Independent candidate Dan Osborn advocates bipartisan solutions, cleaner political landscape

Friday, May 31, 2024
Independent Senate candidate Dan Osborn, left, listens to a question about healthcare from Tony Spilinek, second from right. Osborn quipped that he might be running for office “because I’ve got a bad hip and I want to get it fixed.”
Bruce Crosby/McCook Gazette

McCOOK, Neb. — Speaking to about a dozen residents at the Loop Brewery Thursday night, Independent U.S. Senate candidate Dan Osborn made a plea for bipartisan solutions and a cleaner political landscape.

A Navy and Army National Guard veteran, Osborn, whose background includes advocating for workers’ rights during a strike at Kellogg’s in Omaha, minced no words as he criticized the pervasive influence of money in politics.

Osborn, a seasoned mechanic with two decades of experience under his belt, stressed the importance of delving into root causes rather than hastily legislating solutions. He tackled the contentious issue of abortion, attributing its prevalence to a simple root cause of unwanted pregnancies, particularly among those living in poverty.

Osborn warned of the potential consequences of a complete abortion ban, raising questions about enforcement and the financial burden it would place on taxpayers.

Osborn didn’t shy away from targeting his political opponents, particularly taking aim at incumbent Sen. Deb Fischer and her alleged ties to major donors.

The U.S. Senate is “a country club full of millionaires and billionaires. They get in there, they enrich themselves, they take corporate PAC money to keep getting elected.

He quoted other reports that Fischer’s net worth had grown from $300,000 when she was elected to $4 million today.

“I couldn’t notice but we’re right behind a railroad track right there, and Deb Fischer’s top four moneymakers or donors are Class 1 railroads.

“She headed up the committee and introduced legislation so the railroads can police their own safety. That’s a problem; we’ve had three derailments here in this state in the last month, one of them in Chappell, Nebraska, ‘this close’ to an anhydrous plant. And I called the railroaders down there and I asked them what happened, and they told me that locomotive was flagged for repair. If the Rail Safety Act was passed, this would have never happened,” Osborn said.

“I worked for a corporation for 20 years, and I don’t want to work for a corporation any more, I want to work for the people in Nebraska.

“I don’t feel our elected officials do that anymore. I think they should be wearing NASCAR jackets with their sponsors on them.”

Accusing Fischer and other congress people of both parties of being “on the take” from influential sectors such as meat packers and big pharma, Osborn highlighted what he deemed as their complicity in derailing border security plans and perpetuating a manipulated tax system that favors the wealthy.

Asked about term limits at the federal level, he said “Fischer signed a pledge that she would only run for two terms, and she broke that pledge and is running for a third.”

Osborn said he did see the other side of the issue, however, noting that senior senators could coach the freshmen about the “comings and goings” in the senate.

He suggested simply removing the cap on Social Security contributions could bring solvency to the retirement system for the next 75 years. Osborn declined to comment on the major news story of the day, Former President Donald Trump’s conviction of 34 felony charges related to covering up an affair with a porn star.

“He lost me when he said a war hero, John McCain, was a ‘loser’ because he got shot down and taken captive” in North Vietnam, Osborn said.

He said he became disenchanted with the two parties during the Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debates, “and quite frankly, a little bit embarrassed, so I became an independent.”

He noted that there about 300,000 Nebraskans who are registered independent or third-party voters, the fastest-growing demographic voters.

“We’re not going to agree on everything,” Osborn said, but people or different political persuasions have much more in common than national media would have us to believe.

Acknowledging McCook as home Sen. George W. Norris, father of the officially nonpartisan Nebraska Unicameral, Osborn expressed his hope and vision for a more equitable political landscape, one free from the grip of special interests and partisan agendas.

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