By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
LINCOLN — While Attorney General Jon Bruning has taken a lot of heat for becoming a multimillionaire since entering public office about 15 years ago, financial disclosure reports show his chief critic and Republican opponent for the U.S. Senate is also a millionaire.
State Treasurer Don Stenberg reported between $1 million and $4.4 million in assets on the financial disclosure report U.S. Senate candidates must file with the Secretary of the Senate. In an interview, he said his net worth is more than a million dollars.
The other top GOP candidate running for the U.S. Senate, Valentine rancher Deb Fischer, reported between $2.3 million and $6.7 million in assets, mostly related to her family’s Sunny Slope Ranch in Cherry County. But she also reported between $1.9 million and $6.9 million in liabilities. She would not comment on her net worth.
Bruning has taken fire for reporting between $12 million and $61 million in assets, and between $10 million and $35 million in liabilities. He has said he is worth a few million dollars. Last year Democrats accused Bruning of being a part-time attorney general while amassing wealth, and Stenberg recently joined in, accusing Bruning of being in politics to enrich himself.
But Stenberg said there’s a big difference between he and Bruning because Stenberg made his money while working in the private sector, including about 20 years in a “pretty successful law practice.” Stenberg’s assets include a condo in Naples, Fla., valued at between $100,000 and $250,000 and between $265,000 and $2.1 million in dividends and capital gains from his wife’s family’s corn seed companies, Hoegemeyer Enterprisesand Hoegemeyer Hybrids.