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Bold Roundup: Oct 18-22

Today’s the last day for voter registration!  Remember that you have to deliver it to your Election Commissioner because mail-in registration is closed.  For all the info you need about Election Day, visit VoteBold.org.  If you’ve gotten your Early Voting ballot, don’t forget to fill it out and send it back so that your vote can be counted.  Having trouble picking between candidates?  VoteBold.org has a voter guide to help you out.  Here’s your Roundup:

Bold Roundup

Education Troubles: The reading gap between minorities and whites in Nebraska is disturbingly high.  According to results from statewide testing released yesterday, fewer than half the Hispanic, Black and Native American students in Nebraska are reading proficiently, compared to 75% of white students.  The statewide test was given for the first time this year and showed a much bigger racial gap than previous district testing.  The gap was also very distinct between income levels.  Will Governor Heineman still try to pit kids’ education against their health?  View Here

Innovative States: Nebraska did not break into the Daily Beast’s Top 20 Most Innovative States. California was number one.  Colorado was number five because it produces more ethanol energy than any other state and is considered an energy transportation hub between the West and Midwest.  Texas is 16 and produces the most wind power in the country.  Kansas came in at 19 because of the KSU Ag Innovation Center.  Feel free to check out what other innovative states are doing and email your findings to Governor Heineman.  View Here

Chamber is Top Non-Party Spender: The big concern this campaign season is funding — who’s doing it and what’s it used for?  After Citizens United removed limits on corporate spending in campaigns, the money was a like a snowball rolling downhill.  The NY Times writes that the national Chamber of Commerce is the biggest non-party spender this year with American Action Network and Karl Rove’s American Crossroads right behind.  View Here

Studying the Young People: Harvard’s Institute of Politics has published a report about young Americans’ attitudes during this election season.  Unfortunately, the number of those saying they are likely to vote has significantly dropped since last year.  A majority of millenials also prefer a Democratic Congress (53%).  Only 11% percent of millenials consider themselves Tea Party supporters.  If you’re a millenial looking for a fun opportunity to get civically active, join us to Trick or Vote on Halloween.  View Here

 

Thursday, October 21st

Less than two weeks until Election Day!  Don’t forget that voter registration ends tomorrow.  You’ll have to walk your registration form to your local Election Commissioner because mail-in registration closed last week.  Don’t have a registration form, know where your Election Commissioner is or who the candidates are?  We’ve got you covered. VoteBold.org is a one-stop shop for all your Election Day needs.  Here’s your Roundup:

I Promise, Baby, It’ll Be Different This Time: The numbers are out and show that Republican policies and two wars over the last decade are responsible for the majority of the deficit.  CBO calculations show that the $1.1 trillion Medicare Part D program that the GOP passed in 2003 would add more to the deficit over the next 10 years than the combined costs of the bailout, stimulus and health reform.  So please, Lee Terry, keep telling us how much of a fiscal conservative you are because your voting record and the numbers tell a different story.  View Here

US Ranked 90th: Eighty-nine other nations have more women representatives in government than the US (that’s out of 186).  We rank behind not only countries in Europe but nations with human rights issues like Rwanda, Uganda, Tajikistan and Cuba.  Even Sarah Palin’s small of force of “mamma grizzlies” isn’t expected to impact the prediction that for the first time in 30 years, the number of women in Congress could drop.  Nebraska has had only one female governor (Kay Orr), has no female senators or representatives and 10 of our 49 current state senators are women.  View Here

Mobile Slaughter: The audience at a workshop in Fort Collins about mobile slaughter units was triple what organizers expected.  Mobile units are getting more attention as consumers embrace the local food movement (think along the lines of the USDA’s campaign Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food).  The workshop was a way to share the pros and cons and to introduce attendees to the initiation and regulations of mobile units.   A unit from the Nebraska Environmental Action Coalition was on display.  A Food Safety and Inspection Service official said one of their goals is to get processors into local school food programs.  View Here

Smith Labeled ‘Ineffective’: Congressmen Adrian Smith’s opponents appear to agree on at least one matter — it’s time for a change in the 3rd CD.  Democrat Rebekah Davis disagrees with most of Smith’s issue positions.  Independent Dan Hill agrees with Smith on issues but says the congressman hasn’t been the leader that the 3rd CD deserves.  The three candidates will confront each other tomorrow at the Broken Bow Country Club.  View Here

 

Wednesday, October 20th

There’s only two days left to fill out your registration and walk it to your Election Commissioner’s office (the deadline for mailing it in was last week).  For all the info you need on registering and voting, check out our site VoteBold.org.  We had a splendid evening at the White/Terry debate last night and will give you some post-game blogging soon.  Here’s your Roundup:

Robert Nelson Calls Out Robocall: Robert Nelson of the OWH is calling out Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence for sending out a misleading robocall.  The robocall asks respondents if they support the Keystone XL pipeline and makes no mention of the environmental and economic threats it poses.  Thanks to those of you who told us about the call and pushed “2” to voice your opposition.  View Here

Janssen’s at it Again: State Senator Charlie Janssen is back at the ole immigration soap box again.  Janssen belongs to State Legislators for Legal Immigration which will begin the fight to revoke automatic citizenship to every baby born in the US.  Janssen also tries the pro-life angle, saying the system encourages mothers to put their unborn child’s life at risk, which we find ironic considering his position on prenatal care.  Nebraska Appleseed reminds us of the absurdity of “anchor babies” since it takes 30 years for parents to get US citizenship through their children. View Here

