a non-partisan Unicameral – Nebraska City News Press | #government | #hacking | #cyberattack

Dogma Bustin’: with Alvin Guenther

In 1934, Nebraskans voted to create the nation’s only nonpartisan unicameral legislature. The vote tally was 286,086 for and 193,152 against the unicameral system. It first convened in 1937.

George Norris, the father of Nebraska’s unique unicameral, advocated nonpartisanship because he felt that such a unique representative lawmaking body would allow senators to concentrate on local interests without being influenced by national party lines. National party lines, he argued, often have little, if anything, to do with local government.

For decades, Nebraska’s unique form of single house nonpartisan government has functioned exactly as George Norris envisioned. Strong inspiring, and sometimes contentious educational debate erupted in the unicameral chambers, but in the end, compromise was achieved, and the unicameral legislature achieved its job of serving “ALL” the great people of Nebraska regardless of their party affiliation.

Because Norris’ vision for Nebraska’s Unicameral was to serve “ALL” Nebraskans and not a majority party, that vision is protected by the “filibuster”. The “filibuster” is an important tool for the minority party to ensure that a single majority party cannot enslave or force its ideologies upon the state’s minority party members.

Sadly, a Governor Ricketts induced and promoted extreme right-wing partisanship has befallen Nebraska’s Unicameral legislature which has virtually destroying George Norris’ pride and joy!

Now, Nebraska’s unicameral often struggles to serve Nebraska’s local needs or interests. Governor Ricketts campaign contributions, senator appointments and “Dark Money” and suspected campaign financed character defamation ads have created a self-serving, divisive, toxic atmosphere.

Norris’ vision was that all 49 state senators would represent their districts constituents’ local needs or interests in an unfettered way free of party condemnation, bulling, or recourse. To achieve this level of performance, highly educated and highly qualified applicants are a must. Sadly, many in today’s unicameral who are shrouded in incompetence, economic illiteracy and enslaved by beholden loyalty and party rhetoric lack the level of competence needed to perform in a unicameral setting.

Currently, Nebraska’s unicameral lawmakers earn $12,000 annually. Looking across the country, only four states pay senators less than Nebraska.

To attract younger, highly educated and greater qualified state lawmakers, State Senator Adam Morfeld said a raise in salary of lawmakers may “Attract more experienced and educated senators”. Senator Mark Kolterman said, “If you want good-qualified candidates, you have to be willing to pay them”.

Bullying and condemnation from such individuals as Jim Pillen, a 2022 Governor Ricketts endorsed Nebraska Republican gubernatorial hopeful, has said he would discontinue any state funding of any public school whose locally elected school board would implement CRT into their school’s curriculum. He also said he would punish the two state senators who, serving their constituents, opposed Nebraska’s attempt to pass a nationally sponsored abortion repeal trigger law. Last fall, after UNL’s Board of Regents denounced Pillen’s attempted censorship of UNL’s inclusion of CRT in its curriculum, he said in anger, to paraphrase, “Wait until I’m governor!”

Governor Pete Ricketts financed or appointed state senators such as Robert Clements, Julie Slama, Tom Brewer and Steve Halloran have transformed Nebraska’s nonpartisan unicameral into a tribe or clan of Ricketts beholden, loyalist, far right, lawmakers acting as enslaved mouth pieces to Ricketts himself as well as a Ricketts promoted one size fits all self-serving national party agenda.

Examples would be Senator Julie Slama, (LR282CA) a Ricketts lapdog has attempted to revert Nebraska’s unique nonpartisan unicameral legislature back to a partisan, two-house lawmaking body to serve only the party of majority. Slama (LB 76) also has attempted to return Nebraska’s Second Congressional District to a “Winner takes All”. Slama (LR3CA) sought the Republican agenda of requiring a voter ID.

“Dark Money” influence erupted prior to the 2020 general election with Governor Ricketts and Senator Julie Slama’s personal attack ads against Republican Janet Palmtag leading to a Slama Vs. Ernie Chambers racist and sexual tainted confrontation. It is again erupting with Senator Slama’s sexual assault accusations against Trump endorsed Charles Herbster. “Dark Money” videos are also attacking Bret Lindstrom. Is this fact or a Ricketts/Slama promoted “Political Hack Job” such as one that allegedly defamed Janet Palmtag in the 2020 Palmtag Vs. Slama state senator campaign? Is there a pattern developing here? I guess as defamation lawsuits are filed and witnesses emerge, we shall find out!

Is Governor Ricketts desire to build a canal in Colorado authorized by a 1923 compact simply a “Political Hack Job” or self-serving political stunt against Democratic Colorado Governor Jared Polis with a “bad faith” attempt to undermine a century long compact? Multimillion-dollar Colorado lawsuits at Nebraska tax payer expense will expose the truth!

Simply refer to the highly partisan north Platte Bulletin newspaper’s opinion page and one will quickly realize that senators such as Ricketts loyalists Steve Erdman, Tom Brewer and Steve Halloran have absolutely no clue what a nonpartisan unicameral legislature is or how it is to function.

They constantly demonstrate their ignorance of the purpose of Nebraska’s unicameral by complaining how Omaha’s Legislative Districts #12 senator, Steve Lathrop wastes their time while he attempts to serve his constituency with, for example, prison reform as opposed to some national party agenda.

Today’s Republicans are ignoring their former “Independence” or “Local Control” platform choosing instead to use fearmongering, government overreach to censure textbooks, deny local governments and private enterprises the ability to enact mandates, or deny local educational policies.

Or dictate how, for example, woman may use their bodies while simultaneously reviving the back street abortion butchers that existed prior to Roe Vs. Wade. Nebraska’s state senator, Anna Wishart stated, “In state by state, legislatures are taking a sledgehammer to women’s freedom’s”. All while attacking our nations voting rights!

Oh, well, 50 to 90.4% of Nebraskan’s rural voters, awash with Republican dogma of “Nebraska’s taxes are too high” mostly due to high local property taxes resulting from low state funding of public schools (49th), voted for this huge “Dark Money” toxic, divisive, far right influenced, national agenda and government overreach in November of 2020. Fifty to sixty percent of urban voters opposed it.

With an annual $900 million loss in state revenue, who is going to fund local governments increasing equipment repair costs, workers increasing health insurance premiums, teachers’ salaries, local bridge and road repair, local libraries, volunteer fire departments, ambulance services, hospitals, law enforcement, local social services, needed state agencies or educational institutions of higher learning to name a few? Wait until Nebraska has a downturn in revenue flows do to a economic slowdown.

I’ll tell you who! Those seniors’ social security tax cuts and low- and middle-income households’ income will be spent on increased local property taxes and increased or a broadened sales taxes base.

Social Security tax cuts and low – and middle-income households’ incomes will be taxed to fund millionaire’s and billionaire’s income and corporate income tax cuts and fund millionaire and billionaire landowners’ property taxes cuts.

Just remember 90.4% of Logan County voters and 50% to 90% of the remaining Nebraska counties voters voted for Republican Governor Pete Ricketts. Only Lancaster and Douglas Counties voted for Democrat Bob Krist. And remember Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen is endorsed by Pete Ricketts.

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