|Vincent M. Powers
Elizabeth A. Govaerts
Kathleen M. Neary
Markt T. Bestul
411 So. 13th Street, Suite 300
Lincoln, NE 68508
FAX (402) 474-5006
April 13, 2006
Ms. Alexis M. Herman
Mr. James Roosevelt, Jr.,
Democratic National Committee
430 South Capitol Street, S.E.
Washington, DC 20003
Dear Ms. Herman & Mr. Roosevelt:
As the Committeeman from Nebraska, I have by unanimous vote been authorized by the State Central Committee to request that Nebraska be allowed to have a caucus in the pre-window period, prior to February 5, 2008, in either of the two time frames set forth in your March 13, 2006 memorandum.
Nebraska has a history of a Democrat winning in a statewide federal race. Of the last ten federal statewide races held in Nebraska, a Democrat has won eight of those races. This November, Senator Ben Nelson's reelection will add to that total.
I would urge the Committee to recognize the significance of these election results. Nebraska, a state long ignored by Democratic presidential candidates, proves the truism that if one doesn't ask for a vote you will not receive a vote. As a result, Republican presidential candidates continue to do very well with the Nebraska electorate.
Nebraska voters accept the Democratic message regarding federal issues when it is explained to them by a candidate.
Give that the purpose of the nominating system is to nominate a candidate who will be sworn in as President of the United States, there can be no better state than Nebraska to have an early caucus.
A candidate who can connect with the Nebraska Democratic Party is a candidate who will be elected President of the United States.
Nebraska suggests the first criteria that the Committee consider in determining which States will be selected in this process are the past election results in the particular State with respect to state wide federal races.
If the criteria is whether a state party has been successful in federal statewide races than this process will result in creating a process by which the best national Presidential candidate has been selected. A side benefit is that it rewards those state parties who are successful in their statewide federal races.
Nebraska offers the opportunity for candidates to engage in "retail politics". The population of the state is 1,711,263. Within the state's 77,358 square miles are an urban area, Omaha (approximate Metro population 687,000), a small city, Lincoln, (approximate population 225,000) and a rural population in the remainder of the state comprising 90 of the 93 Counties in Nebraska.
Our Secretary of State supports decoupling the Presidential selection process from the state primary held in May. We are confident that this would be a successful caucus patterned after the Iowa caucus model.
Holding a caucus would not require pre-clearance by the Justice Department under provisions of the Voting Rights Act. In the past Thurston County because of its large Native American population was subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. It is my understanding that this is no longer in effect.
The Nebraska Democratic Party would fund the caucus. There is within the State Party great excitement and anticipation at the opportunity to be part of the Presidential selection process.
Attached are the racial, ethnic, economic and geographic information requested by the Committee.
Please accept my thanks for
your work and the work of the Committee members.