Lin-oma Pols

First a little Frozen Four, UNO Hockey (or “Omaha” hockey, as the national press are calling them) Separated at Birth for ya:

UNO Head Coach Dean Blais and former Grand Island Mayor, Jay Vavricek!

Dean Blais - Jay Vavricek SAB 01

(Boy, that’s Brother-from-another-Mother suff going on there…)

***

After the closer-than-expected finish in the Lincoln Mayor Primary on Tuesday, the candidates immediately jumped into a forum/debate in front of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce yesterday.

Two term, going for a third, incumbent Democrat Mayor Chris Beutler and Republican Lancaster County Treasurer Andy Stebbing went at it about roads, crime and taxes, among other stuff.

Stebbing already has a record of coming up with innovative ideas, whereas Beutler’s main plans are to raise taxes. But if you want an interesting perspective, you can read LJS reporter Nancy Hicks’ analysis of the forum:

Most of Stebbing’s answers during the debate were short and to the point, while Beutler, who has been mayor for eight years and understands how city government works, provided more detailed information.

(Emphasis added.)

Ha! Niiiiiice Nancy.
This is what passes for unbiased reporting these days, eh?
Outstanding. Next time just add, “and Christopher was like a garden breeze, while that Stebbing fella smelled of beef and cheese!”

(Some think this is really a response to KLIN’s Coby Mach, after Beutler’s fouled-up hit on Stebbing last week.

After Beutler attacked Stebbing for non-payment of property taxes — when Stebbing’s payment sent by his mortgage company hadn’t been processed YET by the Country Treasurer’s office — Mach questioned whether Beutler knew how government works.)

In any case, for your listening pleasure, you can hear Andy Stebbing on my podcast, The Wheels Down Politics Show, here.

***

Travelling down the road to Omaha, Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert sent a letter to Unicameral Speaker Hadley regarding her support for LB623, driver’s licenses for “DREAMers” — kids of illegal immigrants.

Here is the FULL TEXT of the letter:

Dear Speaker Hadley and Members of the Legislature,

LB623 is a bill that would allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) youth, sometimes referred to as DREAMers, to apply for a Nebraska driver’s license. DACA is a program created by the Department of Homeland Security that would give certain young immigrants deferred status and, among other things, make it lawful for states to issue driver’s licenses to them. As Mayor of Nebraska’s largest city, I am in support of LB623.

In order to qualify for the DACA program, an immigrant must meet the following criteria: enter the United States before age 16, currently attend school or have graduated from high school or college, and pose no public safety threat (no felony record). Many of these individuals were brought to this Country very young and know only Nebraska as their home. They have learned English, completed school and contribute to our society in many ways. For most of them, eventual citizenship is their dream.

As Mayor, ensuring public safety is vital, and our Nation’s borders must be secure. Immigration policy should be designed with our Nation’s well-being held in high regard. However, reality tells us that over the decades, millions of people have come into this country contrary to our immigration laws and many were brought here as children, through no fault of their own.

I do support a path to legal status for those who came here as a minor. Here in Omaha, we should make children of undocumented workers who are on a path to legal status have the tools they need to be
productive members of our community. It is time for the federal government to step up and take action by passing comprehensive immigration reform that will also secure our borders.

I would request the Legislature move Senator McCollister’s priority bill out of the Transportation and Telecommunication Committee and pass it into law.

Sincerely,
Jean Stothert
Mayor, City of Omaha

You may note that while Mayor Stothert and several other Republicans are for this, several notable Republicans, such as former Governor Heineman, current Governor Ricketts and state Senator Beau McCoy are against.

However, Stothert’s support shouldn’t be a big shock to anyone. She announced her support for this idea way back when she was an Omaha Councilperson running for Mayor in 2013.

Of course back then it wasn’t much of a deal, because ALL of the candidates — Jim Suttle, Dave Nabity, Dan Welch and Brad Ashford — were for allowing DREAMers to apply for driver’s licenses.

At the time Stothert noted she supported the idea, “so that they can legally drive, and go to work and get to school.” It is also worth noting that in the general election, Stothert campaigned hard in, and won, South Omaha’s Ward 4, home of a large Latino population in the city.

The bill has 25 cosponsors, but will need another 5 votes to override a likely veto by Governor Ricketts. It will be interesting to see what comes down on this one. It will be tight.

***

As an aside, in his story about Mayor Stohert’s letter, the OWH’s Paul Hammel referred to Stothert as “a rising star in the Republican Party”.

Chuckle.

I guess if you mean nationally, that would be true. But as far as the state of Nebraska goes, once you’re become the Mayor of Omaha — as opposed to, say, on the city council or a state Senator — your star has pretty much risen.

You can listen to my podcast with Star Republican Jean Stothert on this week’s edition of The Wheels Down Politics Show.

***

And on the subject of Risen Stars, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer has stepped up her support for women in the workplace with conservative legislation.

In an Op-Ed, she writes:

I fully agree that gender-based pay discrimination is unacceptable. I oppose well intentioned, but ultimately misguided policy prescriptions like the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act, which would hurt merit-based pay and actually curtail flexibility for women to negotiate unique employment arrangements. Instead I have offered alternative ideas on how to combat pay discrimination.

