Friday, April 25, 2008

Check with Chip Listeners Get the Floor

The e-mails keep coming.

This from Gene Kelly, incumbent running for re-election to the Papillion-La Vista Board of Education:

I’m glad your program continues to explore some of the important (yet, not necessarily well known) issues facing us. Your recent Maxwell Minute concerning the Learning Community is one example.

As a former State Senator and current County Commissioner, you understand the difference between the PR summary of legislation, and the actual text and meaning. Here is some summary information that is conveniently unnoticed by the Omaha World Herald:

1. The Learning Community will collect and distribute over $650 Million annually (estimated on 2006 data, nobody has an accurate 2009+ estimate. There exists some rudimentary models, but no estimate) for General Fund expenditures. Building Fund expenditures will be over and above that amount. For comparison, the entire Omaha City government takes in $468 Million.

2. The Learning Community Coordinating Council is 27 members (12 elected and paid; plus 6 voting, but not paid; plus 5 non-voting, not paid), plus an additional advisory board of 11 (superintendents). Maybe this will become Nebraska’s second legislative house. :)

3. Of course, nothing in the new, super unit of government is designed or likely able to improve student academic achievement. It appears to be feel-good legislation designed to say “we did something.”

4. Indeed, the new unit of government appears designed to forward certain social initiatives the “beautiful people” think they’ll enjoy (there is already discussion on the provision of contraception to students (and parents) via the Learning Community’s new Elementary Learning Centers (the LC is authorized to provide medical & health services)). More likely, this will be done via an auxiliary, “charitable” group.

It should be fun – if we can stand the pain.

Thanks for your good work.

Man bites dog -- click here to read about a government mandate the Objective Conservative likes!

Click here for a commentary that says Ron Paul has been getting buried by the mainstream media despite evidence on the Internet that he is the most popular of the presidential candidates.

Click here for a study by the Platte Institute for Economic Research. Executive Director Roger Lempke was a guest on Check with Chip a few weeks ago.

One e-mail correspondent was not impressed:

The study documents what's already known, taxes are too high in NE and government spending is out of control. After reading the study, I was disappointed with the authors' very tepid recommendations. Instead of directly taking on the real need to radically restructure government and taxation in NE, the study just recommends nibbling around the edges which guarantees failure. If a smart young politician like yourself got out in front on this issue, you could ride it right into the governor's office. The state is ready for someone to take really bold stands by proposing big solutions. Why aren't you that guy???

Now we'll find out if my wife reads this blog.

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