Saturday, September 08, 2007

Scott Kleeb Speaks to the Midwest Nebraska Central Labor Council

by Kyle Michaelis
By: Lisa Hannah

Our old friend Scott Kleeb popped up in North Platte at the Midwest Nebraska Central Labor Council's 17th Annual Labor Day picnic as one of the guest speakers. There was a crowd of about 400 present. Some of his statements and information on his ongoing activities deserve highlighting:
Scott Kleeb visits Labor Day picnic  
Big issues -- health care, energy independence - haven't gone away, Kleeb said, "They need a louder voice." "I'm still engaged, energized and excited about our district," he said. "Unlike a lot of people predicted, I haven't picked up and left Nebraska." Kleeb is teaching three college history and government courses at Hastings College. He also works with students to help them "servant-leadership" under a Hastings College program - helping them find ways to fix problems. And, Kleeb sells Nebraska beef in Europe for the Morgan Ranch of Burwell. He and his wife have a new baby daughter. Kleeb recently brought energy conservationists together with rural Nebraskans in Scottsbluff. He introduced members of the National Energy Defense Council from Washington, D.C. to businesspeople from Scottsbluff. They talked about ethanol and wind power.
The two groups share the desire to lessen the nation's dependence on oil, but they come at it from different perspectives. Nebraskans want to boost the economy. The Washington group wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. "The best coalitions come from people with different views and interests," Kleeb said.
"When they find common ground and a common goal, they can really get things done."
If Kleeb runs again, he wants to engage more people in government and help them stay involved. "The only way we win is by getting involved in the process," he said. "It's about all of us participating in democracy."
Scott Kleeb wants to stay involved

"I have the same concerns, energy and desire as I did a year ago," Kleeb said. "I will be involved in the future. If that means running for office in a year, or two years, or four years, well, that's definitely an option. "When we have representation that votes against securing more health care for our children, against securing America, and doesn't support a balanced budget, and is not representing out interests, then yes, I am still engaged," Kleeb said.
He said his 2006 campaign did better than expected. "We wanted to build a campaign and find out what people are concerned about," he said. "We did better than expected because we connected with Democrats, Republicans and Independents. The issues were the same regardless of party." After his loss to Smith, Kleeb moved to Hastings, where he works as an advocate of renewable energy sources and helps sell beef internationally for a Sandhills cattle Ranch. He also teaches history at Hastings College. Kleeb married Jane Fleming and daughter Maya was born last month. "It is a matter of working for everyone," Kleeb said.

It's clear he's keeping an eye on Smith, and his message continues to be much more inclusive than Adrian Smith's. He continues to be active in promoting our state's best interests and gaining the real world knowledge and connections needed to make a real positive impact. I especially like his philosophy of bringing people of different perspectives together on issues they can share in common. That is how positive change and progress is made.

Maybe Smith should sign up for a class with Scott Kleeb. Maybe he could teach him something that is worthwhile. Who knows?  I've recently seen some comments from people on various boards about the fact Scott has not been a career politician and that he's probably just wanting to go to Washington to get away from Nebraska. I find this rather ironic. These are probably many of the same people that voted for term limits because they didn't want career politicians. The same people that probably voted for Smith even after he was quoted as saying "I want got get elected and stay their until retirement." Do they think Smith wanted to get out of Nebraska? I'd say that comment sure makes it sound like it.
Whatever Scott's plans are for the future, I'm proud to call him a fellow Nebraskan, and we are lucky to have someone of that caliber continuing to promote what is great about our state.

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