We all knew this was coming when the radical MAGA extremists took over the Nebraska Republican Party in July at their state convention, which has become known in political circles as the Coup in Kearney.
The party has now put forth what will no doubt be an ongoing litany of absurdly asinine proposals, the latest of which calls for eliminating Nebraska’s unique, nonpartisan unicameral Legislature.
Political Director for the Nebraska Republican Party Todd Watson argued to KMTV News that the Legislature is already polarized and should be made partisan. For the record, 17 of the Legislature’s 49 seats are held by Democrats.
“To pretend otherwise, it’s sounding nice to other people, but I don’t think in reality especially on key votes you see a lot of party line votes,” said Watson.
For years the Nebraska unicameral Legislature has technically been nonpartisan, with no formal caucuses. Conservative Republicans still have had power but Democrats have been able to block some policies using the filibuster.
This past year, bills that failed to overcome a filibuster included abortion restrictions, conceal and carry and a school choice bill.
“So that’s what’s happened, a small group has blocked a lot of stuff,” said Watson.
The recently released NE GOP Legislative Plan … hopes to make it harder to filibuster.
The move would also allow one party to run every committee.
“A lot of key issues are held up perpetually because those certain committees are never held,” said Watson.
The unicameral Legislature was the brainchild of George W. Norris, who from 1903 to 1943 represented the state for five terms as a Republican in the U.S. House and for five terms in the U.S. Senate — four as a Republican and one as an independent.
Norris, a so-called “New Deal Republican” from McCook, became frustrated with the political gridlock in Washington D.C. and drove across Nebraska touting the idea of a unicameral Legislature.
Norris said the two-house system was outdated, inefficient and unnecessary. He noted that the two-house system was modeled after the British Parliament — made up of the House of Commons, elected by the people, and the House of Lords, whose aristocratic members are appointed by the king.
Proponents of the one-house system say it is more efficient and less expensive.
The one-house Legislature was approved by Nebraska voters in 1934 by nearly 60 percent.
Sen. Greg Adams of York, a former speaker of the Nebraska Legislature, is one of the system’s most ardent fans.
“All 49 state senators are in one chamber. Debate on any issue before the Legislature is focused on the floor of that one chamber,” Adams said. “Our work in the Nebraska Legislature is very public, from (bill) introduction to final vote. I believe the one-house structure with its efficiencies and transparency also tends to compliment an inherent attitude in Nebraska of pragmatism and common sense.”
Let’s hope the Republican proposal ends up on the garbage heap — where it belongs.
The inaugural Kerrey Nelson Gala is taking place on Oct. 14 in Omaha!
Each year the Nebraska Democratic Party celebrates elected officials, candidates, party leaders and grassroots volunteers that build our party. For about two decades, the annual event was called the Morrison Exon fundraiser in honor of Gov. Frank Morrison and Sen. Jim Exon.
In 2022, the NDP decided it was time to honor two of our current party titans — Sen. Bob Kerrey and Sen. Ben Nelson — and re-named the annual event the Kerrey Nelson Gala.
The NDP designed Voter Guides showing all of the Democrats running for office in all 93 Nebraska counties so you know who the Dems are in the partisan and non-partisan races. We also include the ballot initiatives and constitutional amendments.
Just find your county below and click on the link to see your county’s Voter Guide.
You can use your Voter Guide as you fill out your Vote-by-Mail ballot, bring Voter Guide with you if you are voting early in-person at your county election office or take it with you if you plan on voting in-person on Nov. 8 at your local polling location.
If you have any questions, email email@example.com.
The DCCC just released a new TV ad in the race for NE-02, “Count On,” reminding Nebraskans that Don Bacon poses a clear threat to their hard-earned benefits.
Bacon consistently voted to threaten Social Security and gut Medicare, delivering devastating cuts to benefits that seniors depend on and have earned. He wants to raise the age of retirement — making Nebraskans work longer — and opposed efforts to expand Medicare to individuals under 60.
