Domina Says G.I. Vets Home Should Stay, Second Federal Project Needed for Central NE
(OCT. 21)—Campaigning before a crowd of roughly 60 people—many of them veterans—at the Skagway Banquet Hall in Grand Island last Sunday, U.S. Senate Candidate Dave Domina said the Grand Island Veterans Home recently lost its federal funding due to “pure retributive politics by the incumbent governor of Nebraska.” Domina added that while the Veterans Home should remain in Grand Island, Nebraska’s federal officials should be working aggressively to secure federal funding for an additional facility in Kearney or another Central Nebraska community.
“Instead of protecting and building up the one we have here [in Grand Island] and going after a new one in that other community 45 miles to the west, we squandered the opportunity to get a new one by engaging in this absurd process of relocating,” Domina said. “And then our congressional delegation didn’t stand up against our governor and say, ‘What are you doing?’”
He later added: “You’re entitled to have somebody serving in the United States Senate who is willing to evaluate the need for community-based care for veterans…and help make it available,” he said. “You’re entitled to make sure that veterans are taken care of at the best level, which means keeping the VA and not dismantling it, and providing that supplemental service in Broken Bow or in Gordon or in Chadron….”
A recent article in the Grand Island Independent omitted Domina’s position that the goal should have been, and still should be, to rebuild the Veteran’s Home in Grand Island near the VA Hospital and cemetery while aggressively pursuing a second, non-VA facility for the State. This omission may have led some to falsely conclude that Domina believes Kearney should be stripped of its new opportunity. In reality, Domina stressed that Gov. Dave Heineman should never have pitted these central Nebraska communities against each other in the first place, and that Nebraska’s congressmen and women failed to push for additional opportunities and to effectively compete with other states for federal funding.
“Here’s what I think: Keep, protect, build and build up our existing federal installations that are serving our people, and look for more and new opportunities.”
To illustrate, Domina compared Nebraska to New Mexico. Both states have roughly the same population and envelope roughly the same space. Both states cast five electoral votes, and both garner about $19 billion a year in federal income tax. And yet for every dollar put in, Nebraska gets back $1.03, whereas New Mexico gets $2.04.
“Why?” Domina asked. “Two reasons. Number one, the effectiveness of the congressional delegation. That’s the biggest reason. Number two, every four years, the five electoral votes in New Mexico are in doubt in the presidential campaign. So every candidate in each party visits New Mexico many times. How many visits do we get? One or none. New Mexico has it figured out. You’ve got to be able to do what’s best for your state, and not just be single purposed.”