Governor Pete Ricketts Visits Boys State

 By: Jacob Gathje

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts visited Boys’ State on Wednesday night. He spoke on four major goals and pillars he has: relief for floods that struck Nebraska in March, along with other bills and taxes. Ricketts opened by stating his four goals as a politician. They are vision, evangelization, having the right people in the right place, and holding people accountable. “No one person is strong enough to tell everyone what to do,” he said. “Surround yourself with people who know issues.” He also outlined four pillars that went with those goals. They are developing and connecting, running the government more effectively and efficiently, being good stewards of tax dollars, and promoting the state. “[We want to] create connections and open markets with our producers,” he said. “[We want to] create opportunities for our Nebraska families, so they can enjoy The Good Life in our state.” Another main topic he spoke about was the flooding that took place in March across the state. He focused on the incredible actions of the Nebraskan people in helping the state recover. “Everywhere across the state, we saw people stepping up,” he said. “Through this all, the thing that matters is that people come together to solve these problems.” In association with the flooding, he also spoke of LB 512, a bill that was passed to ease taxes for farmers affected by the natural disaster. “Usually, property taxes are assessed based on the state of the property in the previous year,” he said. “However, a lot of farmers’ properties are not worth as much as they were last year because they have five feet of sand sitting on them.” Ricketts also received questions about other types of taxing, such as the Pink Tax. He had a simple response to these requests. “I don’t have an opposition to tax credits,” he said. He wrapped up again focusing on the people of Nebraska, saying that they are the reason the state is so great. “The greatest strength we have is our people,” he said. “They understand when to take care of others in the community.”

Let the Fun Begin

The 79th annual session of American Legion Cornhusker Boys’ State is underway.  Towns are getting to know one another and starting to have some serious fun!  Today, Sen. Suzanne Geist visited the delegates elected to the Boys State Unicameral Legislature. This afternoon was also the first games for the town’s sports teams.  We finished the evening with an incredibly motivating message from Dr. Jo!

 

Interview with 1987 CBS Governor John Maisch

An Interview with 1987 alum JOHN A. MAISCH   June 2017

Image: John Maisch (Right) appearing with Don Wesley and Frank LeMere at Cornhusker Boys’ State 2017

BACKGROUND

John A. Maisch was elected Nebraska Boys State Governor in 1987, representing Bunker Hill. He would represent Boys Nation later that summer. A Grand Island Senior High graduate, Maisch went on to earn a business degree from Midland University (Fremont, Nebraska) in 1992 and law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law in 1995. Following a year in private practice, Maisch became an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma in 1996. He returned to private practice in 2001, where he focused on commercial real estate transactions. In 2008, Maisch became the General Counsel to the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement (ABLE) Commission, where his responsibilities included prosecuting liquor stores and bars that sold alcoholic beverages to minors. He served as the full-time ABLE Commission’s General Counsel until 2012, when he became an Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at the University of Central Oklahoma, a four year, public university with over 16,000 students in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Maisch has been a member of several civic organizations, including the Oklahoma City Downtown Lions Club, where he served as club president in 2000, and the Downtown Rotary Club. He helped draft consumer protection legislation requiring Oklahoma audiologists and hearing aid dealers to provide refunds to the hearing impaired in 2001, and legislation that reformed Oklahoma’s alcoholic beverage laws in 2015. Maisch’s most recent work involved directing and producing a documentary about Whiteclay, Nebraska, an unincorporated town of less than 12 people in northwestern Nebraska. Located 200 yards from the dry Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Whiteclay’s beer stores sold approximately 3.5 million cans of beer per year. The documentary, Sober Indian | Dangerous Indian, premiered at the REEL Recovery Film festival in San Francisco in 2014, and has been screened throughout the United States. The documentary was also screened at a film festival in Cape Town, South Africa.

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOYS’ STATE MEMORIES?

A: “My father was a Korean War veteran, so I remember being honored to have been selected to participate in American Legion Boys State. Several Grand Island Senior High School professors played an important role in my election to serve as Boys State Governor: My English professor and debate instructor, Professor Cassey, who helped me sharpen my debate skills, and my economics professor, Professor Watkins, who loaned me a copy of a Milton Friedman book on the school voucher program. I was particularly thankful to my campaign manager, Raj Komenini, who was incredibly encouraging and motivated me to take the high road against my general election opponent, Norfolk’s Cory Barr. Shortly before leaving for Boys State, I remember being inspired by a 60 Minutes segment on a young father from Delaware, Joe Biden, who had successfully run U.S. Senate after the death of his wife. With a few exceptions, such as the proliferation of global terrorism and climate change, I suspect that today’s Boys State senators are debating basically the same topics that we debated 30 years ago. At Boys Nation, I was honored to get to greet President Ronald and Nancy Reagan on the South Lawn of the White House as they prepared to board a helicopter to Camp David. One month later, Nebraska Governor Kay Orr would invite me and the Girls State Governor to join her and President Reagan at a BBQ lunch at a North Platte ranch.”

Q: WHAT IMPACT HAS BOYS’ STATE MADE IN YOUR LIFE?

A: “American Legion Boys State reinforced in me the importance of sacrifice and public service. I chose a career in law, in part, so that I could position myself to serve others, especially those in the dawn, dusk, and shadows of life. Having a legal career has allowed me to serve as a voice to those who often don’t have a voice. I have been particularly grateful for the opportunity to work with another Boys Stater, Native American activist Frank LaMere, over the past five years. Co-starring in my documentary, Mr. LaMere and I have traveled across the country raising awareness about the humanity crisis in Whiteclay. During the past three years, I’ve had the chance to return to Nebraska Boys State to speak about the importance of multiculturalism, social activist. and public service.”