Monday, September 01, 2014
   
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Letters to the Editor

Appreciate their difficult work

I know nothing about the reason for Tenneco’s closing and my information about Husqvarna’s closing because of a shortage of reliable laborers came from a relative of mine who is a good friend of an executive in the Beatrice Husqvarna plant.

Whatever the reason or reasons (I still think “efficiency” can cover a pretty wide spectrum), both closings were a real hit to Nebraska’s economy.

I thought that was a clever story in last week’s “Letters” about Dr Quinones-Hinojosa, an illegal immigrant who became director of the Johns Hopkins Brain Tumor Surgery Program, taking an American Joe’s college grant so he had to work in a lawnrnower plant instead of becoming a surgeon. I really doubt that he took any deserving American’s grant away.

Dr Quinones-Hinojosa started his life in America as a migrant field worker before he was encouraged by an English teacher to go to college and eventually to become a surgeon. He is now spending money in our country and paying into our tax system. I would imagine his patients couldn’t care less that he came here as an illegal immigrant.

Maybe we all should try picking beans for a week or even for a day or work in a packing plant to appreciate what immigrant workers do. Believe me, one row of beans in the garden to pick is more than enough for me.

 

 

 

Support the arts at the school

I am writing to encourage all of you to attend one of this weekend’s performances of “Tom Sawyer”. Our community has been blessed with strong talent and young actors and actresses that will provide you with an evening or afternoon of great enjoyment. They’ve worked extremely hard in a very short time and have the ability to offer a superior performance. The directors, the students and the school sincerely hope that you support the music department in its performances on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at both banks, the school and at the door prior to the productions.

 

 

   

Research before you vote

The election is now within 30 days and there are several candidates who are extremely qualified and willing to serve our state and the needs of our people, not just the big business and special interests. We need candidates who have experience in the fields they are electing to serve.

Rebekah Davis, Democratic candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, feels “In order to have a truly representational government, we need to elect people who are not professional politicians. So many of our politicians represent big business.” Rebekah Davis is concerned for our state and has toured the Third District for 21 months and has been to every one of the 69 counties in the district more than once. She was stunned when Adrian Smith voted “No” on the Ledbetter Act (Fair pay for women), which had support on both sides. She supports rights for women, may they be Democrat or Republican. She is pro-life and believes in the sanctity of life.

Davis does not accept special interest money. “In Congress, money buys votes. It is the unfortunate truth of politics today. To get elected, candidates need money—the more the better. Once elected members are beholden to their biggest donors—corporations and political action committees. This special interest money corrupts our politicians and political system. It’s sick and it’s sad, and we see it every day. That’s why I don’t take it. We need a government run by the people and for the people.”

Mark Stoj is the most qualified candidate for state treasurer. He has two decades of finance experience, a master’s degree in business management, is a fiscal conservative and supports smaller government.

Janet Stewart has years of study and diverse experience. A BA in economics, a law degree and master’s of social work degree, and she served as chair of the Nebraska Democratic Women’s Caucus and on the party executive committee. She has worked in industrial relations, state budgeting process, quality improvement, cost saving business record-keeping and professional negotiation.

There are many duties for the secretary of state including real estate commission, collection agency licensing, pardon’s board, accountability and disclosure commission, state protocol officer, promotes international commerce, educational studies and cultural exchange.

Mike Meister, Democratic candidate of governor. Supports child protective services improvements and the need to fix the broken system. He wants to bring sustainable state government back to Nebraska and develop wind energy, an opportunity that can revolutionize power and revitalize our economy in a clean and non-polluting economical way while creating local employment.

I encourage you to research these candidates and see the many qualifications not listed here. I am glad to see an alternative to what we have now. These candidates are hard working and committed to a better life for the middle class, who are being squeezed out of their rights.

Meet these candidates at Steel’s Antiques, North Platte, Friday, Oct. 8, 3-7 p.m.

 

   

Tax-exempt status at risk

We at the Internal Revenue Service are concerned because more than 2200 small community-based nonprofits in Nebraska are in jeopardy of losing their tax-exempt status. The loss of this status could greatly impact the organizations’ charitable work and their donors’ potential tax deductions.

Among the organizations that could lose their tax-exempt status are local sports associations and community support groups, volunteer fire and ambulance associations and their auxiliaries, social clubs, educational societies, veterans groups, church-affiliated groups, groups designed to assist those with special needs and a variety of others.

The organizations that are at risk failed to file the required returns for 2007, 2008 and 2009, according to IRS records. The requirement to file is the result of a tax law change that occurred in 2006. For many of these small organizations, complying with the new law may be as simple as completing a 10-minute form online. They can preserve their exempt status under a one-time relief program the IRS announced in July, but only if they file by Oct. 15.

The IRS has made numerous attempts to alert these organizations, but we are concerned that many may not have gotten the word. A list of the organizations that were at-risk as of the end of June is posted at IRS.gov along with instructions on how to comply with the new law.

We encourage everyone who is connected with a small nonprofit community group to make sure that their organization is aware of the law change and is in compliance before the Oct. 15 deadline.

 

   

Eliminate state treasurer office

One of the responsibilities of the Nebraska Legislature is to ensure that state government runs efficiently, and at the same time provides the necessary services to the citizens of Nebraska. It is for that reason that I introduced the proposition to eliminate the office of the state treasurer which will appear as Amendment 2 on the ballot Nov. 2. Amendment 2 was advanced by the Legislature with 38 of the 49 state senators voting in favor.

This is not a new, unique or novel idea. This proposal has been introduced in the Nebraska Legislature at least twice before. Currently 13 states do not have an elected state treasurer. In 2003, Minnesota voters voted to abolish the office of state treasurer in their state.

The current duties of the office of state treasurer can be transferred to existing state agencies. The consolidation of the treasurer’s duties will produce operating efficiencies, eliminate duplication, and in the final analysis save the taxpayers of Nebraska money.

If approved by the voters, the Legislature and the newly elected state treasurer will also have the next four years to transfer the duties and close down the office. This will be a sufficient amount of time to do it right.

My goal, the goal of the Nebraska Legislature, is to right-size state government, to make it more efficient, more effective, more responsive, and more transparent. The approval of Amendment 2 by the voters on November 2nd will help achieve those goals.

It is especially important during a time when Nebraska is experiencing financial stress that we do everything possible to reduce the tax burden on Nebraska taxpayers. I urge you to vote yes on Amendment 2 in November.

 

   

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