Last year, the Republican women of the Senate offered a legislative proposal that would, among other things, reinforce employers’ obligations to fully apprise employees of their rights regarding pay discrimination. Knowledge is power, and our bill equips women who might otherwise be unaware of their ability to recover lost wages.

The proposal also includes much-needed, non-retaliation language. Such language is similar to an April 8, 2014, executive order signed by President Obama. It does not authorize any new federal regulations, nor does it compel employers to disclose salary information. It prevents punitive action against employees seeking information. It’s very simple — if you want to know how your salary compares to your coworkers, you should have every right to ask. It’s as basic as the First Amendment.

Just two weeks ago, as part of the fiscal 2016 budget, the Republican-led United States Senate passed an amendment I offered containing this equal pay proposal. Unlike previous proposals from Democrats, this idea garnered bipartisan backing and passed with the support of Senators Angus King, I-Maine, Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Joe Donnelly, D-Ind. What’s more, 53 Republicans also voted for the idea.

It’s common sense and a fresh solution to an old problem. Any legislator — Republican or Democrat — who is seriously interested in making progress on this issue for women and moving past electioneering and scoring political points should step up and support the proposal. For the first time in over half a century, we have the opportunity to update the Equal Pay Act with a bill that actually provides changes and can realistically pass — my Workplace Advancement Act (S. 875).

Hopefully the rest of the Dems will stop their war on women and support Senator Fischer and her colleagues.

***

Go Mavs!!!

24 comments

  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    Let them get a license. What’s the big deal? I really don’t understand the opposition to this at all.

  2. FAC says:

    A while ago, but Zorinsky went from being Omaha Mayor to US Senator. Have not seen a state Senator become Mayor of Omaha in my lifetime where two of last three Mayors in Lincoln were state Senators. No one in Omaha cares about Lincoln whether it is the Mayor or State Senators. Bet most Omahans couldn’t tell you who the Mayor Lincoln is or who their State Senator is. Stothert got all the press about being for the Dream act but did not see a blip about the many Omaha State Senators who are for it. Being Mayor of Omaha is just a much bigger job. You are a star if you are the Mayor of Omaha. Mayor of Lincoln and state senators are wannabees in the huge political shadow of Omaha.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stebbing always has a simple answer for complex problems. This approach catches on with low-info, unsophisticated voters, but would be a disaster if he became Mayor. (see Brownback)

  4. Bob Loblaw says:

    Hey FAC,

    Mayor of Lincoln has gone on to be Governor and Senator more recently than Zorinsky. Mike Johanns. I wouldn’t discount City of Lincolns political clout in Nebraska politics.

  5. Interested Observer says:

    Meanwhile, in other news, that has absolutely NOTHING, at all, whatsoever, to do with illegal aliens wanting drivers’ licenses, more than 1,200 people around the US were recently arrested in “Project Wildfire”by Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, State and local officials for various criminal violations, including murder, rape, drug offenses, weapon violations, etc.

    Fortunately, of the 1,207 arrested, only 976 are involved with gangs. The good news is that while Ernie Chambers represents the Legislative district with the highest murder rate in the state, he is focusing his attention on mountain lions and prairie dogs in the far northwest corner of the Pan Handle instead of actually DOING HIS JOB and addressing the gangs in his own neighborhood!

    Hey, here’s an idea! Maybe Stothert could require those illegal aliens who want a driver’s license to have to drive to the Pan Handle and shoot prairie dogs first!!! Do you suppose that if they finally had the chance to shoot and kill something that it would satiate their need to shoot and kill and then maybe they wouldn’t want or need to shoot and kill each other? Or maybe Ernie just figures that when the gangsters shoot and kill each other, that the whole problem becomes self correcting . . .

    That would probably work, well except, of course, for the case of Payton Benson, the little girl who was shot by a stray bullet while eating her breakfast. Then it didn’t work out quite so well.

  6. Why not? says:

    Why not give all illegals licenses? Easier to track them then when we get someone in office that will deport them.

  7. Hesdeadjim says:

    Giving illegals licenses benefits them, us, and the government. Everyone wins. See, with a license they become more mobile and they start paying gas tax. They also pay wheel tax, licensing fees, and their newfound mobility will have them out spending more money on taxed goods. The whole thing benefits the economy. As long as they keep their noses clean, who GAF what crummy place their parents brought them from?

  8. Ahem 9:34 says:

    Right, it’s not like Andy Stebbing has experience running a local government entity, ya know, except for the post he holds now.

    Andy Stebbing knows how things work and has the track record to prove effective changes can be made. The brevity doesn’t indicate uncomplicated thinking, it demonstrates an experienced hand at solving problems.

    On the other hand, it most certainly requires a lot of “detailed information” to make any sense of the Mayor’s record.

  9. Bob Loblaw says:

    The way I understand it these people who will get licenses are the so called “dreamers”. That means that their parents brought them here as a child. It’s not their fault that they’re in America. This Country is all that they know. Would you want to deport these people?

