I recently asked why any of our reporters and journalist have not tried to ascertain why Senator Ben Nelson votes the way he has the past few months. It then occurred to me, that it was a responsibility of mine to try and understand Mr. Nelson and stop waiting on others to provide me with the possible answers. I did just that and I think that I may have possibly found out why, now we all are aware that I could be wrong and the only real person who can tell you best about Mr. Nelson is none other but Mr. Nelson himself.
“Following his time as a student, Nelson enjoyed a successful career in insurance law.” “He served as CEO of the Central National Insurance Group, as chief of staff and executive vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and as director of the Nebraska Department of Insurance.” (Unknown Author, Retrieved from www.bennelson.senate.gov). This may explain why he aided in the “agreements between the Bush Administration and the Senate on tax cuts, Medicare reform, and homeland security.” This may also explain why Thomas Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce admitted that they endorsed and financially supported Ben Nelson’s campaign. There is nothing wrong with being “Pro-Business” as long as it does not interfere with ones ability to assist other properly represent the public interest as well. A possible example is “in the Senate, one of the first bills Nelson cosponsored aimed at boosting production of ethanol and other renewable fuels. He also currently serves as National Co-Chair of Ethanol Across America, a grassroots organization designed to increase ethanol awareness and production.” (Unknown Author, Retrieved from www.bennelson.senate.gov). This may not appear to be in the service of two masters but to Co-Chair an organization/industry that you also are trying to boost production for does sound a little biased to me.
Mr. Nelson did stand in opposition against one of the most prominent legislative accomplishment of the Bush Administration titled “No Child Left Behind” which leads me to believe that he can see further than Corporate America. “Nelson understands the obligations of the Federal government to the states and remains a firm believer in states’ rights.” “He has supported full funding for education for children with disabilities and opposed the No Child Left Behind Act because its requirements duplicated Nebraska’s existing standards and were not fully funded.” (Unknown Author, Retrieved from www.bennelson.senate.gov). He also “joined another bipartisan group of Senators known initially as “The Gang of 10.” “The group reached an agreement aimed at overcoming a deadlock in the Senate on energy legislation, attracted another 10 bipartisan supporters and planned to push legislation until a historic economic downturn hit the nation in the fall and pushed economic recovery efforts to the forefront.” But my question there is why are those same Senators not pushing this legislation now that even though we may be still dangling, did avoid the falling off that cliff?
Voting against the unemployment extension is the primary reason for asking these and other questions but maybe the entry from his website explains it best. “Adding to his ability to powerfully represent the people of Nebraska, Ben Nelson joined the Senate Appropriations Committee in 2007. His experience balancing Nebraska’s budget is an asset as he works to reign in federal spending, while ensuring legitimate projects in Nebraska are funded.” (Unknown Author, Retrieved from www.bennelson.senate.gov). I guess it’s possible to reign in federal spending while still pushing for “pet projects” i.e. the “Cornhusker Kickback”. Maybe someone will ask him one day while he’s in front of a camera.