Primary Election Day: Tuesday, May 13
Polls Open: 8AM-8PM CT
WHY NEW ENERGY?
The election season is here and we think it’s time for New Energy. Bold Nebraska partnered with landowners, citizens and leaders in our state to create the New Energy Voter PAC as a place pipeline fighters, new energy lovers and water warriors can get information on candidates.
The TransCanada pipeline has been a key issue in our state since 2008, yet it is rare to find a candidate talking about the safeguards we still need to protect our land, water, air and climate.
Wind and solar power are loved by most Nebraskans, yet political leaders have yet to pass any real goals for sustainable energy in our public-power state.
We have new faces — young people, farmers, ranchers, Tribal communities, Latinos, moms, African Americans — who took action on issues critical to our families, yet when we look over our shoulders, we find lots of citizens — but few political leaders standing with us on key issues facing our communities and families.
We can complain. We can sit here and say our state is run by a few at the top that hold one set of values with no room for others.
Or, we can act.
Change happens in the streets and in our communities. Change also happens in the voting booth.
Let’s show our Pipeline Fighting power and bring new energy to the polls on May 13th.
WHAT IS A VOTE RECOMMENDATION?
We are doing our best to help inform Nebraskans about the best candidates in this crowded primary election. We do not cover all the races you will see on your ballot, but we hope we cover critical races that have a role in clean water, landowner rights and renewable energy.
These are recommendations; your vote is sacred and candidates should earn it.
In some instances, we suggest voting for a candidate who supports the pipeline. This will only hold true for the primary election on May 13, 2014.
These are vote recommendations, not endorsements. We will endorse candidates for the general election in November, as well as work to mobilize volunteers and raise money for those that earn our endorsement.
For the May 13th primary, however, we recommend strategic votes. In some races, voters are faced with a crowded field of candidates who do not represent our values.
We, the Pipeline Fighters, need to prove our electoral power. After the primary results, we will hit the “reset” button and have a new list of candidate suggestions for your vote in the general election, which takes places Nov. 4, 2014. It is critical that you vote in both the primary and general elections.
Our votes will help decide which candidates will make it to the general election. Let’s make sure our bold voting power puts us at the best advantage in the general election.
PARTY AFFILIATIONS + BALLOT CHOICE
Independents: As a registered Independent in Nebraska, you can choose to take a Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian ballot on May 13th. The Republican Party in Nebraska is not allowing Independents to vote in state offices for primary, which is very unfortunate. So, if you opt to take a Republican ballot, you will only see House and U.S. Senate — the Gubernatorial and local partisan races will not be on the ballot. If the U.S. Senate and House races are important to you, we suggest asking for a Republican ballot. If you live in the Omaha area, we strongly suggest that you take a Democratic ballot so you can vote for a Public Service Commissioner. If you live outside of Omaha, we strongly suggest that you take a Republican ballot.
Republicans: The primary field is crowded on the Republican (GOP) side and our collective votes can make a huge difference in who battles it out for our votes in the general election. Remember, although the candidates we suggest that you vote for in the primary election may be in support of the Keystone XL pipeline, these votes are strategic — and we ask that you help us inform friends, family, and neighbors about the strategic reason to vote the same way. Voting as a united group of citizens with a clear plan of action is the only way we will change the status quo through the electoral process.
Democrats: The critical race on the Democratic side for the primary campaign is for the Public Service Commission (PSC) in the Omaha area. Most of the other Democratic races have only one candidate running.
VOTER GUIDE: OUR MAY 13th VOTE RECOMMENDATIONS
Dave Domina (Democrat)
- Dave Domina is a fighter for families. He is currently representing landowners who successfully invalidated TransCanada’s route in Nebraska for the Keystone XL pipeline, and ensured TransCanada cannot use eminent domain on Nebraska landowners without a permit. Domina is a long-time champion for the rights of family ranchers, who also represented cattlemen in court against Tyson Fresh Meats over market manipulation. He will be a statesman beholden to one group — Nebraska families.
Shane Osborn (Republican)
- All GOP candidates (including Dinsdale and Sasse) think the Keystone XL pipeline should be built now, with the route that still crosses the Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer. None of the GOP candidates respect the landowner case that invalidated the Nebraska route. None of the candidates stood up for landowners’ property rights. We recommend voting for Shane Osborn because he at least believes in renewable energy. Shane will not be our choice in November, but if you are a Republican or Independent, Osborn is the best choice in the primary.
U.S. House: Congressional District 1 (Lincoln area)
No recommendation. There is no tough primary fight in this race for Democrats or Republicans.
U.S. House: Congressional District 2 (Omaha area)
Brad Ashford (Democrat)
Brad Ashford showed tremendous respect and an open mind when landowners came with eminent domain concerns to the committee that he chaired as a State Senator. While Brad has indicated some support for KXL, we believe he would never push for approval of the pipeline without a legal Nebraska route, and with the route still crossing the Sandhills and Aquifer.
