I have submitted this editorial to District 40 newspapers. If you haven't had a chance to see it there, I'm posting it here also.
Editorial about Ernie Chambers: March 25, 2015
Nebraska citizens have a unique responsibility in the governance of our state by the fact we have only a Senate in our Unicameral Legislature. Our House of Representatives consists of the citizens our state. That means we, the citizens, must be engaged in the legislative process and speak directly to all our senators when pressing issues arise. We must let our Senators know what must be done to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
If these words are compromised in any way by a member of Our Legislature we have an obligation to voice our concern to our Senators. When Senator Chambers says he would "kill a cop if he had a gun" and "police have a license to kill" is bordering on treason and is sowing the seeds of anarchy. This language can not be tolerate by any elected official in the state or country and he must be impeached. This is not free speech, it is 'yelling fire is a crowded theater" and undermines our system of law and order.
If we do not express our outrage at these remarks, we are agreeing with these statements. If our Senators do not act to impeach, censor or force him to resign, they are also agreeing with these statements. This is no time for political correctness. Please call each senator to express your opinion and fulfill your obligation to act as a member of Nebraska's House of Representatives.
Nebraska State Legislature 2015-2016
Sen. Roy Baker District 30 Lincoln 402-471-2620
Sen. Dave Bloomfield District 17 Hoskins 402-471-2716
Sen. Kate Bolz District 29 Lincoln 402-471-2734
Sen. Lydia Brasch District 16 Bancroft 402-471-2728
Sen. Kathy Campbell District 25 Lincoln 402-471-2731
Sen. Ernie Chambers District 11 Omaha 402-471-2612
Sen. Colby Coash District 27 Lincoln 402-471-2632
Sen. Tanya Cook District 13 Omaha 402-471-2727
Sen. Joni Craighead District 6 Omaha 402-471-2714
Sen. Sue Crawford District 45 Bellevue 402-471-2615
Sen. Al Davis District 43 Hyannis 402-471-2628
Sen. Laura Ebke District 32 Crete 402-471-2711
Sen. Curt Friesen District 34 Henderson 402-471-2630
Sen. Tommy Garrett District 3 Bellevue 402-471-2627
Sen. Mike Gloor District 35 Grand Island 402-471-2617
Sen. Mike Groene District 42 North Platte 402-471-2729
Sen. Ken Haar District 21 Malcolm 402-471-2673
Sen. Galen Hadley District 37 Kearney 402-471-2726
Sen. Matt Hansen District 26 Lincoln 402-471-2610
Sen. Burke Harr District 8 Omaha 402-471-2722
Sen. Robert Hilkemann District 4 Omaha 402-471-2621
Sen. Sara Howard District 9 Omaha 402-471-2723
Sen. Dan Hughes District 44 Venango 402-471-2805
Sen. Jerry Johnson District 23 Wahoo 402-471-2719
Sen. Bill Kintner District 2 Papillion 402-471-2613
Sen. Rick Kolowski District 31 Omaha 402-471-2327
Sen. Mark Kolterman District 24 Seward 402-471-2756
Sen. Bob Krist District 10 Omaha 402-471-2718
Sen. John Kuehn District 38 Heartwell 402-471-2732
Sen. Tyson Larson District 40 O'Neill 402-471-2801
Sen. Brett Lindstrom District 18 Omaha 402-471-2618
Sen. John McCollister District 20 Omaha 402-471-2622
Sen. Beau McCoy District 39 Omaha 402-471-2885
Sen. Heath Mello District 5 Omaha 402-471-2710
Sen. Adam Morfeld District 46 Lincoln 402-471-2720
Sen. John Murante District 49 Gretna 402-471-2725
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist District 7 Omaha 402-471-2721
Sen. Patty Pansing Brooks District 28 Lincoln 402-471-2633
Sen. Merv Riepe District 12 Ralston 402-471-2623
Sen. Jim Scheer District 19 Norfolk 402-471-2929
Sen. Ken Schilz District 47 Ogallala 402-471-2616
Sen. David Schnoor District 15 Scribner 402-471-2625
Sen. Paul Schumacher District 22 Columbus 402-471-2715
Sen. Les Seiler District 33 Hastings 402-471-2712
Sen. Jim Smith Disttict 14 Papillion 402-471-2730
Sen. John Stinner District 48 Gering 402-471-2802
Sen. Kate Sullivan District 41 Cedar Rapids 402-471-2631
Sen. Dan Watermeier District 1 Syracuse 402-471-2733
Sen. Matt Williams District 36 Gothenburg 402-471-2642
By Keith Kube 402-388-4511 3/27/2015
Editorial On National Popular Vote
As expected, State Senator Tyson Larson has reintroduced a bill to eliminate the electoral college, LB 112 (previously LB1058). The bill is designed to hasten the push to socialism in our Country. Besides being unconstitutional, this bill weakens Nebraska's voice in presidential elections and would have Nebraska joining a group of other like minded states that feel the electoral college system should be scrapped. It simply says that Nebraska's 5 electoral college votes will be cast for the winner of the National popular vote for president regardless of the state's presidential choice. That would mean if the majority of Nebraskans voted for a person who lost the National Popular vote, our 5 electoral votes would be given to the National winner. This would typically be the candidate that large blue states, like New York and California, voted for. The typical state that supports this issue is liberal with a large dependence upon government funding and very large social welfare and public school systems. They are urban with very large cities and little agriculture in their economy. If you believe this is NOT how Nebraska should handle their electoral college votes, send an email or letter to Mr. Larson and the other Senators listed below. Express your opposition to LB 112 and request that the bill be withdrawn, as Mr. Larson did when he found that the bill was so unpopular with Nebraska voters in the previous legislative session. This is leadership gone awry. (editorial of October 18, 2014) It is an example of not doing the will of the people, but a way for Mr. Larson to engender support from liberals outside of the state for future campaigns.