    Let them have drivers licenses, work, pay taxes, start businesses. Why is this even an issue?

  10. Anonymous says:

    We had a burglar put his child into our house uninvited at 2 am. Stuck the kid in through a broken window and the kid then opened our front door from the inside. They were stealing us blind when we awoke to find them looking into our bedroom. Both of us hit the floor running and figured they were killing our kids. Actually they were only robbing us, with the help of their own kids, of the money and things we needed to feed our kids.

    How is this any different in a national scale? Or maybe you think because they used a child to perpetrate their crime of invasion we should have let them have our stuff?

    If you think this is okay, I hope you wake up tonight to find invaders in your home, in your child’s room, because people as dumb as you need to learn the hard way.

  11. Anonymous says:

    3:59, it’s hyper-fearful people like you that are ruining this country. Bet you go to church every Sunday, too.

  12. KHDS says:

    5:30. Yeah. Going to church on Sunday is a crime. If not a capital crime, it should be. Most definitely a thought crime.

    And Rule of Law? Forgetaboutit.

    The iron rules of economics can’t be repealed. A large supply of illegal and unskilled labor drives downs and caps wages for American citizens. And, of course, it would be foolish for American politicians to protect the interests of actual American citizens and voters. That would be nuts!

  13. Hyper Fearful says:

    Love how the libs can use an “individual stories” to control the narrative, but when someone else does it, they’re being hyper-fearful and ruining the country.

    As for Stothert’s dreamers, further proof as to why the NEGOP is going in the crapper. Dems just don’t have divisions in their party the size of the Grand Canyon.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Go to church on Sunday? Why bother? To hear the word and example of Moses or Jesus about caring for immigrants and strangers? Honestly, who needs those assholes. Today some call them “libtards.” Same difference. At least one of these guys allegedly rise from the dead, but that must be some libtards, narrative controlling trick. Who’d listen to a guy who allegedly rose from the dead about how best to have the same experience, especially if it meant associating with (gulp) illegal immigrants? Clearly a guy who smoked bath salts.

  15. Anonymous @ 9:54am says:

    Right on the money. State Senator McCollister has shown he is not a true conservative. He said one thing in the campaign and votes the opposite. He and some other senators have turned on the state gop and the majority of their district’s constituency on very key issues. The state gop’s resources, money, time and district voters got them elected. Shame on McCollister and some of his senate colleagues.

  16. Transparent says:

    List of senators who do not want you to know how they vote on the powerful branch of the legislature:
    Baker, Bloomfield, Bolz, Campbell, Chambers, Coash, Cook, Crawford, Davis, Friesen, Garrett, Gloor, K Haar, Hadley, Hansen, Harr, Hughes, Johnson, Kolowski, Kolterman, Krist, Kuehn, Mello, Morefield, Nordquist, Pansing Brooks, Schumacher, Seiler, Stinner, Sullivan, Williams.
    Krist’s comment on no lawyers on the committee was very telling
    Not much reasoning in the debate justifying why they should not be able to hide their votes
    Really surprised that Bloomfield has made it a mission to defend Chambers

  17. Anonymous says:

    To those who think church goers are right wing stupid people please don’t forget that Obama is Church of Christ, Biden and Kerry are Catholic, Hillary’s a Methodist, etc. In Hillary’s case, she is also a self-admitted communitarian which means she not only has her own benevolent ideas to shove down everyone else’s throats but she thinks Jesus agrees with her.

    These top Democrats are doing what average Republicans do, i.e. they attend church. If belief is stupid, then they must either be stupid or lying, acting out a false belief on a weekly basis.

    Belief in God is indeed comforting. However, after having scraped up bodies of people who were comfortable, I try to opt for more rational prickly truths. 3.5 billion years of trillions of dead -ended ancestral creatures who didn’t make it to reproduce makes it impossibly odd that any of us are here as sentient beings today. Seems miracle enough. If not, so be it. Stick god wherever you want.

    Frankly, freedom does not spring from what you religiously or secularly believe or don’t believe but rather from how you behave by leaving other people to act as they wish, contrary to what you believe. Especially when it is contrary to what you believe.

    Being free is being left alone. That’s not a hard concept. Yet we are ambitious creatures and we altruistically want to help others even if it kills them.

    The scientific conclusions behind the worst of Nazi and Marxist horrors are no less bloody awful than the religious horrors of medieval Europe or modern Islamic nationalism. Those horrors are right wing and left wing and atheist and religious.

    Freedom is never about what you know is right. It is all about you allowing the other guy to be wrong.

  18. Anonymous says:

    11:21, you confused my point. I was pointing out the poster’s hypocrisy. I’ve got nothing against religion; I’m a Christian myself. I just hate people who consider themselves Christians but choose only selected tenets they’ll follow.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I hate to think of all the good, conservative Republicans who voted for McCollister and are now blaming themselves for putting this guy in office. Just because there’s an “R” on the ballot doesn’t mean you need to vote for him/her if there is little difference between them and the “D” or “I” opponent.

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