PACs Spring into Action

This afternoon, delegates interested in Advocacy Groups and Political Action Committees (PACs) met and began organizing themselves. Using one of six suggested PACs as a starting point, the boys first established their group’s views and positions before moving into the nuts and bolts of leadership responsibilities, membership and recruitment, and campaign finance. From these humble beginnings, powerful organizations, capable of making or breaking some of this week’s major elections, promise to emerge. Photo collage below.

Current Political Issues and Party Platforms

On Monday, June 7, Vic Covalt, State Chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, and Jordan McGrain, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Nebraska, visited Boys’ State delegates to discuss current political issues and platforms of both major parties. Below are some general statements each gentleman said of his party.

Vic Covalt addressing Boys' State delegates

Vic Covalt on the Democratic Party:

“…a party of change, a party of the future…”

“Democratic party is about ‘we’ while Republican party is about ‘me'”

“Government must regulate the economy to control fairness”

Jordan McGrain on the Republican Party:

“…empowering the individual, not the government…”

Jordan McGrain addressing Boys' State delegates

“First Republican President was Abraham Lincoln… That’s a good start, isn’t it?”

“Interestingly enough, Ronald Reagan ran on hope, change, and making America great again, just like Barack Obama”

After giving these general comments, here are some of their comments on some specific political issues.

Stimulating the economy:

McGrain (R) – “Tax cuts stimulate the economy, not bailouts!” Having people keep (and thus be able to spend) more of what they earn is the solution. As a small business owner, high taxes prevented me from being able to spend money for things like hiring additional employees. If taxes were cut, I would have been able to do so and thus have added to the job market. 75% of Americans don’t believe that the stimulus worked.

Covalt (D) – “The stimulus package IS a tax cut for 98% of Americans and IS stimulating the economy.”

Reducing the Deficit and Keeping Tabs on Money:

McGrain (R) – I don’t know why we’re all surprised that Obama has grown government and spent trillions of dollars. That’s what he campaigned on. “Obama promised everyone everything, and that comes at a price.”

Covalt (D) – Tax fairness is the important issue. We’ve let an accumulation of wealth create an aristocracy (defined as “a form of government in which a few of the most prominent citizens rule”).

Energy and Oil:

McGrain (R) – We need to keep working on new forms of clean energy. Until we can rely on new forms of energy, we must drill near home. If we don’t, “we put our future into the hands of those who wish to do us harm.” While the Democratic party wants to increase regulation on companies like BP for the oil spill, we believe that increasing government control is not a good idea.

Covalt (D) – “Thanks to the ‘do-nothing’ Republican party, we have fallen so far behind all surrounding states in wind energy that we’ll never catch up.” “We were stuck with Johanns and Heineman who pretty much did nothing to develop wind energy in Nebraska.” The Offshore Drilling Act of the current administration is too recent to have any effect on the oil spill in the Gulf.

Illegal Immigration and Response to Arizona’s SB 1070:

McGrain (R) – “Should we have to go to all of this work for those 8-10% of people who are illegal and committing crime? Well, for me 8-10% is much too high, so yes.”

Covalt (D) – Illegal immigrants DO pay taxes and they do so at a much higher rate. “We always want to hate the last guy to come over. Most of our country is made of immigrants.” “How much personal liberty do you want to give up? All people with brown skin would become a target.” “The problem is that we need a logical solution but we have no real solutions yet.”

For more information, check out their websites:

Nebraska Democratic Party:

Republican Party of Nebraska:

Towns Elect Legislative Representatives

Elections were held Sunday night in each town to elect representatives to the Nebraska state Senate. The following people will begin their roles as Senators on Monday.

Representatives from the town of Bunker Hill: Nic Gabriel, Wade Reigle, Taylor Kopecky, Sean Lindgren, Isaac Thomas, Alejandro Marichal

Representatives from the town of Valley Forge: Andrew Prystai, Scott Davis, Michael Schumacher, Jordan Sunderman, Alex Teted, Owen Bond

Representatives from the town of Yorktown: Nick Schreirer, Jacob Swanson, Chris Kolster, Kent Frickel, Trevor Hefrer, Drew Fairchild-Ryan

Representatives from the town of Gettysburg: Nathan Stastny, Logan Baker, Tanner Miner, Chris German, John Burke, Nathan Arehart

Representatives from the town of Alamo: Daniel Trost, Justin Mallack, Spencer Farley, Logan Brewster, Matt Knapp, Max McDermott

Representatives from the town of Manila Bay: Matthew Henery, Jake Bauer, Bob Weeder, Isaiah Bockelman, Cody Fischer, Drew Schissel

Representatives from the town of Bataan: Zach Ramold, Connor Shields, Andrew Brittenham, Madison Doughty, Nate Karls, Alex Wessels, Grant Potadle

Representatives from the town of Belleau Wood: Charlie Neibel, Luke Castner, Joe Murnan, Keaton Klein, Gabriel Connealy, Kyle Swanson

The first session of the state legislature will be at 1:45PM on Monday, June 7.