The ad — the second to run in NE-02 from the DCCC — is airing in Omaha beginning today.
Get ready for four debates in the CD1 and CD2 races!
Democratic state Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks and Rep. Mike Flood have two debates scheduled in their CD1 race on Sept. 25 and Oct. 2.
Democratic state Sen. Tony Vargas and Republican Rep. Don Bacon have two debates scheduled in their CD2 race on Oct. 13 and Oct. 16.
TOMORROW, Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. on the steps of the Douglas County Courthouse, we will gather to Rally for Reproductive Rights!!! Join us!
In case you missed it, for the first time in 230 years, Congress has full U.S. Indigenous representation! Rep. Mary Peltola’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives made history in several ways. With her recent swearing-in, it became official for the first time in more than 230 years: A Native American, a Native Alaskan and a Native Hawaiian are all members of the House — fully representing the United States’ Indigenous people for the first time, according to Rep. Kaiali’i Kahele of Hawaii.
Now, there are six Indigenous Americans who are representatives in the House. Kahele shared this history-making moment on social media this week with a photograph of him, Peltola, and Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas (a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation).
The NDP and local parties held Yard-Sign Drive-Thru parties last Sunday in Omaha, Papillion, Bellevue, Lincoln and Fremont! It was great to see everybody!
The Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus is getting ready to make endorsements. Registered Democrats who are candidates running in the Nebraska 2022 General Election may apply for the endorsement and /or other support of the Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus. Endorsement Forms may be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please request a form by 9/30/2022.
The Nebraska Democratic Party’s Coordinated Campaign and several legislative candidates are looking for canvassers to go door-to-door to distribute literature and talk to voters.
The NDP collaborated with graphic artist Justin Kemerling for a new five freedoms poster series. These will only be available at in-person fundraisers around the state. These will be available at the Kerrey Nelson dinner for VIP tickets-holders and for sale.
Right to Reproductive Freedom.
Right to the Future.
Right to Knowledge.
Right to Vote.
Right to Safety
You can now request to vote by mail for the Nov. 8 election! Fill out this form and we’ll help you get a ballot.
And speaking of the general election, see all of our great Democratic candidates!
If you want to keep up on NDP happenings and get our weekly blog as well as our daily News Clips and Talking Points, just send an email to email@example.com
Help build the NDP and become a Monthly Donor to help us help Dems win in 2022 and beyond! We need your help!
Join us on a Welcome-to-the-Party call!! We cover topics such as voter registration and redistricting.
The next call is Oct. 4 Sign up here.
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Sign up to join our Block Captain program! You get assigned 50 voters in your neighborhood to reach out to. We provide the training and materials. You provide about 2 hours in September and 2 hours in October to help elect Dems!
Sign up here for an NDP Block Captain Training!
Get your NDP swag at the NDP/Shirts 101 store! There are lots of designs from which to choose.
We leave you this week with a rendering by Mike Luckovich.
–By Kevin O’Hanlon/NDP Communications Director
NOTE: If you’d like to receive #NebDems News via email, just let us know by sending a note to: email@example.com
See NDP events here.
Various Dates: Zoom Phone Banks for Democrats!
Sept. 24: Omaha Women’s Movement for Equality
Sept. 24: Rally for Reproductive Rights in Omaha
Sept. 25: CD1 Debate
Sept. 27: Jane Raybould for Legislature Fundraiser
Sept. 27: Canvass in Greenwood with Sarah Slattery
Sept. 27: CD3 Fundraiser for Patty Pansing Brooks
Oct. 2. CD1 Debate
Oct. 8: Conversation with Patty – Seward
Oct. 11: Canvass in Eagle with Sarah Slattery
Oct. 13: CD2 debate
Oct 14: Inaugural Kerrey Nelson Gala
Oct. 15: State Central Committee meeting
Oct. 16: CD2 debate
Oct. 18: Canvass in Avoca with Sarah Slattery
Nov. 8: General Election