Money has shaped Nebraska politics for years — but two bills could put that to an end

BY: - March 22, 2023

For most Nebraskans, $100,000, $10,000, and even $1,000 are substantial and even life-changing amounts. However, for the people and organizations funding our elections, they are just an entry point. If the 2022 elections proved one thing, it was the need for reforming how political candidates fundraise while running for office. This past election cycle, Nebraska […]

Vaping is on the rise among Nebraska teens. We can reverse this trend

BY: - March 21, 2023

Nebraska has seen an alarming increase in the number of young people who use e-cigarettes. From 2015 to 2021, rates of e-cigarette use by high school-aged people rose from 9% to 14%, and those who have tried an e-cigarette for the first time increased from 19% to 30%, according to the Nebraska Youth Tobacco Survey. […]

Brand names sometimes a bust

BY: - March 20, 2023

I drive a Tesla. It’s fast and fun … a rocket off the line, a champ on the freeway. I’m shallow enough, too, that I occasionally smile when passing a gas station. When fuel topped $5 a gallon, I may have even laughed aloud once or twice. Other than that phantom braking thing that scares […]

Extremist memes more dangerous because of their viral nature and coded messaging

BY: - March 15, 2023

A frog. A dog. A flag. Most memes, those snarky images shared over and over on social media, seem innocuous enough. Just more hyperbole and opinion in a turbulent sea of it. Yet experts are concerned about a subset of memes and the role they play in spreading extremist ideology and potentially radicalizing consumers to […]

Nebraska’s cash assistance program is failing to reach families in need

BY: - March 14, 2023

In 2019, an average of 4,640 Nebraska families received monthly assistance through Aid to Dependent Children, Nebraska’s direct cash assistance program funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families federal block grant. In 2022, only 2,766 families received ADC. In 2014, Nebraska had a TANF “rainy day” fund balance of more than $55 million, which […]

Money, market share replace the truth

BY: - March 13, 2023

Crucial among the opinion writing commandments is this: You’re a reporter first. Sure, readers will remember the position you staked out, perhaps whom you took to task, maybe the questions you posed or what hypocrisy you unearthed. But unless you ground your take — the commentary — in facts, solid research, valid evidence and good […]

Buffett stopped loving his hometown paper — but still makes pocket change from papers he sold

BY: - March 8, 2023

Sometimes, if you love something, you have to let it go. You certainly don’t keep it on life support to collect disability checks. I consider that analogous to what Warren Buffett has done with his supposedly once-beloved newspapers, to the detriment of their communities, including Buffett’s hometown. I speak as a Nebraskan, a veteran journalist […]

Brain gain starts with nurturing a desire for purpose

BY: - March 7, 2023

Brain drain continues to be a present and persistent threat to the success of Nebraska. It is abundantly clear we must do a better job of recruiting and retaining individuals who can fill high-need, high-skill jobs. However, in our discussions of “stopping brain drain,” I believe we have done a disservice by not talking enough […]

Where has all the focus gone?

BY: - March 6, 2023

If you’re driven to distraction behind the wheel in Nebraska, you’re asking for a $200 first-offense fine. You remember distracted driving: texting, fiddling with the music, scarfing a Big Mac and fries, having an intense conversation with a passenger that includes plenty of eye contact. According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration, all forms […]

In defense of early voting, mail-in ballots

BY: - March 4, 2023

Voting by mail has been a common practice dating back to at least 1775 in New Hampshire. During the Civil War there were nearly a million soldiers away from home that needed the ability to cast their votes, and President Abraham Lincoln lobbied for and advocated for mail-in ballots. An overwhelming number of soldiers supported […]

Our nonpartisan, one-house Legislature isn’t broken, so why fix it?

BY: - March 3, 2023

For almost 90 years, Nebraska’s one-house, nonpartisan Legislature has served this state and its people well. The current proposal, Legislative Resolution 2CA, to return to a two-house, partisan body would expand the size and complexity of our Legislature with little or no benefit to the people Although far from perfect, our current system has done […]

Why are states increasingly moving to open primary elections?

BY: - March 1, 2023

Over the last few years, state legislatures have seen a significant increase in proposals to change how states vote. Quite apart from voter eligibility, or the period during which they can vote, these proposals have suggested fundamental changes in how the ballot looks. Maine and Alaska are using rank-choice voting in their statewide and federal […]