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Archive for the ‘Nebraska’ Category

Give Me Liberty TV Interview with Governor Heineman

Posted by Dan Draney on September 4, 2010

Nebraska Governor David Heineman sits down with GML-TV’s W. A. Mitchell. The Governor talks about the state budget, federal spending, illegal immigration, the Cornhusker Kickback, and the states’ lawsuit against the ObamaCare “individual mandate.” Will he challenge Sen. Ben Nelson in 2014? He doesn’t say so, but he sounds like someone who’s thinking a lot about what a Nebraska senator needs to do.

via Give Me Liberty TV.

Posted in GML-TV, government spending, healthcare, Nebraska, Senate, taxes, tea party | Leave a Comment »

York County Tea Party Group Plans Flag Day Rally in Seward

Posted by Dan Draney on June 6, 2010

York, Nebraska, has an active Tea Party group with plans for a rally on Flag Day (6/16). The local paper, The York News-Times reports:

YORK — Just about two months ago, the Tea Party movement in York County was made up of two like-minded women who said they were sick of high government spending and lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution. Today, the local grassroots group consists of dozens of people, a board of directors and a outreach program that’s assisting their neighbors in Seward County.

Watch the Video Report

Jeremy Jensen, chairman of the York County Tea Party, says the group is partnering with Lincoln Tea Party volunteers to host a Flag Day rally in Seward, June 14.

“Our goal is simple,” Jensen says. “We want to deliver resources for people who feel like us, to take a stand, become informed and provide education about our Constitution. We believe in limited government, free market solutions and fiscal responsibility. We support everything that is in the U.S. Constitution. We do not endorse specific candidates, but rather want to educate the people so they can ask the right questions and make the right decisions when it comes time to vote in November.”

Voting is important — the local Tea Party chairman says they encourage voter registration and are distributing material to help residents be registered and prepared.

“We are not looking to be a third political party,” Jensen said. “We want to provide a platform for the citizens to ask questions of the candidates, on the local, state and federal levels. We believe that if individuals have good information they will make good decisions” in the voting booth. “We want people to study the Constitution and base their decisions on whether a candidate backs it.”

[…]

Jensen said they will also be having an informal event before Flag Day, on June 10, at the York Community Center. “From 1-7 p.m., we’ll have an open house during which we will be giving people complimentary supplies to make signs for the Seward rally. And, if someone wants to make a sign but cannot attend the Seward rally, we can take the signs over for them.”

My friend, Ed, made this short video promotion for the event:

Posted in Constitution, GML-TV, government spending, Nebraska, tea party | 2 Comments »

Book Signing in Lincoln and Omaha

Posted by Dan Draney on June 3, 2010

I received this press release about a book tour visit of Jon Lauck to Lincoln and Omaha. I don’t know Dr. Lauck, but Ryne knows him from the Thune vs. Daschle election in South Dakota in 2004, and says he’s an all around great guy. Perhaps Ryne can be coaxed into adding a note to this post. 🙂

I also haven’t read “Prairie Republic,” but I did read this review of it, and that sounds good. If you have a Facebook account, you can check out the Facebook page for the book.

AUTHOR TO SIGN BOOKS IN
OMAHA AND LINCOLN THIS SUNDAY

–New Book Examines the History of Prairie Settlement–

Norman, OK — Jon Lauck, author of the newly-released book “Prairie Republic,” published by the University of Oklahoma Press, will be appearing on June 6th at book events in Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska. The events will be held at the Bookworm Bookstore in Omaha at 1:00 (8702 Pacific Street, 402-392-2877) and Indigo Bridge Books in Lincoln at 5:00 (The Haymarket, 701 P Street, 402-477-7770). “Prairie Republic” explores the settlement of the Great Plains/Prairie region during the late 19th-century, notes the successes of the pioneers and the institutions they built, and discusses the broader meaning of this historic moment in American history. A Creighton University professor recently wrote in a review of “Prairie Republic” that “Lauck argues that the farm and small town culture of the Midwest in the late nineteenth century encouraged a sense of responsibility for the common good. Until the end of the Civil War, nearly all of Nebraska and the Dakota Territories were thought to be arid wastelands. With newly developed farming techniques and expanded railway networks, however, the final decades of the nineteenth century saw a tremendous boom in the upper Great Plains.”