Dan Frei (Republican)
- Any candidate who says, “As a kid I wanted to be Batman to stop bad guys and end oppression,” gets our attention. Dan Frei is running against Rep. Lee Terry, who is the biggest cheerleader in Congress for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Terry refuses to meet with landowners who would take all the risk of a tarsands pipeline. Voting for Dan sends the message that Lee Terry is not wanted by Nebraska Republicans.
U.S. House: Congressional District 3 (Western & Central Nebraska)
Mark Sullivan (Democrat)
- Mark Sullivan is a family farmer who may not have the money to match Rep. Adrian Smith, but he has more heart, and new ideas that represent rural Nebraska. Mark knows the risks of the pipeline far outweigh any “benefit” for a foreign tarsands corporation. Mark wants to see investments in energy sources that do not risk our water — like wind, solar, and efficiency.
Tom Brewer (Republican)
- Tom Brewer is running against Rep. Adrian Smith, who failed to even show up to any of the official public hearings on Keystone XL. Smith has failed family farmers and ranchers on a regular basis, from the Farm Bill to the pipeline. While Brewer was against the pipeline when he first entered the race, he has flipped — and now says he supports KXL. Our hope is that if Tom makes it out of the primary, we will be able to educate him about the route and convince him that KXL still crosses the Sandhills and Ogallala Aquifer, and that eminent domain should NEVER be used for private gain. Tom strongly supports renewable energy.
Chuck Hassebrook (Democrat)
- Chuck Hassebrook is an advocate for rural Nebraska. He is a strong supporter of wind energy. Chuck has major concerns about a tarsands pipeline crossing the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer. Chuck believes climate change is an issue we need to tackle and that Nebraska can lead the way in clean energy.
Mike Foley (Republican)
- Mike Foley is one of the few Republicans in our state to challenge Gov. Heineman on issues concerning the budget and spending. Mike believes strongly in renewable energy and knows that if you care about the future of Nebraska’s economy, and a future to pass on to our kids, politicians have to prioritize both energy and the environment. (Note: Independents cannot vote in GOP primary for the Governor’s race — only in federal races.)
Michael O’Hara (Democrat)
- Michael O’Hara is an economist and promises to make the treasurer’s website more user-friendly which it is in desperate need. He also pledges to make the office more transparent which we hope extends to keeping TransCanada accountable for the amount of taxes they promised when selling the pipeline. O’Hara has a strong energy background serving on many boards.
Don Stenberg (Republican)
- Don Stenberg is running for re-election and his opponents are not any stronger or weaker. We wish there was a better field of candidates in this race that would comment on the tax issue of the pipeline.
Janet Stewart (Democrat)
- Janet Stewart has practiced law for over 30 years in our state. She has no far right or far left agenda and would look out for our state’s families. We hope to see more from Janet on eminent domain and her take on the Thompson v. Heineman case.
Pete Pirsch (Republican)
- Pete Pirsch was a state senator and has shown fairness to landowners who came to the Unicameral to testify. Pete also accepted our invitation to attend a talk on clean energy in Omaha and listened to our concerns. Like with Janet, hope to see more from Pete on eminent domain and his take on the Thompson v. Heineman case.
Auditor of Public Accounts
Amanda McGill (Democrat)
- Amanda was a strong state senator who is running statewide for the first time. She will ask the tough questions to keep the balance between the Governor’s office and the rest of our government in order to “defend our dollars.”
Larry Anderson (Republican)
- Larry Anderson is up against Charlie Janssen in the primary for this race. Those of us against the pipeline know just how bad Janssen was on property rights issues. Larry was in the Army and worked in the Auditor’s office so he knows what works and what needs to be fixed.
Public Service Commission
Crystal Rhoades (Democrat)
- Crystal Rhoades is the best choice in the crowded primary for PSC. This is a critical office concerned with the routing of pipelines. We respect Anne Boyle, the current office holder, and she has endorsed Crystal. We also like Jim Esch, but we are concerned that he is supported by the Laborers Union, which has described those of us opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline as “radical zealots.” The Laborers also created a front group with TransCanada called “Nebraskans for Jobs and Energy Independence,” which works closely with pipeline proponents Americans for Prosperity. Therefore, we think Crystal will be the most independent person with an open mind when TransCanada is eventually forced to seek route approval through the PSC (and hopefully with a significant re-route around the Sandhills and Aquifer). Crystal also has a track record of developing space for environmental and local food purposes, like the park in South Omaha.
Note for Republicans: There is only one Republican running for PSC, so you will only see one name on the ballot. You can always write someone else in.
Nebraska Unicameral / State Senate (non-partisan)
There are 17 seats open this year in the Nebraska State Legislature. We have only made recommendations in races that have tough primaries where a candidate is running who is against the pipeline. For the general election, we will give a more comprehensive voter guide for the State Senate.
For folks wondering about Tyson Larson, we do not think he has done anything on property rights to deserve a second term. There are only two candidates in the race, so both will be on the ballot in November. We will post more on that race after the primary.
