Only four days left before the polls open, and (you know we have to mention it) we are kicking it into high gear for Trick or Vote on Sunday.  There’s also going to be a Rally to Restore Sanity satellite party in Omaha on Saturday, in case you’re like us and can’t make it to DC for Stewart and Colbert this weekend.  There will also be a lull in blog posts Monday and Tuesday because we’ll be doing Election Day field work (so we haven’t been abducted by aliens, just voters).  Here’s your Roundup:

 Bold Roundup

Obama And Gay Rights: The White House has been taking some strong criticism from LGBT interest groups who feel the administration has been too slow in advancing their civil rights.  But in a talk with progressive bloggers this week, Obama indicated that strides will be made over the lame duck session.  He also responded to questions about same sex marriage and said it’s something that he mulls over every day.  Obama’s has previously said that he supports civil unions, not gay marriage.  View Here

Troops Say Gays OK: Info about the Pentagon’s study which explores the impact of repealing DADT is starting to leak.  It looks like most troops and their families have no problem with openly gay service members and wouldn’t shed any tears if DADT is repealed.  Now can we stop all this ridiculous discussion of unit cohesion and “too much too soon” so these fine people can serve? View Here

Smarties Stick Around: Nebraska actually saw what the OWH is calling a “brain gain” in 2009. For once, instead of intelligent young adults getting their college degrees and hauling out-of-state, Nebraska saw an increase of residents with bachelor’s degrees or higher.  Interviewees seem to agree that Nebraska’s relatively low unemployment rate was a big draw.  But we’d point out that the OWH only interviewed young professionals in the Omaha Metro.  How much “brain gain” have our rural communities seen?  View Here

Get Out the Vote: The LJS says several election officials are predicting a low voter turnout in Nebraska this year.  Decreased turnout is typical during mid-term elections, but the small amount of competitive races may be disenfranchising voters.  We say “Boo” to that.  We’ve been reaching out to voters since August, and there’s certainly untapped enthusiasm in our state.  We’ll keep saying “Boo” to low voter turnout predictions this Sunday (Halloween) as we Trick or Vote!  View Here


Thursday, October 28th

We’re sure you’re well aware that President Obama was on The Daily Show last night. Feel free to put the video on a loop at high volume for your conservative coworkers.  It’s also five days until Election Day, and we’ll just remind you to check out for all your voting queries.  Here’s your Roundup:

Purgatory: Reuters is spreading the news that State Department will not make a final decision on the TransCanada pipeline for months.  Despite some disparaging remarks by Secretary Clinton a few weeks ago, state department officials have said the pipeline is NOT a foregone conclusion, and the department will make no final decision until it sees the full environmental impact statement and input from other agencies.  Thanks to activists like you who’ve demanded that our elected officials protect Nebraska!  View Here

Wind Education: One of our major mantras with the pipeline has been “Windmills Not Oil Spills.” Little did we advertise that there’s a movement afoot to further develop Nebraska’s wind energy potential at rural schools.  It’s a program call Wind for Schools, and it installs small turbines at elementary and high schools through industry training at local colleges.  So far we’ve only got seven installed, but we’d like to see the state and the feds invest more in our communities.  View Here

Rumble in Columbus: State legislature candidates  Mike Moser and Paul Schumacher squared off at the VFW in Columbus Tuesday night.  The candidates are looking to fill the seat vacated by Senator Arnie Stuthman due to term limits.  Moser seems skeptical of the pipeline, while Schumacher embraces it.  The Columbus Telegram has more from the candidates.  View Here

Tricky Math: Nebraska schools will be getting less state aid next year even though the state would be paying more.  As help from the stimulus winds down, the state has to decide whether to let school aid drop off a cliff or try to fill the gap left.  Education committee chairman Greg Adams seems to have chosen the latter.  Of course, Nebraska is also eligible for more federal aid that would save 1,000 teachers’ jobs if we increase our state aid to schools, but the OWH seems to have forgotten that.  View Here

Is That George Clooney in Beatrice?: Oh wait, it’s state senator Steve Lathrop, our mistake. Lathrop was at the Beatrice State Developmental Center with state senators Coash, Cornett, Wallman and Karpisek to analyze the progress the center has made since its Medicaid certification was revoked a year ago.  The state senators noted an improvement in the culture and programs.  We hope the state senators continue to show bold leadership and protect some of our most vulnerable citizens.  View Here


Wednesday, October 27th

Less than a week until Election Day, and the anticipation has got us on pins and needles. If you’ve gotten your Early Voting ballot, don’t forget to fill it out and mail it back in (make sure you put enough stamps — the cost is usually $1.05).  If you’d like a little more info on candidates running for office, check our Bold and brazen voter guides.  Or you can print out the voter guides and take them with you to the polls on Nov 2!  Here’s your Roundup:

White Will Represent ALL of CD 2: Don Walton’s got a nice-looking profile piece on Tom White’s work to unseat Lee Terry and represent the Omaha Metro in Washington, DC.  White’s promised to bring North Omaha concerns to DC and wants to get federal help with Omaha’s mandated sewer separation project.  A few North O residents who were interviewed said they felt Terry had not represented their needs.  Maybe he forgot some of his constituents live east of 72nd Street, and not all of them can afford to take him out for drinks?  View Here

Can They Afford Their Mortgages?: A new poll from the Washington Post says a majority of Americans are worried about making their mortgage or rent payments.  Despite some improvements in the overall economy (like we’re finally starting to create jobs), housing concerns have spiked since 2008.  This is a major problem as the White House considers a moratorium on foreclosures while banks sort out the robo-signing catastrophe.  While a moratorium might play well politically, it could topple an already fragile market.  View Here

