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August 29, 2011


Bruning’s finances went from “scary” to multi-millionaire as public official

by Deena Winter

In trying to explain why his financial disclosure forms indicate he’s a multimillionaire, Attorney General Jon Bruning now says he got rich in the roaring 1990s — but he wasn’t singing that tune early on in his political career.

As a young state senator, he was telling the Daily Nebraskan what a financial sacrifice he’d made to become a public servant. He told the college newspaper he gave up his lawyer’s salary to run for the Legislature.

Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Jon Bruning

The DN wrote:

He will earn just $12,000 this year, a substantial pay cut he accepted for the chance to have an impact on state government. To further squeeze his finances, Bruning and his wife, Deonne, are expecting a child in April– a girl, the couple recently learned following an ultrasound test. Although Bruning admits his situation is “scary” at times, he said his sacrifices are worthwhile.

He also told the DN how he and his lawyer wife had sold his Ford Explorer to cut expenses and were commuting to Lincoln in a 1991 Mercury Sable with 80,000 miles on it (!). And yet, this record indicates he bought a $298,000 Omaha house in 1997 — just a few years out of law school.

But these days, Bruning is busy talking about how well he did investing in the 1990s to explain why his financial disclosure forms indicate he’s got assets of between $12 million and $61 million. Here’s what he told the Omaha World-Herald recently:

He also says he was “incredibly fortunate” as a young man out of law school to land a sales position at Vital Learning Corp. of Omaha, which sells personal-training programs to businesses. He says he made a “lot of money” at the company, although he declined to say exactly how much.

He said he then made more money by investing in the robust markets of the 1990s. “I was able to successfully invest that money in the stock market in the early 1990s,” he said.

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Brian T. Osborn
    Aug 29 2011

    So they guy is obviously a liar, by his own admission.

  2. deb
    Aug 29 2011

    hmmmm, interesting. First of all, I want to say that I’m glad he and his wife were so fortunate to make money in the “boom” market of the 90’s. I have no problem with that, and obviously, they have the brains, background, and connections to make their financial dreams come true. He and his family are truly financially savvy. However, I’m not sure what his motivation is to being a “public servant”, since many do NOT have the brains, background, and connections to live up to his obvious expectations (raccoons?). I’d love to see him apply his acumen for business to gov’t.

    Where’s the giving back piece of the puzzle (public service), besides his PR campaign, and NE taxpayer salary? If he wants to be a financial mogul, I say go for it. If he wants to be a public official, I think he has some work to do. I just remember his previous campaign commercial which featured the town of Bruning. Uh, awkward, for the residents of Bruning, since he never lived there in his life, nor did his immediate family. Yet, he seems to think voters must be gullible enough to buy into this (well, I guess he’s right, VOTERS). Yet, in the same breath, he pounds home how irresponsible “other” lower-income, less educated people are, albeit many of us pay his salary. Yeah, it’s always the “others”. I’m not a screaming liberal, I’m actually getting more conservative as I get older, but I have to say Jon, you’re out of my league, financially, education-wise (I do have a BA) and ego-wise. Hope you’re happy with your second home on the Platte, and I hope the raccoons don’t bother you too much, or get into your garbage……

  3. paul mike grieger
    Aug 29 2011

    this monday morning on KFAB, Jon stated that he did not trust the new york stock market and chose to invest in Nebraska Companies.

    I am sure KFAB taped his remarks.

    Dear Deb…the raccoons are in his “Garbage”.

  4. Jane H Kinsey
    Aug 29 2011

    Hey, I want to know what Nebraska Companies deliver those kind of profits.
    Does anyone want to vote for him again?
    His life and stories get more curious and curiouser by the minute.

  5. Dan Bretta
    Aug 29 2011

    I wonder what a raccoon would do if given such plumb investment opportunities?

  6. Hamburg
    Aug 30 2011

    Sounds like when Bruning joined the legislature he had a cash flow issue. 12k a year from his salary seems to be pretty low, so I guess that’s why he had to cut his expenses. Now, I’m also guessing that he had some funds saved, which is what he used for his investments.

    Seems like a pretty smart decision not to tap into his cash fund and invest it wisely, while cutting his expenses down to fit the 12k a year salary.

  7. Jen Smith
    Aug 31 2011

    Nice hatchet job Deena. Bruning went from making lots at Vital Learning to $12k in the Legislature in 1997. Sounds like you’re just unhappy he talked to Walton and not you? Is he a career pol or a business guy?


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