[jbox color=”white” width=”800″ shadow=”3″ jbox_css=”color:#800080; border:4px solid #2a5555;” content_css=”color:#393939;” icon=”http://grassrootsne.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/gin-exclamation-point-e1333583663780.jpg” title=”Important Article Note”] One of the subjects in this article has become part of a long-running series provides.
Readers interested in this issue are encouraged to see a list of related articles, found at the following link:
GiN articles about LB1110, Prenatal coverage, Medicaid expansion [/jbox]
Six months ago we labeled LB 1110 “the bill that just won’t die”. This “dead” piece of legislation, the people connected to it, and entities who are pushing for it, just keep creeping up every time we turn around (pun not intended…but it works).
The “zombies” here simply cannot be ignored because resurrection efforts have continued and are quite clearly not going to end. Senators have stated they will revisit the issue in the 2011 session, Nebraska Appleseed has filed suit, and even the United Nations has gotten in on the act. The UN held a maternal – child health symposium in Omaha in late September, largely focused on influencing Nebraska social workers to pressure legislators into providing health care services to “all vulnerable women”.
Besides the continuing efforts, LB 1110 is important because it revealed one doesn’t need to travel to D.C. to see legislator shenanigans. A number of Nebraska Senators exhibited ignorance of the State’s’ serious budget problems, a willingness to encourage further illegal immigration, little understanding of limited government, and no apparent understanding of personal responsibility. The Senators participating in efforts to resurrect the 1110 issue are also susceptible to manufactured crisis, lack discernment, or acquiesce to its proliferation.
The manufacturers of crisis and their biases are only relevant if they have influence. Once they show themselves able to influence public policy, it’s time to take a closer look. If organizations or individuals are willing to engage in hype or have conflicts of interest not fully disclosed, a natural question follows. In what other areas are such organizations or individuals working to influence?
Far reaching bias of particular press outlets is a subject for another day. While Lincoln Journal Star‘s journalistic practices are consistently troubling, we cannot deal with them at the moment. I believe it’s necessary to make note of this as LJS played a significant role in assisting to manufacture an abortion crisis associated with LB 1110 during the 2010 Unicameral session.
Further, LJS, along with Omaha World Herald, seem to have Senator Jeremy Nordquist on speed dial. A search of the LJS site for the name “Jeremy Nordquist” reveals a very large number of articles, despite the fact the Senator has only served in the Unicameral since January 2009. I have been finding Nordquist’s name in articles about Unicameral issues more often than I don’t.
Interestingly, Nordquist’s name was curiously absent from stories about LB 1110 in the Journal Star when One World Clinic was mentioned or quoted. One World was the central player in manufacturing the 1110 abortion crisis; Journal Star ran a headline “Clinics report women denied prenatal care coverage are opting for abortions” in which One World reported at least five women said they may have abortions if the prenatal care funding was not restored. And One World staffers “are able to tell when a woman is serious”.
One World lost $500,000 in funds when the women were deemed ineligible to participate in the Medicaid program. The March 19 Journal Star story about the sudden rash of abortions did not disclose this fact.
It bears repeating: Senator Jeremy Nordquist quotes appear in stories about many subjects associated with Nebraska Unicameral issues. Health care is among the most common subjects in which one can find Nordquist references, yet on a health care issue, about a health care clinic, Nordquist is MIA.
I am doubtful its a coincidence; as has already been mentioned, Nordquist serves on the Board of One World Clinic. There is an additional potential conflict of interest which concerns us and we’ve only begun looking into which is directly associated with Nordquist and his relationship with One World Clinic. In 2009, Nordquist introduced and prioritized LB 601, a bill that “would direct the state’s Department of Health and Human Services to apply for federal funding to allow Medicaid payments for various community-based mental health services”. Portions of LB 601 were incorporated into LB 603, which was passed by the Unicameral. One World Clinic, according to its website, provides several types of mental health services. It’s important to note that our concern is preliminary. At the very least, however, Nordquist’s introduction of such legislation and his relationship with One World work together to create an appearance of impropriety, something that every legislator should avoid.
Besides the re-emergence of LB 1110, it’s very important to reiterate why so much time has and is being spent on this subject. It’s not because Senator Nordquist is up for re-election. It is because the two largest Nebraska newspapers, especially the paper of record in the State’s Capital have consistently given him a platform from which he can promote his agenda.
When Norquist wants the public to know about something he is promoting, Journal Star is happy to oblige.
Our next article will focus on the most important fact Nebraskans need to know at this time about Senator Jeremy Nordquist: he wants the health care law implemented in Nebraska and he is undertaking no small amount of effort to see that it is. The press is only too happy to oblige and his activities to date appear to have had influence on Governor Heineman.
Those of us who want to see this health care law stopped dead in its tracks need work together to let our fellow citizens know there is a vociferous advocate for health care implementation who is receiving assistance from two large media outlets, apparent ample funding, and who is apparently having some success in pressuring the Governor.
I ask anyone reading this who wants to see Nebraska take more strenuous action in nullifying the health care law to alert interested friends and family and to check back here for more information and action steps.
One of our recent articles on LB 1110 received the following comment:
“I am upset that Beau McCoy voted for this bill to be introduced. I thought he was a conservative. Does Beau McCoy support giving benefits to illegals?”
I share this comment because the frustration from the commenter is palpable. There is a lot going on in our Capitol that we don’t know about; legislators we think we know based on campaign rhetoric or party affiliation vote in ways we never expect. It happens so frequently it no longer surprises me. Those of us who are reading this need to try to get the attention of our fellow Nebraskans.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s the drama of D.C. that attracts peoples’ attentions and keeps it fixed there. If that’s the case, there’s plenty of drama to be had, right here at home.