he also knows that it's folks like you who will decide this election. That's why we're reserving a few spots for grassroots supporters.

If you donate $3 or whatever you can today, you'll be doing your part to support the campaign, and be automatically entered to join them in Los Angeles.

If you ask me, this is far too good to pass up:

https://donate.barackobama.com/Obama-Clooney-and-You

Thanks,

Julianna

Julianna Smoot
Deputy Campaign Manager
Obama for America


Thought for the day

We were just thinking it is good that Jon Bruning didn't grow up eating dog like the president.   Can you imagine the ads that Don Stenberg would be running against him for eating dog 30-40 years ago?   

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Ewing Obama Ticket?

Being great supporters of John Ewing we received with great anticipation the e-mail announcing his headquarters opening.      After all, what right-wing Republicans couldn't support a guy that lives in a million dollar home and earns more than $200,000 a year????

But back to our friend John.   He's opening the headquarters but what strikes us is it's proximity to the Omaha Obama Headquarters.   John's HQ is at 343 North 76 Street and Obama's at 347 North 76 Street.

Wonder what Gwen Howard, Ewing's opponent for the primary nomination thinks about this???  Looks like Ewing is planning a much coordinated campaign after he defeats Senator Howard.....



Ewing for Congress
Dear Friend,
We have some exciting news! We are opening up the John
Ewing for Congress Headquarters at 343 N 76th Street
(76th & Cass). Our grand opening is Thursday, April 26
from 6 – 8 pm. This is a great opportunity to hear from
John, grab a yard sign, and sign up to volunteer with the
campaign. Did I mention birthday cake? John just
turned 51 yesterday, and we are going to surprise him
with a birthday cake.

RSVP to info@ewingfornebraska.com for the grand
opening. If you would like to have your name on the
birthday card for John’s 51st contribute $51 here and
your name will appear on the birthday card for John.

You can donate office supplies, bottled water, plants,
folding tables or chairs for the campaign office Friday,
April 20 from 1-5 pm or Saturday, April 21 from 9 am
to 1 pm. Reply to this email if those times do not
work for you, and we will set up an alternate time for
drop off.

Sincerely,
Rebekah Caruthers
Campaign Manager
P.S. Don't forget to contribute $51 for John's 51st!

Guns, Senator Coash, Ted Nugent, the N.R.A. and Governor Heineman



Guns, guns, guns.   Senator Coash is bringing Ted Nugent to Omaha for a fundraiser.  His opponent is having a hissyfit over it.   The governor and several members of the legislature are getting kudos from the N.R.A.

Where do we begin?  

Well, first check out the Nugent video above.


Now, about Senator Coash.  Seems Coash has got his 'non-partisan' government-employed opponent Kyle Michaelis' panties in a wad over Coash's upcoming fundraiser with Ted Nugent.   Ted will be in Omaha to help Cobly raise some funds in May.


Michaelis, who claims to be non-partisan has been the writer of the liberal, anti-anything-conservative 'New Nebraska Network' blog for the last five or so years. He is simply a Democrat mouthpiece. Here are a few of his 'panties-in-a-wad comments about Coash and Nugent:
  • "As an entertainer, Ted Nugent can get away with saying a lot of dumb things. But, Senator Coash is supposed to be a public servant and should hold himself to a higher standard. There's no place in Nebraska for Nugent's hate-filled politics."
  • "Money is a powerful force in any campaign, but it shouldn't overpower common sense, decency, and mutual respect."
  • "Senator Coash might be able to make $500 per person selling autographed pictures with Nugent but only by trading away any claim to Nebraska values."
  • If Coash continues endorsing rightwing extremism and the politics of hate by holding this event, the Michaelis for Legislature campaign asks that a portion of the proceeds support gun violence prevention in Lincoln and Omaha, where the fundraiser is scheduled for May 10th.
It's for sure that Mr. Non-partisan Michaelis won't be introducing any pro-gun legislation or voting for gun rights should he find some silver bullet to dethrone Coash.

Now back to the N.R.A. and Governor Heineman.

The governor may be unhappy with the legislature, but the N.R.A. isn't. We haven't spent any time discussing gun legislation this session but it was there and was passed. Somehow we can see Senator Lautenbaugh some day threatening that the only way we will have restrictive gun regulation will be over his cold dead gun-toting body. We're not at all unappreciative of his efforts or those of Senators Fulton and Karpisek.   Here is a copy of N.R.A.'s press release regarding the legislation:

Nebraska: Governor Signs Two Pro-Second
Amendment Bills into Law
'Yesterday, Legislative Bill 807, Concealed Handgun Permit reform legislation, passed during its final reading on the floor of the Legislature by an overwhelming 48 to 1 vote. LB 807 was then transmitted to Governor Dave Heineman who signed it into law. Thanks to Judiciary Committee Amendment 1785, declaring an existing emergency, this law took effect immediately.

LB 807, introduced by state Senator Scott Lautenbaugh (18), clarifies that only individuals who have been criminally convicted of a felony, misdemeanor crime of violence or state laws pertaining to firearms and drug related offenses, would be disqualified from receiving a Nebraska Concealed Handgun Permit. By clarifying the current law, LB 807 ultimately helps streamline and expedite the Concealed Handgun Permit application process by not unnecessarily denying lawful citizens from obtaining a Concealed Handgun Permit in the Cornhusker State.

On April 5, LB 807 was amended with floor Amendment 2382 by state Senator Russ Karpisek (32), which allows for seized firearms that were not used in the commission of a crime to be returned to their lawful owner or sold at public auction, instead of being unnecessarily destroyed. This amendment passed by a 27 to 0 vote.

Many thanks go to state Senator Scott Lautenbaugh for introducing this much-needed bill, state Senator Tony Fulton for making LB 807 his final priority bill, state Senator Russ Karpisek for his amendment and Governor Heineman for approving this concealed carry permit reform legislation.

Gun owners were victorious last week as well. On April 11, Legislative Bill 804, civil immunity legislation, was signed into law by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman. This important self-defense reform will go into effect on July 18, 2012. 

LB 804, also introduced by Senator Lautenbaugh, is important for law-abiding citizens in the Cornhusker State. As amended, LB 804 provides greater defense in civil proceedings where none is currently available. While this is not the “Castle Doctrine” language that the NRA had initially sought, proposed and supported in committee hearings, it is still much better than current law. LB 804 is a step in the right direction for full protection under ideal Castle Doctrine laws by providing civil immunity if an individual has been cleared following a criminal investigation.

We thank NRA members across the Cornhusker State who answered the call and contacted their state legislators during the 2012 legislative session. "