The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Domina promises he's not in it for the money


Caitlin Sievers

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Dave Domina speaks to a crowd, including Jim Copley (right) gathered Friday for a town hall meeting at the Coffee Corner.

Even after a highly contested Republican primary in which each U.S. Senate candidate strove to prove he was more conservative than the next, Democratic candidate Dave Domina still believes centrism is the answer.

Domina began his town hall on Friday morning at the Coffee Corner by praising Sidney's successes.

"Think it would be a mistake not to start by saying congratulations to Sidney on the new hospital and lots of things being built around town," he said.

He compared the differences and similarities between Nebraska and New Mexico, but pointed out that New Mexico receives $2.04 from the federal government for every dollar it sends in federal income tax while Nebraska gets $1.03 for every dollar paid out.

He attributed this to New Mexico's history of having both a Democrat and a Republican in the U.S. Senate. It's helpful to have someone in the Senate who can identify with the party of the president all the time, he said.

"I just encourage you to think about the day to day and dollar to dollar ramifications of a decision like electing a United States Senator," Domina said.

Domina grew up on a farm in rural Nebraska near the town of Coleridge and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1972. After that, he served as a lawyer in the United States Army and then formed his own practice. Domina touts his history in his law practice of representing people against multi-national corporations. He represented the farmers and ranchers who wished to be treated fairly by TransCanada, the company hoping to build the Keystone XL pipeline through Nebraska.

"I think no matter how you feel about the pipeline, it's very, very hard for anybody to find anything kind to say about TransCanada as a company," Domina said.

He thinks Republican candidate Ben Sasse's positions are extreme.

"Mr. Sasse wants to eliminate the annual cost of living increase in Social Security, increase eligibility to an older age and is willing to reduce the benefits," Domina said. "But even worse than all that, he wants to privatize Social Security."

This would mean that the too big to fail banks which weren't prosecuted for their crimes in the banking crisis would run the social security system, he added.

Sasse pledged to stick to Grover Norquist's tax plan that disallows closing any tax loophole unless spending is cut equally. This would mean taking funds away from people who need them, Domina said.

Domina spoke of the contributions Sasse has taken from outside groups.

"My opponent has taken large amounts of money from two political organizations that are 100 percent unequivocally committed to never again passing a Farm Bill," Domina said.

These organizations are the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity.

"Everybody in Nebraska knows how important the farm bill is to both producers and persons who use school hot lunch programs, other people who need assistance, everybody knows we can't get along without one," he said.

One of the major problems with Veteran's Affairs is that its healthcare record keeping system doesn't communicate with the military's record system. In Domina's opinion, this is unacceptable.

He thinks the current issues with record keeping at the VA should be investigated thoroughly and that those involved should be prosecuted.

Domina has quite a few ideas for energy reform.

"I would suspend federal subsidies to the oil industry," he said. "I would transfer all of that investment to renewable energy and I would not do it with tax credits."

There's plenty of profit in the oil business and production will continue without subsidy, he opined.

He would not invest in renewable energy through tax credits, because these unintentionally hurt states like Nebraska and Alaska which operate on entirely public power.

"Our public power companies don't pay income tax," Domina said. "So an income tax credit doesn't help them."

This is why there are so few wind farms in Nebraska.

"That's a federal tax mistake," he said.

Domina promised those present at the Coffee Corner that he's not heading for Washington D.C. to make money.

"I'm not looking for a new career," Domina said. "I'm in my 60s."

He thinks work in the Senate should be end of career service completed by thoughtful people.

It's important for Senators with similar states to work together, Domina said. He pointed out that South Dakota and Iowa will elect new U.S. Senators this fall as well.

"Whether those Senators are Republicans or Democrats doesn't make any difference," Domina said. "We're going to have more in common in these three states because of the interests of these states than we have in our political party."

He stressed the importance of working together and finding common ground, despite differences in opinion on other issues.

"We don't have to agree on everything to agree on one thing and make progress for the country," Domina said.

He commented on the amount of money spend by outside groups to support Sasse in the Republican primary.

"I was surprised by how much money there was, I wasn't surprised that there was money," Domina said. "Unfortunately, the rulings of the Supreme Court have enabled those pacs to look the states over and say of states like Nebraska that's a relatively small state, "Well, let's go buy a Senate seat there."

He stressed that Nebraskans need to tell outsiders that their Senate seats are not for sale.


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