Monday, July 31, 2006

World-Herald Fails to Share Full Story of Amendment Funding

by Kyle Michaelis
A month after Nebraska voters were left at the mercy of out-of-state interests and their legions of professional signature-gatherers without the facts necessary to make an informed decision on petitions supporting the proposed "Humane Care Amendment," it's nice to see Sunday's Omaha World-Herald finally got around to reporting on the issue with the slightest hint of depth and objectivity.

What their reporting reveals is that this is one of those solutions that is sure to prove more destructive and hurtful than the problem it's supposedly intended to address.

The article can be read here. Thankfully, it does a pretty good job of pointing out the practical considerations that make this particular ballot initiative a total insult to the institution of family, seeking to replace the informed judgment of medical professionals and the pain-staking decisions of beloved family with a rigid law so lacking in concern for the desires and best interests of the suffering that it can only be called inhumane.

What might be even more offensive than the proposal itself, however, is the deceptive means by which it ever found its way into our state. Sponsored by the "Nebraskans for Humane Care Committee", the following passages should help put the true nature of this organization into perspective:
Others in the state's right-to-life community have concerns about the amendment and its sudden sprouting in Nebraska.

"We're not a part of it at this point," said Greg Schleppenbach, director of the Nebraska Catholic Conference's Pro Life Office....Schleppenbach said the conference had no input on drafting the petition language, though organizers have asked him for support.

"Unfortunately, this petition came to us at a point where there was nothing that could be done to change the language," Schleppenbach said. "And as far as I know, nobody in Nebraska had any input on the language or its potential effects until it had already been submitted to the secretary of state."


Nebraskans for Humane Care Committee...has so far been funded entirely by out-of-state interests - $605,000 from a group with Montana, Idaho and Illinois ties.

Well, it's nice to see these facts finally getting the attention they deserve. Inexplicably lacking from the World-Herald's coverage, however, is any mention of this efforts connection to the Spending Cap Amendment also set to appear on the November ballot.

As reported on NNN several weeks ago, the entire funding for both SOS Nebraska (backers of the Spending Cap) and the Nebraskans for Humane Care Committee has come from the same mysterious sources, while the two organizations have also used the same petitioners and the exact same strategies for covering their tracks. Why the World-Herald would not draw attention to this connection or take the time to question its full extent shows a startling lack of concern for the voting public's understanding of this on-going abuse of Nebraska's petition process.

Clearly, the World-Herald is aware of this relationship, as they report the $605,000 in contributions from America At It's Best (our "Montana Connection") rather than the quarter-of-a-million dollars less still reported in the Nebraskans for Humane Care Committee's most recent ADC filings.

When is the World-Herald - or the rest of the Nebraska media - finally going to meet its obligation to the people of Nebraska to ask some tough questions and get some real answers? Looking for a place to start, here's a quick refresher....and there's a lot more where that came from for any journalist out there with an ounce of curiosity or the tiniest bit of respect for the integrity of this state's democracy.


Post a Comment

<< Home