Elections do matter, and for Nebraskans, especially rural Nebraskans, this November's election matters more than most. The differences between the candidates for Governor could not be more stark.
Chuck Hassebrook comes from rural Nebraska farm roots, and for 36 years worked for the nationally respected Center for Rural Affairs, the last 18 as its Director. In that capacity he helped provide assistance for over 10,000 small businesses, while fighting for a fair shake for family farms, small business and small towns.
Mr. Hassebrook also is a strong believer in a good education system. His service on the Nebraska Board of Regents for 17 years focused on an affordable high quality education for all Nebraskans. He believes that early childhood education is the first and most important stepping stone, especially for the underprivileged, on the road to a better life, which in the end benefits all Nebraskans.
Pete Ricketts is an extremely wealthy individual from Omaha. While there is nothing wrong with being wealthy, how one uses that wealth is important. Mr. Ricketts used his wealth to co-found, fund and was the Director of the Platte Institute, a think tank.
Although he has tried to distance himself from the Institute because its policies do not fit well with the majority of Nebraska voters, one must ask one's self, why Mr. Ricketts would be involved to this degree in any organization if it did not strongly reflect his views.
The Platte Institute was one of only two organizations that testified in favor of Legislative Bill 405 that sought to repeal the individual income and corporate income tax. If the bill had passed, it would have been an enormous tax shift from the wealthy on to the backs of ordinary citizens, farmers and businesses, with the end result being a hefty increase in property taxes, sales taxes and a burden to small businesses.The Platte Institute is for the elimination of farm programs. This shows an utter lack of understanding of Nebraska's most important economic engine, agriculture.
We live in a democracy where people have the power through their vote. If we want things to improve then we need to exercise that power. Forget whether the candidates have an R or a D before their name. Instead go to their websites to learn more about them. More telling however, is a look at what these two candidates did prior to running for office by going to the Platte Institute and the Center for Rural Affairs websites. This will tell you what their core values really are. Find out what these two candidates stand for and believe in. Then vote!
-Susan Frazier, Fremont