“Prairie Republic” is also available from online booksellers, in bookstores, and directly from the University of Oklahoma Press: 1-800-627-7377 or http://www.oupress.com. For an author interview or to schedule a book event, please contact Sandy See, Publicist at the University of Oklahoma Press, 405-325-3200 or ssee@ou.edu. To directly contact the author, use the electronic address: jlauck1941@hotmail.com For more information and publicity materials visit: http://www.oupress.com/bookdetail.asp?isbn=978-0-8061-4110-7

Signings of “Prairie Republic” will also be held in Sioux Falls (Barnes & Noble, June 5th, 1:00, 3700 West 41st Street, 605-362-1500), Fargo (Barnes & Noble, June 12th, 4:00, 1201 42nd Street South, near West Acres Mall, 701-281-1002), Rapid City (Borders, June 18th, 4:30, 2130 Haines Avenue, 605-394-5334), Watertown (Goss Opera House, June 24th, 6:00, 100 East Kemp Avenue, 605-878-4677) and other locations in the near future.

Lauck is also the author of “Daschle v. Thune: Anatomy of a High Plains Senate Race” (University of Oklahoma Press, 2007) and “American Agriculture and the Problem of Monopoly” (University of Nebraska Press, 2000). A former lawyer and history professor, Lauck is now Senior Advisor and Counsel to U.S. Senator John Thune of South Dakota

Sandy See
Publicity Manager
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive
Norman OK 73069
405-325-3200
ssee@ou.edu

Posted in Nebraska | Leave a Comment »

Peculiar Result in Neb Primary

Posted by Dan Draney on May 24, 2010

can of hammerheads

Which is smarter: A Dem primary voter or this can of hammerheads?

Last Tuesday’s primary election here in Lincoln for the Congressional seat currently held by Jeff Fortenberry [R] is a bizarre and largely untold story. No, Rep. Fortenberry did not drown in a TEA Party tidal wave; he easily beat back his primary challengers. The oddity was in the Democrat primary, with the party’s choice, Ivy Harper, facing off against a group of amateurs. Two of her opponents were so inept they had no web presence at all and didn’t even bother  answering the questions to get into the Lincoln Journal Star Voter’s Guide.

Harper campaigned as a “moderate” Democrat, to the extent one believes such creatures exist, calling herself the “Center-Pivot Candidate.” It’s a small joke on the center-pivot irrigation systems, widely used in Nebraska, which apparently means she’ll be going around in circles. Or perhaps, it’s that once she’s elected she’ll pivot sharply to the left? On the issues Harper advocates pretty conventional liberal positions.

So it was shocking to see Harper struggle to eek out a win in a very tight race against Jessica Lynn Turek. Turek’s qualifications and positions via the Journal Star Voter’s Guide:

Turek says she is a Nebraska native who works to make us prouder Nebraskans. She says people deserve economic stability. Technology has made our lives easier and now is the time to make positive adjustments.

Turek has a Bachelor of Arts degree, more than six years of professional library experience and a year of AmeriCorps work.

What would you like to accomplish as a member of the House during the next two years?

Raise the minimum wage; price caps on housing, autos, produce and gas. Price caps on energy and make money beautiful and smell good.

Do you believe Congress should attempt to govern in a more bipartisan way, and if so, what actions would you take to try to help achieve that?

Bipartisanship is a natural result of good ideas. Positive, the Nebraska we want. Everlasting for the future now.

The rest of the questions were unanswered. Now Ms. Turek may be a wonderful person, but who in the world reads this kind of thing and decides, “Yeah, I’ll vote for that?”

