If elected, I will endorse, prioritize, and work aggressively to…
Prohibit lobbyist-sponsored campaign fundraisers during the legislative session
Breakfast fundraisers have often been held during the legislative session not far from the capitol so that senators can attend, receive donations from lobbyists, then return to vote on the day’s matters.
We think it’s a clear conflict to have a fundraiser sponsored by a group of lobbyists, and receive checks from their clients, on a day that a senator might be a key vote for an issue of statewide importance.
Require elected officials and candidates for state offices to provide a verifiable bank statement once each year on all campaign accounts
The Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission says that with access to a verified statement each year, they could reconcile out of date accounts and more actively prevent the abuse of campaign funds.
The statements themselves wouldn’t become public record but would help the NADC determine any inconsistencies in campaign accounts and reach out to the appropriate parties.
Strengthen Nebraska’s open meetings and open records laws by explicitly including public/private partnerships like Omaha’s MECA
Nebraska’s government transparency laws don’t explicitly include partnerships between private businesses and government entities.
In the case of Omaha’s MECA (who manages city facilities), the Attorney General has issued an opinion stating they are subject to the laws, but the organization continues to push back against disclosure.
What’s necessary is explicit statutory language stating when entities cross the threshold into doing the work of the people and are subject to public disclosure.
Require a two-year cooling off period before elected officials can become paid lobbyists
Currently 36 states and the federal government require a waiting period between when a person can be an elected representative and when they can take a job as a lobbyist, but Nebraska isn’t among them.
The concern is that former officials have inside information and relationships that they gained as public servants, which shouldn’t be for sale to the lobbying gain of any employer. Likewise, the promise of lobbying work after their term ends might sway decision making of legislators.
We think a 2-year cooling off period makes sense for Nebraska and assures voters that their representatives aren’t just in it for the lobbying payout.
Create an independent redistricting commission to allow voters to choose their elected officials instead of politicians selecting their voters
Nebraska’s redistricting process put’s legislators in charge of drawing district maps ever 10 years, which means that incumbent senators get a chance to redraw the lines of their own districts.
This is leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse, with men and women in charge of creating maps that would ideally favor themselves instead of voters.
Rather than sticking to the same process and ending up in the same ugly partisan fights, we should look to the models of other states and adopt a system that doesn’t give elected officials total control.