Saturday, August 23, 2014
   
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Stenberg: Voters should note his experience, education

Former attorney general wants treasurer job.

Don Stenberg thinks his experience and education sets him apart from other state treasurer candidates.

Stenberg is running against fellow Republicans Tony Fulton and Tom Nesbitt. Mark Stoj is the lone Democrat on the ballot.

The former Nebraska attorney general said he strove for economy and efficiency when serving in that office from 1991 to 2003.

With the third smallest budget in the United States at the time and a caseload that increased 50%, Stenberg said the attorney general’s office handled it all because of good management practices.

Stenberg graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and received master’s degrees in both business and law from Harvard University.

He then practiced law before he was named legal counsel to Gov. Charlie Thone in 1979.

The 61-year-old has also served as director of the policy research office, assistant to the governor and director of the Department of Administrative Services where he said he saved Nebraska taxpayers more than $1 million by implementing cost-saving measures.

Although Nebraska voters will decide whether or not to abolish the office four years after a new treasurer takes office, Stenberg said he thinks the office should stay.

“If it’s to save money by consolidating, you could consolidate state financial services under the state treasurer rather than under an appointed bureaucrat,” he said.

He noted that the treasurer’s office is an administrative, not a policy-making one.

“Voters should look at the experience and education of the candidate and select who would do the best possible job,” Stenberg said.

If elected treasurer, Stenberg said he would continue efforts to return unclaimed property and improve electronic transfers in the collection and disbursement of revenue.

“Less paperwork and staff is then needed,” he said.

Stenberg said he would also make citizens aware of the Nebraska Long-Term Care Savings Plan which offers participants tax deductions as well as the better-known Nebraska’s College Savings Plans.

As a member of the Nebraska Investment Council, Stenberg said he’s an advocate of conservative investments where principal is protected with a fair return.

“We need to avoid high-risk investments,” he said, noting that officials in some other states have made bad investments.

Stenberg said he’s spent half his life in public service and half in a private career.

“I enjoy public service. It seems to be a good fit,” he said.

When asked if there are skeletons in his closet, he laughed and said his background was closely scrutinized by his opponent Chuck Hagel when Stenberg unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996.

Later, he said Hagel’s campaign manager said they couldn’t find anything on Stenberg.

Stenberg is a Tekamah native who has been married to Sue (Hoegemeyer) Stenberg for 38 years.

The couple has four children and five grandchildren.

More information about Stenberg can be found on www.stenbergfortreasurer.com or on Facebook or Twitter.

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