30 May 2008

Praise for NebraskaSpending.com!

NebraskaSpending.com received some high praise today from the Sunshine Review Blog

Sunshine Review is operated by the Sam Adams Alliance, a public advocacy group which "strives to educate and inform citizens about the important political issues necessary to maintaining a free society, including government accountability, government transparency, property rights protection, fiscal responsibility, free speech, and citizen initiative and referendum rights. In doing so, it aims to broaden the public debate on the proper role of state and local government in society, and to inspire greater involvement of intelligent, concerned citizens."

From their blog

"Shane Osborn, State Treasurer of Nebraska, has been aggressively promoting NE's new transparency website, NebraskaSpending.com. Treasurer Osborn has said he hopes to set a national example for transparency -- and with his new website upgrades, he is definitely a leader on the issue.

"The site originally featured agency budgets and programs, taxes levied, and a chart with historical budgets. New upgrades to the site now allow taxpayers to review $20k + contracts, $500K + expenditures, detailed information on 93 counties and data regarding Nebraska's Operation Investment Pool.

"Although I have been (rightfully) accused of being a data junkie, my favorite part of the site was Osborn's description of his job: As State Treasurer, my office is responsible for the receipting and disbursing of all state funds, which includes accurately recording these transactions and informing the Legislature through a yearly report on the state's financial picture. Further, as a public servant I believe elected officials have a duty to show the public how their tax dollars are being spent right down to the last penny.

"We couldn't agree more. Great work."

Bringing better transparency to government spending is an issue that I hold very dear and I truly appreciate the compliments from such an outstanding organization like the Sam Adams Alliance. If you haven't already, please take a few moments and check out NebraskaSpending.com and let me know what you think.

29 May 2008

Good Luck, John Atkinson!

"You can either give up, or continue to fight. I've got a beautiful wife and three kids. I will never quit fighting."

The above quote was from Lincoln, Nebraska native, John Atkinson. He recently won an essay contest sponsored by Golf Digest, USGA, and NBC Sports to find one amateur golfer to play the U.S. Open course. The winner would play in a foursome with three celebrities: NBC anchor Matt Lauer, singer Justin Timberlake, and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.

Atkinson's best friend, Terry Beutler wrote the essay and sent it to Golf Digest, and only afterward did he tell Atkinson he had written it and sent it.

Here's what Beutler wrote: "Can I break 100? No. Do I want the chance? Yes, but not for me. You see, my best friend since sixth grade was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer last April. He has never smoked, and it's just one of those life things. He is a wonderful father, husband, friend and son. Last summer he had a double treatment of chemo and walked 18 holes the next day and shot a 76. He's a 5-handicap. The statistics aren't on his side, but, like John says, they have never done a study of 100 John Atkinsons."

Golf Digest has an incredible story about Mr. Atkinson and I encourage all of you to take some time and read it. You can read it here!

Mr. Atkinson, your strength and courage in the face of such an extreme challenge is an inspiration to us all and I know I speak for all of Nebraska when I wish you the best of luck in the tournament!

28 May 2008

Memorial Day

As we all celebrated another Memorial Day I found myself conflicted - not in my beliefs and principles, but in an understanding of what motivates us today as Americans.  

Partisan issues have always stirred debate and fueled countless hours of conversations over the dinner table, but unlike the generations before us, I don't think it has ever reached the level of vitriol and downright hatred that we see today. 

At what point did we forget our origins of freedom and liberty, the pillars upon which our great republic was founded? This was what inspired our Founding Fathers to not only search for a better form of governance but to create the single greatest document the world has ever, or will ever, know.  

At what point did Americans find hardship worthy of defeat?  When did we find that because things have not gone perfectly in a war that the act of surrender suddenly seemed reasonable? My friends, I'm sorry, but there is no dignity in cowardice. 

While our allegiance to liberty and freedom has sustained us as a nation over the generations, it's now not uncommon to hear elected leaders ready and eager to abandon those values simply for the sake of appeasing those who know nothing about the costs of those very words. 

As we remember and honor those courageous souls who so willingly sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom and "slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God," I believe that we, as Americans, still understand the level of commitment needed to win the war on Terror.

As a free and blessed people, we can not shrink from our inherent duty to protect and liberate those who find themselves oppressed, persecuted, enslaved, and bullied. The thirst for freedom recognizes no boundaries and the cries for help will never be ignored by the United States of America. 

23 May 2008

Conservatism is Not Dead

So, I'm technically on vacation but I stumbled upon this in the Wall Street Journal. It's a fantastic article by Fred Thompson about why conservatism is not dead and how it can be used to energize the Republican Party. 

The Death of Conservatism is Greatly Exaggerated
By Fred Thompson

"Recent congressional losses, President George W, Bush's unpopularity, and bleak generic ballot poll numbers have conservatives fearing the "liberalization" of America -- a move toward secularization, the growth of government, stagnation, mediocrity and loss of freedom.

"Yet there is still a way to revive the conservative cause. Doing so will require avoiding the traps of pessimism or election-year quick fixes. Conservatives need to stand back for a moment and think about our philosophical first principles.

"Conservatives value the lessons of history and respect faith and tradition. They are skeptical of mass movements, perfect solutions and what often passes for "progress." At the same time, they recognize that change is inevitable. They also know that while man is prone to err, he is capable of great things and is meant to be free in an unfettered market of ideas, not subjugated by a too-powerful government.

"The power of conservative principles is borne out in the most strong, prosperous and free country in the history of the world. In the U.S., basic constitutional government has been preserved, foreign tyrannies have been defeated, our failed welfare system was reformed, and the confiscatory income tax rates of a few decades ago have been substantially reduced. This may be why the party where most conservatives reside, the Republican Party, has won seven of the last 10 presidential elections."

09 May 2008

Aspen Institute

Dear Friends:

I'm in Colorado this weekend as a member of the Aspen-Rodel Fellows Program. Our topic is: Democracy, Community, and the Individual.

I can't properly explain how humbling it is to be part of a group that is comprised of so many young, dynamic and incredible leaders. Yesterday evening I was approached individually by four or five elected leaders from other states who wanted to congratulate me on our transparency website, NebraskaSpending.com. I think they were most impressed by how little we spent to create ours when compared to other states like Oklahoma, Missouri, and Texas.

Speaking of NebraskaSpending.com, expect a big announcement next week!


29 April 2008

First things first...

Hello friends! My name is Shane Osborn and I welcome you to my new blog. 

For those of you who might now know, I grew up in Norfolk, Nebraska, attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on a Naval ROTC scholarship, spent 9 years in the United States Navy as an EP-3E pilot, am married to an incredible woman named Teri and have three beautiful children, Avery, Isabella, and Addison.

In 2006 I was elected Treasurer for the great state of Nebraska and it was one of the most rewarding moments of my life. Public service is a duty I take very seriously and this blog represents my effort to not only stay better connected with my Nebraska constituents but to provide you, constant reader, with some insight about the issues I hold dear. Sometimes those issues might be state related, other times it could deal with topics on the federal level, and there will probably even be some posts about my son's little league games and some Monday-morning quarterbacking during the upcoming Husker football season.

In other words, this blog will be about everything and anything.

If you have the time, feel free to send me an email and I promise I will do my best to respond to you as quickly as possible. Thanks again for stopping by and please be sure to check back often for updates!

~~~The Osborn Family