Posted in crazy leftists, Economics, Fortenberry, Nebraska | 5 Comments »

GML-TV Update

Posted by Dan Draney on May 22, 2010

We have a new Give Me Liberty TV episode running on Lincoln’s Time Warner Cable public access channel. There are three segments in this show:

  1. The conclusion of the interview with Tea Party leaders Shelli Dawdy (Grassroots in Nebraska) and Laura Ebke (Red State Eclectic / Campaign for Liberty) hosted by GML-TV’s Patrick Tarr. The discussions cover the Federal Reserve, local grassroots organizations for limited government, citizen efforts to report on legislation in the Unicameral, and the new movie, “A New America.” If you missed the first part of the interview, you can check it out here.
  2. The second is an interview I did with Lory Storm of the Nebraska 912 Freedom Project about their Initiative petition to allow recall of elected officials in Nebraska. The Initiative process in Nebraska allows citizens to place amendments to the state constitution on the ballot by collecting signatures throughout the state in support of the amendment. The purpose of this particular amendment is to increase government accountability by adding a mechanism for the people of Nebraska to remove a politician from office before the end of his/her term. If the amendment reaches the ballot and is enacted, it would apply to Nebraska officials at all levels of government: federal; state; and local.
  3. Finally there is a video of a speech about Repeal and Replace that former NY Governor George Pataki gave in Lincoln recently. It’s a good speech, but I’m not a big fan of Pataki based on what I saw of him when I lived in Connecticut. The Governor appeared through RevereAmerica, which seems to be mainly a vehicle for promoting him for the 2012 presidential race. That seems like a pipe dream to me.

Posted in Constitution, GML-TV, Nebraska, tea party, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

New GMLTV: Nebraska Grassroots Groups

Posted by Dan Draney on May 2, 2010

The Tea Party Movement consists of hundreds of small groups operating independently around the country. Of course, GMLTV itself is such a group, but there are many others just here in Nebraska. Laura Ebke, who blogs at Red State Electric, is the leader of Campaign for Liberty in Nebraska. Shelli Dawdy of Grassroots in Nebraska is another local Tea Party leader. Recently GMLTV’s Patrick Tarr hosted a discussion with Shelli and Laura. Topics ranged from the Tea Party Movement to the Unicameral’s resolution on state sovereignty and the Constitutional balance between state and federal power.

[Cross-posted at GMLTV]

Posted in 10th Amendment, GML-TV, Nebraska, sovereignty, tea party | Leave a Comment »

Who Are These Tea Partiers?

Posted by Dan Draney on April 1, 2010

Fellow Nebraska blogger, Uncle Wiggily, had a post this week that caught my attention, entitled The enemy of my enemy is sometimes my enemy too. He starts by describing the original Boston Tea Party in context and then turns to the current Tea Party Movement:

I laid that micro-lesson in history on you as prelude to this declaration – in one rabbit’s opinion, today’s so-called Tea Parties are nothing like, and bear no meaningful relationship to, that honored, even sacred, juncture in American history that took place in Boston so long ago. To compare today’s boisterous chatauqua-cum-picnic gatherings (complete, of course, with the requisite goofy hats, shirts and hand-painted signs) to the coup d’éclat of those early revolutionaries whose courageous actions jeopardized their careers, reputations, and even their lives, is to dishonor those who birthed this republic.

Additionally, I have never liked what I believe to be the symbological disconnect between current political revelers and those old colonial patriots. Adams, and many others, were struggling against, among other indignities, illegal taxation and tyrannical exploitation by an imperious English king, as well as striving to maintain rights and liberties they had devoted their entire lives to securing. Today’s weekend demonstrators are cranked about a whole variety of issues, but mostly they seem to just want to attend a sort of political Woodstock and generically bitch about those policy aspects of the current administration with which they disagree. The facile co-opting of the emotional horsepower contained within the philosophical bone and sinew of real American patriots by today’s pseudo-political saturnalians strikes me as impertinent toward, if not contemptuous of, those old guys’ heroic exertions.

Many, if not most, modern-day TPers appear to this observer to be only inflamed with the “pious ecstasies of the dissidence of dissent“, to borrow a wonderfully descriptive phrase from Russell Kirk. They’re into the scene – the self-absorbed urgency of the throng – with no very clear idea of where their perhaps well-intentioned flailing about will take them or their disordered enterprise. That old Shakespearean phrase comes to mind: “... full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

I consider myself to be a member of the Tea Party Movement, broadly defined. I was a founding member/leader of Grassroots in Nebraska, although I am not much involved with that group today. More recently, I have been working with about a half-dozen people at Give Me Liberty TV, making TV shows and clips. See for example our most recent show. I don’t think you can get any more “grassroots” than GML-TV: everything is done by individual initiative and consensus, and we have no budget.

