By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog
LINCOLN –Contrary to some political speculation, Attorney General Jon Bruning said today he’s not running for governor in 2014.
“I love being attorney general,” he said in response to a question during a press conference during which he unveiled proposed legislation. “I’m not running for governor. I’m doing my job. I love my job.”
Bruning lost a bruising Republican primary last year for the U.S. Senate – where underdog state Sen. Deb Fischer benefitted from attack ads against Bruning by outside groups that questioned his ethics and business investments.
But Bruning said he’s thrilled to be Nebraska’s attorney general and wakes up happy every day. He said he’s “preparing to run for re-election” as attorney general, but added “it’s too early to talk about that.”
Asked whether he’d consider running for another elective office, Bruning said, “Probably not. You find a place where you’re doing well and making a difference.”
“I’m a happy guy,” he said.
Bruning unveiled four proposed bills his office will push in the Legislature this year:
• Making voluntary and involuntary manslaughter two separate offenses, both felonies. Currently, both intentional and unintentional killings are punished as manslaughter, a class 3 felony. Voluntary manslaughter would be a class 2 felony with a maximum penalty of 50 years imprisonment; involuntary manslaughter would be a class 3 felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.
• Requiring businesses to notify the attorney general’s office of data breaches involving Nebraskans. Currently, 17 states have such a law.
• Banning the state from investing public funds in companies associated with Iran, as is done in 23 other states and the District of Columbia.
• Making it a class 3 felony to try to disarm a law enforcement officer.
Asked whether he sees any need for gun control legislation, Bruning said while he sympathizes with the victims of recent gun violence – he knows former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, for example – he doesn’t think gun control is the answer.
“To me it’s not the gun that is the problem,” he said. It’s the mentally ill people who wield the guns, he said. He said the prospect of putting armed officers in schools is “something that needs to be talked about.”
“I’m not sure we want create an armed encampment,” Bruning said. “We’re not going to stop crazy people from doing (things).”
Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.