Campaign donations aren't the only way that legislators and state executives can be influenced by special interests. Every year, elected officials have to file a summary of all the gifts they received throughout the year, listing an approximate value and who the gift came from. We think it's an important part of Common Cause Nebraska's watchdog role to keep an eye on these disclosures and let the public know what we find.
Over the past year, we released reports on Governor Heineman's gifts, as well as the gifts to University President J.B. Milliken. While a t-shirt or a bottle of wine may seem minor, trips across the nation and all-expense paid golf outings are something that the voting public should know.