The Nebraska Unicameral, is, as we all know, a one house legislative body, and, officially “non-partisan”. After having observed the legislative process for quite some time, both from a distance, and up close, we stopped puzzling over this paradigm.
What the Nebraska Unicameral is, is clear. Last fall, Linda wrote the following article:
A particularly relevant selection…
“Understanding that Nebraska is, essentially, a one party state helps to explain:
Commission on Industrial Relations (CIR)/Collective Bargaining —
With a Republican administration and a Republican super-majority in the Unicameral, the issue of CIR reform was STILL commandeered by Democrats and Unions? Really?
Our state legislators in the Unicameral, who are a Republican super-majority in numbers capable of monopolizing committee chairmanships and enacting any piece of legislation without the support of a single Democrat…”
In case you’re wondering what Linda meant by “a Republican super-majority”, last year the Unicameral consisted of
Under Unicameral rules, only a simple majority (i.e., 25 voting in favor) is necessary to pass most bills and to elect committee chairs, 30 are required to adopt a constitutional amendment, and 33 are required to pass a bill containing an emergency clause OR TO BREAK A FILIBUSTER.
IF ALL 36 REPUBLICAN SENATORS STOOD FOR THE PRINCIPLES OF THEIR PARTY AND VOTED ACCORDINGLY, THEY WOULD PREVAIL ON EVERY VOTE.
Of course, the Super Majority DID lose strength this session. Well. Not really. Senator Brad Ashford switched from being a Republican to an Independent. At this point, that seems very much like a distinction without a difference.
However, the math needs redoing for this year:
Let’s see. 35 is greater than 25, 30, AND 33. Yep. Still a super-majority.
To put this number in perspective, imagine a United States Senate with:
In the U.S. Senate, procedural rules allow a 3/5 majority – that is 60 votes – to break a filibuster. That is why a 61 member majority is considered “filibuster proof”. In 2009, Democrats had a nearly filibuster-proof majority, with essentially, 60 members[1. Recall that in the 2008 elections, Republicans lost 8 seats to Democrats, and the body’s 2 Independents caucused with the Democrats to make a 59 member majority. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter switched parties from Republican to Democrat in 2009, making a 60 member majority.], and they still managed to neutralize Republican impact (such that was attempted).
Of course, having a huge number of Senators with an “R” behind their name in the U.S. Senate would ensure little. That “R” would have to stand for certain things and result in certain actions.
In the Nebraska Legislature the designation of “R” in such large numbers is CLEARLY not enough.
It IS true that the Nebraska Unicameral is NOT the United States Senate. The Republican and Democratic Party designations are officially NOT a part of the legislative process. There are no majorities or minorities. It is one body. Regarding the label of “nonpartisan” – while much could be said – I’ll confine myself and focus on one aspect.
What is the definition of “partisan”, anyway?
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word can be traced as early as the 15th Century in France, and specifically, in the 1550s, used as:
“one who takes part with another, zealous supporter,”
Also used in Italy as, “member of a faction, partner” and as “part, party”, later (1690s) associated with guerilla fighter, in the 18th Century associated with warfare, and in the 19th Century in politics.
“A fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.“
Throughout history, then, the word “partisan” has mostly carried a negative connotation. In the name of Progress, and the interests of “the people” , a negative influence, called partisanship, was removed from Nebraska’s legislative process through the 1919-1920 Constitutional Convention[2. While the 1919-1920 Nebraska Constitutional Convention is definitely a subject of high interest, at least to us, this article is not the place to run through the many issues. Some readers, however, may be interested in checking out the article to which I linked in the text, “The Nebraska Constitution” by Judge William C. Dorsey, written in the 1921 Constitutional Review. Proponents of the changes in 1919-1920, particularly famous son, George Norris, promised a more open government and more investment by the people of Nebraska. From Judge Dorsey, “…the result most clearly and forcibly revealed is the removal in many important particulars of the restrictions heretofore imposed by the current constitution and the consequent enlargement of legislative power.” The full text Nebraska Constitution can be viewed HERE.]. The Legislature was converted from the traditional bicameral legislature to what it is today.
And what is that?
We contend that Nebraska is, essentially a one party state, and it naturally follows that it is one party Legislature. BUT, whatever it is, it’s not Republican IF Republican stands for Constitutional, limited government which protects individual liberty, property rights, and state sovereignty.