DADT Suspended, Gays Go For It: After a series of decisions, a federal judge in California ordered the military to stop enforcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  On Tuesday, she denied requests from the Department of Justice to maintain the status quo.  Several discharged service members, including Dan Choi, went to recruitment offices and attempted to re-enlist.  Choi was successful, others were not.  Subsequent appeals may reverse the current environment, so Pentagon officials are advising personnel to stay closeted.  View Here

Public Health Update: A new study shows that post-menopausal hormones have been definitely linked to increased risk and severity of breast cancer.  For years, doctors and researchers had agreed that hormone therapy may have led to an increase in breast cancer, but that the severity was no worse.  But research by the Women’s Health Initiative puts that myth to rest.  The timing of this news of course coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness month.  View Here

Docs in Pharma’s Pockets: ProPublica, perhaps one of the best online investigative journalist groups we’ve found, has published a massive story on doctors with blemished records getting paid by big pharmaceutical companies to promote their products.  This is the first in a series of stories ProPublica will do about the relationship between doctors and their prescription pads. They’ve also got a comprehensive database documenting the $257.8 million dollars drug companies have paid to 17,700 providers.  You can do a handy search for your doc on their site.  View Here

 

Tuesday, October 19th

Tom White and Lee Terry will lock horns again this evening at Bellevue University.  This debate’s free and the public get to ask questions, so it shouldn’t be missed!  And this Friday, candidates in the 3rd District will debate in Broken Bow.  If you can’t make it to the debates or if you just want some quick info on any candidates running for statewide, federal and state legislative offices, check out our voter guides at VoteBold.org.  Here’s your Roundup:

Tears for Fears: Landowners for Fairness didn’t seem to have the votes needed to reach a collective agreement with TransCanada, so it looks like they are now telling their members to negotiate individually with TransCanada.  But TransCanada has been telling individual landowners that they were the only ones that have not signed yet.  It turns out LOTS of landowners have not yet signed, and we hope they continue to hold out until a final decision by the State Department has been made.  Of course, TransCanada’s plans keep getting delayed thanks to some awesome activists on the ground (we’re talking about you!).  We like that Dan Kramer can’t imagine any landowners crying if the pipeline never gets built.  Neither can we, Dan.  View Here

Cue the LGBT Activists: The Omaha City Council is considering an ordinance that would ban workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.  Currently, there is no federal law or state law in Nebraska to protect LGBTs from workplace discrimination.  There might be an exemption for religious groups (we probably can’t control the Vatican from Omaha, NE).  Next time it’d be nice if the OWH also interviewed some LGBT activists for stories.  View Here

Did You Notice Your Tax Cut?: Don’t feel bad, most of us had no idea that the Stimulus Bill (which Lee Terry brags about voting against) gave tax cuts to 95% of working families.  But hardly anybody’s notice because it changed withholding rates instead of sending everyone a big check. Evidence showed that most of us were saving the tax rebate checks we got under the Bush administration, so the Obama administration pushed for us to just get bigger paychecks.  View Here

Health Reform Gets Much Needed Props: Some Dems are finally embracing their “yay” votes on health reform.  Two candidates, Schwartz (PA) and Murphy (NY) have released ads touting their votes.  They’re joining a growing number of candidates who aren’t running away from reform that was both necessary and good.  Sadly, Ben Nelson’s the only candidate from the Nebraska delegation who can brag about standing up to insurance companies.  View Here

Oh, and WaPo asks if health reform really is a government takeover.  (Hint: not really).  View Here

 

Monday, October 18th

Today starts the Freedom from Bullies week.  This overlaps with the movement to wear purple on Wednesday in memory of the six students who took their own lives in recent weeks/months because of LGBT bullying.  We’ll echo the words of Fort Wort, TX Councilman Joel Burns to LGBT youth who are struggling with bullying, “It will get better.”  Here’s your Roundup:

Picking Up Steam: The heat is turning up on Heineman and Bruning for accepting illegal contributions from TransCanada.  Bold is filing a complaint with the FEC this week.  And now the Nebraska Democratic Party is seeking a special state prosecutor to further examine the case. Joe Jordan’s got the scoop.  View Here

The More Resources, The Merrier: The OWH is launching a new website that will answer Nebraskans’ questions about health reform.  You can email in questions now, they’ll ask UNMC experts and then the answers will be posted on a new site over the next few weeks.  Between the OWH’s new site, State Senator Jeremy Nordquist’s YourHealthCarePriorities.com, the fed’s HealthCare.gov and the Kaiser Health Reform Source, there’s no shortage of resources for Nebraskans to understand and use the new law.  View Here

Health Reform Costs: There’s no doubt that reform is going to require some cash.  Fortunately, the federal law is deficit neutral, reduces the debt  and sends plenty of federal aid to the states to help pay new costs, like expanding Medicaid.  The OWH reports that Nebraska state agencies have requested nearly $21 million related to implementing reform in the state.  Of course, that might not be the final cost because there are more federal grants that our state leaders have yet to request.  Will Heineman finally step up and lead reform or lose more money for the state? View Here

Dems Get Enthused: The latest Kaiser poll says excitement is picking up among Dems for Election Day.  It’s up seven points from September — and that’s outside the 3-point margin of error (for all you polisci nerds who would ask).  Other big news in the poll: health reform is not affecting most voters’ final candidate decisions and the electorate is still split over reform — 42% in favor and 44% opposed (that one’s inside the margin of error).  That could be good news in the short-term, but we still think Dems should stand proud on passing a critical law that will save lives and save money.  View Here

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