State of Nebraska Archives: on Government Reform


Shane Osborn: Cut 60 redundant federal agencies and save $60B

Osborn said the recent debate on Capitol Hill, over extending the federal debt ceiling serves a reminder that common sense fiscal policy needs to return to Washington. He says Congress shouldn't spend money it doesn't have.

"There's over 60 redundant agencies that have already been identified by the government accountability office, there's over $60 billion in savings right there. There's obviously entities that are too large, and then we have to have good serious debate on what the government serious debate about what the government should be doing in our lives and they shouldn't," said Osborn.

Source: KTIV News 4 Siouxland on 2014 Nebraska Senate race Feb 15, 2014

Ben Sasse: AdWatch: Campaign film "The Outsider", after years in DC

Senate candidate Ben Sasse has created a film that will tout his outsider status. Sasse contends the problem in Washington is "influence peddlers" who don't know what Americans really need. So coming down the pike soon is "The Outsider" film (Not to be confused with the 1983 film, "The Outsiders"). Sasse says, "It's unlike any political advertisement you've ever seen."

Sasse's campaign website explains: "It's time to cure the ineffectiveness and dysfunction of both parties in Washington, and leave the lobbyists and influence peddlers back east. Congress has forgotten conservative values, like how to live within a budget. They need a reminder. That's the point of our first film: we must choose the strongest, most conservative Nebraska voice to send to Washington this November."

Sasse may be an outsider, when compared to lawmakers who have served years in D.C. But he's worked in Washington as well, working as an Assistant Secretary of HHS & as a chief of staff in the Justice Department.

Source: Sioux City Journal AdWatch on 2014 Nebraska Senate race Jan 4, 2014

Ben Sasse: Permanent bureaucracy should not write big legislation

Sasse has ideas concerning how government should treat its people. "I think we have to do massive regulatory reform. When you read the Constitution there are only three branches of government, a legislative, executive, and a judicial--and the legislative branch is supposed to pass the laws and the executive branch, execute them. The executive branch doesn't get to create these permanent bureaucracies that write big pieces of legislation that we didn't ever discuss as a people," Sasse said.

In his tour of western Nebraska he came to realize that people really care about the work ethic. "The most commonly talked about subject isn't really a political issue, it's the work ethic. People realize that the greatness of America is about our identity as a people prior to government," Sasse said.

Source: Western Nebraska Observer on 2014 Nebraska Senate race Dec 5, 2013

Ben Sasse: Optimistic about America but pessimistic about Washington

While Sasse is optimistic about America, he said he is pessimistic about what is happening in Washington D.C. "I believe in America, I believe in freedom and I believe we can solve our problems," he said.

President Obama, Sasse said, looks at the country's problems through lenses that tell him the only way for a fix is through government. He acknowledged that Americans need the federal government for such services as the military, to protect the country from enemies foreign and domestic and to create the framework for liberty. "But we in our communities are responsible to build our future," he said.

He believes the saddest moment in recent politics is when President Obama gave his "You didn't build that" speech. "You don't go to places like Beatrice and say you didn't build that," he said. Nebraskans have built schools, farms and more in their communities, and not because of a federal mandate, he said.

Source: Imperial Republican: 2014 Nebraska Senate town hall meeting Nov 20, 2013

Deb Fischer: Accused of coordinating anti-Bruning TV ad with super-PAC

A super-PAC controlled by Chicago Cubs co-owner Joe Ricketts pumped $200,000 into ads backing Fischer in the weekend before the primary. Because the ad used the same footage as one of Fischer's spots, Bruning's campaign said the ads ran afoul of campaign laws barring super-PACs from coordinating with campaigns. "This is a last-minute effort to distort the facts," said Bruning's campaign manager. "The truth is, Deb Fischer cannot defend her record of tax increases and more spending in the Legislature."
Source: The Hill coverage of 2012 Nebraska Senate ad review May 15, 2012

Deb Fischer: Against earmarks and would oppose them

Flynn said he didn't like government earmarks, saying, "It's not my duty if elected to bring home the bacon." Each of the other three candidates also said they were against earmarks and would oppose them. In response to Bruning's statement that he does not support earmarks, Stenberg said, "I'm surprised to hear that because he asked Senator Ben Nelson to get him one a few years ago."
Source: West Point News on 2012 Nebraska Senate debates Apr 19, 2012

Pat Flynn: No earmarks: it's not my duty to bring home the bacon

Flynn brought up [the small town of West Point] in answering a question about his feelings about government earmarks. He said he didn't like them, saying, "It's not my duty if elected to bring home the bacon." He said he liked West Point's approach to doing things on its own, noting that the community decided against letting government getting involved in building a community center so raised the money themselves. Each of the other 3 candidates also said they were against earmarks & would oppose them.
Source: West Point News on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Apr 19, 2012