Although Uncle Wiggily is one of my favorite rabbits, his criticism struck me as a bit harsh. Feel free to read his entire post and the comments, although I won’t quote them all here. He goes on to express concern that the TP groups will end up splitting the opposition to progressivism, resulting in the triumph of the very forces we are protesting against. This is a serious issue and the main reason I don’t support creating a Tea Party Party. UW is certainly right about the different levels of risk assumed by the original Tea Party members vs. today. However, in my experience people in the Tea Party Movement have tremendous respect and admiration for the Founders.

What bothered me, though, was that smart folks like UW and his commenters seemed to have absorbed a lot of the MSM line characterizing the Tea Party Movement as primarily Angry Racist Kooks. That doesn’t square with my personal experience at all. The most apt description I have heard for the TPM, from Larry Kudlow, I believe, is “free market populists.” Some good work has been done toward understanding the Tea Party Movement by people who are not out to discredit the protesters, such as this from Kristen Soltis at the Winston Group:

Some of our findings were unsurprising — tea-party members tend to be conservative; a majority are Republican; they are concerned about the federal deficit and spending.

But some four out of ten tea-party members aren’t Republican, and a third aren’t conservative, painting a picture of a movement that is hardly monolithic.

There’s quite a bit of data to sift through, but the critical storyline that emerges is this: The tea-party movement is driven by concern about the economy and jobs. Yes, they place a high level of importance on the national deficit — over three times as many tea-party members name it as their top issue than do voters overall — but it doesn’t end there.

In question after question, tea-party members expressed their belief that things like low taxes and reduced spending can create jobs.  For instance, 85 percent say that cutting taxes for small businesses will create more jobs than increased government spending on infrastructure projects. Yet when pressed on what they’d prefer — a balanced budget or a 5 percent unemployment rate — 63 percent picked the unemployment rate, similar to the overall sample of voters at 64 percent.

Similarly, Ramesh Ponnuru and Kate O’Beirne argue that the GOP should consider the Tea Party Movement an opportunity rather than a threat:

The first [myth] is that the tea partiers are driven by racial animus against the president. Actually, a third of the people who participated in tea-party rallies say that they approve of Obama’s performance in office and a fifth say that they voted for him in 2008. Five percent of them are black, 11 percent Hispanic. Of those who agree with the protests, 29 percent approve of Obama’s performance. Waters and Krugman can rest easy.

The second myth is that the tea partiers are unpopular. Krugman wrote last April that the tea parties “have been the subject of considerable mockery, and rightly so,” and Brooks speculated that “the tea-party tendency” might “be the ruin of the Republican party, pulling it in an angry direction that suburban voters will not tolerate.” Some Republican officials worry that media criticism and Democrats’ attacks on the activists have made it politically risky to associate themselves with the tea-party movement.

The polls do not bear out this fear. Most voters don’t consider themselves well-informed about the tea parties, but have a favorable view. As noted already, 53 percent of the electorate look sympathetically on the tea parties. McLaughlin also asked likely voters which characterization of the tea parties they leaned toward: an “anti-government, fringe organization that is driven by anger” or a group of “citizens concerned about the country’s economic future.” A majority of 57 percent chose the benign characterization while only 19 percent disagreed. Even a plurality of self-identified liberals went with “concern” rather than “anger.”

It really should not be difficult for the GOP to win over the majority of the Tea Party Movement, provided the GOP is actually willing to stand up for the principles it claims to hold dear:

But Republicans can do more than hope. They can appeal to the tea partiers and ally with them. While the tea partiers often express disgust with the Republican record on spending and bailouts, their views on most issues are within the mainstream of the Republican party. As we have seen, they are concerned about deficits but enthusiastic about tax cuts; they are pro-life; they are pro-defense. McLaughlin also finds that they favor increased reliance on nuclear power. They listen to the same talk-radio shows that conservative Republicans do. Their demographic profile looks very similar to that of Republicans.