402 388 4511
Survey For the Nebraska Farm Bureau
Sent March 18, 2014
NFBF-PAC Candidate Survey
State Legislature – 2014
The purpose of this questionnaire is to obtain your viewpoint on priority issues facing agriculture on the state level. Responses to these questions will be shared with the County Farm Bureaus in the Legislative District where you are running for their use in making their “Friend of Agriculture” recommendations to our NFBF-PAC.
1) Please describe in a short paragraph why you decided to seek a seat in the State Legislature and your qualifications.
I moved back to the best place in the world to live and I would like to help maintain that blessing we have here in Nebraska. I feel my experience in business and consulting would allow me to serve District 40 and The State of Nebraska better than any other candidate.
2) If elected, list your top three priorities in order of importance and how would you address them.
Priority 1: To address the perceived inequity in the way the rural communities feel when they pay their real estate taxes to fund the local public schools! The answer: To quantifying the actual inequity in an effort to make sure any inequities are addressed. The citizens will then be given options of choosing another way of assuring the schools are adequately funded if they feel that maintaining public schools is an investment they wish to continue making.
Priority 2: To monitor the alternative energy infrastructure to assure it can sustain itself as the artificial supports these business enjoy are gradually withdrawn. The answer: These projects have a life cycle and must be closely watched to make sure options are investigated and viable before the ‘rug is pulled out’ from under these cash flow streams.
Priority 3: To investigate the income tax structure in order to reduce the temptation of our senior citizens to transplant to another state in an effort to reduce their state tax burden. The answer: The state should start to approach parity with other states in an effort to have these retirees continue to want to reside in the state and spend their retirement dollars with businesses located here.
1) Please briefly describe your overall view of Nebraska agriculture and its role in the state’s economy.
The rural counties and agriculture feel they are the step-children of the state. Their views are often ignored, feeling the ‘city people’ think the ‘rich farmer’ can afford the increases in taxes. This perception is tolerated because they are resigned to always getting the ‘short end of the stick’.
2) Would you support or oppose legislative or administrative efforts to restrict or regulate certain practices relating to animal care on farms, including issues related to animal housing and medical treatment?
I am generally opposed to legislative of this sort because the initiators typically have no understanding of the issue other than from ‘their pets’ point of view. The farmers who have live stock, usually care for them to such a degree that is often better than the care they provide for themselves. They also know that if the animal is not comfortable, they will not grow in a manner that would optimize their growth potential.
3) Crop and livestock farming practices have increasingly come under greater scrutiny. Please describe your views on today's agriculture, including your thoughts on conventional farming practices.
I believe that GMO production of plants and animals is the safest, most efficient way to feed the world’s growing population. If the objective is to control the world’s population, outlaw GMO use and 20% of the planet will starve to death in a generation. It is vital that technology be use to optimize the use of energy and water, through the use of GMO, in the production of food.
4) Is Nebraska doing enough to increase the production of livestock? If not, what would you propose as a State Senator to increase livestock production in Nebraska?
If the government feels they are the ones who will decide if there is enough livestock production, they are sadly mistaken and are taking credit for power they want the citizens to think they have. The increase production is a pure supply/demand market issue and is not an issue that should involve Nebraska government.
5) What can Nebraska do to promote economic and population growth in rural Nebraska using its natural advantages in agriculture?
The simple answer is: to provide an agriculture/business friendly environment that will naturally attract development because Nebraska is the best place in the world to live, it is up to the government to not ‘kick them in the face’ with an unfriendly economic atmosphere.
1) NRDs are responsible for managing ground water while the Dept. of Natural Resources administers surface water rights. The two entities work together to develop integrated management plans. Are you comfortable with the state's current water management system? If not, how would you change it?
