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July 25, 2008 7:40 AM CDT

What America Needs Now is More Ben Nelsons


The last few weeks have seen a flurry of bipartisan activity on a host of wide ranging issues (i.e. FISA, Medicare), giving this cynic a reason to hope that the era of hyper partisanship could be in its twilight hours. Maybe, just maybe we the American people might start to see politicians in Washington, D.C. actually solving some of our many problems together as opposed to engaging in all-out warfare where no one wins, especially the American people.

The man who I think stands in the breech bringing both sides together more than anyone is Senator Ben Nelson. He is a conservative Democrat with Midwestern values. He has been reaching across party lines and building consensus coalitions since arriving in Washington. I can only hope that he will continue his efforts and build on them after this November.

The most important issue Senator Nelson is fighting hard for a bipartisan compromise that is the most important to the American consumer is energy. It’s not news to any of my readers that gas prices are killing Americans’ budgets. The American people are quite clear in their support for increased offshore drilling and energy independence. Increased domestic production would make us less dependent on Middle Eastern oil and greatly reduce the transfer of wealth that is occurring now. A large portion of this money is going to countries that at best don't really have Americas interest at heart. One idea, which I think is brilliant, is mandating that any oil and gas recovered would have to stay in the U.S.

Unfortunately as I write this, the far-left of the Democratic Party has taken a, “We can’t” approach to this problem and are standing squarely in the way of the progress being made by the true legislators like Senator Nelson. I wish all the best to the "Benator" and his colleagues on the group of ten Senators and 20 House members trying to solve this crisis. Its their actions that give us hope of finally putting the American people first and politics second. Go Ben Go!

About the Author

Matthew B. Keelen, founder and President of the government affairs firm The Keelen Group, is a widely known and highly regarded lobbyist and political strategist with experience building relationships with key figures and a reputation for consistently delivering hard-earned victories. Acknowledged for his innate ability to establish and develop long lasting political relationships, Keelen has dozens of time-tested relationships with Members of Congress, including many who are in positions of considerable influence today. To learn more about The Keelen Group, visit


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