Read today’s news from around the state and country. Each day in the Roundup we cover politics, always with a side of bold humor. We think politics should be fun, informative and encourage us all to take action.

Friday, November 2nd

Many Nebraskans lambasted the actions of Douglas County Election Commissioner David Phipps when he closed â…“ of polling locations and consolidated half of the county’s precincts because it was clear they would negatively impact democratic voters. Officially, the closings were done for budgetary reasons, but an investigation done by the Reader, published in June, demonstrates that the legislation closing the polling locations, LB 499, was actually the work of a coordinated effort by Phipps and three other key Republicans. The Reader also notes other pieces of legislation that were not passed and drastic redistricting as being aimed at voter suppression. So why is this a big deal? Well, other than serving to suppress one of the most basic rights of being a citizen in this country, this 2nd district in Nebraska could prove to be a deciding electoral vote in the presidential race. Omaha has been dubbed “the blue dot,” due to Obama’s win in the 2nd district in 2008, and many politicos have postulated that this election could be so close, an electoral college tie could actually happen. Read here

Yesterday landowners spoke out about their reasons for not giving Deb Fischer their vote. Deb Fischer’s lack of concern for her constituents that were facing threats from TransCanada demonstrates that she will be unlikely to stand up for the interests of Nebraskans if elected to go to Washington. She didn’t even attend the State Department hearing in her district that over 1,000 Nebraskans attended. She introduced a bill that “would have dismantled the Niobrara Council,” which has served to protect the Niobrara, one of our state’s most beautiful rivers. She is motivated by self interest–that’s how she was able to ignore the concerns of Nebraskans, and why she attempted to grab 100 acres from her neighbors–border disputes do not concern that much land. Her campaign’s response to these Nebraskans? Calling Bold Nebraska a “left-wing organization,” reiterating her support for the KXL. She had no defense because she does not defend Nebraskans, and will not represent us in Washington. Read here

Anthony Swift with the NRDC has written an excellent post about why “TransCanada’s record presents a strong case for rejecting the Keyston XL pipeline (again).” When doing its PR campaign on the Keystone I, TransCanada said the pipeline would have a maximum of 1.4 times a decade, and that the company was complying with 51 “special conditions” that would increase it’s safety (sound familiar?)–well, we know how this story goes. Keystone I leaked 14 times in its first year of operation. When it comes to its natural gas pipelines, Swift notes “two months after TransCanada avowed the safety of its Bison pipeline, it exploded, destroying a sixty foot section with a shock wave that could be heard thirty miles away.” TransCanada is currently under an intensive audit into its basic operations, ordered by the NEB after a whistleblower brought attention to issues with quality assurance and safety, and a broad “erosion of safety culture at the company.” Do we really want a company without a “safety culture” to build the “safest pipeline ever built?” We don’t think so. Check out our upcoming events, Pipeline Fighters and Aquifer Lovers, we have a lot to do. Read here

Wednesday, October 31st

Happy Halloween Folks! Check out this infographic on cool Halloween stats like what halloween candy is most popular, and how much money is spent on halloween costumes. Come to the Nebraska Farmers Union between 12 and 130 everyday for the rest of this week to “trick or treat” for posters, bumper stickers, and New Energy Voter guide cards to give to everyone you know in this last week before the election (giving out the pocket cards to trick-or-treaters tonight would be a great way to spread the word on our New Energy Candidates! Here’s your Roundup:

Educators across the state have given their draft proposal for the new Nebraska State Education Standards to the State Board of Education, and the Board has praised most facets of the proposed changes. One crucial piece of education, however, does not make one of the board members happy–in fact, he doesn’t want it to be included in the curriculum. John Seiler of Omaha does not want climate change and its effects to be taught to our youth, despite the fact that climate change is already challenging our nation and people, and will be a predominant concern for this school-age generation as they grow up. Read here  

Continuous updates brought on Hurricane Sandy likely don’t even come close to fully illustrating the destruction and tragedy this storm has wrought. So far, 40 people have died. Millions are without power. Flooding and fires in the aftermath have shut down transportation and destroyed homes, buildings, and lives. It will have a heavy toll on our economy. And storms like Sandy will only become more frequent around the world–it is time it is explicitly told why. It’s because of global warming causing severe changes in weather and climate patterns around the world. There is consensus not only in the scientific community but across the entire world (except, somehow, amongst many Americans) that humans are contributing greatly to these changes because of our continued complete and utter devotion to burning as much fossil fuel as possible. Is experiencing more of these tragic and destructive events like Hurricane Sandy, and fundamental changes in our climate worth the risk of not investing in renewable energy sources? We don’t think so. Which is why we are still working to get out our New Energy Voter Guide to as many Nebraskans as possible, so we can elect officials who will do what it takes to stem climate change–and bring about the many benefits of less dependence on fossil fuels (cheaper energy, better human health, economic growth, to name a few). Read here

Monday, October 29th 

The election is a week away and we need you. We have an opportunity to elect people into various levels of office who will work hard to bring New Energy to our state–that means supporting renewable energy like wind, protecting Nebraska’s land and water, and standing up for Nebraskan landowners fighting eminent domain. We have the New Energy Voter Guide supplies that you will need when you go out and knock on doors to get these candidates elected–we just need you. Materials will be at the Farmers Union office in Lincoln (13th and Plum St) today from 12-1:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 10-2. We want you to give 2 hours of your time to knock on doors and distribute these voter guide materials. When you come to pick up your supplies at the Farmers Union, we will give you all the information and assistance you need. We hope to see you there. If you have questions please contact

John Avlon of the Daily Beast lays out exactly why we (and all Americans) need Bob Kerrey back in the Senate–he will work to “bridge the partisan divide.” Considering the fact that this Congress has been dubbed the new “do-nothing Congress,” this quality Kerrey possesses is something to be highly valued. Fischer has promised to faithfully vote for what her party tells her. While Kerrey has been painted as a “liberal carpetbagger,” those who know him personally and those who understand where many of his positions are know that he is no such thing. Kerrey will represent Nebraska well in the Senate, and will be in an influential position to do great things. Read here 

Another tight race between a partisan puppet (Lee Terry) and a candidate who will work to bridge the partisan divide (John Ewing) is narrowing in Nebraska’s second Congressional District. Ewing is now only 4 points behind Terry. A lot of that has to do with Ewing’s own record for working bipartisanly–but much also has to do with Terry’s own record. He accomplished very little in his 14 years in office, threw Nebraskans under the bus by working as hard as possible to push through the KXL, and has blatantly falsified information about both himself and his opponent in this year’s campaign ads. Read here