Friday, June 23, 2006

Nothing Says "Pro-Family" Like Cutting Medicaid & Education

by Kyle Michaelis
Here's something to chew on over the weekend, as the New Nebraska Network goes on a 2 or 3 day hiatus. A reader drew my attention to the website of Renewal Voter Outreach, a company proudly "hiring petition circulators from all states" at $2.50 per valid signature. Since the company is working in support of two different ballot measures, that means registered Nebraska voters are a pretty valuable commodity to these petitioners - promising $5 a pop.

But, I'm not going to complain about the out-of-state money funding these fake grassroots political activities manipulating Nebraska's democratic process. Powerful special interests are paying handsomely for these operations, and they're within their rights to do so.

What I am going to complain about, however, is the outright deception employed by this mysterious Renewal Voter Outreach, claiming to "work with political groups who support pro-family legislation" while seeking signatures for a ballot measure that is as anti-family as any one could imagine.

What kind of world do we live in that "pro-family" is nothing more than coded language to indicate right-wing extremism? The notion that a state spending cap being written into the Nebraska Constitution is in any way "pro-family" is utterly absurd and insulting. The proposed amendment would, without a doubt, hurt Nebraska's youngest, oldest, and poorest citizens - all of whom would see substantial reductions in the state services on which they rely under such a system.

The Lincoln-based Center for People in Need reports
Had the proposed spending lid been in place for the 2005-06 and 2006-07 legislative sessions, the state budget, under the best scenario, would have been impacted as follows:

*K-12 schools would have received $87 million fewer state aid dollars

*The University of Nebraska’s budget would have been slashed by $52 million

*Aid to Community Colleges would have been cut by $1.9 million

*K-12 Special Education funding would have lost $5.3 million in funds

*The lid would likely result in higher property taxes, cuts in government services,
and ineffective schools.

Ahh, yes....nothing says "Pro-family" like slashing funding for education. And, with the rates at which the cost of Medicaid and health benefits for state employees have been rising, one can only imagine what kind of sacrifices would be required of the state's poorest and most defenseless should this abomination ever make its way into law.

With a name like Renewal Voter Outreach, it's pretty clear from the get-go that this isn't a legitimate company. But, its being a front for the extremist right-wing agenda doesn't excuse its being able to get away with lying to the people of Nebraska and deceiving voters into thinking its efforts have anything at all to do with family values.

Decline to sign, Nebraska. Let's drive these wolves out of our pasture while we still have the chance.


Anonymous BlueMonkey said...

Thanks for the info on this. I'm spreading the word everywhere that I can.


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