Which is not surprising, since they’re generally the same people. The tea partiers are, for the most part, Republicans. Specifically, they are a highly engaged, but not highly partisan, segment of the party. A majority self-identify as Republicans and as conservatives. A full 68 percent of tea-party sympathizers voted for John McCain in 2008 — which was, it need hardly be noted, low tide for the GOP. Some of the tea-party activists take pride in their movement’s independence from the Republican party, and Republicans reaching out to them need to be mindful of that fact. But it’s also true that they’re not going to have to reach very far.

Michael Barone sees the Tea Parties as the continuation of the long-term struggle between the ideas of “Progressives” (i.e. statists) and those of the Founders (i.e. individualistic, free market), as embraced by the TPM. That certainly describes the attitudes of the people I have met in the Tea Party Movement (in person and online). Some see the GOP as the natural home of the movement, since these are ideals long espoused by the party. Most agree that the GOP blew it and bears a lot of responsibility for the mess we are in now. Some are convinced the GOP has now seen the light and are ready to re-join it. Others, including me, think that some in the GOP have seen the light, but too much of the party infrastructure is just waiting for the storm to blow over so they can get back to business as usual.

As far as Tea Party events themselves, it’s a tricky path to find the right notes. If things are too “light” some (e.g. UW) may feel the movement lacks seriousness. If things get too passionate, it’s “hate speech” or “racism” to those who disagree. If one person looks or sounds like a goofball or brings an offensive sign, he/she is a magnet for TV news reporters: See! We told you they are all Kooks and Klansmen!

It would be a mistake to think of the Tea Party Movement as some monolithic, nationwide organization, as sometimes portrayed in the MSM, or by self-appointed, national “leaders” of the TPM. It’s very much a local phenomenon that is breaking out nationwide, with local groups and leaders cooperating and competing with each other. Not everyone has the same goals, either. As my friend, Ed, put it the other night: It’s like we all agree we should head west, but to some that means Los Angeles, while others are thinking Alaska, and everywhere in between. Throw in the regional cooperation/competition, with GOP and national organizations trying to “lead” it, and the results are often not particularly pretty. Most of us are amateurs, after all.

We’ve basically got one shot left to stop this statist juggernaut, and it starts in November. The Dems must be severely punished at the polls, and the spending floodgates must be closed. In 2012 we get our one shot to repeal the ObamaCare monstrosity by electing a president and large Congressional majorities committed to that. I welcome the help of everyone who is pursuing that goal in a non-violent, non-nutty way.

Posted in Nebraska, socialism, tea party | 3 Comments »

Panel Discussion on Tea Party Awakenings

Posted by Dan Draney on March 27, 2010

If your only view of the Tea Party movement has been through the prism of CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and national newspapers, you may think of the protesters as a mob of angry people with pitchforks and torches, looking to tar and feather everyone who disagrees with them. If you get all your news from Nancy Pelosi, you may think the protesters are violent, neo-Nazis. To hear the Leftists tell it, dissent against “Chimpy McBushitler” was the Highest Form of Patriotism, but dissent against the unprecedented expansion of federal government currently underway must, obviously, be due to racism.

In fact nothing could be further from the reality of the Tea Party movement. The vast majority of participants are simply regular people, patriotic citizens trying to restore respect for the Constitutional principles of limited government. We know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. All these “free” things the government gives us will have to be paid for, one way or another, in higher taxes now or on our children.We know that a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.

To give you a direct look at some members of the Tea Party movement we offer this panel discussion featuring three Nebraskans who became politically active in the past year: Bryan Van Deun; Joanne Elliott; and Dan Draney (i.e. Yours Truly). This is Show #7,  and it is hosted by GML-TV’s inimitable W. A. Mitchell.