If you want many examples to prove this case – not just one, not just a few, but many – I do urge you to read Linda’s article. I will provide only a small excerpt from that article here, focused on fiscal conservatism (reformatted for emphasis):
“For some inexplicable reason, there is a mythology that Nebraska is a very fiscally conservative state that is in so much better shape than many others.
- Nebraska has the highest overall taxation rate in a nine state area – – – fiscal responsibility, anyone?
- The state ranks in the top ten nationwide in the number of employees who work for state or local government – – – is that SMALL GOVERNMENT???
- Nebraska ranks in the top ten states in its number of illegal immigrants.
- There’s been a recent push in the Unicameral to extend Medicaid coverage to illegals and to grant them in-state tuition and other benefits of citizenship…this is fiscal responsibility??”
The Legislature, remember, has the power of the purse.
Scroll back up and take a look at the picture of Senator Kathy Campbell, the featured image for Linda’s article, which has Senator Campbell saying, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Let’s be very clear, about what that meant.
If you want your current (and for a long time) State Legislature to help with any of the following…
Smaller government, lower taxes, less welfare, State Sovereignty, Health care “reform” repudiated, Property rights protection OR Prohibition of collective bargaining by public employees
If you want to ensure there is not VOTER FRAUD by simply requiring people to show IDENTIFICATION when they register to vote and vote…
FORGET THAT, TOO
The bill at issue…
As of Wednesday, March 28, this bill is effectively dead.
LB239 VOTING RESULTS, Wednesday, March 28, 2012:
33 votes required[3. While the U.S. Senate requires a 3/5 majority to break a filibuster, which is 60 Senators, the Unicameral requires 2/3, which is 33] to suspend debate and vote on LB239…
- 30 votes FOR
- 16 votes AGAINST
- 1 Senator, LeRoy Louden, was “Present, Not Voting” (he apparently was hiding under his desk)[4. Senator Louden wrote an explanation for his action on his Senator’s page on the NE Legislature site, click HERE to read.]
Points to note:
- Two Senators were absent when the cloture vote was called: John Seiler, deceased Senator Dennis Utter’s appointed replacement is currently hospitalized, and Senator Abbie Cornett was also absent.
- Senator Russ Karpisek is a DEMOCRAT and he voted FOR cloture.
- I just happen to know Senator Campbell is a Republican. Beyond that and beyond having the number of Republicans and Democrats reported by multiple sources, I simply don’t know and I’m not going to try to figure out which party each of the Senator affiliates with, it’s too time consuming.
LB239 was not a GREAT bill. I see flaws in it. BUT, none of such grave concern that they overwhelm the basic premise of ensuring that voter registration is done by a CITIZEN and that, when voting the person presenting themselves (or their ballot) is the same lawfully REGISTERED VOTER, and that CITIZENS only vote ONCE.
- Why would this same bunch rubber stamp a REAL ID law (driver’s license, state ID) that sends your and my information off to a third party vendor in Virginia, not scramble to vote for this?
- Why wasn’t this issue so obviously a priority to the super majority of Republicans in the Unicameral to ensure that there was no way it could be blocked?
- Text from Wednesday’s Legislative Journal, and links to that original document
- Links to the map to find out who your own Senator is
- Links to the page on the Nebraska Legislature website of all the Senators, click to find their contact information
- Links to information about election and voter fraud written over the years by John Fund
FROM THE LEGISLATIVE JOURNAL
(see image of document below or click here to view or download PDF- note that I have re-formatted the text in a few ways, for ease of reading)
SPEAKER FLOOD PRESIDING
Senator Janssen offered the following motion: MO87 Invoke cloture pursuant to Rule 7, Section 10.
Senator Janssen moved for a call of the house. The motion prevailed with 38 ayes, 0 nays, and 11 not voting.
Senator Janssen requested a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture.
Voting in the affirmative, 30:
Voting in the negative, 16:
Present and not voting, 1: Louden
Excused and not voting, 2: Cornett, Seiler
The Janssen motion to invoke cloture failed with 30 ayes, 16 nays, 1 present and not voting, and 2 excused and not voting.
The Chair declared the call raised.“
LINKS TO INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR SENATOR:
Interesting information from John Fund, who has been investigating and writing about voter and election fraud for many years:
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