Nebraska onAirNebraska onAir

The Nebraska onAir Hub supports Nebraskans to become more informed about and engaged in local, state, and federal politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow citizens.

  • Nebraska onAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to help reinvigorate US democracy.  This post has short summaries of current state and federal representatives with links to their complete Hub posts.  Students curate post content from government, campaign, social media, and public websites.  Key content on the Nebraska Hub is also replicated on the US onAir nations Hub at: us.onair.cc.
  • Nebraskastudents will be forming onAir chapters in their colleges and universities to help curate Hub content.  As more students participate and more onAir chapters are started, we will expand to include more state and local content as well as increase the number of aircasts – student-led, livestreamed, online discussions with candidates, representatives, and the public.

Find out more about Who Represents Me in Nebraska
Learn more about the US onAir Network

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Latest Nebraska onAir News

he base content in each post in this Nebraska onAir Hub has been updated as of 12/20/23. In addition to the eight posts on the home page, in depth posts on each US House member and posts on Nebraska government and elections have been started. These posts have been shared with the US onAir Hub and will updated in the US onAir automatically when they are updated in this hub.

If your university or nonpartisan organization (such as a government focused research center, citizen engagement program or a League of Women Voters chapter) is interested in assisting the US onAir network to help curate new  issue posts or other posts on this Hub and moderate the forums in each post, contact Ben Murphy at Ben.Murphy@onair.cc.

We are also supporting college students to start an onAir chapter on the their campus to coordinate the curation and moderation of posts especially on state and local representatives and government.

Summary

The Nebraska onAir Hub supports Nebraskans to become more informed about and engaged in local, state, and federal politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow citizens.

  • Nebraska onAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to help reinvigorate US democracy.  This post has short summaries of current state and federal representatives with links to their complete Hub posts.  Students curate post content from government, campaign, social media, and public websites.  Key content on the Nebraska Hub is also replicated on the US onAir nations Hub at: us.onair.cc.
  • Nebraskastudents will be forming onAir chapters in their colleges and universities to help curate Hub content.  As more students participate and more onAir chapters are started, we will expand to include more state and local content as well as increase the number of aircasts – student-led, livestreamed, online discussions with candidates, representatives, and the public.

Find out more about Who Represents Me in Nebraska
Learn more about the US onAir Network

News

i
Latest Nebraska onAir News

he base content in each post in this Nebraska onAir Hub has been updated as of 12/20/23. In addition to the eight posts on the home page, in depth posts on each US House member and posts on Nebraska government and elections have been started. These posts have been shared with the US onAir Hub and will updated in the US onAir automatically when they are updated in this hub.

If your university or nonpartisan organization (such as a government focused research center, citizen engagement program or a League of Women Voters chapter) is interested in assisting the US onAir network to help curate new  issue posts or other posts on this Hub and moderate the forums in each post, contact Ben Murphy at Ben.Murphy@onair.cc.

We are also supporting college students to start an onAir chapter on the their campus to coordinate the curation and moderation of posts especially on state and local representatives and government.

About

All hub content  in onAir hubs is free to the public. Hub ontent is under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license which permits content sharing and adaptation by nonprofit organizations as long as proper attribution is given to its author(s) and is used for non-commercial purposes. Content and moderation guidelines reinforce our commitment to fact-based, comprehensive content and civil and honest discourse.

To participate in aircast and post discussions, email usdemocracy@onair.cc and include your first name last name, and zipcode. Your real name and any other profile information will not be displayed unless you choose to do so. Your personal information is not shared with any other website or organization.

Hub membership will enable you to:

  • Participate in issue and interview aircasts (student-led livestreamed discussions);
  • Interact directly with post authors and curators giving them feedback, content suggestions, and asking questions;
  • Ask questions, make suggestions, and give endorsement to representatives

Web Links

State Representatives

Governor Jim Pillen

Jim Pillen - NECurrent Position: Veterinarian and Regent
Affiliation: Republican

Pillen is a former member of the Nebraska State Board of Regents and its former chair from 1975 to 1978, Pillen was a defensive back for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team under Tom Osborne. He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

He earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Pillen is a practicing veterinarian and also works as chair of Pillen Family Farms The business, which acquired DNA Genetics in 2003.