[Cross-posted at GML-TV and Plains Feeder]

Posted in GML-TV, Nebraska, tea party | 3 Comments »

Open Letter to Rep. Stupak

Posted by Dan Draney on March 14, 2010

Dear Rep. Stupak,

First I want to thank you and those who have stood with you for your opposition to the federalization of healthcare and subsidization of abortion. Please pass this message on to the others as, well.

I’m writing now to urge you to hold fast against this bill. Since I live in Nebraska, I’ll let you know a little more about what his vote in favor of the exact bill you are considering has done for Sen. Ben Nelson. He was one of the most popular political figures in this state over the past 25 yrs, but he will never be elected to anything in Nebraska again. He can barely go out in public without being booed and heckled by our fellow Nebraskans.

Everyone is aware of the so-called Cornhusker Kickback, and certainly Nebraskans are mad about that. We don’t like to be seen as cutting a special, dishonest deal at the expense of the rest of the country. However, the distaste for Sen. Nelson is much broader than that.

  1. The bill allows federal funding of abortion. After claiming he would not vote for subsidized abortions, he broke his word. Pro-life groups and leaders in the state who have long supported him rightly viewed this as a betrayal of fundamental principles. These former supporters will never be back, regardless of the ultimate fate of this bill.
  2. The bill itself is deeply unpopular. The more people know about this bill the less they like it. Just as the massive, wasteful, ineffective “stimulus” bill has become even less popular as people see what is in it, so it will be with this healthcare bill if it ever becomes law. It will be a millstone around the neck of every politician who supports it for the rest of his/her career.
  3. He failed to notice that the political ground has shifted under his feet. Sen. Nelson thrived as a senator by bringing home pork from the federal trough. Today Americans can see that Congress and the President have dropped all pretense of fiscal discipline. We know that this path leads to disaster, and people are paying attention. No one believes the healthcare “reform” bills will save money. We are not stupid. We know the existing entitlements are already bankrupting the country.

Senator Nelson thought the subterfuge embodied in the abortion clauses of the Senate bill would protect him from pro-life backlash. It did not. He thought it was business as usual, and he could sell us a bill that we don’t want and can’t afford by sweetening the deal with the “Cornhusker Kickback.” He was stunned to discover that the juicy pork he brought home just made things worse for him politically instead of better.

Do not vote for this bill or for any phony “self-executing rule” and/or reconciliation shenanigans. It is political poison. It is bad policy. It is fiscal insanity.

Addendum: I attempted to post this with Rep. Stupak’s web form. However, it states that he is “unable to reply to any email from constituents outside of the 1st District of Michigan.” I was not expecting a reply, but it appears that also means he is not accepting any emails from outside his district. If anyone reading this is in Rep. Stupak’s district, please pass this along to him.

Posted in government spending, healthcare, Nebraska, socialism | 2 Comments »

Nebraska Unicameral Sovereignty Resolution

Posted by Dan Draney on February 28, 2010

In January, 2010, Nebraska Senator Tony Fulton introduced LR-292. This resolution cites the 9th and 10th Amendments to the US Constitution and reminds the federal government that it’s powers are limited. The 9th and 10th Amendments are the final Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The full text is:

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In December, Sen. Fulton sat down with Patrick Tarr of Give Me Liberty TV to discuss the resolution, the Constitutional relationship between the states and the federal government, and how we can begin to restore the balance.

The interview is currently running on Lincoln’s Community Access Channel (Ch 13) on Time Warner Cable. It can be viewed there Mondays at 1:30 PM, Fridays at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 9:00 PM. Or, just watch it here:

UPDATE: Due to a combination of fast work by Time Warner Cable and slow posting here, the show above (#5) has finished its run, and show #6 is now playing.

The first part of the new show is an interview by W.A. Mitchell with Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key. Rep. Key is the author of the State Sovereignty bill in Oklahoma, and he was in Lincoln to testify at the hearing on the Nebraska bill. The second part of the show is a speech delivered to state sovereignty supporters by Nebraska Sen. Tony Fulton at a banquet organized by Grass Roots in Nebraska.

Cross-posted at GML-TV

Posted in 10th Amendment, GML-TV, Nebraska, sovereignty, tea party | 1 Comment »

Ben Nelson: All Smiles

Posted by Ryne McClaren on February 23, 2010

Ben Nelson is delighted Congress went ahead and cashed that check we never sent them: Ben Nelson happy with new Medicaid deal proposal.

