Bold Roundup: Oct 11-14

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The deadline for mailing in your voter registration is today!  You can still walk your ballot in to the election commissioner until next Friday.  We’ve got a catchy video to convince you.  Here’s your Roundup:

Bold Roundup

Suttle Keeps Recall Efforts Subtle: If you live in the Omaha metro or listen to KFAB, you’re probably pretty clued in to the effort to recall Mayor Suttle.  The effort seemed to be sparked by the police and fire unions’ contracts with the city.  But Suttle is leaving the recall efforts to others, while he continues to manage the city.  Dick Holland (who, yes, is one of our donors) is sponsoring a group called “The Committee to Keep Omaha Moving Forward” to push back against the recall group.  State Senator and Republican Brad Ashford is also opposed to the recall.  View Here

Johanns Writes to Clinton: Senator Johanns wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton with more concerns about the pipeline this week.  Johanns is concerned that there hasn’t been substantial discussion about rerouting the pipeline away from the aquifer.  Of course, the senator is still holding the federal government responsible, not state leadership.  We’d encourage activists to keep raising questions and pressuring federal and state officials to question TransCanada.  View Here

Flood Gets National Kudos: Speaker Mike Flood is getting national attention in TIME’s “40 Under 40” rising stars of American politics list.  Flood’s been speaker of Nebraska’s nonpartisan legislature for three years now.  We definitely like his efforts to work across party lines and hope he continues to assert some independence from the Governor’s mansion.  View Here

EPA Approves E15: The EPA has approved E15 ethanol blends for cars produced after 2007.  The EPA is expected to expand the approval for 2001-2006 models.  This isn’t the only time the EPA has filled in for a gridlocked Congress.  They’re also enforcing the Clean Air Act, despite conservative grumbling.  We appreciate that federal government is opening up more options to get us off of foreign oil.  View Here

It Gets Better: Fort Worth, TX City Councilman Joel Burns tells gay teens that life gets better.  Burns spoke out at a city council meeting in reaction to the rash of teen suicides in the gay community this month.  Burns is an openly gay man who was bullied and considered suicide when we was young.  No matter where you come down on the issues of gay rights, this is a video you should see.  View Here

 

Thursday, October 14th

If you’re looking for something to fill your Thursday, there are plenty of activist events in Omaha and Lincoln today.  We’ll be heading to the Tom White/Lee Terry debate at the Omaha Press Club for one of their first debates.  The anticipation is palpable at the office. Here’s your Roundup:

Where’d All the Early Voters Go: It looks like early voting has hit a major slump across Nebraska this year.  Some districts are showing numbers less than half of what they were four years ago.  It’s unclear if this is a sign of a discouraged electorate or something else.  If you need an early voting ballot, there’s still time.  Just head over to VoteBold.org, print off the application and mail it in.  Or,  you can show up to your polling place on election day and cast your vote the classic way.  View Here

Mortgage Mess: In some of the most disturbing news this year, the real estate market is in trouble because of improper foreclosures on homes across the country.  The problem comes from the fast-and-furious methods of Wall Street before the financial collapse.  In their hurry to repackage and sell mortgages, many of the physical documents were never forwarded properly. That has led to a scandal in the foreclosure market because it’s unclear who owns the loans, so a robo-system has just been foreclosing on everyone.  Federal regulators are trying to halt the mess before it gets bigger.  View Here

Watching the Bench: Ernie Chambers may not be in the state legislature, but he’s far from inactive.  Chambers filed a complaint yesterday against Lincoln County District Judge John Murphy.  Apparently Murphy has refused to hear all cases from one law firm because he considers the firm instrumental in the removal of his colleague Judge Florom.  It’s not odd for a judge to recuse himself from cases, but a blanket recusal like this is extraordinary.  We also have to give Chambers kudos for the Greek imagery.  View Here

Mind the Gap: Congress didn’t address the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts before they went on break to campaign for mid-term elections.  But don’t think that it’s not taking up plenty of real estate in every legislator’s mind.  Democrats want the extend the cuts for middle class Amerians making under $250,000 a year.  Republicans want all of the cuts to be extended, even though it would add $36 billion to the deficit in just one year.  Expect the Dems to push the message that they’re trying to decrease the income gap that’s been ballooning since Reagan (we’re still waiting for our trickle down, by the way).  View Here

 

Wednesday, October 13th

Less than three weeks until Election Day!  Bold’s got your one-stop shop for Election Day over at VoteBold.org.  We’ve got all you need to register, pledge and cast your vote. Don’t forget that voter registration (via mailing in your form) ends FRIDAY.   For you Omahans, White and Terry will debate tomorrow at the Omaha Press Club.  Here’s your Roundup:

Greenie to Speak at Lied: Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman will be speaking about moving our energy economy forward and curbing the effects of climate change tomorrow at the Lied.  Whitman believes we need to harness more green energy as our consumption continues to grow.  We can totally get behind that message.  View Here

Bonuses Get Bigger: Here’s a slap in the face to every American who’s lost a job, retirement savings or a home thanks to the economic collapse caused by Wall Street in ‘08.  About three dozen of the top publicly held securities and investment-services firms are about to give $144 billion in compensation and benefits this year.  Of course, the companies are running with the same excuse that they’ll lose their top talent if they aren’t paid obscene amounts of money.  View Here

