Sometimes you get an opportunity to be the hero or the goat – which will it be for Nelson and Webb?  Is Nelson’s vote for health care a trial balloon or a swan song . . .

URGENT: Senator Nelson Health Care Updates AND Rally Tuesday 12/22 MORE To Come

December 22, 2009
6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

122209 Rally Logo JPEG

Included in this post:

* Updates regarding status of health care bill

* Advice to Nebraskans from Senator David Vitter on influencing Sen. Nelson

* Tuesday, December 22 Rally at Senator Nelson’s Office in Lincoln

* Support from other states


* Updates regarding status of health care bill

(Links for the information noted below are included. If the links don’t work for you, please visit the Grassroots in Nebraska website at where you will be able to click on working links.)

  • Yesterday, Senator Nelson said he cannot support the bill as written, largely due to its lack of restrictions on abortion funding and he issued a response to Gov. Heineman saying that he had entered an amendment to the bill that allows states to opt-out of the health care plan.
  • Multiple sources inside Congress have stated that Senator Nelson was threatened by Democratic leadership that should he fail to vote the health care bill forward, Nebraska’s Offut Air Base would be added to the BRAC list (Base Realignment and Closure List). (Further, there have been reports that Sen. Nelson was offered $500 million in earmarks should he support the bill, although it is more difficult to trace sources on this assertion.)

Advice to Nebraskans from Senator David Vitter on influencing Sen. Nelson

On Thursday, I was invited to participate in a private call with Senator David Vitter (LA) and other grassroots organizers from several states to get some insight from him regarding the status of the health care bill and to clarify comments he had made at a recent town hall organized by the Tea Party of Louisiana and Baton Rouge Tea Party that indicated action from all of us could have impact on the outcome of the health care bill vote.

On yesterday’s call, I was able to have a direct discussion with Senator Vitter regarding Senator Nelson’s key role and to clarify in specific terms what he believed would have potential impact on his vote.

Senator Vitter noted in general terms:

  • Senate Democrats and House leadership are counting on the American people’s attention being on Christmas, not on the bill, that is why they are determined to force a vote prior to Christmas. (Other information indicates the vote would occur ON Christmas Eve.)
  • He is an executive member of the Senate Republican Steering Committee (also includes Sens. DeMint, Coburn, Sessions) are meeting daily, their staff hourly, to review current status and their procedural options to block the vote.
  • Most Senators are not being allowed to see actual current bill, and it has changed several times. The KEY QUESTION is: What IS the new bill?

Vitter specifically explained in regards to Sen. Nelson and Nebraska:

  • Senator Nelson’s vote is THE ABSOLUTELY KEY VOTE and pressure from within Nebraska may well impact his next steps.
  • A large public rally with media coverage would be more effective than phone calls, emails, and faxes.
  • National media attention on some activity in Nebraska could be effective.
  • Any of these actions MUST occur in the next few days to have impact on a potential vote just before Christmas.

I learned from Linda in our group that Sen. Mike Johanns wrote a letter that 20 other Republican Senators signed, calling for an investigation of the matter. The Omaha World Herald had a story regarding this, but for some reason pulled it off of their site.

Senator Vitter also noted:
Another important and wavering Senator was Jim Webb of Virginia. Sen. Webb has been voting with the Republicans on key issues associated with the bill.

Following the call with Senator Vitter, those who participated held a separate conference call. Based on what the Senator advised, the conclusion of all on the call was that taking some action here in Nebraska is NECESSARY regardless of short notice, weather, amount of work, or timing (Christmas). Recognizing that fact, the people from the other states offered to help. (See below)

As a result arrangements are being made for the following –

Tuesday, December 22 Rally at Senator Nelson’s Office in Lincoln

Taking ALL factors into consideration, here’s what’s being worked on (More detailed information will be on the way)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22 at 6:00pm
Senator Ben Nelson’s Lincoln office
440 N. 8th St.

I understand the challenge involved in carrying out a rally at this point – but I feel it is literally a duty to the country to do whatever we can here in Nebraska.

I am asking for anyone who is willing to help make this a success to contact me and I will  “plug you in” to doing something.

The people who were on the call with Senator Vitter not only believed something should be done in Nebraska, they thought we should encourage everyone possible to join us in Lincoln.

So…the “plan” is…

Support from other states

Other organizers will…
1) Let all their membership know about the rally and urge whoever is willing and able to come to join us in Lincoln on Tuesday. Some will be looking into arranging charter buses.

2) Any of the organizers who have the ability to do so will try to make arrangements to come to Lincoln

3) They will ask for donations to help us pay for an abbreviated ad campaign.


There will be a donate button added to the Grassroots in Nebraska website for this purpose (note: it will be removed after this event is over)

4) All involved will help work their connections with national media to get some coverage of the event. Among these connections include Fox News’ shows with Neil Cavuto and Greta Van Sustern, Fox Business Network, and NPR.