Dave Domina: Nebraska U.S. Senate Candidate Profiles

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October 20th, 2014

Lincoln, NE – A recent noon-hour meeting of Omaha’s Suburban Rotary Club got started with a patriotic sing-along to “God Bless America.” Then came the meeting headliner. U.S. Senate candidate Dave Domina.

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“I may relate a thing or two about what has helped me to appreciate and understand how policy can be understood and should be made,” Domina told the crowd. “But I should start with just a touch of biography.”

The 63-year-old Domina’s bio includes a law degree from the University of Nebraska, service as a U.S. Army lawyer and a more than 30-year-old legal practice, first in Norfolk, now in Omaha. Before all this, though, came the defining experience of growing up on a northeast Nebraska farm in Cedar County, just south of the South Dakota border.

“So as you go along here listening to me I invite you to consider that on most of the things that are important to me in my life, at one time or another I have evaluated them like annual crop that has to be attended to,” Domina said at the Rotary meeting.

Domina speaks to the Suburban Rotary Club in Omaha. (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)

Domina speaks to the Suburban Rotary Club in Omaha. (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)

Domina has attended to some high profile cases during his legal career, from being appointed by the state to investigate Attorney General Paul Douglas for his involvement in the failure of Commonwealth Savings in the 1980s to current work for Keystone XL Pipeline opponents. Domina says it’s helped him develop skills suited for the U.S. Senate.

“I’m analytical. I’m an evidence based person,” Domina said. “I require more than logic, it takes logic plus evidence. Arrange logic to persuade me. Once I’m persuaded I’m willing to be a pretty darned fierce advocate for what I have learned through proof and logic. I am not an emotional person. I’m seldom swayed by the emotionality of something.”

Domina has been on the ballot before. He ran for governor in 1986, finishing second in a hotly-contested Democratic primary. He was a registered independent for much of the period in between then and now, a decision he said was made in response to what he calls the “inappropriate behavior” of Democratic President Bill Clinton.

But Domina says his politics haven’t changed, and when asked if he’s “unabashedly liberal?” Well, in part I suppose that’s true,” Domina answered, “and in part there must be people who wonder what’s wrong with me because they see other Democrats looking for funding from wealthy sources within the state that seem to like to fund Democrats, but I haven’t approached those people because I see doing so inconsistent with my view of market concentration and a failure to enforce the anti-trust laws.”

Domina believes the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, works, wants to see a “sensible roadmap to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants and supports same-gender marriage. His ideal signature piece of legislation, if elected, would be cleaning up what he calls “ugly and disgusting” tax code loopholes, which he says would lower income taxes.

Domina (L) talks with a Rotary Club member after the meeting. (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)

Domina (L) talks with a Rotary Club member after the meeting. (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)

Domina says there are two things that define his political choices. “The first and foremost thing is that I’ve learned that more often than not when you’re confronted with two different roads, a hard one and an easy one, it’s better to take the hard one,” Domina said. “The second thing is that I’ve learned that the only thing that permits me to feel fulfilled is to have done something well for somebody who really needed help.”

Domina tells audiences like the Rotary Club that he wasn’t bitten by the political bug after this first run for office in 1986, and that he’s learned a lot since then. But in some ways the road may be tougher now. The percentage of registered Democrats in Nebraska has declined, and his campaign fundraising lags well behind Republican Ben Sasse. But Domina believes he can overcome these obstacles.

“The people of Nebraska deserve a United States Senator who does his homework on every issue,” Domina said, in concluding his Rotary Club speech, “and the people of Nebraska deserve a United States Senator who takes positions that are not popular, but are important.”

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