During the primary election there were three excellent candidates running for the Republican nomination, and of course the blast from the past Bob Kerrey seemingly tapped as the Democrat candidate facing little if any challenge from within his party.
Deb Fischer was running a distant third and with little statewide name recognition she was up against the better known State Attorney General Jon Bruning and State Treasurer Don Stenberg.
The York News-Times listened to all three as they visited York.
We came out early and were the first newspaper in the state to endorse Deb Fisher. We liked what we saw in this effective legislator. She was articulate, had a no-nonsense way about her and most importantly was not engrossed in partisan politics.
Fisher won. Kerrey won. Now the two are asking for our support in the general election next week.
The York News-Times has decided not to endorse either candidate, even though the ramifications of this statewide race could have an enormous impact on Washington. This contest could decide no less than the balance of power in the United States Senate.
We can’t endorse Bob Kerrey. The single most important reason is that he has not cared enough about York citizens to do a single campaign stop in our city. He has on two separate occasions told us he would schedule a stop, but has not fulfilled his promises. How could we possibly endorse a candidate who breaks promises before the election? You see, words mean things, promises mean things, and broken promises speak louder than words.
Deb Fischer on the other hand did stop in York, but it is clear this is not the Deb Fischer of only a few short months ago when she was running in the primary. There are two reasons we cannot endorse Fischer.
Fischer signed the Grover Norquist tax pledge. On the surface you might think this is a good move. Who wants higher taxes? On second thought, Deb Fischer could be elected to a six-year term and to go into office pledging not to raise income taxes. With our country $16 trillion in debt her pledge does not show a willingness to address our fiscal crisis in a meaningful way.
That $16 trillion in debt belongs to us, our generation, not our children or grandchildren, and regardless of the overspending in Washington there is no way we can simply cut our way to a balanced budget and repay our debt. At some point, we as a generation have to pony up and pay for the government we wanted, and repay the money we borrowed to fund it.
Signing a pledge saying no increase in income tax is irresponsible and short sighted. Fischer, not knowing what the future holds, has limited her options, limited her ability to compromise and reduced the American people’s chance of clawing our way out of the fiscal crisis we are in right now.
Another reason we cannot endorse Fischer is because she is willing to put the waters of Nebraska at risk, which could not only jeopardize our entire economy but endanger citizens’ health as well. She is in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, a pipeline owned by a foreign corporation which wants to transport extremely dangerous DilBit through our state, so much of it can exported tax free from the Gulf of Mexico.
She ignores TransCanada’s dismal safety record, as cited by Canada’s National Energy Board just two weeks ago. She ignores the fact Keystone won’t divulge the contents of the substances they will transport. She ignores the fact the new pipeline bill signed in January of this year calls for a two-year study on DilBit and the pipelines that will carry it. Fischer ignores the people from her own district who are fighting like warriors to preserve and protect Nebraska’s waters.
Fischer isn’t willing, even as a candidate, to stand up and fight for property owners who have been threatened with eminent domain by a foreign corporation that has yet to receive a federal permit, isn’t willing to preserve the rivers and Ogallala Aquifer at all costs and doesn’t seem concerned about the danger to Nebraskans’ health if this pipeline is allowed to go though our groundwater.
There is no way this newspaper could endorse a candidate whose political ambitions seem greater than the needs of the people.
Meanwhile, in Washington, the most powerful political figure in the U.S. is Harry Reid, the Majority Leader in the Senate, who has singlehandedly shut down Congress by not allowing bills that have been passed in the House to come up for votes in the Senate. Reid, hiding behind his majority, has not even passed a budget in more than three years. He needs to go.
The only way this happens is if the Republicans get a majority in the Senate. Fischer’s win, if it happens, will help in that cause, but we cannot in good conscience endorse Fischer. Nor can we endorse Kerrey, who was encouraged to run by the very same Harry Reid.
At this time all we can do is hope Washington and the winner of Fischer/Kerrey realize the work of the American people is not being done, and that they must use every ounce of energy to break the partisan gridlock and cross party lines to advance the will of the people.
The York News-Times will remain ever diligent and will continue to report how well the winner of this Fischer/Kerrey contest does the people’s work: How they spend our money and how they vote to put this nation back on a promising fiscal path.