Legislative Update with LWVGO Policy Directors Scheduled for Jan. 28

Join us for our first Dine & Discuss of the new year, held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, January 28, 2019, at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets.

The Dine & Discuss will feature LWVGO Policy Chairs Peggy Adair and Darci Garcia, who will discuss the new session of the Nebraska Legislature.

Peggy and Darci will present a short “Legislature 101” to familiarize you with the unique unicameral, and will then discuss the bills that have been introduced this session that are of interest to the League. They will also review effective lobbying at LWV Legislative Day at the Nebraska Legislature. (This exciting opportunity to meet with your Senators takes place on Tuesday, February 19 beginning at 8:30am in Lincoln. For more information and to register, please go to lwv-ne.org.)

After their presentation, they will have a short meeting for those interested in participating in policy research for specific areas.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Drinks included (wine and beer are extra). RSVP to our office omahalwv@gmail.com or 402-344-3701, or via Facebook, is optional.

 

Books After Dark: “It’s Up to the Women” by Eleanor Roosevelt Discussion on Jan. 15

“Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world.” – Eleanor Roosevelt in “It’s Up to the Women”

Join us in the New Year to discuss “It’s Up to the Women” by Eleanor Roosevelt with us!

We’re meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 at Corkscrew Wine & Cheese, 10924 Prairie Brook Rd.

Taking Action Against Gun Violence: Dine & Discuss with Megan Gentrup of Moms Demand Action

Please join us from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets for Dine & Discuss. This month, our featured speaker is Megan Gentrup from the nonpartisan group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to reduce drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. Come hear how the group is taking action nationally and in Nebraska, and is working with student groups.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Drinks included (wine and beer are extra). Optional RSVP to our office omahalwv@gmail.com or 402-344-3701.

Stealing America, Vote By Vote: Join Us at LWVGO’s First-Ever Doc Club

LWVGO’s brand-new documentary club will be discussing its first watch, Stealing America: Vote By Vote, at 11 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 6 at Big Mama’s Cafe, 3223 N. 45th St., Building A.

Watch the film for free online before joining the discussion. 

STEALING AMERICA: Vote by Vote brings together behind-the-scenes perspectives from the U.S. presidential election of 2004 – plus startling stories from key races in 1996, 2000, 2002 and 2006. Unbiased and nonpartisan, the film sheds light on a decade of vote counts that don’t match votes cast – uncounted ballots, vote switching, undervotes and many other examples of election totals that warrant serious investigation.
Throughout STEALING AMERICA, we hear from voters who experienced a wide range of problems, including those whose votes flipped from one candidate to another and those whose polls didn’t have enough machines to serve the number of voters. Investigative journalists describe how their reportage on election fraud was sidelined.
First-person citizen testimonies speak of waiting in line nine hours to vote. We hear how polling experts’ requests for essential information – such as precinct voting data necessary to examine irregularities – had been rejected, while ballots were being systematically destroyed, making audits impossible.

Read more on the documentary’s website.

2018 General Election Candidate Forum: Nebraska Public Service Commission, District 3

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha held a moderated candidate forum for the candidates for Nebraska Public Service Commission, District 3. The candidates in this partisan race are: Mike Forsythe (D) and Tim Schram (R).

You can watch all our candidate forums and see all of our 2018 elections info under “2018 ELECTIONS” on our home page. You can find out which Public Service subdivision you live in on the PSC website.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any candidate for office or political party. LWVGO’s mission is to inform and empower voters.

Join Us Oct. 18 for the 2018 Second Congressional District of Nebraska Debate

Join the League of Women Voters and the Omaha Press Club for a debate between the two candidates for Nebraska’s second congressional district, Republican Don Bacon and Democrat Kara Eastman. 

The two candidates will debate the issues from 12 to 1 p.m. on Oct. 18 at the Omaha Press Club. The debate is sponsored by the Press Club and the League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha and is open to the public.

Bacon retired in 2015 from the U.S. Air Force as Brigadier General and is seeking his second term in Congress. He serves on the House Agriculture Committee, the House Committee on Homeland Security, and House Armed Service Committee.

Eastman came to Omaha in 2006 and started Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to protect children from lead poisoning and other environmental hazards. She is also a member of the board of Metropolitan Community College.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2018: NOON TO 1 P.M.

Service begins at 11:30 a.m.

