Nebraska’s Democratic Candidate For U.S. Senate: David Domina

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May 7th, 2014

Omaha, NE – David Domina, a trial attorney from Omaha, is familiar with running for elected office.

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In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully in a bid for the Democratic nomination for Nebraska governor. So, according to Domina, he is ready to for the challenge that lies ahead.

Domina said while his opponents continue to criticize each other’s backgrounds, there are serious issues which need serious solutions. Issues like renewable energy, the Keystone XL pipeline and raising the minimum wage.

An additional problem, according to Domina, is with the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) cleared the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) in December to restart the Fort Calhoun plant, which had been closed for nearly three years. Following flooding in 2011, Fort Calhoun was kept in a cold shutdown. After an electrical fire and several safety violations the plant was then placed under federal control. Since reopening in December, OPPD had to briefly shut down the plant three times.

As an attorney, David Domina has tried over 340 cases to verdict. As well as arguing over 250 State and Federal Appeals. (Photo Courtesy Ben Rasmussen)

As an attorney, David Domina has tried over 340 cases to verdict. As well as arguing over 250 State and Federal Appeals. (Photo Courtesy Ben Rasmussen)

Domina spoke highly of the recent work done by the NRC, but stated sternly his displeasure of the steps that were not taken, leading up to Fort Calhoun’s closing.

“The regulatory reports indicate progress from OPPD on the checklist of problems identified,” Domina said. “The report this month and the historical reports also indicated that OPPD’s personnel were not on top of the problem as it unfolded. It looks like progress is being made but I think that OPPD needs to be held accountable. It’s a dangerous facility if not properly managed.”

Domina said the NRC’s reports since the shutdown, show growth by OPPD. He also said nuclear power’s risk of error is heightened because of its danger to the public.

“It’s not too lax and it probably can’t be too strict,” Domina said. “Nuclear power is an important part of the future for meeting our energy needs, but it’s dangerous. So the multiple levels of redundancy involved in nuclear planning, they exist because a mistake can cause enormous number of lives and amounts of dollars.”

Regarding renewable energy, Domina said he would support legislation to encourage wind and solar power development in Nebraska. Oklahoma’s state legislature recently passed a bill which would add a surtax or surcharge to homeowners that install solar panels on their homes. Domina said he would not agree with taxing citizens for attempting to move to solar power. He pointed to tax advantages that private power companies have and public companies like OPPD don’t as a reason why public power companies aren’t acting faster to develop renewable sources of energy.

“The most important thing is to eliminate the tax credit advantage that private companies have over public power,” Domina said. “If that were done, all the public power companies in Nebraska would be equally incentivized to develop wind as a means of renewable energy.”

Domina said incentivizing consumers and the public will help the nation all take a big first step away from the necessity for foreign oil.

“I think it should be mandatory that power companies buy excess home-generated power up to a given level. I also think using tax credits or exemptions are not the best way to do things,” Domina said. ”It tends to distract people from the fact that those credits and exemptions are really spending decisions.”

Domina, a staunch opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, said he would favor strengthening legislation on the federal level to protect the Ogallala Aquifer.

“I’ll bet not one in a hundred Nebraskans know that in the 1950s, Congress required an annual report on the Ogallala Aquifer U.S. geological survey,” Domina said. “I think we should start with that, ‘what is the law now’? Then ‘does the law need to change’? There will come a day, if the states don’t do better at protecting the aquifer, when the federal government may have to step in and compel the states to do better. Nebraska has not been aggressive in its legislative products to protect it and it should be more aggressive.”

On raising the minimum wage, Domina said unless the minimum wage is a financial alternative to the federal definition to poverty and qualification to poverty programs then it is not an alternative to them. He said he would like to see a jump, unconditionally, to $10.10/hr.

Another topic, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is being condemned by every Republican in the race for the Senate. Domina said he would work to strengthen it, if elected. He agreed with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. that an attempt to repeal it is a ‘fool’s errand.’

He did say the most important mistake with the ACA was insurance companies were permitted to drop their plans. He said the law should’ve automatically amended the plans to include the new mandatory features and retained them. This along with a three-year period to smooth out changes in premiums and to avoid spikes in costs for health care recipients, according to Domina.

When asked if he is worried about not being seen on the numerous TV ads playing across the state, Domina was clear and to the point.

“I’m going to have enough votes to win the general election which means I am going to have enough cash to get the message across to the people of Nebraska,” Domina said. “But, I don’t think Nebraskans particularly like these 18-month long campaigns for office so we are going to take a more reasonable approach.”

Domina faces off in the Nebraska Democratic Primary May 13th against Fremont native and Air Force veteran, Larry Marvin. The winner will face the Republican primary victor.

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