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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 12, 2000)
Johanns vetos his
Nebraska has the nation s
It’d be hard to accuse Gov. Mike Johanns of being in the
business of running the state for the money.
Earlier this week, the Omaha World-Herald reported that
not only was Johanns the lowest-paid governor in the nation at
$65,000, but he would veto Nebraska Legislature bill 956,
which would raise his pay, along with the rest of the constitu
Johanns’ pay would go up $20,000 to $85,000, which,
according to the Council of State Governments, is about the
midpoint among the 50 states.
But Johanns is saying no. He doesn’t need the money, he
said to the World-Herald, nor did he take the job because of it.
Financial responsibility is a good thing, especially if Johanns,
whose wife has a good job
with Alltel, doesn’t really
Johanns just needit
We wonder, slightly, what
believes that the motivation behind such a
nO One should tisan legislature wants to help
hp rtnid mnrp raise the pay of the cons,it“
oe paid more tional officers, and
than he Nebraska’s is the lowest in the
country, maybe it’s time for a
Maybe Johanns just
believes that no one should
be paid more than he deserves. Maybe he plans to use it as a
campaign tool in a couple years - telling Nebraskans that he
decided not to raise his own pay for the state’s good - and then,
in turn, gain favor with prospective voters.
Johanns’ decision has an effect on other constitutional
officers as well, though. They, too, may deserve to have
money coming their way. Johanns’ decision, then, should take
their needs into account as well.
The governor has said he’ll look at the needs of whoever
might succeed, whenever that might be - in 2002 or 2006.
This decision hints at a third alternative, Johanns’ not vetoing
the bill but also not putting his signature upon it, meaning that
the officers would get the raise, and Johanns would not.
It’s important to note that Gov. Ben Nelson also rejected a
pay raise during his tenure in office, sharing Johanns’ ideals in
terms of fiscal responsibility with his own salary. But eventu
ally, the amount the constitutional officers receive has to go
up. It can’t stay the same forever.
So the governor is left with a choice. It might not be an
Being low isn’t always the best thing. Johanns’ decision,
whatever it might be, needs to take that into account.
Josh Funk (editor) • J.J. Harder • Cliff Hicks • Samuel
McKewon • Dane Stickney • Kimberly Sweet •
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Columnist still hasn’t found what he’s looking for
I sat on the hill in late November,
overlooking the city of Lincoln.
The sky was mostly clouded over,
but I could still see a few stars in the inky
blackness of night, and no cloud was
going to hold back the wide beam of
light the moon cast upon the grassy
In my ears, the Red House Painters
played the Cars’ song “All Mixed Up.”
The soothing guitars and soft vocals
only let my mind wander that much
Despite the fact that few people
were awake at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday,
downtown Lincoln was still awash in
lights. I could make out major streets,
and every so often I’d see a jet or a train
It was about then that I realized
whatever it is I’m looking for - and it’s
not in Nebraska.
For much of my life, I’ve felt like
there was something missing inside of
me. I’ve tried to attribute it to being
manic-depressive sometimes, being
single at others. I’ve spent time wonder
ing if there were something wrong with
me. I’ve been suicidal from time to time.
I feel this sense of emptiness inside me.
Put simply, I’m “All Mixed Up.”
But the more I think about it, the
more convinced I am it’s this place.
Now, now, don’t find an insult
where there isn’t one intended.
Whatever it is I’m looking for, it
may not be out there either. It may not be
anywhere at all. It might be inside me, as
cheesy as that sounds.
I somehow suspect I’m not the only
one who feels this way, so perhaps it’s
more than just Nebraska.
I’ve talked to people all over, not just
from our country, but from others as
well, and they too feel this sense that
something is inherently wrong with the
Perhaps it’s a generational thing,
some residual effect left over from the
past decades - the Free Love of the
q r? & //
Cliff Hicks is a senior news-editorial and English major,
and a Daily Nebraskan columnist.
Sixties, the Hazed Distortion of the
Seventies, the Yuppie Paranoia of the
Eighties and the Rambling Chaos of the
Nineties - and that it isn’t just going to
Are we The Lost Generation?
It’s that sense of isolationism that I
think is driving people to shoot up
schools and churches. It’s that disturb
ing sense of everything falling apart that
I think is causing the number of psycho
logical disorders to grow.
We’re fracturing, splitting, collaps
I’m sure not everyone feels like this.
Some people can blindly trudge on
despite the horrors the world shows
them. You know the people - they just
stand with their cliques gossiping about
this or that, ignoring the world.
Sometimes I wonder if they aren’t the
lucky ones, too numb to feel the pain.
And there is pain.
It’s a dull, aching pain, the sense that
there’s a piece missing somewhere
inside that was important. It’s like a
global heartache, the feeling that some
thing is unfinished.
We’re all looking for a cure, too, try
ing to find some way to remove that fog
that lingers in each of our heads that
something has gone horribly wrong
somewhere and we don’t know what.
Was this what it was like to be the cap
tain of the Challenger?
Everyone has an explanation except
me. Some people think it’s a religious
problem, although I don’t buy that. I
suspect people of all faiths across the
world understand the hollowness I’m
talking about. It has nothing to do with
God. It has nothing to do with “values.”
The things I’m talking about sink
much deeper than that.
Maybe it’s simply part of getting
older. I had just turned 23 a few days
before I sat on the hill watching the city.
When we were young, no matter what
life handed.out, there was always the
sense that things would work out in the
end. “You can achieve any dream,” they
told us. “Every story has a happy end
But it’s not all happy endings, is it?
Was it our parents’ fault? Were they,
perhaps, too soft on us? Should they
have made us commit to one idea and
follow it through?
Is it our own fault? Are we not work
ing hard enough? Is the fact that we
can’t find a goal that excites us a sign
that we need to create something new?
Flash ahead to January. I’m in The
Coffee House drinking a Jones Soda,
looking at people hanging around. On
one couch, a girl sits listening to her
headphones, reading a yoga magazine.
A pair of people a table away are playing
some card game I can’t identify. There
are a few conversations floating about in
the air and, as seems commonplace
these days, there is more dead air than
actual words spoken.
I can hear a few people talking in the
distance about how life lets you down a
Is this what beatniks were talking
about? Is this what inspired postmod
ernism, the feeling that something was
dreadfully wrong in the universe?
Can we fix it?
Well, dammit, we have to try some
how. Even if it means crawling inside
the innards of humanity and poking at
all the little fiddly bits with a pointy
Now, stop the world and hand me a
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