By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
U.S. Senate candidate Republican Sid Dinsdale of Elkhorn makes it clear that he’s no career politician, nor does he ever plan to be.
Dinsdale visited Imperial Monday on a campaign swing through southwest Nebraska.
Since announcing his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in his hometown of Palmer Sept. 16, Dinsdale has been on the road meeting Nebraskans throughout the state.
Dinsdale views the fact that he’s never been elected to public office an asset. If elected, he said he will serve no more than two six-year terms.
Dinsdale believes his experience in creating jobs, making payroll and growing his family’s chain of banks gives him the real-world experience to govern differently.
Dinsdale’s grandfather started the State Bank of Palmer in 1940. His father and uncle helped expand the family-owned bank to communities across the state.
Since 1994, Dinsdale has served as president of Pinnacle Bankcorp, a holding company that includes the Pinnacle Banks throughout Nebraska.
He believes he can make a difference in Washington, D.C., even if its just one person at a time. “Maybe we can start something here,” he remarked.
Lack of leadership in the executive and legislative branches of government represents the biggest void in D.C. today, he said.
The country needs leaders the likes of John Kennedy, who said the country would put a man on the moon; or a Ronald Reagan, who told the Russians to “tear down that wall,” referring to the wall between East and West Germany.
What if the U.S. had a leader like that now, he pondered. Then the Keystone XL pipeline could be built in an effort to make our country more energy self-sufficient.
Dinsdale said the overreach of government regulations in all facets of life continues to bring the economy down.
He said he’s seen it in the banking industry, the cattle feeding industry and the energy industry with coal-fired generation plants.
Dinsdale categorizes himself within the Republican party as a pro-life conservative.
He said he’s proud to be a Republican because it stands for American independence and individualism.
With the current government shutdown, Dinsdale was asked if he could step away from the party to vote to stop the shutdown.
While he said party ties are strong, “I will do what’s best for America.”
That’s one reason he said he chose the Senate race versus the House of Representative race.
The House is all about seniority, he said, while the senate is composed of just 100 senators. He feels he can make more impact as a senator.
He doesn’t like what’s going on with the Republicans as a part of the showdown over the government shutdown and tying ObamaCare together. “I just don’t think it’s a winning strategy.”
One thing he said he would always vote for is raising the nation’s debt limit. Not doing so jeopardizes the U.S. financial system, along with the country’s reputation, he noted.
Dinsdale said he struggles with the Affordable Care Act. While it has some good aspects such at portability and waiving pre-existing conditions, there are also down sides.
One is how to pay for the 30 million uninsured people who are now eligible for health care.
He said he doesn’t have any alternative ideas to ACA but plans to study it more. He doesn’t believe it’s fair businesses get a one-year exemption to enroll without giving Joe Q. Citizen the same right.
On immigration, Dinsdale suggested the border states are best suited to advise on the issue. Doing nothing is not a choice.
About 11-15 million immigrants live in the U.S. illegally. Dinsdale said it is imperative to come up with a system to collect taxes from these people to help drive the economy.
Dinsdale believes the U.S. should strive for energy independence, based on the amount of oil being found in North Dakota.
When it comes to fiscal policy, he said Congress must pass a budget and pay its bills.
One thing Dinsdale said he would not do is to sign Grover Norquist’s “no new taxes” pledge. He doesn’t believe that’s a prudent action with the U.S. still owing $16 trillion in debt.
He said he will meet with Nebraska Tea Party members to discuss issues.
He said the split going on in the Republican party between Tea Party politics and conservative politics could continue to hamper the Republican Party.