Well, let us take a look at that.
First, let us dispense with the notion that Nebraska should keep the split of Electoral Votes by Congressional District.
Only one other state does it, and it is screwy to have a nationwide system differ by state. If it is a good idea, then everyone should do it. Or no one should do it. But to have it differ by state is ridiculous for the system. Frankly the Electoral System needs an overhaul, with some sort of national convention, where the whole Iowa-New Hampshire thing is blown up and an actual plan comes out of it. “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” is not reason.
OK, so let us start with, “There is no good reason for Nebraska to split their votes — unless you are a Democrat.”
Sure the Dems like it. Their party broke off a vote last election. It pumped up the Dem base and nearly ousted a GOP Congressman with it. And increased Dem votes caused by it would help out their other candidates. Heck, they may even get a few suck-up visits to the Civic Auditorium with it. What’s not to love (if you are a Dem)?
So, back to the premise that it is easy for a Republican to want Winner Take All (WTA). It is not as if it is some radical idea. Every GOPer wants it (or should).
What would make a Republican from the solidly solid 3rd Congressional District break ranks and vote to help out the election chances of Ben Nelson, Lee Terry’s opponent, and Barack Obama?
The swing vote in the Government Affairs Committee of the Legislature was state Senator Paul Schumacher of Columbus.
Republican Paul Schumacher, along with the Democrats on the Committee trapped this bill.
Schumacher did it.
So, the question is, why?
To answer that question we have engage in speculation and opinion. We are not mind-readers. We do not know for any fact what his motives were. We can only guess, and judge based on those guesses.
So guess we will.
Paul Schumacher is the President of Community Lottery Systems, Inc., a company that promotes gambling in Nebraska — mainly Keno.
Community Lottery Systems gave nearly a million dollars to “Keep the Money in Nebraska” in 2004, a group that promotes expanded Keno and slot machines in Nebraska.
Paul Schumacher would like expanded gambling in Nebraska. We believe that he would agree with that statement.
(And by the way, we are not saying that expanded gambling is bad or good, just the state Senator Schumacher has a clear stake in it.)
Two committees in the Unicameral have a great deal of influence on how gambling could be expanded in Nebraska: Government Affairs — which affects how petition processes and ballot initiatives are governed — and General Affairs — which looks at regulations on such things as…Keno. Schumacher is now on both.
General Affairs was not difficult to get on. Government Affairs, however, took some doing.
After he was elected in 2010, Schumacher received certain support to get on the Government Affairs Committee. One of his more vocal supporters to get on Government Affairs was Democrat state Senator Danielle Conrad.
How did Republican Schumacher get the support of Democrat Conrad to get on Government Affairs?
Well, we do not know for certain.
It could have been that Conrad made a deal with Schumacher that if she helped get him on Government Affairs, he would vote against Winner Take All.
Coulda been. But again, we don’t know.
But horse trading his vote on this issue sure makes a lot more sense than the BS reasons that Republican Third-Districter Schumacher has given for voting against Winner Take All.
A LOT more.
The Dems now want the Omaha Mayor Recall supporters to pay for the cost of the recall election. If we were them we would have made that argument as well. That’s what they do.
Anywho, here is full response from Recall Spokesman, Jeremy Aspen:
The recall was a by-product of citizens caring about their city and the direction it is headed. None of the reasons that almost 40,000 people voted to have Mayor Suttle removed have just gone away because he won by 1 percentage point.
As part of our democratic process there is the necessary step of counting how people vote, and that costs money. It ends up elections are worth it as demonstrated by hundreds of years of a good track record.
Jim Rogers mentions in his statement that “The recall effort may have failed, but those who will ultimately lose out are the taxpayers of Omaha.” And while that may be an irresponsible thing to say while the city is trying to move forward it is also wrong. The taxpayers of Omaha made a statement to the Mayor that cost all of us $355K because that is what it took to get the message across to him. Now it is the mayor’s turn to make it worth it.
I also think that if you were to ask Mayor Suttle he would join me in asking everybody to let the recall remain a part of our history and move forward together in making our city better. The recall is over.
We heard about this “The Facebook” thing while watching the Oscars. Apparently it is real popular with kids and hipsters and Harvard students.
Anywho, you can now “Like” (what’s not to like?) Leavenworth Street on Facebook and keep track of when we put up new posts.
Now the only question is do we Tweet when we update Facebook with new posts from the blog? Or vice-vice-vice versa.
Ah the internets…