Photo by George Lauby
State Sen. Deb Fischer views her campaign as an opportunity to elect a rural U.S. Senator from Nebraska, and “it’s been a long time since we’ve had one,” she said.
“I think it’s important for Nebraska and I think it’s important for the country that I can bring that agriculture and that rural perspective to the Senate,” Fischer said in a phone interview.
Fischer, 61, is a rancher from Valentine. She was elected to the state legislature in 2004 and 2008.
Fischer said Nebraskans’ concerns include the federal government’s “out of control spending,” the lack of a balanced budget at the federal level and the need to reduce regulations.
Republican. Lives in Valentine. Age: 61. Occupation: Rancher.
Background: Bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. State senator, elected in 2004 and 2008; served on the Valentine Rural High School Board of Education; served as president of the Nebraska Association of School Boards; served as a commissioner on the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education.
Campaign receipts as of March 31, 2012: $356,843.
Environmental impact studies and other regulations are some examples of the Environmental Protection Agency’s overreach, she said.
The overreach costs both time and money, Fischer said.
“The cost of doing business increases…and it’s just really the whole process of government overreach that concerns many people of government stepping in when there is no need to step in,” she said.
Fischer pointed to crop insurance is a valuable program because it helps minimize risk.
“It helps to reduce the risk the farming, whether its weather or global markets it helps to lessen the stress and that’s why it’s so important,” she said.
Cutting food stamps out of the farm bill could provide clarity and show the public the actual cost of farm aid, Fischer said, although she’s unsure if it could be accomplished.
Fischer said she was glad to see proposed Department of Labor regulations that would have affected teenagers working on farms abandoned. The proposed regulations showed “a total disconnect” between Washington and Nebraska, she said.
Fischer said a statement on “pink slime,” which is beef trimmings that have had their fat removed and have been treated with ammonia, would have helped beef producers, even though she prefers to let the industry handle its own issues.
“I’m always leery of government entering into anything, but in a case like this it’s always good for government to step in, step up, to say that this is a safe product,” she said.
She said she has “direct involvement” and “direct understanding” with agriculture.
“When people are distanced from their agriculture or their rural roots it becomes harder to explain our way of life and especially the importance to the economy of our way of life,” she said.