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Two decades of public service coming to a close

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

In a little over two months I'll be out of office. The stark reality that 20 years of public service, 8 as governor and 12 as senator, is coming to a close really hit home last week during my first extended interview since I announced I would not seek re-election to the Senate.

That interview on NRG Media's Issues and Answers with Neil Nelkin, who's covered much of my political career, drove home the point that I had achieved the dream I'd had since I was a teen growing up in Nebraska to become governor and later senator, and it gave me a chance to reflect on why I wanted to be in public service in the first place and did that service have a positive impact on Nebraskans.

I got into public service because I like to solve problems. Success in solving problems requires that people with different viewpoints come together. Most Nebraskans, no matter which party they're in, want their elected officials to work together. They have become increasingly aware that extreme partisanship leads to gridlock.

As governor I embarked on a theme of "ONE Nebraska" emphasizing the goal that urban and rural interests come together, and that those things that bring us together as a community, state, and nation are more important than those things that divide us.

As senator my hope was always to have ONE Nation that can learn to collaborate when possible and compromise when necessary, just as we did in Nebraska. We had some successes but today partisan politics has too often hampered the ability to put aside political differences and work toward the common good. As we have seen with the farm bill, which for the first time in history was allowed to expire this year without being reauthorized, the atmosphere in Washington has become so politically poisonous that it's nearly impossible to pass the most basic of bills needed for our country to function.

I have always been a staunch advocate for Nebraska. As a rural state with a relatively small population someone needs to work hard in Washington to make sure our needs are not overlooked.

That's why I made it my first priority to advocate for those things that Nebraskans told me were their priorities. I fought hard to protect agriculture, and promoted funding for projects that were priorities to Nebraska such as roads, bridges, water and sewer projects, state fiscal relief, and major projects such as the new STRATCOM Headquarters and VA Medical Center in Omaha, the Antelope Valley and West Haymarket redevelopment projects in Lincoln, and many other community projects throughout the state from the College of Nursing in Norfolk to a new Missouri River Bridge at Rulo and maintaining Essential Air Service in Scottsbluff and McCook. Nebraska has always been my priority when it comes to federal assistance for communities and the state.

This column, which is sent out each week, is called "A Nebraskan's View" because a Nebraskan is what I am and always will be; not a senator; not a governor, but a Nebraskan. My appreciation goes out to my fellow Nebraskans that have joined in relentless pursuit of one Nebraska, one Nation. The successes achieved are ours together.

Click here to hear the NRG Media interview with Neil Nelkin.


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Thanks for your service to McCook, Nebraska and the county.

-- Posted by dennis on Tue, Oct 30, 2012, at 4:11 PM

You have it wrong grandmajo, it is "don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out" quite appropriate for this guy, he was such a loser and to think so many Nebraskans supported him.

-- Posted by Oh what a wonderful day on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 5:11 PM

Being a retired Master Chief in the USN I use to have a lot of respect for Capt. John McCain, sad to say I think his time in prison has altered his judgement but I am sure it wasn't an easy time for him. Fair Winds and Following Seas and may the B lose the election and then she can continue to reap the spoils of the Federal Subsidies.

-- Posted by geewhiz on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 5:15 PM

I use to be kind of that way too, if it was Republican, smelled like Republican, looked like Republican I voted for them but I finally got some sense and started thinking for my self and now I vote for who is best for the country and not someone who has ripped us off like Feesher. Poor John, he has gone through a lot when he can support her and his fellow Vet. Chuck sees the light. I guess that goes with age and torture.

-- Posted by salamat on Fri, Nov 2, 2012, at 5:20 PM

Does "Governors Actress Girlfriend Wrecks Governors Limousine" bring back any memories? I will not change my vote. I will vote for Deb Fischer. Bob abandoned us long ago. Deb may have a few warts but who doesn't. Vote for Deb. Don't vote for the carpetbagger.

Now let's take on the issue of "chuck". Did you know that Mr. Hagel does not live in Nebraska either? He lives in McLean, Virginia. He Started Vangard Cellular in Virginia. He was pressured by some to run for Governor of Virginia, where he had lived for 20 years, in 1992 Hagel moved back to Nebraska to become president of the McCarthy Group, an investment banking firm. He also served as a Chairman and was CEO of American Information Systems Inc. (AIS), a voting machine manufacturer.

The story about Hagel's retaining ownership in the company that counted his own votes, and the matter of the surprising election upset (15 points of disparity between election results and polling results) is retold in an Nov, 2012 article in Harper's Magazine. (all from Wikipedia)

Try this website on Bob's voting record.

http://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluatio...

and Deb Fischer.

http://votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes...

I know which one agrees with my philosophies

Check these out PLEASE. Vote on the issues and your personal beliefs. Not on the low blows and half truths that are being peddled.

-- Posted by quick13 on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 12:16 PM

great links, I wish they worked.

-- Posted by president obama on Mon, Nov 5, 2012, at 12:30 PM


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