Bart McLeay, who announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Nebraska City on July 1, returned Oct. 18 promising to bring down government gridlock and elevate protections for civil rights.
McLeay, a business lawyer form Omaha, described frustration over the apparent inability of Congress to find common ground as a leading factor in his decision to seek the Republican nomination for Senate.
He called for leadership that can identify where Americans agree and start building solutions from there.
“I've had to stand before judges and juries who did not share my point of view initially and tried to bring them around to my perspective.
“When you're looking at a jury trial you don't get to just argue to the Republicans in the jury, you have to reach Democrats, you have to reach people up and down the socio-economic spectrum,” he said.
“I've often thought that Nebraska is such a perfect model. We have low unemployment, we have a balanced budget by law, we are winning business awards in our state and we have high community morale for the most part. This is the kind of community we can sell on a national basis – we can make that case,” he said.
He said three decades as a business lawyer equips him for resolving disputes and gives him a basic understanding of the economic principles that allow businesses to grow and expand our economy.
“I can make this case because I've been doing this for nearly three decades,” he said.
He said he has also had an interest in politics, but concern over government gridlock inspired an project that would strengthen his resolve to seek office.
He wrote opinion articles for newspapers in Omaha, Grand Island and Des Moines.
“I knew I would right from a conservative viewpoint because that it where I come from, but I wanted to see if I could get people on the left to agree, and I did. I had people say, yeah, I liked your article,” he said.
McLeay said the experience convinced him he could have a role in ending gridlock and a perception that American's civil rights are being eroded persuaded him that his skills are needed in Washington.
Even in the past year, he said, our government misled us about what happened at Benghazi, where the U.S. Embassy in Lybia was attacked and the ambassador killed.
He said news then broke that the Internal Revenue Service had been targeting political groups. “It was conservative groups now,” he said, “but it's something that should concern everyone.” He asked, “whose group will it be next time?”
Page 2 of 2 - Then, he said, we had the U.S. Department of Justice targeting the Associated Press and Fox News. “They are invading the freedom of the press. This is a sacred right built into our Constitution,” he said.
He said second amendment rights are being scaled back and the Environmental Protection Agency is conducting “fly overs” of Nebraska farms and ranches without notifying state officials.
“My law background is something I will use in Washington to scale back our government and really do something to bring our regulatory authority under control,” he said.
He said Congress must change the standard. “They are giving way too much license, even in our judiciary, to what our agencies are doing.
“I'm going to limit the government because if you limit the government, you're going to limit their mischief.
“I want to change the standard so that they have to operate within the law, and by the law, and not some wide discretion that the court system may give them.
“I'm not going to get pushed around, or fooled, by issues of law, and there are some very important issues of law that are facing this country,” he said.
He said he is concerned about the financial condition of the country we are leaving our grandchildren, but he is deeply concerned about the erosion of rights.
McLeay said he has work on important legal cases involving property rights, water rights, the Wound Warrior's ability to raise funds and privacy rights.