With Election Day-relief only a little more than a week away, I think it appropriate to offer some comments on the eleventh-hour barrage of half-truths and insults delivered by TV ads and direct mailings.
But first let me express my continuing puzzlement over the failure of members of the Omaha Board of Education and the news media to emphasize the full story behind the $421 million school bond issue proposed on the November 4th ballot.
The $421 million bond proposal is part of a total that could ultimately exceed $800 million. Submitting the total to the voters in two halves is understandable strategy.
But I thoroughly disapprove of the school district’s failure—and the news media’s similar failure—to consistently inform the public that this is only half of a potential two-part package of school bond funding which the school district has in mind, depending on the public’s reception of the first half.
But, as I see it, the performance of the district officials and the news media has been simply inexcusable in failing to consistently make clear that the cost of the bonds must include the interest paid on the bonds in order to attract investors to buy them.
Exact figures aren’t available, of course, depending on the term of the bonds. But there will be a substantial additional cost-of-interest factor as school district officials well know and as news media practitioners (perhaps an appropriate description) have also failed to mention.
Other Significant Unanswered Questions
Among other “why don’t they explain it?” questions are the apparently contradictory positions which The Omaha World-Herald has taken in regard to some endorsements. For example:
An endorsement of liberal Brad Ashford for the Second Congressional district seat, then an endorsement of conservative Pete Ricketts over long-time liberal Chuck Hassebrook for the governorship.
The Ricketts endorsement is one I certainly understand and approve. Clearly a more attractive choice, as the campaign has developed, over longtime liberal Democrat Chuck Hassebrook, who is trying to convince the electorate that he is really a “moderate,” not a liberal.
Sasse Endorsement Is Eminently Logical
In addition to the Ricketts endorsement, another quite logical World-Herald decision, as I see it, was the newspaper’s editors’ endorsement of Republican Ben Sasse over Democrat David Domina for election to the United States Senate.
The Sasse/Domina campaign, incidentally but importantly, has been a model of civility and a reasonable statement of opposing views without misrepresenting your opponent’s position—an inexcusable practice which the Democratic Party has employed in its campaign to elect Ashford to replace eight-term Republican Second District Congressman Lee Terry.
Ad after ad after ad tells only half the truth in regard to Terry’s initial rejection of a proposal that he, like some other governmental officeholders, give up his salary during a recession-prompted economic downturn.
We are reminded of Terry’s initial reaction over and over and over in Democratic Party televisions ads. But the whole truth tells quite a different story. Terry quickly realized he had made a serious political mistake, agreed to the temporary suspension of his salary and called a press conference where he publicly apologized for his initial decision.
World-Herald Simply Anti-Terry?
I continue to be puzzled by The World-Herald’s failure to criticize the half-truth Democratic Party ads which, as I see it, are patently unfair to Terry.
Does the explanation of The World-Herald’s position lie in the fact that for two consecutive elections, World-Herald editorials have endorsed efforts to unseat Terry, replacing him with just about any Democratic candidate available?
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For An Upbeat—Sort Of Upbeat— Conclusion
To This Week’s Column: Husker Football
As a long-time Husker fan, I believe I was among a good many readers who were pleased to see that tough Tony Davis, one of the Husker’s great running backs, had this to say about another native Nebraskan (Davis grew up in Tecumseh), Johnny Rodgers.
Of Rodgers, the Omaha native who still lives in Omaha, a Heisman Trophy winner and an All-American Cornhusker star, Tony Davis said last week:
“Johnny was the greatest player I ever saw. Every time Johnny touched the ball, everyone stood up.”
Last Saturday I attended my first Husker home game in several years. I have found it so much easier—considering that I travel by walker these days—to stay home and watch the national telecasts or the Big Ten Network telecasts.
My hosts at Memorial Stadium last Saturday were very helpful, reminding me of what I believe to be a military truism, which goes like this:
It takes some eight or nine support troops to keep one pair of combat boots on the battlefield. The hospitality which I enjoyed last Saturday involved a variety of “support troops” whom I thank most sincerely.
Now as to what I saw on a skybox TV screen during the game and read about in The World-Herald the next day.
My thoughts aren’t so positive. I thought that some of the Huskers, with the team never in danger of losing, played rather sloppily.
But I still believe the potential is there, as demonstrated from time to time in recent games.
Go Big Red!
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