Posted in Ben Nelson, Nebraska | 2 Comments »

None Dare Call Them Golf Carts

Posted by Ryne McClaren on February 22, 2010

LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth (proudly representing my district) has named his priority bill: LB1004.

Nebraskans would be able to drive their golf cars down residential city streets, just like the old folks do in Florida and California, under a bill that carries priority designation.

Golf cars and other slow-moving vehicles would be allowed on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less and could cross other higher speed roads, under a bill (LB1004), named by Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth as his priority bill.

That’s golf cars, not carts.

If you’re like me, you were confused at this point.  “Golf car? Wha?”

I’m so very glad you asked, because this is the important part.

And there is a difference between, said Joe Masek, president of the Masek Golf Car Co. in Gering.

A golf cart is that “little two-wheeled thing that you drag around behind you when you are un-American and walk the course,” he told senators on the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on Monday.

The Legislature is looking at rules for golf cars, which “have a steering wheel and you drive,” Masek said.

Ok.  See?  I told you this was very important.  (And I’m not even going to touch his “un-American” comment).

But now let’s leave the study of motorized golf car lingo alone and get to the wacky.

Under the bill, only licensed drivers could operate a slow-moving vehicle, and owners would have to carry liability insurance.

The bill covers golf cars, which can go about 10 to 16 mph, and slow-moving vehicles, which under federal law can go 20 to 25 mph and must have seat belts, windshields and turn signals.

Around three dozen states allow these very slow moving vehicles on city streets, according to supporters.

Because they can’t be driven very fast, these vehicles are safe, they said.

The law would help a lot of elderly people in small towns who don’t want to or shouldn’t drive, Louden said.

Problem #1: You possess neither the eyesight nor the reflexes to operate one of those high speed cars that are all the rage.

Problem #2: You still possesses a valid drivers license.

Problem #3: Driving fast is unsafe; driving slow in and around fast traffic is much safer.

Solution: Golf cars.

I’m always dumbfounded why we believe that taking a slow moving vehicle and granting it access to the fast lane is a solution for anything at all, but there you go.  This might work if all of us were required to bump around town in our golf cars, but it’s absurd to think that you’re safer moving slow when the roadways are occupied by… texting teen drivers.

The golf car salesman (obviously) thinks this is a stroke of genius.

Village, towns and college campuses could used modified golf carts rather than pickup trucks to move light loads around if it were legal to drive on the streets, Masek said.

Don’t tell Masek, but lots of people are probably already doing these things anyway, and the Legislature hasn’t even said it’s ok yet. But perhaps once all of this is tied up, he can send out some brochures or something.

Ultimately, so long as these vehicles are properly insured (like I am, for when I run over them) and operated by people who are licensed and sane, I have no problem with the bill itself.  The only problem that I have is with swaddling this baby up in phony “public safety” clothes.

The text of this bill is far too long to read, and it could be condensed to its simplest form: We want to drive something besides cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the roads and streets of Nebraska.

Posted in general nuttiness, Nebraska, regulation, socialism | 2 Comments »

Lincoln Tea Party – Sat. April 11

Posted by Dan Draney on April 4, 2009

If you are here in Nebraska, you should attend the Lincoln Tea Party to be held at the Capitol building on Saturday, April 11, 2009. Follow that link to the home site for the event for updates. If you have a blog that covers Nebraska, please help publicize the event with the links below. If you know an appropriate blog/blogger, please pass this along to them.

KLKN TV (Channel 8) in Lincoln did a nice report on the event. Details and video here.


More links of interest:
Main web page (accessible to all)
Facebook group and event pages (all Faceboo members can join)

Attention Volunteers: Help needed in lots of areas from advance planning to day of the event and beyond. Please help if you can. Here’s a form to submit your contact info. Your privacy is important. The organizers will not sell or give away your contact information to others.

Other important links on the main site:

Posted in Nebraska, taxes, tea party | Leave a Comment »

 
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