The Democrat party had another bombshell dropped on it when incumbent Democrat US senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska announced that he will not seek re-election in 2012 after two terms in Washington.
Nelson is considered one of the last “moderate Democrats” serving a relatively conservative Midwestern state. But Nelson was hit with a trainload of bad press when, in 2010, he accepted what came to be known infamously as the Cornhusker Kickback, a huge federal handout to his state, in exchange for his support for the ObamaCare legislation.
Thus Nelson already was considered vulnerable in the election of 2012. And considering that one of his chief challengers is conservative Republican Don Stenberg, Nelson surely saw the handwriting on the wall.
Stenberg was a featured speaker at the RedState gathering in Charleston last summer. He is a professional, courteous and highly intelligent man.
Stenberg is a model of Midwestern conservatism, perseverance and decorum. A rural kid who went on to both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School (graduating both in 1974(!)) Stenberg has campaigned repeatedly for office in Nebraska and often has come out on the short end. Wikepedia.org reports:
‘In 1978, Stenberg ran for Lieutenant Governor of Nebraska, coming in fourth in the Republican primary with just 13% of the vote. …(Stenberg) first ran for Nebraska Attorney General in 1986, but lost in the Republican primary to incumbent Robert Spire 53%-47%... Stenberg first ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996 …Initially seen as the frontrunner, he was defeated by business executive Chuck Hagel 62%-38%.... After being re-elected Attorney General in 1998, Stenberg again ran for the U.S. Senate in 2000. He won the six candidate primary with 50% of the vote. In one of the closest elections in Nebraska history, Nelson defeated Stenberg 51%-49% … In 2006, Stenberg launched his third bid for the U.S. Senate. Once again, an early frontrunner, he was defeated (in the primary) by former Ameritrade chief operating officer Pete Ricketts 48%-38%.’
But wikipedia.org also reports:
‘In 1979, he was named as Legal Counsel to Republican Governor of Nebraska Charles Thone. Don has also served as Director of the Governor’s Policy Research Office, Assistant to the Governor, and Director of the Department of Administrative Services… In 1990, he ran for Attorney General again. In the Republican primary, he won with a plurality of 38%. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Gene Crump 54%-46%. He won re-election in 1994 (67%) and 1998 (68%)…. In 2010, Stenberg ran for Nebraska State Treasurer…. He won the primary over state Senator Tony Fulton 52%-28% and won the general election with 73% of the vote.’
So Obviously Don Stenberg is a man who has been on both sides of the electoral coin. And his obvious intelligence and drive are big assets as he seeks the US Senate in a fourth try.
And with an unpopular Democrat president in the White House and a possible Republican “wave” coming, Stenberg is certain to have a leg up in his long quest. And considering a very close loss in 2000 and some impressive victories before and since, he may be due for his place in Washington at a time when he is needed more than ever.
Stenberg has been married 39 years and has four children.
For us conservatives, Stenberg would be a great addition to the US Senate. His website offers an array of great ideas. Here are some excerpts:
*Federal spending is out of control and must be cut. Too many Republicans from around the country have gone to Washington saying they would cut spending and reduce the size of government and then done the exact opposite. That’s why some of those Republicans lost their elections in 2006 and 2008. We can’t afford to have a Republican nominee in Nebraska who says he will restrain spending, but is a person who will not actually do it.
I have a proven record of restraining government spending. As Nebraska’s State Treasurer, I asked the Nebraska Legislature to cut my budget by 13% for each of the next two fiscal years. When I was Nebraska’s Attorney General, I operated the Nebraska Attorney General’s office on the third smallest budget in the nation.
*We need to greatly strengthen our border security to prevent terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, and illegal immigrants from entering the United States. And we should provide for levels of legal immigration that will meet our economic needs, and be consistent with the social needs of our country.
*I am opposed to cap and trade. The climate of the Earth has repeatedly warmed and cooled for thousands of years. As recently as the early 1970s, climate scientists warned of mass global cooling if governments did not take drastic action.
The evidence is inconclusive as to whether the activities of man, specifically the use of fossil fuels, have a major impact on the Earth’s climate. Indeed, the use of fossil fuels simply returns carbon dioxide that was once in the atmosphere back into the atmosphere.
Imposing massive tax increases on energy consumption or limiting our energy development through cap and trade, will further depress our economy and increase unemployment. This is far too high a price to pay in response to an unproven theory of what might cause the climate of the earth to change in the future
*I am proud to have received A or A+ ratings from the NRA in all my previous elections for supporting the 2nd Amendment and our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
*I have been endorsed by all Nebraska right-to-life organizations in all previous elections. I defended Nebraska’s ban on partial birth abortion all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and personally argued Stenberg v. Carhart in support of the ban on partial birth abortions. As Nebraska’s Attorney General, I joined a “friend of the court” brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Washington’s and New York’s statutes banning assisted suicide.
Two Supreme Court cases… Very impressive. Don Stenberg is a man of real substance, not a hollow political shell like so many power-seekers in Washington. Keep an eye on this good conservative during 2012.
Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.