Neb. Dems Feel Love from National Partyby Kyle Michaelis
Howard Dean came through for the Nebraska Democratic Party.It's a start - what more is there to say at this point? The first thing the Democratic Party has to do in this state is remind voters that they exist - that, yes, they have friends and neighbors who are Democrats and are proud to be so.
Although officials of the state party had predicted more, it will get at least $120,000 this year to help organize grass-roots groups in all of Nebraska's 93 counties.
The hope is to rejuvenate the state party and get local Democrats elected. It is part of the national party chairman's efforts to make Democrats competitive in all 50 states, including GOP-dominated ones such as Nebraska.
"We're ecstatic. This is the first time the national party has even done anything more than simply fly over our state," said Barry Rubin, executive director of the state party....
The money can be traced to the election of Dean as party chairman. The former Vermont governor, who lost his bid for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, argued that the party could not return to national power unless it was competitive in every state.
The Nebraska Democratic Party has had trouble in recent years winning statewide races. In the 1990s, Democrats held three of the state's top elected jobs - governor and the two U.S. Senate seats. Today, U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson is the lone Democrat holding a statewide office.
Dean promised that if he became chairman, more national dollars would flow to state parties. Nebraska is one of the first to get the money he promised.
It is a large amount compared with the $12,000 the state party got year. However, it is less than the $250,000 officials earlier predicted they might receive. Rubin said he expects the state party to get more money later this year.
This idea that Nebraska is a "Red" state and that's that is not only mindless in the extreme but also the lowest form of self-fulfilling prophecy - that which confuses ignorance for virtue, as if jumping on the Republican bandwagon and drinking the Kool-Aid are rights of passage. Nevertheless, this negation of any possibility of progress has infected the political and intellectual climate of Nebraska and must be addressed with force. Money well-spent won't work any miracles but will help pave the way for the right candidates with the right message who will eventually restore balance and reawaken the quiet fires of enlightened truth and compassion that burn in the heart of this great state.