NEBFARMPAC Endorses Kerrey
For Immediate Release
October 28, 2012
Lincoln, NE. NEBFARMPAC, the political action committee of the Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska’s second largest general farm organization with over 5,100 farm and ranch families announced its unanimous endorsement of Bob Kerrey for Senate.
The NEBFARMPAC Board of Directors issued the following statement:
“Agriculture is the largest single industry in our state. So goes agriculture, so goes Nebraska’s economy and fiscal condition.”
“While agriculture, especially grain agriculture has enjoyed the most profitable period since WWII, it is extremely fragile and vulnerable. It is alarming that despite facing the worst drought in 50 years, agriculture did not get the timely help it needed because the House of Representatives allowed the Farm Bill to expire September 30th and thereby withheld the critical program tools USDA needed to help hard hit livestock and dairy producers. That lack of support is a wake-up call for agricultural interests.”
It is alarming that Congressional support for the essential federal programs that support agriculture, including the all-important Farm Bill and the renewable energy incentives and programs including ethanol incentives, the RFS-Renewable Fuel Standard and the PTC-Production Tax Credit for wind is no longer a given. The Congressional dysfunction caused by hyper partisanship and ideologically extreme elements puts the economic interests of agriculture clearly at risk. Grover Norquist and his Club for Growth has targeted farm programs and all renewable energy incentive and standards for elimination”
“The person we voters send to Washington, D.C. to represent our interests must have both the passion and right set of skills to effectively fight for our interests in our increasingly dysfunctional and partisan Congress. Nebraska agriculture and rural communities depend on a whole suite of programs within the Farm Bill, including a farm income safety net, crop insurance, soil and water conservation programs, disaster programs for livestock and grain producers, rural development programs that our small towns use, beginning farmer programs, and many others too numerous to list.”
The NEBFARMPAC Board compared the track records and public policy positions of the two candidates on the top issues facing agriculture, and their experience and skills critical to the success of Nebraska agriculture and rural communities. The Board found 10 significant reasons to endorse Bob Kerrey over Deb Fischer for U.S. Senator from Nebraska. Those reasons were:
- Bob Kerrey has 12 years of proven effective bi-partisan leadership, experience and track record in the Senate. He served with distinction on three Senate Committees critical to Nebraska: Agriculture, Appropriations, and Armed Services. His 12 years of seniority is a major financial and political asset for Nebraska. We should take advantage of this valuable asset.
- During his tenure as Governor of Nebraska and 12 years in the Senate, Bob Kerrey was a national leader on ethanol issues, and is strongly supportive of farm based renewable energy development, including wind, biodiesel, corn ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, and solar energy.
- Bob Kerrey was a fiscal conservative as a Governor and as a Senator. He made the tough decisions to balance the budget while also having a strategic eye on the future. Bob Kerrey is best equipped to tackle the daunting task of protecting the long term viability of major entitlement programs, and balance our federal budget. His independent approach is exactly what is needed.
- On the critical issue of ag market reforms critical to the future of independent livestock production, Bob Kerrey has the clear advantage.
- Bob Kerrey did not sign Grover Norquist’s tax pledge. Deb Fisher did. The Club for Growth is targeting all farm and renewable energy programs for elimination. That is not in Nebraska’s interests. Deb Fisher made a terrible mistake by trading her own independence and judgment for that of Club for Growth extremists. She should not volunteer to help our enemies.
- Bob Kerrey supports the critical financial reforms including ag commodity trading reforms essential to restoring price discovery to ag commodities. Deb Fisher opposes them.
- Bob Kerrey has the ability to navigate the increasingly partisan and dysfunctional political landscape in Congress, our nation, and in Nebraska and has a track record that backs up his claims. He is the most independent major political figure in Nebraska since George Norris.
- While all unlimited outside funding is deplorable, the Ricketts family nearly $800,000 support of Deb Fischer is extremely troubling. That is especially so when we consider the Ricketts family supported Platte Institute recent recommendation to value all ag land at 100% of market value instead of 75%. This could potentially increase ag property taxes by 33%. Joe and Pete Ricketts seem intent on having a Nebraska Senate seat one way or another.
- Bob Kerrey has a wealth of experience as our state’s Governor, U.S. Senator, and other life experiences that make him the better choice to represent our state during this period of unprecedented political polarization. Kerrey has in the past and will again in the future develop the necessary bi-partisan support to move major issues forward. He has the national reputation and stature to do so.
- On the issue of global warming and climate change, Bob Kerrey rightly believes it is real, and that human activity impacts it. Deb Fischer does not. We find that position troubling.
“We know that Nebraska agriculture will be well served by sending Bob Kerrey to the Senate because we have 12 years of distinguished and positive track record to go by. Kerrey distinguished himself as our Governor during the farm crisis of the early 1980’s. He made the painful and difficult belt tightening decisions to deal with plummeting tax revenues while moving forward with strategically critical initiatives such as ethanol development,” said NEBFARMPAC President Gale Lush of Wilcox.
John Hansen, NEBFARMPAC Secretary said “Our Board of Directors recognize how fragile the ag economy is, and how historically dysfunctional our Congress and national politics are. We need to reduce extremist influence so we can solve problems. Instead, Deb Fischer helped empower Grover Norquist long standing agenda to eliminate all farm programs, rural development, soil and water conservation, and renewable energy efforts by signing his pledge. . That puts Nebraska’s largest single industry, production agriculture squarely at risk,” said John Hansen, NEBFARMPAC Secretary.
1305 Plum Street Lincoln, NE 68502 Phone (402) 476-8815 Fax (402) 476-8815