By Don Walton
Nebraska candidates should be asked whether they're willing to "fight for Nebraska priorities" if they go to Washington, Sen. Ben Nelson said Wednesday.
Washington's political values and priorities have local consequences in Nebraska, the Democratic senator said during a conference call.
"Ask those who are taking their talking notes from Washington to apply those specifics to Nebraska," he said.
Nelson left no doubt he was aiming those remarks directly at the Nebraska Senate race when he suggested that those questions should be asked during upcoming debates. Republican Senate nominee Deb Fischer and her Democratic opponent, Bob Kerrey, will meet in debates Sept. 28 and Oct. 1.
"People vote for the noise they like best because they don't know what that noise means to their community," Nelson said.
But the result could be denying funding to build a new U.S. Strategic Command headquarters complex at Offutt Air Force Base, modernize the aging Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Omaha, establish a new veterans cemetery in eastern Nebraska, and build roads and repair bridges, he said.
Look at "the local consequences of not having a farm bill," Nelson said. That legislation has been trapped in the House by Republican leadership, he said.
"We need to determine where the candidates stand on these issues," he said.