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TWO CATHOLICS AND A KOOK
Posted on Thursday, October 07 @ 04:41:34 CDT by van

News and Views In a matter of days now, we will be obliged to choose one of three candidates running for the 1st District Congressional seat vacated by Doug Bereuter. Since Bereuter never had a formidable opponent in the thirteen times he faced the voters, he was able to hold down the position for 26 years. Bereuter followed "Charlie" Thone in congress after Thone became Governor of Nebraska. Prior to Thone was Robert Denny who became a federal judge. Denny was preceded by the last Democrat to hold the seat, Clair Callan of Fairbury who served from 1965 to 1967. So you see, there hasn't been much attention paid to the candidates for the particular office in over 35 years. There were 12 candidates in the primary election this year. The list was distilled down to the current three by a vote of the people - Two Catholics and a Kook!

As Richard Nixon would say, "Let me make one thing perfectly clear..." I sincerely believe a well informed and well educated honest Christian man or woman, Roman Catholic or Protestant, could competently represent me and my family in the Congress of the United States of America. If, however, the doctrine of a denomination compelled the representative to act out of consonance with the will of the majority of his or her constituency such would, I feel, result in the application of pressures on the public servant which few could long tolerate.

Duane Acklie, then Republican National Committeeman and David Kramer, State GOP Chairman both pleaded with Bereuter to refrain from endorsing any of the contenders because many felt such would be tantamount to anointing that individual. Such wasn't the case.

In Bereuter's well established hard-headed pattern, he didn't listen to anyone. Perhaps that's why he never held a major committee chair in congress in all of his years of service. Doug tapped Speaker of the Legislature, Curt Bromm, a Wahoo attorney as the one he wanted to be his successor.. While this didn't set well with many "party faithful", Bromm being a decent fellow, a tried and tested legislator and a Christian family man, G.O.P. leaders (real and imaginary) rallied behind him and it was believe he would be the next congressman. Then all hell broke loose. Julie Albin, daughter of former state senator Loran Schmit, as head of the most vociferous "Right to Life" group in the state, refused to endorse Bromm - a Catholic - who just happened to be the guy who unseated her father. Was it revenge or theological differences involved? Neither did the flared-nosed feline crusaders opt to endorse Democrat Matt Connealy also a Catholic.

Julie and company did bless Greg Ruhle who managed to also be endorsed and financed by an out-of-state group which was vehemently opposed to Bromm. Thus, on the Republican side of the fence, Ruhle and company was successful in causing the dumping of Bromm and the third candidate at the top of the pile, Jeff Fortenberry, was able to "fall through the cracks" and win the primary nomination. Jeff, being a card-carrying Catholic was acceptable to Julie's gang and thus became the Republican candidate.

On the Democrat's side of the fence in the primary, the only candidate who had much name recognition and money raising ability was state Senator Matt Connealy, but he was considered a "second class Catholic" by the radically self-righteous right to life ladies, who refused to endorse him. And so it was, the only Catholic candidate found to be acceptable to Julie Albin, et al turned out to be Jeff Fortenberry. Notwithstanding the Schmit-Albin snub, Matt Connealy survived as the Democratic candidate to oppose Fortenberry.

Steve Larrick, the Green Party candidate got a free ride - he didn't even pay the filing fee to run - and became and remains little more than a "spoiler" in the race. Larrick's habitually runs down the United States of America, he is against "Second Amendment Rights" regarding gun ownership, he is against what he considers to be the infamous "Patriot Act", he supports the continued influx of immigrants from around the globe and believes Canada has a much better health care system than our country. I believe Steve is a self-professed "Unitarian"and hence, the only non-Christian choice for the congressional seat. We can chalk him off as nothing more than a pain in the butt to those who are serious contenders.

But speaking of pains in the posterior (or butt for the more profane), we are actually faced with having to choose between the two political light-weight Catholic candidates to give our support for election to congress.

Now, factor in the rather interesting proclamation by Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado's second largest Roman Catholic diocese to wit: "Voters should not receive Communion if they back politicians who support abortion rights, stem-cell research, euthanasia and gay marriage." Frankly folks, here is where it starts to get a bit hairy! Matt and Jeff are both Catholic politicians! They both pretty much sing off of the same sheet of music composed in Rome, perhaps Jeff a tiny bit more "on-key" than Matt.

But wait a minute! The Roman Catholic population in the First Congressional District of Nebraska are a long ways from being the majority. Toss in all of the good Lutherans like me (that's the Missouri Synod variety) and a few members of some of the "evangelical denominations" and perhaps you get close to arriving at half of the voters in the district. Such a conglomeration of Christians, for the most part, are "Pro-life" and against "gay marriages", but there are "shades of gray" support for limiting "stem-cell" research. What I'm driving at is simply this - could Jeff Fortenberry or Matt Connealy represent the will of the majority of folks in the district in question without running the risk of ridicule if not ecclesiastical sanctions from their parish priests if they were to ever vote "the wrong way"? It gets down almost to a coin toss doesn't it.

At least Connealy isn't prostituting parish mailing lists for political purposes - like yard sign locations, and targeting voters for arm twisting by telephone "poll.". That seems to be giving Matt a growing degree of respect over his opponent, at least in the City of Lincoln.

All of the good Catholic property owners of Lincoln and elsewhere listen up! If Jeff Fortenberry's campaign did not get permission to stick one or more signs in your yard, you might consider doing what you have a legal right to do, remove and get rid of it or them. That would send a message which would not be forgotten to all current and future candidates. If you are really ticked off by being taken for granted by Jeff's and his campaign personnel, consider voting for the other Christian candidate - REMEMBER, THAT ISN'T STEVE.

Finally, it has come to my attention that many Democrats and Republicans are trying to decide which of the two candidates would be easier to get rid of in two years. Many of us had hoped Bereuter would run one more time -so we could have voted him out, but that's another story for another day! Politics in Nebraska is somewhat like the "old gray mare" - "she ain't what she used to be."

The winner on November 2nd might be well advised to rent rather than buy a residence in the "D.C." area, since like Clair Callan, they might not be there long enough to make many payments.

VansOpinion
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