Joe Vaughn (District 18, Omaha area, map of district)
- Joe Vaughn is a chef who cares about clean energy and getting lobbyists out of our government. Scott Lautenbaugh was the state senator from this district, and continually blocked clean energy measures. We think it’s time for new energy in this district, and Joe is exactly the type of “regular Joe” we need in office.
Doug Liewer (District 22, Columbus area, map of district)
- Doug Liewer is from the Sandhills area and lives in Columbus. He has been a strong pipeline fighter from the beginning. We support him as a young candidate. While Paul Schumacher has voted the right way on many bills, we think the legislature needs more pipeline fighters.
Nebraska Public Power District (non-partisan)
Ben Gotschall (District 1, Raymond and Seward area, map of NPPD Subdivision 1)
- Ben Gotschall is a young rancher and has worked with landowners since 2010 fighting eminent domain and a bad route for the Keystone XL pipeline. Ben has attended many NPPD meetings and hearings where he questioned the upfront financing NPPD gave to TransCanada for building substations even before TransCanada has a presidential permit to build the pipeline. Ben is a strong supporter of wind and solar energy, and will be a strong leader with new energy on a critical board that decides the future of energy in our state. Ben has worked with ranchers and farmers in the district for over 7 years, and will be a strong voice that puts the “public” back in public power. While we also respect Mary Harding, she is new to this district, and we believe that Ben is the better choice for the future of new energy.
Ross Knott (District 2, Sandhills area, map of NPPD Subdivision 2)
- Ross Knott is a big advocate for wind energy development. He has been a business leader who has taken local concerns into consideration for years. He will represent many counties that are potentially crossed by the pipeline, so his voice is needed.
Jim Tarnick (District 7, York area, map of NPPD Subdivision 7)
- Jim Tarnick is a landowner in the path of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. He is a young farmer and rancher who will bring a unique perspective to the NPPD board. Jim supports the development of wind and solar, and is against the pipeline crossing the Sandhills and our water supply. There are only two people in this race, so Jim will advance to the general election — but we wanted to make sure folks know about Jim.
Danny Kluthe (District 9, Columbus area, map of NPPD Subdivision 9)
- Danny Kluthe is a hog farmer who turns waste into energy. He is a huge supporter of renewable energy, and knows the risks a tarsands pipeline puts on our water supply. There are only two people in this race, so Kluthe will advance to the general election — but we wanted to make sure you know about Danny!
Omaha Public Power District (non-partisan)
Matt Cronin (OPPD District 2, Omaha area, map of district)
- Matt Cronin is a young urban farmer and pipeline fighter. Matt is not afraid to ask hard questions to keep OPPD moving forward. He volunteers his time to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, and helped create a community garden. While we know and respect LaVerne Thraen, voters can only choose one in this race and we think Matt is the best choice to put the “public” back in public power.
Krystle Craig (OPPD District 6, Omaha area, map of district)
- Krystle Craig is a mom, pipeline fighter, and supporter of renewable energy. She only has one opponent in the primary, so she will advance to the general election. Keep an eye out for the red-haired, smart, and sassy Krystle.
Natural Resources Districts (non-partisan)
Maggie Squires (Lower Platte South NRD, Lincoln area, Subdistrict 6, map of district)
- Maggie Squires worked for State Senator Bill Avery, and knows just how critical protecting land and water is for our state’s economic activity.
- Read an in-depth New Energy Candidate Profile on Maggie; who she is, and why she’s running.
Tom Green (Lower Platte South NRD, Lincoln area, Subdistrict 8, map of district)
- Tom Green worked for State Senator Ken Haar, and saw up close the need to protect our water, as the pipeline issue was front and center in Haar’s office.
Adam Hintz (Lower Platte South NRD, Lincoln area, Subdistrict 10, map of district)
- Adam Hintz owns Meadowlark Coffeeshop, is the President of Friends of Wilderness, and is a community leader on energy and environmental issues. Adam has supported many “Stop the Pipeline” rallies with coffee and hot chocolate.
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ABOUT NEW ENERGY VOTER PAC
Bold Nebraska has partnered with landowners, citizens and leaders in our state to create the New Energy Voter PAC for one purpose—to help elect candidates that support the development of clean energy, and oppose tarsands pipelines that threaten our water and property rights.
We are setting out to prove that Pipeline Fighters act in the streets, and in the voting booth. Politicians try and dismiss us for not having electoral power. We aim to prove the naysayers wrong, as we have done many times before.
For the November elections, we will endorse candidates at all levels, from U.S. Senate to Nebraska Public Power District, to Natural Resource Districts. Candidates that earn our endorsement will get our support on social media networks; we will send volunteers to help them knock on doors; and we will raise small donations to help support the candidates’ races. We only endorse candidates who are for clean energy development, and against tarsands pipelines that threaten our water and property rights. For the Primary elections, we are making clear recommendations in the crowded field of candidates.
New Energy Voter PAC is a project of Bold Nebraska, landowners and citizens who want to see to see clean energy, clean water and property rights protected and a priority.
Paid for by New Energy Voter PAC
Treasurer: Randy Thompson
208 South Burlington Ave., Ste 324
Hastings, NE 68901