OnAir Post: Jim Pillen – NE

US Representatives

Senator Deb Fischer

Deb Fischer 2Current Position: US Senator since 2013
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position: State Delegate from 2005 – 2013

From 1990 to 2004, Fischer served on the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education. In 2004, she was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, representing the 43rd district for two terms. Fischer ran for the U.S. Senate in 2012 and was initially seen as a long-shot candidate, but pulled off an unexpected victory against state attorney general Jon Bruning in the Republican primary; in the general election, she defeated former Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey and was the only Republican to flip a Senate seat in the 2012 elections.

Featured Quote: 
Nebraska is so fortunate to have @UNMC and @NebraskaMed, which lead the nation in research and development of new techniques in health care. Thank you for showing me around your cardiac catheterization lab. The work you do is so important!

OnAir Post: Deb Fischer – NE

Senator Pete Ricketts

Pete Ricketts - NE 1Current Position: US Senator since 2023
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position: State Delegate from 2005 – 2013; Governor 2014-2022
Upcoming Election: Running to retain US Senate seat

Ricketts is the eldest son of Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade. He is also, with other family members, a part owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs. In 1993, he went to work for his father’s business, initially in the call center for a few months, and subsequently appointed by his father to a number of executive positions, ultimately becoming the company’s chief operating officer during his father’s tenure as CEO.

Ricketts unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006, losing to incumbent Ben Nelson. He ran for governor of Nebraska in 2014, and after narrowly winning the six-way Republican primary, defeated Democratic Party nominee Chuck Hassebrook, 57% to 39%. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate by his gubernatorial successor, Jim Pillen, to fill the vacancy created when Ben Sasse resigned to become president of the University of Florida.

OnAir Post: Pete Ricketts – NE

Mike Flood NE-01

Mike Flood NE-01 1Current Position: US Representative of NE 1st District since 2022
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position:  Nebraska Legislature from the 19th district, from 2005 to 2013 and 2021 to 2022. He served as speaker of the Legislature from 2007 to 2013
District:  most of its eastern quarter, except for Omaha and some of its suburbs
Upcoming Election:

As of 2023, he owned 15 radio stations and seven television stations in Nebraska. In 2015, Flood founded the News Channel Nebraska network, in which all television and radio stations participate. NCN is Nebraska’s only 24-hour news channel. In addition to being the operator of News Channel Nebraska, he was on-air talent, acting as a news reporter and hosting the variety show Quarantine Tonight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flood is also a named partner in Norfolk-based law firm, Jewell Collins & Flood.

OnAir Post: Mike Flood NE-01

Don Bacon NE-02

Don Bacon 1Current Position: US Representative of NE 2nd Distrrict since 2017
Affiliation: Republican
Positions: Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations
District:   encompasses the core of the Omaha–Council Bluffs metropolitan area. It includes all of Douglas County, which includes the state’s largest city Omaha; it also includes Saunders County and areas of Western Sarpy County
Upcoming Election:

Before holding public office, Bacon was a United States Air Force officer, retiring as brigadier general with stints as wing commander at Ramstein Air Base, Germany and Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.

Bacon is frequently described as a moderate centrist within the Republican Party. An active voice on foreign policy in the House, Bacon is among a slate of U.S. representatives sanctioned by the Russian government, and was the first member of Congress to be hacked by the Chinese government.

Featured Quote:
The #ALLIESAct provides 8,000 more visas for the Afghan Special Visa Program. It’s imperative that we protect our Afghan translators and interpreters from the malignant forces present in Afghanistan.

OnAir Post: Don Bacon NE-02

Adrian Smith NE-03

Adrian Smith 1Current Position: US Representative of NE 3rd Disrrict since 2007
Affiliation: Republican
Former Position: State Delegate from 1999 – 2007
Other Positions:  Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures – Committee on Ways and Means
District: western three-fourths; it is one of the largest non-at-large districts in the country
Upcoming Election:

While a student at Nebraska, he interned in the Nebraska Governor’s Office and, later, served as a legislative page in the Nebraska Legislature.

Smith returned to Gering after college, and in 1994 began serving as a member of the Gering City Council. He has also worked in the private sector as a realtor and marketing specialist for the housing industry.

