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Posts from the ‘2012 U.S. Senate race’ Category


Bruning and the stock market: Love it or hate it?

Attorney General Jon Bruning just can’t seem to keep his story straight lately.

Last week he told the Omaha World Herald that he made “a lot of money” at his first job out of law school working for Vital Learning Corp. in Omaha — and then made even more money by investing money in the stock market in the early 1990s.

Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Jon Bruning

Here’s what the World-Herald reported:

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.

But then during a radio show on Monday morning, Bruning seemed to contradict himself when he told KFAB that while a lot of people invest in Wall Street, he prefers to invest in Nebraska companies he can “see and touch.”

“I hate Wall Street,” he said. “I’d rather invest here in Nebraska… rather than send it out to New York… which is basically a big casino.”

And while some of Bruning’s investments are in Nebraska — chiefly, his investment in a bank holding company that owns three Nebraska banks — he also has chosen to invest outside of Nebraska, in a storage facility in Iowa and a retirement company in Kansas City.

Seems Bruning is having trouble keeping his story straight: Even though last week he told the World-Herald he made a lot of money off Wall Street, this week he says he hates Wall Street, which is a big casino. And even though he says he prefer to invest in Nebraska companies, he has invested in out-of-state companies.

All of which shows why it’s good to stick to the script. (Bruning’s campaign, by the way, has declined to comment on any of this to me.)

U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson

And while we’re on the topic of Bruning’s wealth, let us not forget that the incumbent everyone is trying to dethrone — U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson — is a very wealthy man, too. estimates he is worth between $8 million and $16.6 million. Their data makes it clear Nelson invests in all kinds of stocks, too.

If reporters decide to look more closely into Bruning’s assets and investments, they’ll have a lot of digging to do on Nelson, too.


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

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.


Bruning and Nelnet sittin’ in a tree… c-o-n-f-l-i-c-t?

The Omaha World-Herald has a heckuva story today on Attorney General Jon Bruning’s cozy relationship with Nelnet — so cozy that he and two Nelnet executives bought a $675,000 lake “cabin” near Ashland together in 2008.

The story is incredible.

Where’s the Journal Star on this and other Bruning bombshells this week?


Stenberg says spending doubled under Bruning’s reign

State Treasurer Don Stenberg is joining state Democrats in hammering Attorney General Jon Bruning for presiding over an office whose budget has nearly doubled in his eight years at the helm.

State Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Don Stenberg

The state Democratic Party bought full-page newspaper ads this week to cajole Bruning for a myriad of perceived transgressions, including the growth of his department’s budget by what they said was 81 percent.

Today Stenberg jumped on the bandwagon, tweeting that “after crunching the numbers,” he discovered Bruning’s budget has actually increased 96 percent — rising from $4.94 million when Stenberg left to a $9.7 million appropriation this year.

Stenberg helpfully tweeted a chart that indicates when he was attorney general from 1991 to 2003, spending only increased 34 percent, for an average annual increase of 3 percent. That compares to an average annual increase of 12 percent under Bruning. So there.

Way to get your Tweet on, Stenberg! (whose Twitter profile describes him as a “genuine, lifelong conservative” candidate… yes, that was a dig at you, Bruning).