First a little Legislature SAB for ya (sent in by a loyal Lincoln reader):
Rookie Omaha state Senator Burke Harr, and annonying insurance salesman, “Ned the Head” Ryerson from Groundhog Day.
This is the season of the budget, and everywhere you look, someone is talking about cutting.
From the Feds to the State to the Cities, it’s all about budgeting these days. A few things we’ve seen…
Don Stenberg announced his plan to cut $1.4 mil from the State Treasurer’s budget over the next two years.
When it came up we thought, “Hey, good for Don-o! Way to get on board. Nice plan.”
Well…except that Don didn’t come up with that plan.
And he didn’t give any credit to the guy who did come up with the plan.
- The College Savings Program shift was because of a bill initiated by former State Treasurer Shane Osborn in 2009.
- Eliminating postage expense from Child Support billing statements was proposed to the appropriations committee by Osborn in November of 2009.
- The reduction of office equipment and personnel came from the budget submitted by Osborn in September 2010.
And that is great that Stenberg wants to implement those plans.
But they are not his proposals.
And he should certainly credit Osborn.
Note: Don did have one original point — the $98K reduction from the elimination of the long-term care savings plan. Which he already announced last month.
Here’s the thing: the Stenberg camp HAD to know this was coming. Our guess is they figure the fact that these were Osborn’s proposals will be a side story at best, and that his original press is good enough, damn any consequences.
And he may be right.
But don’t expect Osborn (or Jon Bruning) to sit by idly on this.
While we are on the subject of the Stenberg camp, we note that Don now has an official campaign manager on staff now.
Lois Akers, who previously worked on the the Matt Sakalosky NE-2 primary campaign against Lee Terry, is staffed-up with Stenberg. She adds to the Dan Parsons team for the Senate race.
At the federal level we see that Senator Ben Nelson is rejecting everyone’s budget plan, saying they all stink. My, how middle-of-the-road of him. Boy, haven’t seen THAT before.
Of course you will note that during an election year, Nelson traditionally votes more against his party. Then in off-years, when the Democrats need him — on things like Supreme Court nominees and take-over of the health care system — he is right there for him.
Wonder if Nebraskans will figure that out this time.
We get emails all the time on various budget issues, and this one from the Tea Party gang caught our eyes. Seems there is proposal before the Senate for a new jet engine (the F-135) for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.
But there is an additional proposal for an additional, backup engine (the F-136) for the same jet. A duplicate. Just in case.
Now we get it. There are two different companies that make each engine. And sure, there are jobs at stake if you don’t make the second engine.
But there are also jobs at stake if you don’t make a third engine. Or a fourth.
Or if you don’t support Cowboy poetry in Nevada.
At what point do you say “no”?
The pols have an unusual opportunity going on in the present climate. People want them to cut things. To spend less. As a matter of fact, if you aren’t visibly on board with that plan, you are part of the problem.
Governor Dave Heineman just batted that ball back at Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle, when Suttle claimed that he needed more state money.
Of course the Suttle folks started screaming Pools! Libraries! (Which is apparently the only thing the city spends money on.)
We would add that we have none of the answers on these points.
But the pol that DOES come up with something original…
Something other than, “Well, we will just have to raise taxes,”…
With SOME plan on how to do things differently…
…will be rewarded by the voters.
People want to see out-of-the-box thinking.
It is an opportunity.
Bouncing back to the Senate race, Joe Jordan reports that it looks like Nebraska’s system of breaking up the Presidential Electoral Votes by Congressional District will not change this year.
That’s good news for Ben Nelson.
Because now there is a chance that the Obama campaign will try to compete again in the 2nd District — bringing with it more Democrat voters.
Ask the Lee Terry camp if that makes a difference.
And we chuckled to see the latest supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
A guy named Patrick Moore.
No, we hadn’t heard of him either. But we are familiar with the organization he co-founded:
A little group called Greenpeace.
Listen to Moore bat away the majority of the arguments against the pipeline, and the oil itself.
And always remember that those who are against “the pipeline” aren’t really against the pipeline. They are against the oil itself, and are using the pipeline as an excuse to foil the whole thing.
An interesting five minutes of your time via Fox Business’s Stuart Varney: