And so the quest continues.

Sen. Lou Ann Linehan's proposal that the Legislature's Revenue Committee and Gov. Pete Ricketts sit down together and see if they might be able to reach some accommodation on a tax reform package that funds substantial property tax relief is the newest effort.

It's hard to see how an agreement can be forged given the governor's apparent, and so far adamant, opposition to any increase in taxes even when revenue from that increase would be used to reduce other taxes and not for increased government spending.

So far, Ricketts appears to be firmly opposed to elimination of some of the state's numerous sales tax exemptions, a path that the Revenue Committee has chosen to pursue on its uphill journey toward property tax reduction.

But Linehan is a determined senator who has been in political and legislative battles in more than one corral and she does not give up.

So she is trying to broker a meeting between the eight senators and the governor to see if there might be a path forward.

If not, Linehan remains left with the daunting task of gathering a filibuster-proof majority of at last 33 senators — she says you need one or two more to serve as a safety valve — and that would require some give-and-take bargaining on a scale that the Legislature has not achieved, or perhaps even attempted, for many, many years.

When this year's session of the Legislature adjourned at the end of May, it looked like she had 28 votes lined up for the committee bill that currently is stuck on the floor.

To get to 33, you would need to gather more votes from Lincoln and Omaha senators and from Democrats who serve in the non-partisan Legislature.

How do you thread that needle?

That answer might begin with a question: What do you need or want?

But, first, that sitdown with the governor is the preferred initial step.

* * *

The U.S. Supreme Court decision that gives a hands-off green light to partisan redistricting empowers political parties with governance power or influence even though they have no constitutional standing or recognition.




With the parties already organizing and controlling Congress and given a pass by the court now to manipulate both congressional and legislative districts in the interest of partisanship, the Founders might not recognize this as the government they created.

And neither might Abraham Lincoln, who paid tribute to Civil War soldiers who sacrificed their lives to preserve "government of the people, by the people, for the people."

Not the parties. 

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* * *

Finishing up:

* Hey, why can't we get briefings on UFOs like some senators do? Share the wonders and mysteries if there are some; tell us what you know.

* Rising tuition costs distort young people's decisions and often burden their lives, impacting their opportunity for a university education, job and career choices, decisions about marriage and children and a whole bunch more. Hey, let's pick up more of the tab.

* The guy who totally lost it in a Lincoln parking garage and went to war with the gate has become something of a cult figure on Twitter.

* Nebraska's vast 3rd Congressional District is ranked No. 1 in the country in terms of farm production. The district, which encompasses all of western and central Nebraska along with the northeastern and southeastern corners of the state, has 55,834 farm producers and 33,294 farms, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

* A new podcast initiated by Gov. Pete Ricketts is an example of the governor's increasingly intensive and creative multi-media outreach.

* The Democratic presidential debates are just what some candidates needed. Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Julian Castro on the rise. But I'm still not quite sure who that one person on the stage was.

* South Dakota defensive lineman Nash Hutmacher's commitment to Nebraska sparked three stories in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader on the same day. The Polar Bear's leap made a big splash in his home state.

* Richard Register of Fremont was selected by the Democratic state central committee to succeed Frank LaMere as the state party's first associate chair. The vote was as close as it can get: Register 34; Preston Love Jr., of Omaha, 33, on the third ballot.

* The Yankees should play more games in London — with Sweet Caroline in the house. Good times never seemed so good.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-7248 or dwalton@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSDon.


Political reporter

Don Walton, a Husker and Yankee fan, is a longtime Journal Star political and government reporter.

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