October 8, 2012

Douglas County Treasurer John Ewing has overspent and exceeded his approved budget every year he has been in office, a pattern of mismanagement that contradicts Ewing’s assertion that he has cut spending there, U.S. Rep. Lee Terry charged today.

Ewing’s deficit spending and red ink totals $688,000.

Terry’s campaign released a new TV ad today that alerts voters to Ewing’s poor budget management and deficit spending.  The ad states  Ewing is “just what we don’t need in Washington.”

Terry said county budget documents show Ewing asked for budget increases—not budget cuts—every single year.  His requests for new spending total $1.2 million.

Ironically, the county board rejected Ewing’s request for $1.2 million more.  Ewing proceeded to ignore the action and spend $688,000 of the disapproved funds.

“The difference between the two of us is pretty simple.  I consistently vote to cut spending.  Mr. Ewing ignores the county board and spends recklessly,” Terry said.

As an example, Ewing requested $5.318 million in funding for the treasurer’s office in fiscal 2007/08, a period covering July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2008.  The Douglas county board approved $5.062 million, a reduction of $256,000.  Ewing failed to adhere to the cap and spent nearly $292,000 more, or $5.354 million.

Ewing’s new spending that year was 5.7 percent, twice the rate of inflation.

“My opponent now wants to take his budget skills to Washington.  America can’t afford that,” Terry said.

Ewing has stated repeatedly during the campaign that he has cut spending in the Treasurer’s office.[1]  Terry said today’s new information shows the claim is not true.

By contrast, Terry’s record includes voting 157 times to cut spending on bills that came to the floor of the House since 2009.  Terry’s votes would cut spending $7 trillion below current levels through the end of the decade.

Dave Boomer, Terry’s campaign manager, said the new TV ad has a significant placement on Omaha area broadcast and cable stations.   The text of the ad follows.

Male Announcer:      John Ewing claims he’s saved money in the treasurer’s office.

But Ewing tried to increase his office’s budget six years in a row by over 1.2 million dollars.

The county board said NO.

But Ewing kept spending anyway—racking up big deficits.

More red ink—just what we don’t need in Washington.

Female Announcer:  Congressman Lee Terry has voted to cut spending one hundred and fifty seven times. Seven trillion more in cuts.

Lee Terry:                  I’m Lee Terry and I approve this message.


[1] Omaha World-Herald, “Howard, Ewing agree on most debate issues,” news story by Robynn Tysver, January 21, 2012.