Featured Quote: 
I am steadfast in my commitment to extend to E15 the waiver granted to E10. Learn more in my column here:

OnAir Post: Adrian Smith NE-03

More Information

Wikipedia


The Government of the U.S. State of Nebraska, established by the Nebraska Constitution, is a republican democracy modeled after the Federal Government of the United States. The state government has three branches: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. Through a system of separation of powers, or “checks and balances,” each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, and also some authority to regulate the other two branches, so that all three branches can limit and balance the others’ authority. The State Government is based in Lincoln, the capital city of Nebraska.

Executive Branch

The statewide elected officers are:

Governor

The Governor of Nebraska is the head of government of the U.S. state of Nebraska as provided by the fourth article of the Constitution of Nebraska. The officeholder is elected to a four-year term, with elections held two years after presidential elections. The governor may be elected any number of times, but not more than twice in a row. Governors of Nebraska must be at least 30 years old and have been citizens and residents of the state for five years before being elected. Before 1966, the governor was elected to a two-year term. In 1962, a constitutional amendment extended the gubernatorial term to four years, effective with the 1966 election. In 1966, another amendment imposed a term limit of two consecutive terms. The lieutenant governor is subject to the same limitations and runs on a combined ticket with the governor. Charles W. Bryan is the only Governor of Nebraska to serve non-consecutive terms. Dave Heineman holds the record as Nebraska’s longest-serving governor, with 10 years. The current officeholder is Jim Pillen, a Republican, who was sworn in on January 5, 2023.

Lieutenant governor

The Lieutenant Governor is the second-highest official in the Nebraska government and the first in line to succeed to the governorship in the event of a vacancy. The lieutenant governor is elected for a four-year term that runs concurrently with that of the governor. In the absence of the governor, the lieutenant governor assumes all powers and duties of the office of the governor. However, this only happens when the governor leaves the state or becomes incapable of discharging his duties as governor. The current Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska is Joe Kelly, who assumed office on January 5, 2023.

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State has responsibilities over the following areas: elections, business registrations, occupational licensing, state rules and regulations, records management, international relations and youth civics programs. The current Secretary of State is Bob Evnen.[1]

Attorney General

The Nebraska Department of Justice/Office of the Attorney General operates, in many respects, as the “State’s law firm.” The office is headed by the Nebraska Attorney General, an independently-elected constitutional officer, and is a diverse organization of highly specialized attorneys and support staff. The Attorney General’s Office is the largest “law firm” in Nebraska outside of Omaha.[2] The current Attorney General is Mike Hilgers, who assumed office on January 5, 2023.

State Treasurer

The Treasurer of the State of Nebraska is the chief financial officer of the government of Nebraska. The treasurer is responsible for maintaining the state funds by investing and maintaining the state budget. The department’s main purpose is to invest state funds and maintain accurate records of transactions enacted by the state. The state office also disperses funds to local governments as needed, keeps track of unclaimed property and helps with investments.[1] The current Treasurer is Tom Briese, who assumed office on November 1, 2023.

Auditor of Public Accounts

The Auditor of Public Accounts has the constitutional authority to audit all state fiscal activity and the fiduciary responsibility to promulgate audit standards applicable to all state agencies and local governments.[2] To this end, the Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) engages in financial audits of every state agency, officer, board, bureau and commission, conducts the annual single audit of federal awards received by the state, and investigates both reported and alleged waste, fraud, and mismanagement throughout state and local government.[3] The current Auditor of Public Accounts is Mike Foley, who assumed office on January 5, 2023. Foley previously served in this role from 2007 to 2015.

State Agencies

Nebraska’s executive branch includes the following 18 code agencies, all under direction from the Governor.

Legislative branch

The Nebraska Legislature (also called the Unicameral)[4] is the unicameral state legislature of the state of Nebraska. Its members are called “senators”, as it was originally the upper house of a bicameral legislature until the Nebraska House of Representatives was dissolved in 1937. The legislature is unicameral and officially recognizes no party affiliation, making Nebraska unique among U.S. states. With 49 members, it is also the smallest state legislature of any U.S. state. The Legislature meets at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln.

Nebraska State Capitol Building in Lincoln, NE.

General powers

The Legislature is responsible for law-making and appropriating funds for the state. The governor has the power to veto any bill, but the Legislature may override the governor’s veto by a vote of three-fifths (30) of its members. The Legislature also has the power, by a three-fifths vote, to propose a constitutional amendment to the voters, who then pass or reject it through a referendum.

