Nebraska Congressional Races Heating Up

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Kate Bolz won’t call the police on you.

The Nebraska Democratic Party got off to a promising start in last month’s primary election. Fortunately, it went off without a hitch since vote by mail applications were sent to all registered voters. Let’s hope the Secretary of State’s office does that again in October. Regardless of what Bob Evnen decides, I fully expect vote by mail applications to be sent out to the registered voters in Douglas and Lancaster County.

Ben Sasse kicked off his general election campaign with a sophomoric and widely panned speech to the Fremont High School class of 2020. In his video, Sasse was unshaven, disheveled and looked like he just got out of bed. In this bizarre speech, Sasse essentially called the Fremont High School seniors fat and lazy. He also unfairly trashed psychologists during a time in which people are suffering.

Nebraska’s junior senator further sullied this ridiculous address by inserting the false and hyper-partisan GOP talking point that China is to blame for the pandemic. (In reality, Trump delayed his response to the pandemic — with disastrous results for the country — for nearly seventy days based upon China’s false claims that the pandemic was under control.)

State Senator Kate Bolz got off to a much better start than Ben Sasse after her primary victory. Since she has announced her run for Nebraska CD01, Bolz has out raised Jeff Fortenberry.

The long time CD01 incumbent kicked off his re-election bid by running an ad with a false attack on Bolz using the GOP’s China talking point. (Interestingly enough, Fortenberry and his wife took a one week vacation to China in 2016, that cost approximately $16,000, paid for by the Aspen Institute. Fortenberry and his wife even got to fly first-class. It is very likely that the expenses for the conference center and other amenities in China were paid for by the Communist Party.) Fortenberry must be worried about Bolz’s challenge since he has always ignored his previous opponents.

Bolz immediately fired back : “It is disappointing that a multi-term congressman has turned to D.C.-style attack ads this early. A congressman should be talking about the issues of the day, including health care, support for Nebraska agriculture and recovery from the corona virus pandemic. Why isn’t he talking about his own record?”

Fortenberry doesn’t want to talk about his record because he is an ineffectual back bencher despite his fifteen years in the House of Representatives. Fortenberry said that Nebraskans shouldn’t expect another round of personal stimulus checks from the federal government. This comes in the wake of 40 million Americans losing their jobs. This disappointing announcement comes on the heels of the fact that the City of Lincoln got zero stimulus dollars from the four stimulus bills that totaled $2 trillion.

In the Omaha based CD02, Don Bacon began his re-election campaign with a misleading attack on Kara Eastman even though Bacon has made “civility” one of his campaign themes. Bacon falsely claimed that Eastman supports a top marginal tax rate of 90%. In reality, in a 2018 interview, Eastman came out in favor of a 50% top rate. That was the top tax rate during Reagan’s first term. Was Reagan an extremist and a socialist?

Eastman’s campaign will be boosted by her recent endorsement by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. She was added to the prestigious “Red-to-Blue” list more than two months earlier than she did in 2018. This early endorsement could very well put Eastman over the top in November since she came so close two years ago.

Sasse, Fortenberry and Bacon have all endorsed Donald Trump. Fortenberry and Bacon have even taken a pledge to never criticize the former TV reality star. Unfortunately, Trump’s behavior has become even more erratic than usual since the pandemic hit the U.S. and the economy collapsed.

As Kevin Drum of Mother Jones wrote last week:

“In the past few days Donald Trump has:

  • Cranked up the volume on his pointless cold wars with China and Iran
  • Turned mask wearing into a culture war campaign issue
  • Accused a TV host of murdering an intern
  • Declared war on voting by mail
  • Insisted that James Comey and a variety of others should be in jail
  • Pushed an absurd “unmasking” non-scandal
  • Insisted that Barack Obama personally led a spying campaign against him
  • Retweeted a video saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”
  • Retweeted QAnon conspiracy theories.
  • Called for the shooting of protesters. “

Since then, Trump ordered the use of tear gas to clear a peaceful crowd so he could do a photo op in front of a church near the White House. In addition, Trump could announce soon that he’s invoking the 1807 Insurrection Act which would allow him to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to respond to protests in cities across the country. In other words, Trump may soon declare martial law.

I’m old enough to remember when Ben Sasse spoke out against so-called “executive over reach” during the Obama Administration. Where are the small government conservatives? Where are the so-called “Constitutional conservatives?” Where is Ben? They all seem to have disappeared on January 20, 2017.

Apparently, Nebraska’s Congressional delegation wants four more years of this divisive and bizarre behavior from Trump. When will the likes of Sasse, Fortenberry and Bacon finally realize just what kind of trouble they’ve gotten us into?

It is time for all Democrats to pledge to vote blue no matter who this November. The Democratic Party is the only check and balance on a radicalized GOP. United we are strong! United we will win!

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