Saturday edition

Dave Domina, Nebraska's Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

Dave Domina, Nebraska’s Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

Democratic Senate candidate Dave Domina has announced via Twitter that he will appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. uVoted4them.com is betting that Domina will appear on a segment about the proposed Keystone Pipeline. (Preview it here.) Domina is one of the lawyers on the front-lines in the legal battle between property owners and the pipeline’s owner, TransCanada.

“Meet the Press” appears at different times around the country, usually scheduled around local affiliates’ religious programming. You can watch the program online here.

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Congratulations to Joe Ricketts’ Ending Spending PAC for finding its way into FactCheck.org’s Players Guide 2014, an info-base about  groups seeking to influence elections this year. Members are largely selected based on the amounts they spend and/or the media attention they receive. FactCheck.org also has a nice section, Party Lines, that untangles truth from fiction in common political arguments.

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House Republicans made their 55th stab at repealing Obamacare last week when they voted to pass a measure that would change the definition of full-time work.

Nebraska Reps. Lee Terry, Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry all voted for the Save Workers Act of 2014, which would redefine “full-time” work for the purposes of Obamacare as a 40-hour work week. Currently, employees qualify for coverage under Obamacare if they work 30 hours per week.

Eighteen Democratic House members facing stiff primary elections joined 230 Republicans in voting for the measure. Chances that it will go anywhere in the Democratically controlled Senate? Zero.

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Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse and Utah Sen. Mike Lee shared a byline April 3 in an anti-Obamacare op-ed in the uber-conservative Washington Examiner. There’s nothing new for Nebraskans who’ve been following Sasse. It’s the same old Obama-is-a-liar and Obamacare-is-awful spiel.The Examiner is owned by the same billionaire who owns The Weekly Standard.

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 As American politicians continue to haggle over raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10, the German parliament is expected to take up a proposal that would set that nation’s minimum wage at the dollar-equivalent of $11.75. The German cabinet approved the increase last week and, if passed by parliament, would give Germans their first official minimum wage. Current law simply forbids employers from paying “immoral wages.” Trade unions and business groups generally regulate wages.

Each of Nebraska’s four Republican candidates for Senate — Sid Dinsdale, Bart McLeay, Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse — opposes raising the minimum wage for American workers, and all said at a recent debate that they would be fine with eliminating the minimum wage altogether. Democratic candidate for Senate Dave Domina supports raising the minimum wage.

 

Back to the kitchen?

Anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly in her 1970s heyday, and today with Shane Osborn.

Anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly in her 1970s heyday, and today with Shane Osborn.

UVoted4them.com has been waiting to see women’s issues emerge in the rhetoric of the Republican Senate race, and so far we’ve been disappointed. Until Tuesday, there was nothing — zip, zilch, nada — to lead us to believe the candidates considered women to be anything other than shapelier men.

And then Shane Osborn snagged the endorsement of Phyllis Schlafly.

Among Republican men, Mrs. Schlafly is highly regarded as a pioneer of the anti-feminist movement, the woman who almost single-handedly stopped the Equal Rights Amendment from ratification by the states during the 1970s.

With dire predictions that  constitutional protections for women would lead to such unthinkables as female soldiers in combat and unisex bathrooms, Mrs. Schlafly’s campaign stopped the ratification process almost overnight. She believed a woman’s place was in the kitchen, and there was no such thing as marital rape. (If he’s your husband, you haven’t been raped.)

Now 89, Mrs. Schlafly is still active in politics. Last month she agreed with a fringe conservative talk show host who suggested that conservative Americans launch a Ukraine-style 100-million-person march on the White House and depose President Obama.

“I don’t think our military and the few pitiful police they have would fire on the American people,”  host Stan Solomon said.  “We need to clean out that cesspool of Democrats and Republicans, of illegals, certainly, and say it’s to save America for Americans, basically.”

Replied Schlafly: “Yes. I agree. America for Americans.”

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Having sent the message that women still belong in the kitchen, and that it might be time to end that nearly 250-year-old American tradition of democratic elections, Osborn and other Republicans might try to woo women with support for a rise in the minimum wage.

Voices for Children in Nebraska has released a poll showing majority support in Nebraska for raising the minimum wage. Among Democrats, 85 percent supported raising the minimum wage, as did 57 percent of independents and 35 percent of Republicans. A Gallup Poll from Thursday shows 71 percent support for a minimum wage increase nationally.

After all, independents are the fastest-growing group of voters in Nebraska, and 60 percent of workers earning minimum wage are women. Should we really have a minimum wage so low that someone who works 40 hours a week still lives in poverty?