Another Blow to DADT: Justice is slowly chipping away at the wall of inequality that is Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  Yesterday, a California federal judge issued an injunction that bars the Pentagon from enforcing or applying the discriminatory policy.  The injunction could be overturned by the 9th Circuit, and gay rights groups are asking the White House not to appeal the decision.  This battle isn’t over, but we’re still celebrating this victory.  View Here

Will Redistrict for Cash: The 2010 Census is over which means the redistricting is about to begin.  National organizations and donors are dumping big money into state races that could affect the electoral map for the next 10 years.  It’s arguably a lot cheaper to spend money on state races now, than fight uphill battles in unfavorable districts in two years.  Creating “safe” seats is hardly new, and both political parties have done it.  As for Nebraska, you can bet the GOP is still seething over the electoral point CD 2 gave to Obama in ‘08.  View Here

Politics Gets Polite: Polite might be an exaggeration, but it looks like Tom White and Lee Terry pulled a couple punches the other day in one of their first debates.  Robynn Tysver from the OWH even asked a question that left the door wide open for the candidates to pounce, but no dice. Since she was part of a forum on negative campaigning yesterday, Jane probably has the explanation for this momentary cease fire.  But residents of CD 2 probably shouldn’t expect it to last long.  View Here

 

Tuesday, October 12th

Only 3 weeks until election day!  We’re celebrating by registering voters and collecting voter pledges at UNL and Nebraska Wesleyan today.  And if you haven’t picked out a sweet costume yet for Trick or Vote, we recommend getting started.  You don’t want to be the guy who waited until the last minute and the only costume left at the rental place was Santa.  Here’s your Roundup:

Snaps for the Journal Star: The LJS Editorial Board has been knocking our socks off lately. They’ve touted Nebraska icon George Norris, endorsed some progressive candidates and questioned the pipeline.  Now they’re holding Governor Heineman accountable for his excuse for his silence on the pipeline — “It’s a federal issue.”  Taking on the voice of Pastor Chuck Bentjen, the LJS calls out Heineman’s double standard for dabbling in federal issues.  View Here

Caucus Until the Break of Dawn: The state Democratic Party has decided to caucus again in 2012 instead of holding a primary.  2008 was the first year that a Nebraska state party caucused fora presidential race.  Caucuses are great ways to energize the base, meet other people and get attention from federal candidates before the general election.  And they’re way less stuffy than primaries, where you just cast a ballot.  View Here

Infrastructure Solution: Ezra Klein says investing in our infrastructure creates the right jobs for the right people at the right time.  Former transportation secretaries Sam Skinner and Norman Mineta released a report this week that estimates we need to spend $134-$194 billion on our dilapidated infrastructure, but Obama’s only pushing a plan for $50 billion.  Either we borrow now to fix deteriorating roads and bridges, or we wait until things get worse and spend more.  But now is more appealing because it would create jobs at a time when we know people need them. View Here

 

Monday, October 11th

Happy Columbus Day!  We’re sure some of you were lucky enough to get the day off, so go back to sleep.  The Bold staff is working through the federal holiday (and attending classes in some cases), so keep us company if you too were denied a 3-day weekend.  It’s only 22 days until Election Day!  Here’s your Roundup:

Selling Nebraska: Last week news broke that Gambian dictator, and human rights violator, Yahya Jammeh received the honor of an admiralship to the Nebraska Navy from Gov. Heineman (who has yet to offer a good explantion of why he would give this honor to someone like Jammeh).  The only requirements to receive the award are promoting Nebraska and being from Nebraska or nominated by a Nebraskan.  Jammeh fulfilled none of these, and Heineman’s staff doesn’t vet nominees.  What’s worse, it looks like a lot of shady people are using the award to inflate their resumes.  Guess it looks more legitimate than the fake PhD you can buy for $20 online.  View Here

Nebraska-Made Energy: A standard response we get when opposing TransCanada’s pipeline is that America needs oil, so why not get it from a friendly neighbor instead of countries that attack us?  We say, why not develop our own domestic energy so that we can lower our trade deficit and create jobs?  Why don’t we build wind farms and increase ethanol capacity in our cars?  Take it away, Robert Pore.  View Here

WWGND?: Nebraska’s got such a rich history of pioneers and prairie dwellers, sometimes we forget that we’ve also had some awesome politicians.  (The easiest way to remedy this amnesia is to stroll the 2nd floor halls of the State Capitol.)  The LJS Editorial Board reminds us that Nebraska’s home to the famed progressive George Norris.  Norris helped bring electricity to rural Nebraskans and busted monopolies with Teddy Roosevelt.  So step off Glenn Beck, because Nebraskans don’t like it when you defame our icons.  View Here

Unions Being Reasonable?: We know conservatives are shocked, but it’s true.  Ironically, the unions are no better served by the total collapse of government than anyone else.  That’s why the state employees union is tentatively agreeing to a wage freeze next year and only a 2% increase the year after.  Julie Dake Abel, executive director of NAPE/AFSCME Local 61, said overall, the contract is fair.  We haven’t received word if Julie was twirling a moustache or stroking a cat when she said this.  View Here

Nuns Call Out BS: Catholics United and several other religious leaders in Cincinnati are pushing back on misleading billboards about health reform.  Like Lee Terry in Nebraska, the Susan B. Anthony List is pushing the myth that health reform pays for abortions.  Except, the law specifically says no federal money will be used for abortions, and President Obama reinforced that with an executive order.  We love seeing nuns fight back!  View Here

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