AAN Hits TV Snag: Television stations in three states have pulled ads from the American Action Network because of factual inaccuracies.  The group is one of the largest conservative organizations in the country and was planning on running ads in 22 districts over the last two weeks of election season.  A Fox affiliate in Hartford, CT felt certain claims in the ads were unsubstantiated.  We checked out AAN’s website, and were pretty offended at what we found. View Here

Overreaction: Dozens of business leaders and politicians got together in Omaha to voice their opposition to the effort to recall Mayor Jim Suttle.  State Senator Brad Ashford (a Republican) reminded folks that a recall would damage the city and set Omaha back several years.  Speakers also made several references to the negative impacts of recalling Mayor Mike Boyle in 1987.  We believe it was a great president who once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”  View Here


Tuesday, October 26th

Happy birthday to Tom White and Secretaryof State Hillary Clinton!  The best birthday present for Tom would be giving your friends a copy of our Voter Guide that shows where he stands on key issues so they can Vote Bold!  As for Secretary Clinton, consider sending her a letter or tweet (@StateDept) that asks her to reconsider her position on the TransCanada pipeline.  Here’s your Roundup:

Not Without a Fight: Don’t expect attempts to recall Mayor Suttle of Omaha to pass without opposition.  Forward Omaha and the Committee to Keep Omaha Moving Forward are pushing back.  Forward Omaha is offering to pay individuals to go to polling sites and persuade voters not to sign recall petitions.  Of course, they’ll stay at least 200 feet away from the actual polling booths as election law dictates.  They also want staffers to make sure other groups (aka, the recall drive) aren’t violating state law on Election Day.  What better way to earn a little Christmas cash and be politically active?  View Here

 Hey Everyone, Pete Ricketts Has Money: Well, campaign finance was bound to hit the front pages of Nebraska newspapers sooner or later.  The OWH is reporting that failed candidate and notorious uber-conservative Pete Ricketts has given nearly $75,000 to politicians and political groups this year.  Obviously, progressives and moderates have their own big donors like Dick Holland.  But we say there’s a distinct difference between funding politics that benefit your bottom line and helping progressive causes that seek to eliminate inequalities.  View Here

A Distinct Disconnect: WaPo notes a distinct disconnect between local tea party groups and national organizations that claim the tea party label like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.  After months of contacting local tea party groups, the Post concludes that the tea party isn’t so much a movement as a loosely affiliated network of groups that do little to engage in the political process.  It’s unclear if they could be mobilized as a massive grassroots force for 2012.  View Here

Women Vote With Ideology, Not Gender: Despite conservative attempts to bridge the gender gap with Sarah Palin and her “Mamma Grizzlies,” a new USC/LA Times poll shows that women don’t vote with their gender.  Tapping Palin in ‘08 didn’t help McCain much with female voters, and candidates like Christine O’Donell in Delaware and Meg Whitman in California aren’t impressing suffragettes.  Though the poll also shows that women can’t be treated as a monolithic voting bloc either.  If you want a wonky gender gap discussion, talk to Malinda.  View Here


Monday, October 25th

Only 8 days until Election Day, and voter registration is closed.  Don’t forget to visit and check out our voter guides!  If you forgot to register or aren’t eligible to vote, there’s still plenty of opportunities for you to get politically active.  Voting is just the tip of that iceberg.  You can join us for Trick or Vote on Halloween, help protest the TransCanada pipeline or check out this site every day for the latest political news and action in Nebraska.  Here’s your Roundup:

Fahleson Opposes LGBT Protection: The Chairman of the NE Republican Party opposes legislation that would ban discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. Chairman Mark Fahleson won a case in 2007 for a client who fired an employee because she was transgender.  Fahleson thinks protecting LGBTs from workplace discrimination would be too much of a fiscal burden on businesses and the state.  Hope that sends a clear message to any LGBT Repubs in this state — your chairman thinks you’re too costly to protect.  View Here

White/Terry Are Neck And Neck: If you live in the 2nd CD, you could make a real splash on the national scene.  The OWH just released the results of their own poll that say the White/Terry race is going to be a close one.  Terry’s one of the few Republicans in Congress fighting hard to keep his seat.  Who wins CD 2 will largely depend on who can mobilize their base the most.  The OWH repeats the outdated prediction that across the country, Dems aren’t enthusiastic to vote.  View Here

Dems Are Enthusiastic About Voting: Clearly the OWH didn’t read the latest from NEWSWEEK this weekend.  NEWSWEEK’s latest poll shows 69% of Repubs have seriously considered voting, while 62% of Dems have done the same.  Obama’s approval rating has also jumped above the 50% mark, which is considered a good indicator of party enthusiasm.  The GOP may have shored up the hyperactive Tea Party, but don’t expect Dems to be a bunch of Eeyores during mid-terms. View Here

Don’t Count Out the 3rd CD: Things are heating up outside of Omaha in the 3rd Congressional District.  Three candidates are vying to represent central and western Nebraska in Congress. Rebekah Davis (D), Dan Hill (I) and incumbent Adrian Smith (R) debated each other last Friday in Broken Bow.  Over 250 people attended.  If you missed it, you can watch a highlight reel at the Kearney Hub.  View Here

Hey That’s Unique: The LJS points out the gubernatorial race this year is very unique.  We’ll add that to our “No Duh” file.  But if you’d like a rundown of Heineman’s record and Meister’s platform that’s longer than our voter guide, this piece is a good refresher.  We also laughed at the end when Don Walton pointed out that if Heineman wins, he could be in the governor’s mansion for a record-breaking 10 years.  View Here

Oh, and the first attempt to recall Mayor Suttle failed.  Not a single petition was turned in.