Selection, composition, and operation

The Legislature is composed of 49 members, chosen by a single-member district or constituency. Senators are chosen for four-year terms, with one-half of the seats up for election every second year. In effect, this results in half the chamber being elected at the same time as the President of the United States, and the other half elected at the same time as other statewide elections. Senators must be qualified voters who are at least 21 years old and have lived in the district they wish to represent for at least one year. A constitutional amendment passed in 2000 limits senators to two consecutive terms. However, a former senator is re-eligible for election after four years. Senators receive $12,000 a year.

Rather than separate primary elections held to choose Republican, Democratic, and other partisan contenders for a seat, Nebraska uses a single nonpartisan blanket primary, in which the top two vote-getters are entitled to run in the general election. There are no formal party alignments or groups within the Legislature. Coalitions tend to form issue by issue based on a member’s philosophy of government, geographic background, and constituency. However, almost all the members of the legislature are known to be either Democrats or Republicans, and the state branches of both parties explicitly endorse candidates for legislative seats.[5]

Speaker

The highest position among the members is the Speaker, who presides over the Legislature in the absence of the Lieutenant Governor. The Speaker is elected by floor ballot (or secret ballot) for a two-year term. The Speaker, with the approval of the Executive Board, determines the agenda (or the order in which bills and resolutions are considered on General File). The Speaker’s agenda may be changed by a three-fifths vote of the elected members of the Legislature. The Speaker is not a member of any committee, but is an ex-officio member of the Rules Committee and the Executive Board. The current Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature is John Arch, who was elected to the office on January 4, 2023.

Judicial Branch

The Nebraska Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Nebraska. The court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices. Each justice is initially appointed by the governor of Nebraska; using the Missouri Plan, each justice is then subject to a retention vote for additional six-year terms. The six justices each represent a Supreme Court district; the chief justice is appointed (and retained) at-large.

Unlike most other states, with the exception of North Dakota, the Nebraska Supreme Court requires a supermajority of five justices of the seven to rule unconstitutional a legislative provision (the 48 other states require a simple majority).[6]

Selection of justices

The court consists of a chief justice and six associate justices. The six justices each represent a Supreme Court district. If a position becomes vacant, the judicial nominating commission, made up of four lawyers and four non-lawyers, holds a hearing to select potential candidates. The commission then submits two names to the Nebraska Governor, who then determines the replacing judge. If the Governor does not follow through with this responsibility within 60 days of receiving the nominees, the responsibility then goes to the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court. To retain the office, a judge must run in a retention election after serving three years. Additionally, the judge must run every six years to retain his seat. If the judge receives less than 50% of the affirmative vote, the judge is not retained. Nebraska judges do not have a mandatory retirement age, but they are granted retirement at age 65 or earlier, if it is due to disability.[7]

Current members of the Nebraska Supreme Court are:

DistrictJusticeBornTerm startNext retention electionAppointing governorLaw schoolParty
Chief JusticeMichael Heavican (1947-08-04) August 4, 1947 (age 76)October 2, 20062022Dave Heineman (R)NebraskaRepublican
District 1Stephanie F. Stacy (1962-04-23) April 23, 1962 (age 61)September 28, 20152024Pete Ricketts (R)NebraskaRepublican
District 2Lindsey Miller-Lerman (1947-07-30) July 30, 1947 (age 76)September 1, 19982026Ben Nelson (D)ColumbiaDemocratic
District 3William B. Cassel (1955-09-20) September 20, 1955 (age 68)April 26, 20122022Dave Heineman (R)NebraskaRepublican
District 4Jonathan Papik[8] (1982-01-07) January 7, 1982 (age 42)May 7, 20182022Pete Ricketts (R)HarvardRepublican
District 5Jeffrey J. Funke (1969-04-15) April 15, 1969 (age 54)June 27, 20162026Pete Ricketts (R)NebraskaRepublican
District 6John Freudenberg[9] (1969-11-12) November 12, 1969 (age 54)July 6, 20182022Pete Ricketts (R)NebraskaRepublican

