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Fischer promises to be difference-maker in SenateTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
Deb Fischer
Photo by George Lauby
From left: Rep. Adrian Smith, Fischer, Sen. Mike Johanns, Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy.
Photo by George Lauby
Talking to supporters

Deb Fischer brought four big-name Republican supporters with her Friday to North Platte – from Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy to Reps. Adrian Smith and Jeff Fortenberry to Sen. Mike Johanns.

Fischer spoke to 70-80 people Friday afternoon during a final-weekend campaign swing around the state. Election Day is Tuesday.

Sheehy, who has said he will run for Governor in 2014, praised Fischer as a strong legislator who can get the job done in Washington.

Fortenberry said only four days remain in the campaign, and although people are tired of campaign ads, he urged supporters to go door-to-door and talk person-to-person over the weekend.

Sen. Mike Johanns said he needs Fischer in Washington, D.C. to balance the budget, repeal Obamacare and reduce government regulations.

“No team will work harder than Deb and I,” Johanns said.

Johanns also sharply criticized Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid and Fischer's opponent Bob Kerrey for not overtly opposing Reid.

Reid has been in charge of the agenda of the Senate since 2008.

“The Senate hasn’t had a budget in years,” Johanns said. “This year we didn’t even have a military authorization bill.”

Johanns said Fischer would be a strong representative of women’s issues.

When Smith spoke, he said Nebraskans want government off their backs.

“Americans just want to be left alone to do their jobs, raise their families, contribute to the economy and yes, pay their taxes,” Smith said.

“The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) are tackling the economic recovery,” Smith said. “Deb could change the Senate with just one vote – that’s how close it is.”

Smith said the House of Representatives has passed 30 bills to foster the economic environment, but the Senate, led by Reid, wouldn’t even consider them.

“It’s been frustrating to send those bills to the Senate and watch them die,” he said. “Harry Reid seems proud of it. I don’t think he wants President Obama to have to veto them and have to explain why.”

Fischer received a standing ovation when she started to speak. She thanked each of the men with her, plus state Sen. Tom Hansen of North Platte, and said, “We want a victory tour.”

Fischer said the road to recovery leads through Nebraska, as does the road to ending gridlock in Washington and the road to a balanced budget amendment.

“We have a $16 trillion federal debt,” she said. “That’s $50,000 for each of us in this room. How did that happen? We need to cut spending and we need to let small businesses grow and create jobs, so people can afford to own a house and afford to raise their children.”

Fischer said the differences are stark between her and Kerrey. She said Kerrey supports government spending and partial birth abortions, and unlike her, he opposes a balanced budget amendment and has a low rating from the National Rifle Association.

“This is an important election for the country,” she said. “Keep putting up signs and making phone calls. We need to win this election and we will, because you know how important it is.”

Fischer did not take questions from the crowd or reporters, instead talking to individuals and shaking hands for nearly 30 minutes.

One of them was Keith Olsen of Grant, the former president of Nebraska Farm Bureau.

"I told her to go get 'em," Olsen said.


Fortenberry told the Bulletin he expects Congress to authorize short-term spending for six months or so when it reconvenes after the election, postponing the bigger issues until new members take office in 2013.

Even a temporary spending bill will require another raise in the national debt ceiling, which "is going to be hard," Fortenberry said. "It has to be tied to further substantial reductions in spending."

Broader laws to really start balancing the budget will be difficult but are necessary to write, he said.

"There will be something for everyone to hate," he said, "but I'm certainly going to try to deal with it. Otherwise we continue to drift in a worsening economy."

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 11/3/2012
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