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Jim Jenkins

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Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins.jpg
Former candidate for
U.S. Senate, Nebraska
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Campaign website
Jim Jenkins was a 2014 Independent candidate seeking election to the U.S. Senate from Nebraska.[1] On July 10, 2014, the Nebraska Secretary of State verified that Jenkins had met the signature requirements necessary to put his name on the November general election ballot.[2] He was defeated in the general election by Ben Sasse (R) in the general election on November 4, 2014.


Campaign themes


Jenkins listed the following issues on his campaign website:[3]

  • Ballot access/open primary elections: "Our current election laws disenfranchise 230,000 Nebraska nonpartisan voters who chose not to join a political party by preventing them from voting in and running as a candidate in many primary races. To make matters worse, those Nebraska nonpartisan voters who want to participate as candidates are further penalized by the expensive and time consuming process of gathering petition signatures in order to be placed on the general election ballot. Not surprisingly, very few nonpartisan voters (independents) run for office, leaving a large segment of the voting population without representation, even though taxpayer dollars are used to fund the election system. The choice for Nebraska voters is stark: join a party or face limited access to the ballot box. Nebraska election laws clearly result in a loss of freedom for the rapidly growing number of voters who do not support either party. These voters deserve the same rights and privileges as voters in the two major political parties. It is simply unjust and undemocratic for this large and rapidly growing segment of voters to be excluded from the important task of electing candidates for the general election. Parties have the right to exist, but not at the expense of their fellow citizens. State Legislatures across our nation should pass legislation to open up primary elections to independent voters and candidates, who are now largely unable to participate fully and fairly in our democratic system. The American political system needs more competition not less competition. The solution here in Nebraska is simple: Pass legislation that insures that all registered voters are treated equally under the law with the same rights to both vote and run for office. Get rid of the present laws that turn 230,000 Nebraska voters into second-class citizens at the ballot box. The same nonpartisan law that allows every Nebraska voter and candidate the right to participate in the primary election for the State Legislature can easily be applied to every other office in our state.
  • Fixing the debt: "My top priority is to fix the debt. Our nation’s security begins with a strong economy and a strong economy depends on sound fiscal policies. Unfortunately, both parties have abandoned bi-partisan proposals that have been put forward over the past several years. As a fiscal conservative, I believe our nation needs a comprehensive, bi-partisan plan for reducing our nation’s $17 trillion debt. I support many of the recommendations made by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, more commonly known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission; co-chaired by former White House chief of staff Democrat Erskine Bowles and former Republican senator Alan Simpson. Those recommendations, unfortunately, have not been debated in Congress and lack the support of major party leaders on both sides. We need to work together and find the strength in the middle of both parties to solve the issues of our nation. The only thing that has been accomplished in this last Congressional “deal” was to delay the issue. It is time that our political leaders put the interest of their country before the interest of their parties and enter into bi-partisan negotiations to rein in government spending. I will work to bring us together with common sense values that all Americans share."
  • Government reform: "I believe that today in Washington, the party system controls the individuals in Congress. I believe that our elected officials should control the parties, not the other way around. It seems that we see more and more examples of Congress not governing. If we as Americans truly want to change Washington, we have to change the rules by which Congress is elected and demand that Congress change its own rules to focus less on party power and more on the good of our country. Harsh rules instituted by the majority party, have made both the House and the Senate less democratic and more authoritarian over the past several decades. Congressional rules limit debate, amendments, and input from the minority party. The dysfunctional culture of Congress cannot be changed unless Congress changes its rules to be more open, transparent and democratic. We must have rules that allow more input and debate from the minority party and allow up or down votes on all legislation. There are great examples in relatively recent history where our elected officials in each party worked together for important legislative agendas. Ronald Reagan’s accomplishments occurred while liberal Tip O’Neill ran the House of Representatives. President Bill Clinton and then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, while each represented very different perspectives, worked together to craft and then actually pass, on a bipartisan basis, welfare reform and a balanced budget. Being from Nebraska, I am inspired by our nonpartisan legislature. Our state works together on issues that affect Nebraskans. I believe it is time for the US Congress to institute rules that encourage, rather than thwart, bipartisan participation to work on issues that affect all Americans."
  • Tax reform: "One of the top regulatory burdens on individual citizens and businesses is the tax code. The tax code impacts nearly every segment of our economy and has grown more and more complicated and cumbersome with each passing year. Everyone agrees that we need tax reform, but neither party has made any significant effort to reform, modernize or simply the tax code in 25 years. The tax code is now riddled with over $1.1 trillion in loopholes, deductions, credits and exclusions. Many of these loopholes have long outlived their original purpose and need to be rescinded; and unfortunately, neither party has shown any appetite for eliminating the loopholes put in place by special interests. I believe there is widespread bipartisan support for tax reform that will simplify the tax code and make our taxing structure more equitable. This requires that Congress eliminate many of the tax expenditures (credits, deductions, exclusions) presently embedded in the code. By reducing the number of special interest tax loopholes, we can follow the example set by Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neil in 1986 and lower marginal tax rates for the American taxpayer. Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road on tax reform."
  • Federal budget process: "Establishing a federal budget is one of the most important duties of Congress, yet only 2 out of the last 40 budgets have been passed on time. Given the size of the deficits and debt and the impact of fiscal decisions on the economy, it is critical that Congress adopt a biennial budget process. This approach to budgeting is utilized by many states, including Nebraska, and allows for a more thorough evaluation of budget proposals in year one and a review of budget effectiveness in year two. In addition, I support a measure called “No Budget, No Pay” advocated by the group No Labels, a growing citizens’ movement of Democrats, Republicans and Independents dedicated to promoting a new politics of problem solving. In simple terms, unless Congress passes a budget by the end of its fiscal year, members of Congress will not receive pay. Furthermore, I propose legislation that suspends Congressional recesses a budget is passed. Failure to pass budgets hurts the greater economy and undermines the credibility of Congress with its citizens. Finally, Congress needs to return budgeting to the committees of jurisdiction instead of the current system of allowing the leadership of the majority party in each House to develop the legislation. This concentration of budgeting power in the hands of a few party leaders is one of the more egregious examples of Congress operating from the top down, in an authoritarian fashion that undermines the diverse talents available throughout the greater body."



See also: United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2014

Jenkins ran in the 2014 election for the U.S. Senate, to represent Nebraska. He was defeated in the general election by Ben Sasse (R) in the general election on November 4, 2014.

U.S. Senate, Nebraska General Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBen Sasse 64.4% 347,636
     Democrat Dave Domina 31.5% 170,127
     Independent Jim Jenkins 2.9% 15,868
     Independent Todd Watson 1.2% 6,260
Total Votes 539,891
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State

Campaign donors

Campaign finance reports


Candidates for Congress were required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Jenkins' reports.[4]

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