Debate begins promptly at noon

$17 per person includes lunch

Call 402-345-8008 for reservations or email Jeanie at jeaniec@opc.omhcoxmail.com

48-hour cancellation policy

NON-PRESS CLUB MEMBERS WELCOME

Validated parking in the Doubletree Hotel garage for members

The Omaha Press Club

22nd floor-First National Center

1620 Dodge St., Omaha

Volunteer with Heartland Workers Center: Voter-Registration Canvassing Happening Now

Heartland Workers Center is organizing nonpartisan, voter-registration-driven, door-to-door canvassing ahead of the November election. They are looking for volunteers and welcoming volunteers from LWVGO and other organizations.

The Center provides training sessions on Wednesday evenings and asks that all volunteers go through the training before canvassing. Once trained, volunteers are paired up and then given all materials necessary to canvass North and South Omaha as well as Bellevue. Volunteer shifts take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.

For more information, including where to go for training and canvassing, contact Lucia Pedroza-Estrada, Senior Organizer, at lucia@heartlandworkerscenter.org or (402) 933-6095.

Taking Down the Poll Tax: Dine & Discuss with Charlene Butts Ligon

Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 at Valentino’s at 108th & L streets for Dine & Discuss. This month, our featured speaker is Charlene Butts Ligon, Omaha-area author of Fearless: How a poor Virginia seamstress took on Jim Crow, beat the poll tax and changed her city forever.

If you’d like to eat (you do not have to dine to discuss), the buffet is $14.14. Optional RSVP to office office@omahalwv.org or 402-344-3701.

Money in Politics: Resources

As a follow-up to her July Dine & Discuss presentation on Money in Politics in Nebraska, LWVNE treasurer Kate High provided the following additional resources.

Money in Politics Links

LB839 Crawford

On July 16, 2018, the US Treasury, headed by Steven Mnuchin, said it will no longer require certain tax-exempt organizations to identify their financial donors to IRS authorities. The League of Women Voters (League) and others who support great transparency oppose this move.

There are twenty-nine types of nonprofit corporations in the IRS code, including the well-known 501(c)(3) designation for religious, educational, charitable, etc. organizations. The Treasury’s change in policy is NOT directed at 501(c)(3)s, but at “certain” nonprofit organizations like:

● 501(c)(4): social welfare, civic leagues, and local associations of employees;examples: National Rifle Association and the Sierra Club

● 501(c)(5): Labor, agricultural, and horticultural; examples:  American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) , American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) , Working America

● 501(c)(6): business leagues, chambers of commerce, real estate boards, etc.; examples: The US Chamber of Commerce , The American Medical Association , PhRMA , Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce , Americans for Job Security

This new policy is in stark opposition to LWVUS’s recommendation to strengthen existing rules:

Strengthen and enforce 501(c )4 political activity rules (action by the Internal Revenue Service; IRS). To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization according to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare. It is argued that the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, under long-standing IRS regulations, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization is allowed to engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. There is need for strict enforcement of the rules applicable to 501(c)(4)s. The IRS could close loopholes that allow unlimited secret spending in elections by501(c)(4) groups while protecting truly non-partisan voter service activity.

See:MiP Options for Reform

What can you do to combat the corruptive influences of “dark money” in national politics?

1. CALL your elected officials to ask that they support the DISCLOSE Act, reintroduced in both houses of Congress this summer. This legislation proposes amending the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FECA) to, among other actions, disclose donations from corporations, labor organizations, and other special interests including foreign donors.

2. NEGATIVE ADS? JUST SAY NO. The vast majority of negative ads are “dark money” ads. They’re designed to motivate voters in ways that benefit donors. Russian trolls? Anonymous LLC’s? Friends? Foes? Who can tell? Don’t get sucked in!

3. LEARN ABOUT DARK MONEY at the federal level on the Open Secrets website:

Open Secrets: Dark Money Basics

Open Secrets: Dark Money Reports

4. JOIN the League of Women Voters and other organizations working against the power of dark money. Here are some ideas to start you out:

League Information

5. MOTIVATE OTHERS! We can overcome the influence of big money if we ACT. The enemies of democracy are desertion and complacency.

6. TAKE ACTION! Call, visit, e-mail, and/or write your elected officials. Go to town hall meetings to tell your story and speak your truth. Find and help candidates you support.

7. CONFIRM YOUR REGISTRATION and VOTE!!!!