Pat Flynn: Don't renew legislative earmarks

All four candidates rejected renewal of legislative earmarks to help fund state or local projects. But Stenberg said Bruning once attempted to acquire an earmark from Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson. Fischer challenged Bruning for accepting campaign contributions from industries that benefit from his actions as attorney general. Bruning said his record as attorney general shows he has fought consistently against "the grab for power" by the federal government.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2012 Nebraska Senate Debates Apr 16, 2012

Don Stenberg: Don't renew legislative earmarks; and attack past ones

All four candidates rejected renewal of legislative earmarks to help fund state or local projects. But Stenberg said Bruning once attempted to acquire an earmark from Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson. Fischer challenged Bruning for accepting campaign contributions from industries that benefit from his actions as attorney general. Bruning said his record as attorney general shows he has fought consistently against "the grab for power" by the federal government.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2012 Nebraska Senate Debates Apr 15, 2012

Jon Bruning: Don't renew legislative earmarks, but past ones ok

All four candidates rejected renewal of legislative earmarks to help fund state or local projects. But Stenberg said Bruning once attempted to acquire an earmark from Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson. Fischer challenged Bruning for accepting campaign contributions from industries that benefit from his actions as attorney general. Bruning said his record as attorney general shows he has fought consistently against "the grab for power" by the federal government.
Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2012 Nebraska Senate Debates Apr 14, 2012

Jon Bruning: Political contributions ok from out-of-state coal companies

The candidates were asked to identify a characteristic they admired about their opponent. The only thing that Stenberg could identify as admirable about Bruning was that he was a "great political fundraiser."

Bruning has significantly outraised his rivals. He ended the last fundraising quarter with about $1.5 million in his campaign coffers, while Stenberg had about $200,000.

Later in the debate, Fischer took her shot at Bruning, questioning whether Bruning should have accepted $100,000 in campaign contributions from out-of-state coal companies. She questioned whether the donations were appropriate, especially since Bruning had joined a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency on the behalf of coal companies. "Yes or no? Will you stop taking contributions from industries that could benefit from your position as chief law enforcement officer of Nebraska?" asked Fischer.

Bruning declined to directly answer.

Source: Omaha World-Herald on 2012 Nebraska Senate debate Apr 12, 2012

Deb Fischer: No campaign contributions from industry tied to your office

Fischer challenged Bruning for accepting campaign contributions from industries that benefit from his actions as attorney general.

At one point, Stenberg asked Bruning if he would support the Republican nominee in a general election battle with former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey if Bruning is not that nominee. "Of course," the attorney general replied.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star on 2012 Nebraska Senate debates Apr 11, 2012

Dave Heineman: Disallow using government resources for politics

This legislation would provide that limited use of public resources by public officials or employees for private financial gain or campaigning is not a violation of law. Additionally, the bill permits the use of a government resource, including a vehicle, for personal use if it is bargained for in an employment contract. I believe very strongly that government resources should not be used for political purposes. LB 626 has the potential to erode the integrity of the public positions we hold.
Source: 2009 Nebraska Gubernatorial press release May 26, 2009

Scott Kleeb: Johanns wastefully spent $20M studying crawdads in Australia

Kleeb blamed the nation’s budget deficit and economic woes on the Bush administration, which once included Johanns. One example, Kleeb said, of wasteful spending under Johanns was $20 million spent on travel by USDA employees. That expense included a trip to Australia to study crawdads.

Johanns said if Kleeb were serious about changing the leadership, he should campaign against Washington veterans like U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. “I doubt he’ll do that,” Johanns said.

Source: 2008 Nebraska Senate debate reported in Omaha World-Herald Sep 16, 2008

Steven Larrick: Public funding of elections creates fair political system

Source: Nebraska Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test Jun 25, 2008

Don Stenberg: Judges should not impose liberal social policies on families

Judges should be law enforcers, not law makers. I will work to confirm Judges who will not attack our basic American values or impose liberal social policies on our families. 1
Source: 2006 Senate campaign website, www.stenbergfornebraska.com Jan 18, 2006

Jon Bruning: No campaign donation limits; but full disclosure

Q: Do you support limiting PAC contributions to state legislative candidates?

A: No.

Q: Individual donations?

A: No.

Q: Corporate?

A: No.

Q: Political Parties?

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns??

A: No.

Q: Do you support partial funding from state taxes for political campaigns??

A: No.

Source: Nebraska State 2000 National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Nebraska Politicians: Archives.
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