Help me please! With the primary election only a couple weeks out and with more candidates than in recent memory, you may need some help to sort it all out.
I sure do. Well, if things worked out all right in the pressroom last night you should be able to find a local election guide in today’s York News-Times. If you are reading this online you should be able to clink on this link: www.yorknewstimes.com/election
But for now, some random thoughts about the upcoming election.
Last Friday night, while most of you were starting out your weekend by taking in some evening entertainment or getting a jump start on your lawn work, I found myself saddled up to my computer watching the one and only live debate between Nebraska Third District Representative Adrian Smith and his Republican challenger Col. Tom Brewer.
The debate, although after seeing it you could hardly call it a debate, was held in Scottsbluff and a local news station was streaming it live on the Internet. I was all ready for the fireworks to begin at 6:30 p.m. when ex-Marine Col. Tom Brewer would set the record straight on Adrian Smith’s last eight years in office.
After all, Congress’ approval rating is down to about 9 percent, so not many folks think much of their congressman or woman. Adrian Smith has been in office for four terms and is asking us to give him another one. Well, how has he done?
Smith loves to talk about Washington’s overspending and the huge debt Congress has run up. In 2006, the year Smith took office, Congress allowed the government to spend 2.5 trillion dollars that year. This year Congress will spend $3.8 trillion, up 46 percent during Adrian’s reign.
And the debt? Since 2006 when the debt was $8.4 trillion, Smith has watched his House of Representatives, which controls the nation’s purse strings, increase the debt to more than $17 trillion, an unconscionable 117 percent increase! It appears Adrian Smith is unable to get the job done to decrease spending and debt, yet he wants to keep working for us!
This is what I thought his challenger Col. Tom Brewer would be all over during the debate. Didn’t happen. In fact very little happened. The lights on stage went out a couple of times which could be taken as a clue they are both in the dark when it comes to viable solutions to solve our country’s fiscal problems.
We can’t endorse Col. Tom Brewer after his dismal performance, and we sure can’t endorse Adrian Smith after his misguided allegiance to foreign oil pipeline companies over his own constituents fighting the Keystone XL. You see, Smith thinks it’s fine for a foreign corporation to take control of farmers’ and ranchers’ land in his Third Congressional District by using the power of eminent domain, and Brewer misstated the incorrect myth that this oil would help us import less from the Middle East.
Where is the “None of the Above” check box on this race?
Meanwhile we have a fistful of candidates asking us to send them to Washington to replace retiring Sen. Mike Johanns. The York News-Times has interviewed the candidates and honestly, we are unimpressed. A lot of complaining about what’s wrong with America, few solutions and absolutely no vision which would rally people hungry for a candidate that has answers and can detail a solid plan for a prosperous future.
Then we have a different fistful of candidates vying to replace term-limited-out Gov. Dave Heineman. Here, after the York News-Times interviews with the “would-be” governors, we can make a recommendation. Jon Bruning is our choice. He has the best understanding of how our state operates, the best record of defending our state and individual rights, and can build coalitions with other states when needed to fend off the power-grab explosion occurring in Washington D.C.
This along with all the local races makes for a mighty big responsibility being laid on each and every one of us who intend to vote. And I hope you plan to vote. We live in a representative republic. The people who get elected will represent you, your family and your tax money.
We ask you to spend a few minutes looking over today’s Election Guide. Make up your own mind and decide who will best carry out your vision of what government should be, and then, as important as your vote, stay in touch with your candidate. The election is only the beginning. Our real work is to guide the elected officials when they begin to govern.