Voters’ Guide: U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska District 2

The League of Women Voters of Greater Omaha contacts candidates during each election cycle and invites them to participate in the print and online editions of the Voters’ Guide. Candidates provide their biographical information and their positions on selected issues. Candidates are aware in advance that the biographies and answers will be printed exactly as submitted without edits for content, spelling, punctuation or grammar.

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization that never supports or opposes any political party or candidate for office.

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Candidates for U.S. House of Representatives, Nebraska District 2

Don Bacon (R):  http://www.donjbacon.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: Member of Congress, Nebraska’s

Second District – 01/17 to present.  Past Public Office, dates held: Not a career politician.  Education: Masters in National Security Strategy, Masters in Management, Bachelors in Political Science, and Navigator and Intelligence Schools in Air Force.  Military experience: Nearly 30 years in USAF.  Total of 16 assignments, 5 commands, and 4 deployments to Middle East.  Commanded Offutt Air Force Base, which is NE’s largest employer.  Also commanded Ramstein Air Base.  Helped Israel standup ballistic missile defense.  Volunteer experience: Salvation Army, Youth for Christ, Gideons, Air Force Association, Military Officers Association of America, Boy Scout Merit Badge University Instructor, and Lifespring Church.

Kara Eastman (D):  http://www.eastmanforcongress.com.  Current Public Office, dates held: 2014, elected to the

Metropolitan Community College Board of Governors.  Education: BA in Sociology Pitzer College MSW, Loyola University Chicago.  Volunteer experience: I’ve volunteered in many capacities. Most recently, I served as an appointed member of the Mayor’s Fair Housing Advisory Board, the Board of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, and as a volunteer consultant with the nonprofit Aqua-Africa.

U.S. House of Representatives, NE-02 Candidates’ Responses

What would make for a fair immigration system?

Don Bacon: I support keeping families together, but we also need to enforce the laws of our country. I support DACA recipients being allowed to stay in the United States on a conditional basis and work toward their citizenship. In other words, as long as a DACA recipient contributes to society and doesn’t violate the law, they should be welcome to stay and go through the citizenship process like other applicants. However, we absolutely cannot do DACA again. Therefore, we need to strengthen our border security, update our immigration laws, and ensure our existing laws are followed. I support a merit-based immigration policy going forward with priority given to people who possess a specialized skillset, a high level of education, and fill needed positions that otherwise can’t be filled.

Kara Eastman: A fair immigration system ensures fundamental human rights and protects our democracy. The administration’s haphazard and unethical policies show that we need strong, clear immigration legislation, like the bipartisan Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. I absolutely support maintaining Temporary Protected Status orders for immigrants. Dreamers should never be deported. We have to put an end to the DACA debate and allow Dreamers to become citizens.

What, if any, changes would you recommend for “sensible gun control”?

Don Bacon: I have spent almost my entire adult life defending the freedoms Americans enjoy and one of those freedoms is protected by our Second Amendment. I don’t believe that we need more gun control; however, we do need to do a better job enforcing existing laws.  We need to better defend our schools and do a better job keeping guns out of hands of dangerous individuals.  I am currently leading a task force in Congress to look at ways to prevent school shootings and I co-sponsored the recently passed STOP School Violence Act (HR 4909) and the Secure our Schools Act (SOS).  We can and should work together to prevent more tragedies like the Parkland school shooting without infringing on law abiding Americans’ Constitutional rights, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.

Kara Eastman: We must pass universal background check legislation (like Manchin-Toomey, 2013) in addition to banning the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Congress must pass honest gun legislation to prevent school shootings and an epidemic of violence in our country. The minimum purchase age must be raised to 21, mandatory waiting periods should be enacted, and background checks must be enforced, including at gun shows.

What, if anything, should Congress do to protect the U.S. voting system from foreign influence?

Don Bacon: Election integrity is foundational to our Constitutional Republic form of government. As such, politics should be removed from this entire issue; this shouldn’t be an “us vs them” topic on either side of the political spectrum. I spent much of my military career in electronic warfare and intelligence, and I’m heavily involved in these discussions in Congress. We are working to ensure that election interference becomes more difficult for foreign powers. One of these steps is increasing funding to strengthen our cyber defense, which is one of the items in the NDAA that I helped write. The best tool to prevent foreign influence in our elections is the American citizen. The Russian goal has been to divide us and to widen our existing partisan divide. We don’t have to give in to the anger, vitriol, and hate. Instead, we can remain civil and stop attacking one another. This helps ensure the division our adversaries are trying to achieve never happens. I support the sanctions against Russia.

Kara Eastman: Currently, we are all concerned about our voting system being hacked. We must focus on diplomatic efforts and cooperation with our allies to ensure hostile powers like Russia do not interfere with our elections. Congress must invest more in the technology and innovation already within our reach to secure our country and its election system.

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