Senate candidate visits campus


By Jackson Booth, Reporter

As the election approaches, candidates from both parties are mobilizing.
On Sept. 13, Republican Senate candidate Deb Fischer spoke to political science professor Richard Fellman’s American Government class. Fischer will be running against Democratic Senate candidate Bob Kerrey.
About 40 students from his class and 12 visitors listened to Fischer last Thursday, Fellman said.
“I asked her to give her regular ‘stump speech’ and add whatever she wanted,” Fellman said. “Since she is from western Nebraska it is extremely helpful to her campaign to get some Omaha exposure.”
Fischer talked about her experience in the Nebraska Legislature, Fellman said. Fischer is known for being very conservative in her views when it comes to healthcare, guns, abortion, defense, and taxes.
Fisher has given some solutions to current issues including plans to: cut federal spending and lower business tax rates; enforce tougher immigration laws which would deport criminal immigrants and strengthen security at the border; increase production of nuclear and clean coal energy, and repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Fischer was in the lead ahead of Kerrey as the likely winner of the November election 56 to 38 percent, according to a May Rasmussen Poll.
She has been criticized by the National Women’s Law Center, which claims her budget strategy would include significant funding cuts for Medicaid, Food Stamps, Supplemental Securing Income and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, and others.
“The reaction was generally favorable from her point of view, but many did not agree with her and clearly demonstrated they were against her,” Fellman said. “She left some materials and a sign-up sheet and only two or three signed up.”
Despite some of the negative sentiment toward her political views, Fellman said she was courteous to all of the students.
“Frankly, she seemed quite nice, friendly, and sincere,” Fellman said. “One either agrees with her or does not. She seemed able to handle both types.”
Fellman has been involved with politics for a number of years, and has had a private law practice for 44 years. Given his experience in politics as a State Senator, County Commissioner, and other positions; Fellman has been able to invite guest speakers from both parties to his classes, which gives students an opportunity to witness politics firsthand.
Some of the guests Fellman plans to have later in the semester include: Congressman Lee Terry, Congressional Candidate John Ewing, and Senate Candidate Bob Kerrey.
Bringing in guest speakers is a great way to increase student interest in the material they are learning, including current political issues, Fellman said.
 “Ten to 20 years from now the average student is more likely to remember more about seeing a congressman or senator,” Fellman said.  “With all four [candidates] coming to my classes, each student will have the chance to see the actual winners.”