References

  1. ^ “Nebraska Treasurer”. Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2022-05-25.
  2. ^ State of Nebraska Legislature. “2020-2021 Nebraska Blue Book” (PDF). p. 425-426.
  3. ^ “Mission, History, and Major Duties”. Nebraska Office of the Auditor of Public Accounts. Retrieved September 13, 2022.
  4. ^ LTC. “Nebraska Legislature – About the Legislature”.
  5. ^ See, e.g., lists of endorsed candidates for the Legislature on the webpages of both the Nebraska Democratic Party Archived 2010-12-28 at the Wayback Machine and the Nebraska Republican Party Archived 2011-05-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ “Nebraska Keystone Ruling May Not Help Transcanada”. Newsweek. 9 January 2015.
  7. ^ “Supreme Court of Nebraska Courts Guide”.
  8. ^ Pilger, Lori. “Ricketts’ pick for Nebraska Supreme Court ‘operating on higher level,’ colleague says”.
  9. ^ Johnson, Riley. “Newly appointed Lancaster County judge tapped for seat on Nebraska Supreme Court”.


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Nebraska onAir

The Nebraska onAir Hub supports Nebraskans to become more informed about and engaged in local, state, and federal politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow citizens.

  • Nebraska onAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to help reinvigorate US democracy.  This post has short summaries of current state and federal representatives with links to their complete Hub posts.  Students curate post content from government, campaign, social media, and public websites.  Key content on the Nebraska Hub is also replicated on the US onAir nations Hub at: us.onair.cc.
  • Nebraskastudents will be forming onAir chapters in their colleges and universities to help curate Hub content.  As more students participate and more onAir chapters are started, we will expand to include more state and local content as well as increase the number of aircasts – student-led, livestreamed, online discussions with candidates, representatives, and the public.

Find out more about Who Represents Me in Nebraska
Learn more about the US onAir Network

Nebraska onAir

The Nebraska onAir Hub supports Nebraskans to become more informed about and engaged in local, state, and federal politics while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow citizens.

  • Nebraska onAir is one of 50 state governance and elections hubs that the US onAir Network is providing to help reinvigorate US democracy.  This post has short summaries of current state and federal representatives with links to their complete Hub posts.  Students curate post content from government, campaign, social media, and public websites.  Key content on the Nebraska Hub is also replicated on the US onAir nations Hub at: us.onair.cc.
  • Nebraskastudents will be forming onAir chapters in their colleges and universities to help curate Hub content.  As more students participate and more onAir chapters are started, we will expand to include more state and local content as well as increase the number of aircasts – student-led, livestreamed, online discussions with candidates, representatives, and the public.

Find out more about Who Represents Me in Nebraska
Learn more about the US onAir Network

Source: Wikipedia

OnAir Post: Nebraska onAir

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Advocates can sign up through an existing organization or individually. Advocate memberships are currently only available upon request.

For further information about acquiring your own post, contact: Advocate@onair.cc

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Summary

Over the past four years, Democracy onAir has been working with over 50 interns majoring in government, global affairs, communications, and the information sciences to develop the US Democracy onAir network of 50 state governance and elections hubs. The US Democracy Network serves as a model network for other countries.  Former interns are now working on creating networks for other countries such as the India Democracy Network.

Student interns will be supported by our Democracy onAir team if they choose to integrate their internship with courses for credit, class projects, capstone projects, and research work.  Most work is done online and unpaid.  Some of our recent interns have continued working with Democracy onAir in management positions.

The internship is intended to be a learning experience as much as it is a work experience. Inter will deepen their knowledge of democratic processes especially as it relates to their country’s federal and state governance. Interns will also gain a better understanding of contemporary politics and issues, whether they are local, regional, or national.

Contact internships@onair.cc to submit your resume and cover letter about what intern position you are interested in and why.

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The US onAir Network

Summary

Central US onAir Hub:  us.onair.cc Model state Hub: va.onair.cc Launch date: Fall 2022

To reinvigorate our imperiled democracy, US onAir is developing 50 curated, media rich online state governance and election Hubs and a central US Hub. US onAir supports US citizens to become  more informed about and engaged in federal and state governance and elections while facilitating more civil and positive discussions with their representatives, candidates, and fellow Americans.

Our two minute vision video for the US onAir network is below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z-Ow5DdipwVideo can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: About the US onAir Network (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z-Ow5Ddipw)

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Students of all ages now have a platform to better communicate with their elected officials – their goals, ideas, and projects for how to improve the lives for All of U.S.

LEARN.  The US onAir curators aggregate and organize the best publicly available information on federal and state governance and elections. You can learn about YOUR federal and state representatives as well as other federal and state candidates and representatives. You can also learn about the legislative committees and issues you are interested in and the nonprofit organizations ...

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