The challenge is balancing all of the competing water demands during times of shortages. Shortages… can be the result of natural occurrences or man-made events. Nebraska has abundant water resources generally speaking, but in order to have long-term sustainability, proper management and foresight is needed especially when shortages take place. During normal times or when there is only minor conflicts, the current system of having two entities manage the surface and gw systems works pretty good. But hydrologically you cannot separate the gw from the sw. They are interrelated and one system directly and/or indirectly influences the other system. I think the management of the two systems can only be done by one entity.
Generally speaking in most settings, I firmly believe the best way to address problems is to have it solved at the local level… i.e. the NRDs. However, I have seen way too many instances where the NRD boards cannot make the very difficult and challenging decisions that need to be made in addressing the competing needs. Sometimes these NRD decisions are politically motivated. This is especially true, where a gw pumper has large investments in development and is told that his well will need to be shut down or pumping reduced. What board member would cast a vote when he knows that his neighbor will have to turn off his pump and face dire economic consequences??? If he did have the courage to make the right decision, he would likely get voted out during the next election.
I think the current system needs to be tweaked in some ways so the state DNR can step in and make decisions in a more timely manner. Especially for a basin that is over-appropriated or for a basin that currently is fully appropriated but should considered over appropriated. The current system of developing integrated management plans takes time and the process is often difficult to follow. The DNR has the staff with the expertise and knowledge to make these types of decisions based on sound science… instead of being influenced by politics. I think some of the NRD board members may welcome this type of more active involvement by the DNR… this allows them to say that it was the “State decision” for restrictions, i.e. they can blame someone else.
2) Addressing Nebraska's water challenges will require funding. Where do you believe this funding should come from?
a) State General Funds-no- This is a basin specific problem. Each basin is unique and funding to address the problems should come from within the basin.
b) Fees on all water users? No. This is not a basin specific solution.
c) Local property taxes? Some sort of tax on the entities needed within the local NRD basin where the problem exists.
d) Fees on irrigated acres?-yes. The ground water pumpers along with the local entities within the basins that have created stream flow depletion problems, should bear the burden
e) Check off on commodities? no
f) Tax on ethanol? no
g) Tax on bottled water or soda pop?--- this is good … may reduce the number of plastic containers produced/trashed.
3) Farmers and ranchers continue to face increased regulations. Please describe your thoughts on the appropriate level of regulation.
We need enough regulation to keep from harming ourselves based on sound science. There needs to be scientifically set standards that are not influenced by politician playing a political game to entrap opponents who try to correct them, but stopped by political spin to those who don’t understand the science. .
The best approach seems to be for the local NRDs with local people on their boards, enforcing the regulation of our water resources as determined by sound research.
1) If the state was facing a budget shortfall, what measures would you support to balance the state's budget?
a) Budget cuts yes
b) Tax increases no
c) Cash fund transfers no
2) What spending areas should take priority in the state budget?
To name the exact areas would requires analysis as to the which area is producing the greatest benefit, based on an agreed to agenda of priorities with method of setting objective standards of what is an improvement.
3) Should the state work to reduce property taxes? If so, as a State Senator, how would you proceed with leading this effort?
The question is not whether to reduce as much as to have a way of restoring some perception of equity.
4) Currently, farmers and ranchers pay an inequitable amount in property taxes to support the local schools. As a State Senator, what measures would you support to better balance the burden of funding local schools?
It is important to quantifying the actual inequity in an effort to make sure any inequities are addressed. The citizens will then be given options of choosing another way of assuring the schools are adequately funded if they feel that maintaining public schools is an investment they wish to continue making.
5) Last year legislation was introduced to remove many of the sales tax exemptions on inputs (i.e.: seed, fertilizer, fuel) to agriculture production. Please share your thoughts on this legislation.
The cost of production is already approaching the price that is received by the farmer. The farm is a factory and they pay tax on the income they receive for the sale of that product. The tax law should not differentiate between a farm factory and any other type of industry that takes a resource, works it all in an effort to sell a value added product.
Keith F. Kube of Crofton has announced that he will be seeking the seat for the 40th district of The Nebraska State Legislature. He was born and raised on a farm outside of Crofton and graduated from Crofton High School receiving state honors in Track, Cross Country and Music. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, School of Engineering at Lincoln with a BS degree in Civil Engineering.
Keith worked for 15 years as a business consultant for Geo. S. May International, where he analyzed approximately 990 businesses throughout the United States and Canada to optimize their operations and maximize their profits, skills which will be very helpful in analyzing and solving the many issues facing Nebraska and more particularly the 40th legislative district. Prior to his work as a consultant he worked for The Trane Company in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, as a process engineer in the petrochemical industry. During that time he learned to understand the complex energy issues facing Nebraska today.
In 2010 He moved back to the family farm where he grew up, and has re-engaged with the community, becoming involved with the Crofton Community Club, St. Rose Catholic Church, and other community efforts.
His reason for seeking this seat is to bring a voice of agriculture and business experience to Nebraska government so the farmers, ranchers and communities of Northeast Nebraska will be assured their concerns are addressed and their way of life continues to be a viable option for future generations.