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The candidates for U.S. Senate in Nebraska had a debate the other night. When asked to name a mistake they’ve made in their adult life, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning was the only candidate who couldn’t think of one. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I think if you ask my wife she could tell you that,” he said. “There’s so many it’s hard to put my finger on just one.” Since Jon Bruning can’t think of one mistake, here’s a list so Nebraska Republicans know about the record he’s trying so hard to hide.
Bruning Supported Universal Healthcare: “The best direction for the future includes a government sponsored basic health care plan for all Americans. … Our present system borders on socialized medicine anyway, with the government paying 42 percent of all health care costs under the guise of various programs…. If we want the best, we had better be prepared to pay for it.”Bruning Praised Obama’s Stimulus Funding: “The additional support is important to maintain the quality of life we enjoy in our state.” Bruning Funded His Office With Obama Stimulus Money: “I would have voted against the stimulus and TARP (the bailout of financial institutions),” Bruning said during a press conference announcing the Tea Party Express’s endorsement last year. However, Bruning’s office has been awarded more than a million dollars in stimulus dollars through six grants.Bruning Supported Higher Gas Taxes and Social Security Taxes: “A 50 cent increase in the gas tax, which would raise about $50 billion in revenue would probably cost each driver about $300 a year. … Increase the tax on Social Security benefits. Only 18 percent of those people who receive benefits would be affected if the tax were raised for individuals earning more that $25,000 or couples earning more than $32,000.”Bruning Supported Higher Sales Taxes and Property Taxes: “Johanns said lawmakers had voted for a “double hit” to taxpayers. Not only did senators vote to raise the sales tax, he said, they in effect raised property taxes because the bill also would permit schools to exceed state spending limits to improve teacher pay.”Bruning Lobbied the Senate to Confirm Eric Holder: Bruning signed a letter stating, “We believe that Mr. Holder has the knowledge and experience necessary to run the Department of Justice and work with us to enforce our laws.”Bruning Lobbied the Senate to Confirm Thomas Perez: Bruning supported radical attorney Thomas Perez who is now leading the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Texas’ voter ID law. Bruning stated, “[Perez] is a nationally recognized civil rights lawyer whose breadth and depth of experience make him an ideal choice to lead the Civil Rights Division, .. [w]e are confident that Mr. Perez would be an exceptional Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and urge you to consider his nomination.”Bruning Requested an Earmark from Senator Ben Nelson: “In the wake of a fundraising appeal by Attorney General Jon Bruning attacking Sen. Ben Nelson for his support of appropriations earmarks, Nelson promptly pointed to a $500,000 federal earmark that he said Bruning requested and accepted in fiscal 2009.”Bruning Supported Abortion: “I think a woman should have a right to choose. I’m not saying I personally believe in abortion, but I think a woman has a right to decide what to do with her own body. Personally, I think life begins in the tenth week of gestation upon the inception of brain waves in the fetus. Regardless, I don’t want the government making this decision for women.”Bruning Backed Gun Control: “I believe in gun control. … Many types of handguns and ammunition, however, need to be regulated.”Bruning Wanted to Force the Boy Scouts to Accept Homosexuals: “I believe homosexuals should have the same rights as everyone else. They ought to be able to be Boy Scout leaders, soldiers and anything else they want to be.”Bruning Opposed Reagan’s Economic Policy and Personally Attacked Him: “I would love to persuade you that trickle-down economics was a farce or that Ronald Reagan was incapable of understanding complex policy arguments.”Bruning Supported Affirmative Action: “I believe in affirmative action. If a woman or a black person takes the place of a white male in a law school entering class, we’re all better off.”Bruning Supported Massive Increases in Education Spending: Buying into the canard that public schools fail because they don’t have enough money, during his 2000 campaign for the Unicameral Bruning pledged to: “Increase state funds for professional development of public school teachers and administrators. Increase state funds for school capital improvements (e.g. buildings and infrastructure). Increase state funds for hiring additional teachers. Provide state funding to increase teacher salaries.”Bruning Supported Race-based Admissions at Colleges and Universities: When he was running for the Unicameral, Project Vote Smart asked “Which of the following state agencies should take race and sex into account when making employment decisions?” Bruning only replied NO for “Public Employment” and “State Contracting” leaving “College and University Admissions” blank indicating his continued support for race based admissions in Nebraska.Bruning Supported a Two Dollar Increase in Car Taxes: “Bruning is asking the Legislature for a $2 increase in vehicle title fees to replace federal grant funds for drug prosecution that are in jeopardy and help fund seven additional methamphetamine prosecutors in the Attorney General’s office.”Bruning Waived a Company’s Settlement, Accepted Their Campaign Contributions, and Then Bought a Vacation Home With the Company’s President: “According to OpenSecrets.org, Nelnet employees have contributed $12,900 to Bruning’s Senate campaign, making the company his ninth largest contributor.” … “In the summer of 2007, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning waived a $1 million settlement reached with a student loan company accused of improper business practices. … A year after the controversy, Bruning and two top Nelnet executives purchased a $675,000 house together near the Platte River.”This list of Jon Bruning’s mistakes is just the beginning. There are many more.The May 15 primary is less than two weeks away. It’s time for conservatives to unite behind Don Stenberg.