By: David O’Connell
The main purpose of Boys’ State is for young men to learn about how the government works in the state of Nebraska. This idea finally started to appear early on the first morning in the weekly schedule when guest speaker Kate Bolz, representing the 29th district in the State Legislator, talked to a smaller division of boys elected to the State Legislator for the Boys’ State program.
Her presentation consisted of how she first began her career in government and how the unique system of a Unicameral Legislator in Nebraska works.
When Bolz first started to run as the District Legislator, she undertook lots of door knocking to reach out to voters, but because Nebraska has a Unicameral Legislature, she did not feel obliged to mention her political party when campaigning.
“I felt compelled that my talents would serve the citizens,” Bolz said.
Bolz had past experience in organizations involved with Down Syndrome and children’s Medicare funding and used her experience to entice voters.
Moreover, Bolz declared that she is a registered Democrat, but said that it did not matter in the capitol because it is a non-partisan legislator and that there is no majority or minority leader. In addition, she stated that there is no caucus for legislators running.
She further explained that the people of Nebraska act as the second house to the Unicameral Legislator by having citizens voice their concerns to senators. Because in a bicameral legislator, both houses have to approve a bill in order for it to be passed, and in Nebraska’s case, the people can voice their approval to a bill.
By: Ryan Secord
Most Nebraskans know nothing beyond our two party system, hence why the Libertarians only have 13,500 members enrolled. While the party is the fastest growing in the state, it is far from having any mainstream appeal. Gene Siadek, the treasurer for the Nebraskan party came to speak to a full house of interested senators. Right off the bat, the lecture was interrupted by a test tornado warning and Gene used it as his first argument for why the government has too much meddling. He said that we are all intelligent enough to know if there is a tornado, but soon conceded the point that severe weather warning systems were important in society. To redeem himself, he headed a fiery debate over whether intense regulations on business was really necessary. He argued that consumers should have the final say in whether or not a business fails. He then went on to try to display what the Libertarian party stands for, and he answered a few questions along the way. In the end, Mr. Siadek accomplished his goal of informing the young men of Boys’ State that there is indeed a third choice.
By: Christian Dames
On Wednesday, the Boys’ Staters all had the opportunity to attend a breakout session. The boys were split into three groups.
Those that attended the session, titled “Issues Advocacy”, heard two speakers present on how each of their organizations practice promoting their ideas. Issues advocacy organizations choose to politically advertise a broad issue rather than a single candidate.
The first speaker was Vice President of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Craig Head. Head discussed how the Farm Bureau works to push an agriculture agenda in government. This can take the form of bills that benefit agriculture businesses or lobbying at various offices.
Jason Valandra from Bold Nebraska spoke next. He shared that their main objective is to fight against the ongoing Keystone Pipeline project. They block progress in the Keystone Pipeline by promoting contrary arguments to the government.
The boys in attendance all came prepared with questions to ask the speakers.
It seems clear that the breakout sessions were an overall success with its participants gaining valuable perspectives on hot-button issues.
By: Logan Thomas and Jaliya Nagahawatte
The connections at Boy’s state are ones that will last a lifetime. Generation after generation of fathers who went to Boys’ State will send their sons to Boys’ State. No family embodies that better than the Perlinger Family. Carrick Perlinger attended Boys state in 2012 and won Governor. However, when Carrick looks back at his time at CBS it’s not winning anything he remembers, it’s the bonds he formed at CBS. Those bonds have not only been formed when he was a Boys’ Stater but each time he came back as a counselor. Each time Carrick came back he experienced that same brotherhood. Carrick didn’t come back to sign bills and look pretty, he came back to shape the next line of men and let them have the same experience and bond. So when his twin younger brothers asked whether they should do Boys’ State it was an easy answer. This year all three brothers have experienced 2018 CBS. Aidon and Bennett (Carrick’s siblings) said that they saw what their brother spoke of immediately. This was not just some government camp to inspire, it went far deeper. Aidon spoke of how, unlike other camps, CBS is a brotherhood, one that exists due to the goodness of others. The Perlinger family is only one example of the legacy of CBS. A legacy that is maintained by the goodwill of others. Others who understand CBS isn’t about winning, its about uniting others and shaping a lifetime.
By: Hayden Hoos
The first question was, “what’s your favorite part of Boys’ State?” Nathan Weidner, a counselor, replied, “seeing 400 boys come on Sunday as individuals but leave as close friends and family.” John Willey answered, “interacting with campers, counselors, and staff. Seeing the new and old faces.”
The next question was, “how has Boys’ State changed?” Nathan Weidner said, “it’s different being a counselor. As a Boys’ Stater last year, I was trying to become a leader. As a counselor, I am out in front leading all the time.” Micah Wilson concluded, “I see more behind the scenes work, like longer days, more management, and counting ballots. With all of this, I have to know my stuff a lot better.”
The final question was, “what advice would you give about Boys’ State?” Nathan Weidner said, “get out of your comfort zone, and try new things. Set aside your ego, and just have fun.” Micah Wilson replied, “if you have something you want to do, do it. You’re with some of the greatest boys in Nebraska, so have fun, and get to know the best of the state. Get out there.”