When I was governor we occasionally liked to move the Capitol around the state for a few days as a way to get people closer to their government and for the government to get closer to the people. We called it "Dome on the Roam" and it really seemed to work to help bring people together to work on problems that faced all of us.
I thought about this the other day while thinking about how dysfunctional Congress has become. Most members are politically polarized and thinking only about bickering and who will win the battle of the sound bites.
They should be working together to solve our many problems especially when it comes to the economy and creating jobs. Maybe bringing government closer to the people would foster greater understanding and help us move forward as a country.
Washington needs to get out among the people of this land like I do every weekend and during each recess when I come back home visit with people. It helps me see that there are many different opinions and that everyone's wishes need to be considered in the search for common ground.
That's what moderates used to do, moderate between extremes on either side. But moderates in the U.S. Senate and House have become an endangered species. It's become a lonely place to be as more and more become bogged down in partisan rhetoric that hurts the economy and kills jobs.
Your elected senators and congressmen need to work together, like they did when the Constitution was written. Not everyone got everything they wanted. Each side gave a little.
For a time, the Constitution was called 'The Great Compromise," with one of the main points of contention being over the number of senators and representatives each state should have.
Today, they have trouble compromising over matters that should be routine like whether to fund disaster payments.
It's the old "my way or the highway" theory. Problem is, the highway often is a road to nowhere in an effort to gain the political upperhand and certainly not good for the country.
I have never run for public office to promote any agenda other than Nebraska's agenda and what is best for the people of our country and its future.
That is the way I will continue to conduct myself as a senator for all Nebraskans.
My efforts are aimed at balancing the budget, but not on the backs of seniors or veterans.
My focus is on strengthening the economy, creating jobs and improving education.
My efforts are to continue promoting agriculture and trade with other countries where we can sell our Nebraska-grown products and improve our rural communities.
To accomplish this means I will do my best to continue working with all sides.
I will do this because you deserve better than a political atmosphere where confrontation has replaced compromise.