Lincoln veteran Michael Connely seeking state senate seat, announces 2022 Governor run

Published: Apr. 15, 2020 at 9:05 AM CDT
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The following responses have not been edited.

Michael Connely

Preferred political party:

Non Partisan Seat

Current or most recent profession:

Educational Advisor / Service Disabled Military Veteran USMC

Tell us a little about yourself

I have a varied background. In Nebraska I have worked detasseling in the cornfields, worked in manufacturing positions, and for an earlier US Census was State Quality Assurance Director. Overseas I have worked for the Japanese Ministry of Education and designed the original English educational policy adopted in Japan. My military background includes USMC and Air National Guard. My work and training included: Aviation Communication/Navigation Systems, Military Intelligence Security, Nuclear Biological Chemical Disaster Preparation, Medical Laboratory and Military Police. I am a service-disabled military veteran, but serve on call as an academic and educational advisor for high level academic private schools in Japan.

Why are you running for this office?

I will be very direct and blunt on this point. Several months ago I mailed out hundreds of letters to government officials telling them we would have a health crisis very soon and asked for their help. Every State Senator in Nebraska was sent a letter and so was the governor. Additionally, I sent letters to governors and legislative leaders to a few other surrounding states. I did not receive a single reply. After being ignored by everyone in the Nebraska government, I realized that the only way to take strong positive action was to run for political office. I will not go into details but I can tell you that after I registered to be placed on the ballot I flew to Japan to set up Biohazard protocols for the schools I advised. My return flights were canceled and I am currently surrounded by quarantined areas. I may not be able to make it back to the US until June.

Do you support the actions taken by federal, state and local government officials to combat the spread of COVID-19?

I have been scathingly critical of the responses by governmental officials. I was horrified at the lack of biohazard protocols when Americans from the Diamond Princess Cruise Line were flown back to the USA. The CDCs initial response was bad. WHO was much worse. Finally, some positive responses have been put into play.

What, if any, changes would you propose?

I am now on page 11 of my "Protecting Yourself During this Pandemic" report. You can see my suggestions there. It will be posted on my candidate Facebook page and hopefully my website by April 5th or 6th. It will have some good and practical steps for citizens, business and government.

What is your message to the people of this district and all Nebraskans during this time of crisis?

Do not panic, but be prepared. If you are smart and pay attention, you can survive this. I am a former Marine and as such, I do not sugar coat things. If you like sugar, ignore what I say.

How will you support the economy now and after social distancing requirements end?

We are fortunate in Nebraska because our state economy is one of the healthiest in the USA. We will not be impacted as strongly as others. This question is one where the answer will change weekly depending on what governmental actions are put into play. One positive step would be to make our state more attractive than all others to military retirees with a set Federal income. Another step would be to greatly simplify all new business startup regulations. Other points we would have to wait and see.

What other issues facing voters are most important to you as a candidate?

I have a long list of issues that are too extensive to put here. I will comment on 2 of them. I have had several family members employed by the Nebraska State Prison System as Nurses, Counselors, and Guards. They see first hand the inefficiencies that can be easily solved to fix our massive prison overcrowding problem. This includes judicial reform. Next, our legislature meets for only a few months at the beginning of the year. This was practical 100 years ago when the State Senators had to return home to plant their crops, but it is not practical today. When we have emergency situations arise, there is no legislative body to act. I have not yet seen the inner workings of our Nebraska legislature yet, but I would like things streamlined and have our lawmakers in session at least part-time throughout the year.

Why do you consider yourself the best person to address the needs of voters in your legislative district?

Actually, I plan on addressing the needs of every citizen in Nebraska, not just my district. As you may have guessed from how I stated this, my name will be on the ballot for governor in the 2022 election.

How has your experience prepared you for this job?

I have a very broad and very extensive work and educational background. My work has included a vast array of positions in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, transportation, telecommunications, services, education, government, military, and even foreign government and education. I do not have a view that is limited to a single occupation. I understand most positions ranging from a toilet cleaner to a company executive because I have done the same work. As for education, it includes military training schools, multiple colleges in the USA and a couple of foreign universities. My non-military training includes political science, sociology, business, physical and biological sciences, education, human cell culturing, genetic analysis and professional speaking.

What separates you from your primary challenger(s)? What about your potential general election challenger?

I have seen the information on all of the candidates running for this office. Let me say that I think all of them are exceptional with amazing abilities, skills, and talents. Any of them would make a good State Senator. As for myself, environmentally I think like a Democrat, my business thinking is like that of a Republican, my sense of freedom is like that of Libertarian. I despise inefficiencies and work hard to eliminate redundancies. I harbor a disregard for the health and safety of citizens just because a large profit can be made by doing so. I am blunt, direct and do not sugar coat problems. I guess my Marine Corp training is still stuck in there somewhere. I do not cater to those who want preferential treatment or those with chips on their shoulders. Everyone should be treated the same, nobody should be given special considerations. If the voters want a fair, very knowledgable, slightly abrasive, moderately busted up former Marine in office, they can vote for me. If they want a sweeter person with a gentle approach who may not have the same impact, vote for one of the other guys.

Is there any other message, statement or concern you’d like to address?

I could blanket the district with yard signs, but the environmentalist in me knows that most of them will end up in the local landfill in the future, and I do not like that. If I cannot make a lasting positive impression without just pushing for name recognition, I do not deserve to be elected.

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