Reality Check for Nebraska’s 49 Senators: You’re Not “In Charge” of the State: Kim Robak, Walt Radcliffe, Don Wesley et al, Ron Withem, + Kermit Brashear Do

July 17, 2012


It’s apparent – based on the  latest Lincoln Journal-Star (LJS) article on the Nebraska Unicameral and the idea that some Senators want to resurrect the dominance of a “Grand Think Tank”-type, long-standing uber-Committee, that Nebraska’s 49 Senators are still living in a State of Denial.

About what, you ask?

About the idea that they actually “run” the State.

They don’t.

Kim Robak, Walt Radclife, Don Wesley, Kermit Brashear, + NU’s pit bull lobbyist Ron Withem do.

Ask any Unicameral observer with a pulse.

What Nebraskan’s 49 august State Senators need to do is accept – and honor – contemporary reality with respect to “governing” and the Unicameral.


Forget forming another joke of a “Committee” that thinks it’s got power.

Nebraska’s 49 Senators – in order not to be living in their “Unicameral FantasyLand” must face the truth.

One concrete way – literally – would be for Nebraska’s 49 Senators to jump-start the process of adding to the decorative frieze around Lincoln’s stunning Capitol Building the names and faces of the following lobbyists who do “the work” of Nebraska’s duly-elected – but not in charge – 49 State Senators:

O’Hara/Lindsay & Associates – aka Don Wesley –  who took in $930,639.73 dollars in 2011 lobbying.

Mueller-Robak who raked in $987,801.49 dollars in 2011 lobbying.

Radcliffe & Associates whose staggering lobbying total was $1,233,508.92 dollars in 2011.

Plus, Ron Withem + Kermit Brashear

Let’s face facts, folks. These six Nebraskans – give or take an “associate” or two – own the state. What their clients want, they get.

Okay, my sardonic side ends here.

I’m thinking Nebraska must do on the state level what disgraced lobbyist – and convicted felon – Jack Abramoff argues should be done on the national level:

Bar anyone who has served in the Unicameral – or as a high state elected official & their top staffers – forever from:

1) lobbying;
2) NU
3) lobbying for NU

The nefarious revolving door between Nebraska politicians/lawyers, NU, & the state’s three Top Dog, lucrative “lobbying firms” – Mueller-Robak, Radcliffe & Associates, + O’Hara & Associates – is completely out-of-control.

Additionally, two more changes must be made and the state will be less Versailles-like:

1) Establish an Office of Inspector General (OIG) just for the University of Nebraska;

2) Alter the status, legislatively, of the University of Nebraska Foundation from “private” non-profit – which it never should have been – to “public” non-profit.

Are these suggestions draconian? Sure, but we don’t have the “best government money can buy” as the line goes.

Nebraska has the worst – least egalitarian – government that Mueller-Robak, Walt Radcliffe, Don Wesley, Kermit Brashear, money has purchased. Why?

Because the Nature of the Corporate Beast is to plunder and pillage; sorry, if that’s harsh but it’s true. For proof, just re-read the back story of Mueller-Robak’s BFF, NELNET, to see how the pursuit of profit pulls in folks who should be estranged. The lure of big bucks + Nebraska’s “It’s Who You Know” even if who you know happen to be theives, well, so be it. Ka-ching, ka-ching.

The sad fact: Corporations need to be reined in; in Nebraska, however, corporations reign because of this trio.

If these rules were written into law at the state and federal level, before long Nebraska – nee the Nation – would start seeing the return of authentic Public Servants not just in Government but in the leadership of federal/Morrill Land Grant Act Universities, too.

There really is a distinct difference between the “Public Servant” mindset and others.

An example: the other night at a D.C. dinner party, moi, and a GOP neighbor got into a heated discussion about Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban super-size drinks, etc. in New York. I applauded the idea saying that it would send a strong message to parents and help reduce childhood obesity. Beverage manufacturers and restaurant chains make obscene profits by helping to make kids fat so why not force them to examine their role in American obesity.

Her feelings: “Hell no.” She actually said – and I quote – “why should I care about a family whose parents are stupid enough to buy their kids 32 ounce Cokes every day? So they grow up to be overweight and die a few years earlier than they otherwise might. Why is that my problem? Or Mayor Bloomberg’s? It isn’t.”

There you pretty much have it. Public Servants weep for that family they don’t know whose child is overweight. Public Servants want all kids to be healthy, not just their own or their friends and relatives. Public Servants don’t think parents are stupid, merely uneducated and that the proper role of Government is to educate the Public about dangers whether they be impending hurricanes or the life-altering effects of childhood obesity. Public Servants don’t give a hoot whether McDonald’s or the Beverage Association of America – which has a strong foothold here in Nebraska, of course [see above]-  will lose some major chunks of change if the Government bans super-sized soft drinks and establishes Public Service Campaigns decrying soft drinks, in general, for kids.

Food – or in this case, tea – for thought, my Friends.

One Comment on “Reality Check for Nebraska’s 49 Senators: You’re Not “In Charge” of the State: Kim Robak, Walt Radcliffe, Don Wesley et al, Ron Withem, + Kermit Brashear Do”

  1. Educator Says:

    Just an FYI ~ many highly educated people consume both regular and diet/zero sodas or they chew gum, most of which contain Aspartame. They look at the studies and can find support for their habit.

    What people need is not more formal education but a bit of the “buyer beware.” They must recognize that both the beverage industry and the artificial sweetener industry is a billion dollar plus industry.

    Industry studies or industry-funded studies are going to say it’s safe.

    Hurray for Mayor Blumberg. Obesity Nation is not in our self-interest.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: