2020 Primary Voters’ Guide: U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska District 2

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of 2020 Primary Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

The primary election is May 12. Find out more about voting by mail: Extensive guide | Quick video guide

Candidates for NE-02 Representative

Paul Anderson (R):
Website: http://Paulanderson4congress.com
Education: High School Diploma (1971) Kensington, Ks. Associate Degree (Construction) 2018 Metro Community College
Military Experience: Retired from U.S. Navy Reserve 2008 (21 yrs. Mobilized in 2004 Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005 Hurricane Katrina Relief Effort
Volunteer Experience: Habitat for Humanity (5 yrs.) DAV Volunteer Driver (5 yrs.)

Ann Ashford (D):
Website: http://annashford2020.com
Education: BA, Government/International Studies, University of Notre Dame JD, Creighton University School of Law
Volunteer Experience: Various non-profit Boards including Inclusive Communities, ICAN, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Planned Parenthood

Don Bacon (R): No response received. 

Kara Eastman (D):
Website: http://www.eastmanforcongress.com
Occupation: Business owner, nonprofit executive
Education: MSW Loyola U; BA Pitzer College
Past Public Office, dates held: Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors 2015-2019
Military experience: None
Volunteer experience: Board Member, Nonprofit Association of the Midlands

Gladys Harrison (D):
Website: www.gladys4congress.com
Current Public Office, dates held: None.
Past Public Office, dates held: None.
Education: Graduated Marian High School 1985 Attended College of St. Mary’s Omaha, Nebraska Attended Bellevue University Bellevue, Nebraska.
Military experience: None.
Volunteer experience: Youth Group Leader and Women’s Group Leader Northside Mennonite Church Omaha Riverfront Jazz and Blues Festival Open Door Mission Habitat for Humanity Brew Ha Ha Career Day Mt. View Elementary School Art and Soup VNA Food Bank Celebrity Chef.

Candidates’ Responses

What, if anything, should Congress do to protect the U.S. voting system from foreign influence?

Paul Anderson: As your congressman, I will sponsor legislation, to require, that the federal election, will be done by, voting by mail. If and when this would become law, I would encourage the state of Nebraska to join the states of Colorado, Washington, and Oregon who vote entirely by mail. In my view, this would increase our voting systems integrity and security from foreign influence. Here are some other positives, it would increase voter turnout, save the taxpayers money, allow more time for the voter to educate themselves about the candidates and ballot issues, and possibly eliminate the need for a voter ID law.

Ann Ashford: Voting is our most important right and must be secured from the influence of all bad agents. The House passed the Safe Act and the Shield Act in 2019 and both must be passed by the Senate. The Safe Act provides for voting security, banning voting machines connected to the Internet, mandated cyber security measures, requiring voting machines to be manufactured in the US, and paper ballots as backup. The Shield Act requires any candidate for federal office report any offer of foreign assistance, forbids campaigns from sharing information with foreign agents, and applies the rules to online ads as well as tv/radio. Finally, Citizens United must be addressed to remove the influence of dark money. Transparency must be legislated and enforced to prevent undue influence by foreign or domestic actors.

Kara Eastman: We need to aggressively tighten cyber-security and prosecute officials who illegally take foreign contributions in violation of federal law.

Gladys Harrison:  Congress should do what every is necessary to ensure that our elections are protected from foreign influence. The right to vote is a privilege for everyone born in America, and those who come here and become citizens. There are parts of our Constitution which were added to ensure that we all have the right to vote, and we must be committed to defending that basic right. The House has already voted and passed The For the People Act of 2019, which protects the rights of voters, makes it easier to vote, decreases gerrymandering and limits efforts to purge the voter rolls. What we need now is for the Senate to vote and pass this act to protect our right to vote.

What would you do to lessen the effects of climate change?

Paul Anderson: The low sulfur coal that comes out of Wyoming, is the sole reason I got to enjoy a 35 yr. career with the railroad. The carbon foot print from burning coal and petroleum products, has probably had the largest negative effect on our climate. In my view, the 24/7 availability of nuclear power to generate our electricity, would be the best way to lessen the effects of climate change. Solar and wind generation, are not available 24/7. Congress, also needs to support and encourage, high speed light rail, and electric car production.

Ann Ashford: The House has passed the Climate Action Now Act, HR 9 and it must be passed by the Senate. The Act keeps the United States in the Paris Agreement and requires the President to develop and update annually a plan for the US to meet its obligations within the agreement. Under this Act, the President must include steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025, provide clean energy job development in rural areas, slash emissions, and cut off new fossil fuel development on public lands. I will support legislation that will move to de-carbonize the US energy system by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5°C or below. Additionally, I will support actions such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby, that bring all government, industry, and individual citizens together with a common goal.

Kara Eastman: I support the Green New Deal. We need to move to carbon-neutral energy. Basically let’s get everything on the grid and make the grid green.

Gladys Harrison:  To lessen the effects of climate change we must continue to lead, and educate the world on climate change. We must develop a realistic plan that allows us to care for and clean up the environment without causing a loss of jobs or business. We need a plan that creates a win-win situation for all of us, as well as the environment, and that’s going to require a true partnership between government, technology, business, science and unions.

What are your thoughts on immigration policy?

Paul Anderson: I believe that the number of non-citizens should be limited. I would support legislation to do away with the birthright of children, born of illegal immigrants. I also do not favor, building a wall on our north or south border. I would favor legislation that would require all employers, who have non-citizen workers, to provide time off (with pay), to learn how to read, write, and speak the English language. I would also favor legislation, to shorten the amount of time and amount of money, that it takes to become an American citizen.

Ann Ashford: The US immigration policy must recognize our history and role in the world as being the beacon of hope and aspiration. We must never again tolerate children in cages or turning away asylum seekers. Steps to take include: 1) We must provide a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients and their families; 2) Never separate families at the border; 3) Never use for-profit prisons to house individuals coming in at the border; 4) Allow individuals to be in the US while waiting for status determinations, and not require them to return to their country of origin; 5) Once the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, accept a larger share of refugees and asylum seekers; 6) Assuming hiring levels return to pre COVID-19 levels, increase the number of work permits and visas available; 7)

Suspend the operation of detention camps during the COVID-19 pandemic releasing those who have not been otherwise charged with a felony to alleviate the virus propellant effect of detention activities.

Kara Eastman: We need a clean DACA bill passed right away. We need to protect TPS individuals. We need to move away from “enforcement only” policies. We need to fully fund the state department and increase foreign aid to countries that are economically struggling.

Gladys Harrison:  Unless your ancestors were among the indigenous peoples of this country, we are all immigrants—some by choice, and some by force. My vision is that we would continue to be a country that provides opportunities for people to legally come to this country, adhere to our existing laws and ultimately to become American citizens.  I have a member of my family that is a ‘Dreamer.’ Their parents were seeking a better way of life, and they came here as children. This family grew up in America, was educated here, made friends in America, learned to read, write and speak English in America; made memories in America and graduated high school in America. As an adult, they became a tax paying member of our society. This is the only home they know.  We need to create a path for citizenship for ‘Dreamers,’ enforce the laws that we currently have around immigration which legally allow people to come here from foreign countries and ensure that our borders are protected in a safe and sensible manner.

What, if any, changes would you recommend for “sensible gun legislation”?

Paul Anderson: I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd amendment. I would support legislation, that would require, that when a gun is purchased at a gun shop, gun show, from a neighbor, friend, or family it must be registered. Of course, the big loophole with this would be, persons who intend on committing a crime with a gun, won’t be registering their gun. A number of years ago, I saw this on a bumper sticker,” Gun Control is Not About Guns”, I agree with the message.

Ann Ashford: It is possible to provide for sensible gun regulation while protecting 2nd amendment rights. Every life lost to gun violence is one life too many. I would recommend at least the following legislation: 1) universal and expanded background checks; 2) close the boyfriend loophole; 3) adopt national red flag laws; 4) regulate magazine purchases; 5) restrict individuals convicted of hate crimes from purchasing firearms; 6) adopt national red flag laws to permit local law enforcement to obtain a court order to remove firearms from individuals believed to be a danger to themselves/others; 7) fund research into gun violence causes and effects; and 8) enact “no fly, no buy”. Almost 20 years ago, a friend committed suicide using a gun and none of this legislation could have prevented that. But we owe it to our fellow human beings to prevent every loss of innocent life possible.

Kara Eastman: I support red flag laws and universal background checks on the federal level.

Gladys Harrison:  Having been the victim of gun violence, the changes I would recommend for sensible gun legislation are comprehensive background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase a gun, extend requirements for multiple purchases and mandatory training on gun safety.

2020 Primary Voters’ Guide: U.S. Senator for Nebraska

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of 2020 Primary Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

The primary election is May 12. Find out more about voting by mail: Extensive guide | Quick video guide

Candidates for U.S. Senate

Matt Innis (R):  No response received.

Chris Janicek (D):
Website: http://chrisforsenate2020.com
: Owner of CakeBox and CupCake Omaha -Property Investor
Education: Mary Our Queen Catholic -Archbishop Ryan High School -University of NE – Omaha
Current Public Office, dates held: None
Past Public Office, dates held: None
Military experience: None
Volunteer experience: Youth Emergency Services -Nebraska Aids Project -Big Brothers/Sisters -Stephen Center -Open Door Mission

Dennis Frank Macek (D):
Website: www.macekforsenate.com
Current Public Office, dates held: None (N/A)
Past Public Office, dates held: N/A
Education: BA Marquette University; MA University of Arizona; Extension courses U of Cal; qualified for Ph. D in English Education University of Texas at Austin (degree not completed); finished HVAC program at Capitol City Trade and Technical School Austin, TX
Military Experience: N/A However, sporadic contract work for U. S. military 1973-1975, Pacific Theater (Zukeran, Okinawa, Japan
Volunteer Experience: McGovern campaign, 1971; Dave Domina for Senate campaign, 2014

Ben Sasse (R):  No response received.

Larry Marvin (D):  No response received for biographical information.

Alisha Shelton (D):
Website: http://sheltonforsenate.com
Current Public Office, dates held: N/A
Past Public Office, dates held: N/A
Education: Masters of Science in Clinical Counseling, Masters of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Psychology Pre-Medicine.
Military Experience: N/A
Volunteer Experience: I volunteer with several organizations. Most recent Center for Holistic Development, providing free therapy to clients. I serve as the regional program, planning, & development co-coordinator for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, past president & more .

Gene Siadek (L):  No response received.

Andy Stock (D):
Website: http://andystockforsenate.com/
Current Public Office, dates held: None
Past Public Office, dates held: None
Education: B.A. UNK; M.A. UNL; Ph.D. U of Colorado; and J.D. University of Texas School of Law
Military Experience: I served as a medic in the Nebraska Army National Guard.

Daniel M Wik (D):
Website: http://wiksenate.com
Current Public Office, dates held: 2016 Democratic Candidate US Congress Nebraska District 1
Education: 1976 White Earth Indian Reservation Mahnomen, MN. 1980 BA Biology/Chemistry. Concordia College, Moorhead, MN 1985. Doctor of Chiropractic. Northwestern Health Sciences University. 2000 Doctor of Medicine. St. George’s University School of Medicine.
Volunteer Experience: Medical Lobbying, American Medical Association, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, Wisconsin Medical Society.

Angie Phillips (D):
Website: http://angiefornebraska.com
Occupation: I spent over a decade working with at risk youth and families before becoming a community organizer.
Education: Studied Behavioral Science at Bellevue University
Volunteer experience: I’ve spent the last 4 years organizing for humanitarian aid and human rights advocacy. My focus has centered on women’s rights, immigration reform, and social and economic justice. I also founded and chaired the DCDP Women’s Caucus.

U.S. Senate Candidates’ Responses

What, if anything, should Congress do to protect the U.S. voting system from foreign influence?

Chris Janicek: We must invest in our election infrastructure to protect the integrity of our elections. Congress’ primary focus needs to be securing our elections from foreign influence. 17 U.S. intelligence agencies found Russia interfered and attempted to influence the 2016 elections with most agreeing that they did influence the outcome. Russia itself announced it plans to do it again in 2020. Robert Muller’s report stated “they are doing it as we speak.” The federal government must act with the urgency, force and funding that this threat to our democracy deserves. The threats of cyber attacks on paperless voting machines has to be addressed immediately. Congress must put a plan together to protect back-end election management systems with paper audit trails. A national law requiring all votes to be recorded on paper would be the easiest fix. States then will be required to conduct statistically sound, risk-limiting audits after every election so the results of our votes are accurate.

Dennis Frank Macek: Pass legislation that coordinates the U. S. Cyber Command with the private sector in evolving and deploying ENCRYPTING SOFTWARE and other products to protect our infrastructure–INCLUDING our election process–from cyber attack and mischief; also pass legislation that partners the Department of Energy and relevant federal agencies with the private sector in maintaining U. S. WORLD LEADERSHIP in developing–and deploying–ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. Concurrently, Congress must ensure that the work of our first lines of defense–the U. S. intelligence agencies and diplomatic community–cannot be subverted. That kind of work should be fully enabled. If it results in calls for implementing specific sanctions or other forms of retribution, Congress must act accordingly and promptly.

Larry Marvin: We should already have severe penalties in place. I will help get them updated.

Alisha Shelton: As a U.S. Senator I would introduce an election security bill than request all voting machines run independently of the internet. We need research completed on our entire voting infrastructure with recommendations on protecting voter information and the integrity of the voting system. The bill would also address foreign influence by mandating all candidates enter this into their quarterly reports. Election Day should be a National holiday and voters should be automatically enrolled upon turning 18.

Andy Stock: Our democracy is at stake and we need to dedicate the money and resources necessary to insure our elections are free from foreign interference and influence. Obviously, bolstering our cyber security capabilities would be a key component of any congressional bill addressing this issue.

Daniel M Wik: Cyber Security Technology investment should parallel US Military Cyber Security Technology. The key to success is testing security in non-election years on local elections to perfect all flaws.

Angie Phillips: We have evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections. It is Congress’s responsibility to defend the U.S. voting system from foreign influence. We can safeguard American elections by updating election infrastructure and mandating paper ballots and post-election audits. I support the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act of 2019 to help ensure the integrity of our elections is protected. This Act would replace insecure voting machines with reliable, secure hand-marked paper ballots and gives states the funding needed to defend their election systems. The PAVE Act will also ban internet, WiFi, and cellular connections for voting machines and creates minimum cybersecurity standards for voting machines, voter registration databases, and electronic poll books. To combat the spread of disinformation, I also support reinstating the cybersecurity coordinator at the National Security Council and additional sanctions for countries that engage in election interference.

What would you do to lessen the effects of climate change?

Chris Janicek: Science backed evidence establishes that climate change is real. Under this current administration we can forecast more attacks on the environment right now and in the future. I will work tirelessly in challenging the lawlessness of environmental protections being lifted and work towards reducing carbon emissions and clean water legislation. I will advocate relentlessly for solutions that will protect people, farms, animals and the planet, now and for the future. The United States must re-enter the Paris climate agreement and work with other countries on a global scale. We must invest in wind energy, solar, geo-thermal, nuclear, hydro and all other forms of green energy. We must stop new fossil fuel exploration and phase out leaking and polluting pipelines. Our environment is suffering, wildlife is struggling with a loss of habitat and starving. We cannot wait, we must take action now. We must elect better representatives. I want a democracy to live in and a planet to live on.

Dennis Frank Macek: Begin eliminating the root CAUSES of global-climate changes. For openers, fossil fuel must no longer be subsidized. As a U. S. Senator from Nebraska, I will sponsor and fight for legislation– to immediately deploy in all U. S. electric power systems the best market-based technology utilizing 100% SOLAR ENERGY or 100% MIXED sources of renewable energy, to facilitate–immediately–free-market development of technologies to use renewable sources of energy FOR MOST FORMS of transportation, to partner with states and cities and private industry to modernize our electric-power grids FOR USING 100% RENEWABLE-SOURCED energy. Moreover, I will press for U. S. WORLD LEADERSHIP in stopping global-climate warming. Here our diplomatic community must weigh in with Congress, for instance to oblige Brazil to stop destroying our planet’s “lungs”–the Amazonian Rain Forest. Always I will support scientific and technical innovations, such as carbon sequestration.

Larry Marvin: Climate change is scientific and I also want to know their reports on the climate that caused Nebraska to be covered by water possibly millions of years ago.

Alisha Shelton: In order to lessen the effects of climate change I support the Green New Deal, moving to 100% clean energy by 2030. We currently have Nebraskans farmers who are practicing regenerative farmer and not receiving incentives for this, while farmers and ranchers in California do. I support this being a federal program where all farmers and ranchers can benefit and take pride in saving our environment.

Andy Stock: I support the goals of the Green New Deal and many of the proposed programs but I would put more emphasis on a carbon tax and directly redistribute those receipts to every man, woman, and child in America on a monthly basis. A carbon tax works by putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions, giving companies an economic incentive to lower their emissions. Individual consumers are also incentivized to make greener choices because it would make goods produced by companies that emit less greenhouse gasses cheaper than goods from companies that emit more. A “revenue neutral” carbon tax simply means that whatever revenues the government collects from its carbon tax should be redistributed to all citizens equally. Making a carbon tax revenue neutral is important because it would make the new tax an economic stimulant rather than depressant. Moreover, it would help compensate citizens for the damages they have suffered from greenhouse gas emitters.

Daniel M Wik: 1. 50% Ethanol & biodiesel will drastically reduce carbon emissions, save imminant farm bankruptcy, and Nebraska has the ethanol processing capacity to start in 120 days. 2. Nebraska is one of the highest wind capacity states in America, as technology investment develops wind energy will become self sufficient and profitable self sustaining. Wind energy has the capacity to lower property and income taxes in Nebraska. 3. Ethanol byproducts feeds livestock, is more nutritious, and cheaper than feeding livestock corn, producing more nutritious protein food sources. 4. 50% decreases Mideast Oil Imports, increasing American Energy Independence. 5. 50% Ethanol decreases Chinese Export Manipulation and American dependence on trade negociations, and creates another export product for the United States which will decrease overseas carbon emissions, as this must be a world wide participation.

Angie Phillips: We must take swift action to reduce the effects of climate change. The United States should re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement as well as work to surpass those goals. We must end our reliance on fossil fuels and move toward 100% clean energy by decarbonizing electricity, vehicles, and buildings. Nebraska can lead the way in carbon sequestration with regenerative agriculture. Regenerative organic agriculture could remove more than 100% of the current CO2 emissions while building soil health, maintaining crop yield, increasing crop resilience, and improving profitability. Regenerative organic agriculture also increases water absorption and reduces runoff and the release of toxins into our water supplies. We must also work to end and correct environmental injustices placed on marginalized communities including Native people who have been disproportionately impacted by companies that place profits over the preservation of Native lands and sacred sites.

What are your thoughts on immigration policy?

Chris Janicek: Our current immigration policy is not working and is a violation of human rights and current immigration law. Immigrants crossing the border through legal ports of entry seeking asylum should be documented and within 48 hours have a legal decision on residency. It is costing the U.S. taxpayer hundreds of $millions and destroying families and lives in detaining immigrants that could be integrated into our workforce and economy. They are coming here in search of a better life. Immigrants who cross the border illegally should be exposed to our legal system to determine eligibility for documentation and/or returned to their country. Those that break and violate our laws should be deported. The United States has close to 900,00 DACA (deferred action for early childhood arrivals) protected immigrants. This protection could be revoked at any time under the current administration. I advocate putting all DACA members on a path to citizenship. The U.S. is the only home they have known.

Dennis Frank Macek: It has to be realistic and pragmatic. We in the U. S. are extremely fortunate to have foreign-national STEM professionals here on work permits, green cards or student visas. We need to KEEP ‘EM HERE–whatever that takes. Any such measures should transcend quota numbers. In any year, the USA does not have infinite capacity to accept immigrants. Moreover the number of new arrivals annually shouldn’t exceed reasonable limits. Therefore we need immigration quotas that accord with changing realities. Quotas would be–and currently are–of two classes: educated and trained persons who can fill specific needs, and people who offer only basic skills and muscle. We need both. What the quotas should be only the experts can say. I can say with conviction that DACA recipients should have a clear, far less onerous path to U. S. citizenship. They have been–they are–US.

Larry Marvin: Immigration is a twisted and emotionally hot issue. My Savior Jesus Christ was a refugee from the criminal dictator king Herod. We need to update our laws. We have our regular laws on immigration and then we have NAFTA or the new USMCA laws that facilitate businesses and skilled laborers. Our old laws deal with Green Cards or temporary visas.

Alisha Shelton: My thought on our immigration policy is that it needs to change as soon as possible. We need a clear step-by-step process for individuals when they seek asylum that does not separate them from family and force them to sleep at our border. The option to live with American families, while completing steps to apply for asylum should be reinstated. We need a complete immigration reform where adults & parents are granted citizenship after 3 years of DACA with automatic inclusion of their minor children.

Andy Stock: Our government could’ve fixed our broken immigration system long ago but instead it bowed down to corporate masters that demanded an endless supply of cheap, non-unionized labor. The decades old charade of pretending to fix immigration continues to this day. Sadly, under President Trump a disturbing new twist has been added; his administration inflicts needless cruelties on immigrant children and families to further sell the charade that they are fixing the system. They aren’t. To fix our broken system we need to take two steps. One, stop the inflow of new undocumented immigrants. And two, give all 10 million of the undocumented immigrants who are already here—so long as they’ve never committed a crime of violence—free and full citizenship. This would not only profoundly improve their lives, it would improve the lives of all American workers by bringing our shadow economy into the light, making it easier for workers to organize and fight for better wages and conditions.

Daniel M Wik: 1. DACA, no criminal record, 2 years citizenship , not 7, with deportation protection. DACA kids for the most part are American kids and should not live in fear of deportation. 2. Non Citizen Adult Immigrant employed, no criminal record, 2 year citizenship, not 7 years. Labor Unions, not ICE administer to protect from deportation. Law abiding decent people who simply want to work and care for their families are the quality people we want in America. 3. Foreign Worker Employment Administration by Labor Unions monitoring matching American Employers with job openings and Foreign Workers with no criminal record, guaranteed 2 year sponsored job sensable controlling border crossing. If American Employer wishes to permanently hire Foreign Worker, no criminal record, 2 year citizenship. America needs honest working immigrants to contribute to our society. 4. The Border Wall does not solve Immigration, this is a workable common sense immigration solution.

Angie Phillips: Our current immigration system is broken and inhumane. The system has been further strained by President Trump’s harmful executive orders and policies. Millions of migrants, including children, are being detained in unsanitary and overcrowded detention centers. The Remain in Mexico order has endangered the lives of thousands. Seeking asylum is legal and migrants being detained on civil charges should be released immediately as well as all end forms of family separation. ICE has proven to be a corrupt agency and should be abolished. We should return the handling of immigration services back to Immigration and Naturalization Services and implement more efficient ways to address human and drug trafficking. DACA and TPS recipients should have an immediate path to citizenship and there should be an immediate end to the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. We also must address climate change as part of the solution to immigration as it will continue to contribute to the displacement of migrant

What, if any, changes would you recommend for “sensible gun legislation”?

Chris Janicek: The 2nd Amendment protects the right of gun ownership. I respect this amendment. Over 90% of Americans, including gun owners, support common sense gun laws. I am for enforcing the laws we currently have and recommend the following: 1) Root out the problems that make guns too easy to obtain, regulating easy, unrestricted access. 2) Background checks on all purchases. 3) Registration on all owned firearms. 4) Gun training and a certificate or license to own and operate. Compare to driver’s education and license. 5) Insurance on guns in case of an accident. 6) National assault weapon registry and off premise “assault weapon library” storage with check out accessibility.

Dennis Frank Macek: The Second Amendment is the law of the land, but for the sake of public safety, universal background checks on prospective gun purchasers must be implemented. Too many crazies own firearms that kill or maim; the stats bear this out. Of course we need to close ALL gun-sales loopholes. Collaterally, a person who is not on military duty has no business owning–or using-military or military-style ordnance. ANY military ordnance. Weaponry designed to kill many people fast must be banned and deemed illegal. Public safety and common sense DEMAND that the Congress do this.

Larry Marvin: I stress self defense. The day Congresswoman Gabby Gifford was wounded and others were killed, and elderly woman grabbed the killers gun and hands and s two other men helped her take the gun away from the killer who ran away. So, who do you think would next to be shot if the killer had succeeded to reloaded his gun? Maybe that lady and maybe those two men. So, this is self help or self defense. We have other cases of bystanders stopping mass shootings. We really need mental health coverage on our Patient Protection Affordable Care Act.

Alisha Shelton: My recommendations for sensible gun legislation would include expanding background checks, encouraging manufacturers to implement smart guns, and introduce parental controls.

Andy Stock: I support background checks, waiting periods, closing the gun show loophole, an assault weapons ban, magazine clip limitations, and reinstating the Violence Against Women Act. But we also need to attack income inequality. Countries with less income inequality have considerably lower levels of gun violence. And we need to finally end our failed War On Drugs. The War On Drugs has done nothing to lower drug usage rates and it has had a number of unintended consequences. One of those unintended consequences has been the proliferation of drug cartels and gangs, two large sources of gun violence in America.

Daniel M Wik: 1. I own guns. I support Constitutional Amendement II; right of the people to keep and bear arms. 2. Security backround and fingerprint checks should be the same in gun shops, gun shows, gun swap meets, or any palce where gun commerce is engaged. Honest gun owners do not mind waiting 2-4 weeks for a gun license. 3. Fingerprint Technology, print recognition on each gun much like cell phones, prevents anyone other than the owner from using the gun. This prevents many potential accidental shootings and stolen guns being unable to use. 4. Requiring gun purchases to participate in a one day class parallel to concealed carry classes allows an additional layer of observation of potential malignant gun users. 5. Affordable psychological care is key in preventing mass killings, thus Healthcare reform is key to treating mass killings. 6. Gun laws must be common sense workable solutions, as many highly restrictive gun laws do not work.

Angie Phillips: All Americans are impacted by gun violence and with the majority of Americans are in support of responsible gun legislation. The only thing standing in our way of ending gun violence are lobbyists and organizations like the NRA spending billions of dollars lobbying Congress and spreading disinformation. I will work towards ending gun violence in the following ways through universal background checks, creating a federal licensing system, increasing waiting periods, capping firearm purchases, strengthening anti-trafficking laws, banning high capacity ammunition magazines, prohibit accessories that turn semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic weapons, closing the “boyfriend” loophole, developing federal safety standards, holding manufacturers and dealers accountable, fully funding evidence-based intervention programs and gun violence research, establishing federal safe storage laws, and passing extreme risk protection or “red flag” legislation.

Understanding Impeachment

In this episode of Go Vote Omaha, Geri Simon talks with R. Collin Mangrum about the impeachment process, its history and its place in the political process.

R. Collin Mangrum, JD, SJD, is Yossem Endowed Chair in Legal Ethics, with Creighton University School of Law.

Go Vote Omaha! is our locally produced informational television program. Watch Go Vote Omaha at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday nights on Cox channel 22 or CenturyLink channel 89 or anytime on YouTube. You can also listen to these episodes as podcasts on Podbean.

League of Women Voters Urges Support for HR4

March 21, 2019

TO:               Members of the U.S. House
FROM:         Chris Carson, President
RE:               Support the Voting Rights Advancement Act, H.R. 4

The League of Women Voters strongly urges you to support and pass HR4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, to modernize and repair the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

The legislation responds directly and responsibly to the 2013 Supreme Court decision in Shelby County v. Holder and subsequent decisions by state and local jurisdictions to implement discriminatory practices connected to our elections. This legislation will update the coverage formula for preclearance to ensure it is based on contemporary acts of discrimination and provide mechanisms to prevent discrimination in voting nationwide.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) outlawed racial discrimination in voting and established procedures to protect equal access to the vote for every American citizen. But in 2013, the Supreme Court overturned the key provision of the VRA that triggered careful review of voting changes in political jurisdictions with a history of racial discrimination in voting before they could take effect. Since that decision, politicians in states, counties, cities, and towns across the country have passed laws and adopted practices that discriminate against voters of color and language minorities — making it harder for them to register and more difficult to vote and has shown the continued need for these protections.

The Voting Rights Advancement Act would accomplish three major goals:

1)    It re-establishes preclearance coverage for states and localities with a pattern of discrimination in voting with a contemporary look back period.
2)    It provides preclearance nationwide for political subdivisions with substantial minority populations for a limited number of voting changes based upon evidence of historic discriminatory, such as changes to election methods, changes to the qualifications to vote, and deviant polling location consolidation.
3)    It provides for greater transparency and public notice for late-breaking voting changes just before an election, changes in polling resources, and use of demographic and electoral data. 

For decades, ensuring that all eligible Americans have equal access to the ballot is a long-standing value supported by all sectors of our country. It is a value that has united our nation for more than 50 years and is why the League of Women Voters urges you to support the Voting Rights Advancement Act.  

Urge Your Representative to Vote Yes on HR1 This Week

Voters across the country voted for democracy reform up and down the ballot in 2018, sending the 116th Congress a clear message that the country is ready for bold, comprehensive democracy reforms.

And now, HR1, the For The People Act is on the verge of passing the House of Representatives – THIS WEEK the House will vote on this historic piece of legislation.

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to vote to pass H.R. 1 – the  “For The People” Act.

HR1 is the biggest democracy reform agenda many of us have seen since the Voting Rights Act. This bill will revamp our voting system, implement fair redistricting, and crack down on dark money in elections so that voters have a stronger voice at the ballot box.

We must get this bold, transformative set of reforms to strengthen our democracy and return political power to the people over the finish line but we cannot do it without your help!

Call your Representative TODAY through the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to commit to vote YES on  H.R. 1.

Take Action: Help HR1 Move Forward

New legislation from Congress, HR 1, the For the People Act, will modernize our election system, reform redistricting, and restore the Voting Rights Act.

The extraordinary and comprehensive reforms in HR1 are good for all Americans and deserve bipartisan support. That’s why we need YOU to contact your Representative and express your support for this legislation. 

Find and contact your Representative via the League of Women Voters’ website.

A New Year’s Message from the National League

At the beginning of the new Congress, and we are proud to support the first piece of legislation introduced in the House —HR1—a bill that stands to improve American elections by making them freer, fairer, and more accessible to all eligible Americans.

HR1 includes comprehensive reforms, like restoring the Voting Rights Act, improving Automatic Voter Registration, creating a public financing system through small donor matching funds, overturning Citizens United, ending partisan gerrymandering, and more! The League worked behind the scenes to influence the language of this legislation, including a push to include Same Day Registration.

This bill will make our elections fairer, put the power back into the hands of the American people, and it deserves bipartisan support.  We’re asking all of our members and supporters to click here to call their Representative and ask them to vote Yes for HR1.

Download the 2018 Douglas County Voters’ Guide

Download and read the 2018 voters’ guide here: General Election Voters’ Guide.

You can print, save and share this nonpartisan guide to the Nov. 6, 2018 election.

Haga clic aquí para la Elección General del Estado de la Guía de Votantes del Condado de Douglas.

Voters’ Guide: Gretna Board of Education

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

Find your district by looking up your voter registration on the Nebraska Voter Check website.

Candidates for Gretna Board of Education

Jennifer Bullington (R):  http://www.facebook.com/bullingtonforschoolboard.  Education: Bachelors Degree from Iowa State University, Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College.  Military experience: Spouse of Air Force Veteran.  Volunteer experience: Board Member for the nonprofit Survivors Rising, Teaching Assistant for a Taekwondo kids class, Room Parent at Whitetail Creek Elementary School, Active Gretna Community Member

Jennifer Deitloff (NP):  Current Public Office, dates held: N/A.  Past Public Office, dates held: N/A.      Education: Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from University of Nebraska; Juris Doctorate from University of Nebraska College of Law.  Military experience: None.  Volunteer experience: Member — Child Saving Institute Guild Board since 2012 and started Kids 4 Kids of CSI — where kids plan a fundraising event supporting kids in foster care and the emergency shelter.  Association of Corporate Counsel programs committee co-chair.

David Gulizia (R):  No response received.

Mark Hauptman (R):  No response received.

Carsten Ruff (NP):  No response received.

Ann Sackett Wright (R):  No response received.

Gretna Board of Education Candidates’ Responses

If elected, what two things do you hope to have accomplished by the end of your first year?

Jennifer Bullington: First, I would love to be able to do my part in pursuing safety in school drop off and pick up procedures, including a street light at Hwy 370 & 186th St. As our district expands, we must continue to consider the safety of young and inexperienced drivers as well as the rush of traffic around those times. Second, I would love to gather as many members of the school district as possible to share their voices on our growing school district as we continue to learn the best way to expand.

Jennifer Deitloff: I would seek to understand both the work that the board has done to date and the individual perspectives of the other board members and the administration on strategic priorities for the district.  Thereafter, I would work collaboratively to ensure that we have appropriate crisis plans in place that properly address the risks facing our students, teachers and staff.  I would also take on a focused review of curriculum to identify areas to improve, enhance or modernize what we have today.

David Gulizia:  No response received.

Mark Hauptman:  No response received.

Carsten Ruff:  No response received.

Ann Sackett Wright: No response received.

How can schools use technology to create better equity and educational outcomes?

Jennifer Bullington: Technology has allowed our students to have a competitive edge and a head start on preengineering, pre-architecture, and pre-urban planning skills, just as a few examples, thusly better preparing them for higher education opportunities. The hands-on experience technology provides gives the kinesthetic and visual learners an opportunity to excel, making abstract concepts easier to understand & apply. We must use this opportunity to continue teaching internet safety as well.

Jennifer Deitloff: Not all of the technological tools that schools invest in actually promote learning and development for all students.  Schools should be disciplined and ask themselves whether they are investing in a technology because it is a popular trend among other schools or whether the technology will actually support the learning, participation and comprehension of all student users or does it instead reinforce social inequalities.  Schools need to be mindful of any barriers with the use of new technology

David Gulizia:  No response received.

Mark Hauptman:  No response received.

Carsten Ruff:  No response received.

Ann Sackett Wright: No response received.

What can be done to ensure the safety of students and teachers in our schools?

Jennifer Bullington: Being an educator myself means I’ve been a part of safety and lockdown drills. In addition to the regular drills and the officers present frequently in our schools, we need to bring the community’s voice to the discussion. What more do parents and other invested parties want to see? I’ve been fascinated by Oklahoma’s bulletproof shelters they’ve installed in classrooms. Additionally, I do believe we need to continue research on the prevalence of the Gretna area human trafficking.

Jennifer Deitloff: School safety has never been more prevalent in public discourse than it is today.  Protecting safety of students, teachers and staff in our school systems is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive solution.  Working to identify a mix between seeking to control access to guns, identifying and addressing mental and/or emotional health issues, investing in school security technology, identifying bullying and negative peer behavior and ensuring proactive crisis management plans are a start.

David Gulizia:  No response received.

Mark Hauptman:  No response received.

Carsten Ruff:  No response received.

Ann Sackett Wright: No response received.

What role, if any, should charter schools have in the Nebraska educational system?

Jennifer Bullington:  No response received.

Jennifer Deitloff: Nebraska’s public schools consistently score rankings above the national average.  While I recognize the importance of parental choice, it is important to consider the potential negative impact to students and society.  Choice does not necessarily guarantee quality.

David Gulizia:  No response received.

Mark Hauptman:  No response received.

Carsten Ruff:  No response received.

Ann Sackett Wright: No response received.

Voters’ Guide: U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska District 2

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

PDF of Douglas County Voters’ Guide | Find voter information specific to your ballot at vote411.org.

Find your district by looking up your voter registration on the Nebraska Voter Check website.

Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska District 2

Don Bacon (R):  http://www.donjbacon.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Member of Congress, Nebraska’s

Second District – 01/17 to present.  Past Public Office, dates held: Not a career politician.  Education: Masters in National Security Strategy, Masters in Management, Bachelors in Political Science, and Navigator and Intelligence Schools in Air Force.  Military experience: Nearly 30 years in USAF.  Total of 16 assignments, 5 commands, and 4 deployments to Middle East.  Commanded Offutt Air Force Base, which is NE’s largest employer.  Also commanded Ramstein Air Base.  Helped Israel standup ballistic missile defense.  Volunteer experience: Salvation Army, Youth for Christ, Gideons, Air Force Association, Military Officers Association of America, Boy Scout Merit Badge University Instructor, and Lifespring Church.

Kara Eastman (D):  http://www.eastmanforcongress.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: 2014, elected to the

Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors.  Education: BA in Sociology Pitzer College MSW, Loyola University Chicago.  Volunteer experience: I’ve volunteered in many capacities. Most recently, I served as an appointed member of the Mayor’s Fair Housing Advisory Board, the Board of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, and as a volunteer consultant with the nonprofit Aqua-Africa.

U.S. House of Representatives, NE-02 Candidates’ Responses

What would make for a fair immigration system?

Don Bacon: I support keeping families together, but we also need to enforce the laws of our country. I support DACA recipients being allowed to stay in the United States on a conditional basis and work toward their citizenship. In other words, as long as a DACA recipient contributes to society and doesn’t violate the law, they should be welcome to stay and go through the citizenship process like other applicants. However, we absolutely cannot do DACA again. Therefore, we need to strengthen our border security, update our immigration laws, and ensure our existing laws are followed. I support a merit-based immigration policy going forward with priority given to people who possess a specialized skillset, a high level of education, and fill needed positions that otherwise can’t be filled.

Kara Eastman: A fair immigration system ensures fundamental human rights and protects our democracy. The administration’s haphazard and unethical policies show that we need strong, clear immigration legislation, like the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. I absolutely support maintaining Temporary Protected Status orders for immigrants. Dreamers should never be deported. We have to put an end to the DACA debate and allow Dreamers to become citizens.

What, if any, changes would you recommend for “sensible gun control”?

Don Bacon: I have spent almost my entire adult life defending the freedoms Americans enjoy and one of those freedoms is protected by our Second Amendment. I don’t believe that we need more gun control; however, we do need to do a better job enforcing existing laws.  We need to better defend our schools and do a better job keeping guns out of hands of dangerous individuals.  I am currently leading a task force in Congress to look at ways to prevent school shootings and I co-sponsored the recently passed STOP School Violence Act (HR 4909) and the Secure our Schools Act (SOS).  We can and should work together to prevent more tragedies like the Parkland school shooting without infringing on law abiding Americans’ Constitutional rights, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Kara Eastman: We must pass universal background check legislation (like Manchin-Toomey, 2013) in addition to banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Congress must pass honest gun legislation to prevent school shootings and an epidemic of violence in our country. The minimum purchase age must be raised to 21, mandatory waiting periods should be enacted, and background checks must be enforced, including at gun shows.

What, if anything, should Congress do to protect the U.S. voting system from foreign influence?

Don Bacon: Election integrity is foundational to our Constitutional Republic form of government. As such, politics should be removed from this entire issue; this shouldn’t be an “us vs them” topic on either side of the political spectrum. I spent much of my military career in electronic warfare and intelligence, and I’m heavily involved in these discussions in Congress. We are working to ensure that election interference becomes more difficult for foreign powers. One of these steps is increasing funding to strengthen our cyber defense, which is one of the items in the NDAA that I helped write. The best tool to prevent foreign influence in our elections is the American citizen. The Russian goal has been to divide us and to widen our existing partisan divide. We don’t have to give in to the anger, vitriol, and hate. Instead, we can remain civil and stop attacking one another. This helps ensure the division our adversaries are trying to achieve never happens. I support the sanctions against Russia.

Kara Eastman: Currently, we are all concerned about our voting system being hacked. We must focus on diplomatic efforts and cooperation with our allies to ensure hostile powers like Russia do not interfere with our elections. Congress must invest more in the technology and innovation already within our reach to secure our country and its election system.