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Also on the subject of endorsements, awards and etceteras:

  • KWBE/1450 in Beatrice is reporting that Sen. Mike Johanns will not be making an endorsement in the 2014 Senate race.
  • Senate candidate Ben Sasse, meanwhile, has received the endorsement of Utah Senator and Ted Cruz chum Mike Lee.
  • Pinnacle Bancorp Chairman and Republican Senate candidate Sid Dinsdale is one of seven men who will be inducted into the Commercial Real Estate Summit Hall of Fame this year. The award recognizes individuals and their companies “for contributing to the state’s growth through construction, banking, law and development,” according to an Omaha World-Herald article by Cindy Gonzalez.
  • Democratic Senate candidate Dave Domina held a Q-and-A session with Nebraskans on Reddit on Thursday. It’s a nifty way to handle voter questions, and I highly recommend it as a replacement for those “telephone town halls” used by Nebraska’s members of Congress. There’s no hanging on the phone for 40 minutes, and everybody gets to ask questions. You can read the questions and answers here.

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Did we mention that candidate Osborn attended one of those two-day  seminars designed, among other things, to teach Republican candidates how to reach female voters and speak in female-friendly terms? Click on the link to learn more.

After the long weekend

Nebraska’s Democratic Party has decided to allow voters registered as independents to vote in the upcoming May 13 Democratic primary. State law allows political parties to open their partisan state and local races to independents, and Democratic party leaders recently voted to do just that.

“This vote emphasizes the openness of our party and the great importance we place on the political process and voter participation in all elections,” Vince Powers, Democrat Party state chairman told the Omaha World-Herald’s Martha Stoddard.

Independents are the fastest growing segment of voters in Nebraska. They make up 19 percent of registered voters. Thirty-three percent are Democrats and 48 percent are Republicans.

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Dave Domina

Dave Domina

Democratic Senate candidate Dave Domina has come out against the recently announced Comcast-Time Warner merger. “It’s not quite Coke buying Pepsi, but it’s close enough to raise alarm.” Domina says on his web site.

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company with more than 20 million cable and broadband customers, has proposed buying Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second largest cable company, with 11 million cable/broadband clients. The merger requires regulatory approval, and consumer advocates say further consolidation of the cable and broadband industries it would be harmful to consumers.

“The inevitable upshot of the merger, if allowed, will be to reduce competition, diminish quality and diminish competitive incentives created to improve quality and increase consumer prices,” says Domina, an Omaha attorney.
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Omahans Dan Frei, left, and Brad Ashford are seeking the Lee Terry's House seat.

Omahans Dan Frei, left, and Brad Ashford are seeking to replace Lee Terry in the Houset.

Republican House member Lee Terry was either clairvoyant or the beneficiary of a leak last week when he sent out a fundraising email saying Democrats were trying to unseat him. Terry didn’t yet have a Democratic opponent, but he received one the very next day when Brad Ashford filed for the 2nd District as a Democrat.

Ashford, 64, is a political veteran who has been a Republican, an independent and, now, a Democrat. He served in the state Senate from 1987-95, and was sent back to the statehouse in 2006 by voters in the 20th legislative district. He is term-limited from seeking another term in the legislature.

Terry’s opponent in the Republican primary is Omaha businessman Dan Frei.

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Sentencing for Jason Dannelly, Midland University’s former athletic director, is set for April 7. Danelly pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of attempted solicitation of prostitution. As part of a plea deal, felony charges were dropped and the solicitation charges were reduced to attempted solicitation. The charges stem from Dannelly’s attempts to solicit sex from two female Midland University student-athletes during the fall of 2012. Nebraska Senate Candidate Ben Sasse is president of Midland University.

Dannelly, 34, was the college’s AD from August 2011 until his firing in late 2012. A Dodge County District Court judge accepted Dannelly’s no contest plea and found him guilty on Feb. 3. As part of the plea arrangement, Dannelly is eligible for probation, but will have to undergo psychological evaluation.

Press reports have ignored the connection between Sasse, Dannelly and Midland. Google searches will turn up Sasse‘s good words when Dannelly was hired, but nothing since the arrest. If this connection seems unfair, Midland has only 1,300 students and there aren’t many links in the chain of command between a small-college president and his AD.

According to the Grand Island Independent, Dannelly is a native of St. Edward who worked in Grand Island before moving to Midland. He was an assistant girl’s basketball coach at Grand Island Central Catholic and a radio personality at KRGI. He also started a company there that promoted NAIA student athletes called Victory Sports.
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CNN has updated its story about the Republican National Campaign committee’s use of phony websites that appear to be on behalf of a Democratic candidate, but are really intended to raise money to oppose the candidate. The RNCC says it has altered some of the pages so it is clear that they oppose the candidate. At least one person has mistakenly donated to the RNCC through these pages.