Showing posts with label Doug Kagan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doug Kagan. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom Speak Out on OPS Bond Issue

Last Friday, we gave our opinion on the upcoming Omaha School Board Bond issue.  Today, we share with you a little more critical (yet) opinion of the issue as iterated by Doug Kagan, head of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom.

"Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom was the only organization to speak against the gluttonous proposed $421 million OP$ bond issue, the largest in NE history.  Several speakers connected to the education establishment also spoke: the teacher union leader, a parent-teacher organization rep, a Latino Center of the Midlands rep, and a few minority speakers.  The teacher union chief insulted taxpayers by saying, "Shame on us."  I responded during my speech by saying, "Shame on him" for criticizing overburdened taxpayers.  Board member Matt Scanlan moved to adopt the bond resolution, seconded by board member Yolanda Williams.  Voting YES, to raise taxes on OPS residents, were board members Marian Fey, Lou Ann Goding, Lacey Merica, Matt Scanlan, Marque Snow, Katie Underwood, Anthony Vargas, Justin Wayne,  and Yolanda Williams.
 
If voters pass this travesty at the Nov. 4 general election, OPS residents owning a $150,000 home will pay $1,890 in property taxes to only the school district; owners of $200,000 homes will pay $2,520 to OP$.  Add these amounts to property taxes levied by the City of Omaha, Douglas County (which will raise property taxes to pay for its bond issue), higher Papio-Mo. River NRD taxes, higher MUD rates because of the sewer fee increase, and higher OPPD rates.  The OP$ board has voted to wantonly abuse taxpayers living in the OP$ school district.  To add insult to injury, this board has the audacity to plan to pass an additional $377 million bond issue in 2017.   Fight back!  Vote NO on the OP$ bond on Nov. 4.  And volunteer to help NTF distribute our flyers in your neighborhood.  Email netaxpayers@gmail.com today!"

Monday, October 22, 2012

Two Terms Are Enough

We at the Objective Conservative really don't like term limits.   On the other hand, we think that the voters often fail to eliminate those real career politicians that should be shown the door.   So are we a little ambiguous?  Yes.

Having noted the above, we earnestly believe that term limits for the Nebraska Unicameral have worked pretty well.   We don't feel the state or its citizens have suffered because of them.  Also, the voters of the state wanted and approved them, several times. 

With that said, we'd encourage all to vote against adding another four years to the term limits state senators are allowed to serve.   We have nothing against our state senators.  In fact, we support a pay increase (see prior posting on the subject).  We just believe there is no reason to change what is working just to help some folks serve longer and even at $22,000 a year we wonder who can really afford to dedicate more of their life to such a job....

Now, since we believe he said it much better in his Midlands Voices submission to the Omaha World-Herald, we share with you Doug Kagan's rationale for maintaining the current eight year term limitation:

MIDLANDS VOICES omaha world-herald.  oct. 15, 2012. 
Doug Kagan: Two terms enough to serve in Legislature
By Doug KaganOmaha World-Herald
The writer, of Omaha, is president of Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom.

"In our 2012 legislative session, 31 of 49 state senators, apparently alarmed at their terms running out, voted for a resolution to dilute term limits, setting the maximum at three four-year terms, up from two terms.
Proponents of Amendment 3 state that citizens deserve another vote on this issue, though Nebraska citizens have voted four times for term limits, and no recent poll or survey signifies a reversal of opinion.
I view with suspicion this move by state senators to nullify the term limits amendment that voters originally approved. Their rationale is that this previous decision deprives the state of “experienced” lawmakers. Taxpayers have voiced anger and frustration at “experienced” senators on key committees placing the agendas of special interest tax and spending lobbyists and pressure groups ahead of the grievances of overburdened taxpayers.
Senators with “experience” continually have thwarted the will of Nebraskans by killing or diluting legislation that lowers our taxes, e.g., LB 970, or curtails spending, e.g., reform of the Commission of Industrial Relations. Other egregious examples of “experienced” legislator disdain for voters are the escalating impediments on the right of Nebraskans to rein in state government with initiative and referendum petitions. Increasingly restrictive signature requirements now make it a Herculean task for citizens to place a measure on the ballot.
Career legislators have reason to oppose two-term term limits. Saturated with State Capitol fever, they seem more willing to ingratiate themselves by spending taxpayer money than be accountable to voter wishes. The longer in office, the more opportunity to develop a snug relationship with lobbyists, and thus more averse to representing the interests of constituents.
Lobbying PACs usually support incumbents, making it difficult for challengers to match this funding. History proves that a Nebraska senator wanting to win re-election can do so easily with a hefty lobbyist war chest. A survey by the Council of State Governments found that 86 percent of lobbyists oppose term limits, probably because they must spend more time and money to establish ties with new state senators.
Term limits prompt freshmen senators to more quickly assume an active role in the legislative process. The continual emergence of new senators anxious to become involved and make their mark will generate pressure for a more inclusive policy-making process, especially on budgetary issues.
Our Founding Fathers visualized citizen legislators, who leave their regular professions and jobs to serve the people, not to become career politicians. No insider dealing by entrenched powerful legislators controlling committee agendas. Volunteer legislators would return home to live under the very laws they passed for the rest of the citizenry.
Term limits serve as a necessary tool for ordinary citizens, Nebraska’s second House, to balance our Unicameral legislature in governing our state. Nebraskans deserve a constant infusion of new legislators willing to share opportunity with the rest of the citizenry and attend to constituent grievances and concerns, with fewer legislators “experienced” in monopolizing power."