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Minister calls on Nebraska lawmaker to apologize, give contribution to charity

By   /   June 27, 2013  /   11 Comments

By Deena Winter | Nebraska Watchdog

LINCOLN – A retired Methodist minister who ran against Bill Kintner for the Legislature last year, and might run against next year, is calling on the state senator to give campaign donation he received from a former sex shop owner and convicted felon to charity.

The Rev. Mel Luetchens, a retired United Methodist minister, said Kintner should disavow a major campaign contributor, “Doctor John” Haltom and donate the equivalent of Haltom’s $1,349 donations of campaign signs to a charity that advocates for women, children and families. Nebraska Watchdog first reported on Kintner’s contributions from Haltom on Friday.

The Rev. Mel Luetchens

The Rev. Mel Luetchens

Last year, Luetchens, a Democrat from Murdock, ran for the District 2 seat now held by Kintner, finishing fourth in a field of six in the primary. Today, he said he’s beginning a listening tour to decide whether to run against Kintner next year.

He also said Kintner’s “professed conservative and religious convictions don’t carry over to his solicitation of contributors” since the chain of adult novelty stores Haltom formerly owned sold pornographic paraphernalia and Haltom has been convicted of distributing obscene literature.

Luetchens noted that Kintner has not apologized for accepting $1,349 worth of signs from Haltom. Kintner told Nebraska Watchdog it would be pretty difficult to give the signs back.

“I’ve counseled with individuals and families who have experienced abuse and addictions,” Luetchens said in a release. “This is a blatant disregard for the scourge of pornography. Senator Kintner should immediately apologize to the families of our district and give the money to a nonprofit organization.”

Kintner declined to comment on Luetchens’ call for an apology and charity donation, saying Luetchens is “playing politics.” Kintner said although he is a Christian, he ran for the Legislature as a “Reagan conservative” not a “Christian conservative.”

He said he’s going to do the business of the people and “reign in spending” while liberals pound him in the run-up to the election next year.

Bill Kintner

Bill Kintner

Luetchens said he was taught the most important thing a leader can do is listen to those around them.

“Clearly Bill Kintner does not share the values of our community, especially in relation to his respect and appreciation for women and the family,” he said. “But that alone does not mean I should run. I need to take the time to listen to voters and learn about their concerns and vision for the future of our district.”

Kintner is a self-employed Papillion market researcher who is married to Lauren Kintner, director of the governor’s Policy Research Office. He was endorsed last year by Gov. Dave Heineman, who has declined to comment on Kintner’s contributions from Haltom.

Contact Deena Winter at [email protected].

Editor’s note: to subscribe to News Updates from Nebraska Watchdog at no cost, click here.


Deena formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • gerardharbison

    ‘The scourge of pornography’? BWAHAHAHA! And if pornography is bad because it demeans women, then he must be OK with gay male porno?

    Bad enough when Republicans want to pry into our personal lives. Now we have Democrat bible-thumpers at it too.

  • John Haltom

    The Rev. Mel Luetchens
    YOU ARE A LOOSER. You will never be voted in as a Nebraska Senator. Senator Bill Kintner is one of the most honest men I have ever had the privilege to meet. I wounder why you are a retired Minister. I know why we retire Catholic Priest. They also talk like you. And they are HYPOCRITES, AND CHILD MOLESTERS. Not saying you are, but why are you a retired.

  • Guest


    Are you serious?!

  • katie

    Wow, and this man, John Halstrom, wants to run for office. He is neither educated nor eloquent. We can do much better, Nebraska.

  • Joe Herring

    Honestly, could this be more of a non-story? Guilt by association was a hallmark of yellow journalism, but now we are treated to guilt by tangential association? You are pursuing an agenda here, and your publication is courting irrelevancy as a result. Clean it up “Watchdog.”

  • John Haltom

    Katie, you are right. I only graduated High School. But I have served my country, I have built and ran a multi million dollar business, I have also fought the government for over 20 years (even gone to jail) for the protection of your 1st Amendment rights. But I am very poud of being very observant, on my trip to Mexico I found an abducted child. I assisted the FBI in recovering this child. I kept eyes on the boy and his abductor for 4 days. This gave time for the FBI to make arrangement with the Mexican government to retrieve the child and return him to his Father. Katie, I am keeping this short. What have you done? And my last name is spelled Haltom.

  • Louis Geditz

    Hmm now talk about hypocritical… Democrats are the party of abortion, yet a minister claims to be a Democrat. And he is worried about less than $1500 given by a tax-paying business person? Clean up your own house first, minister.

  • coffeeman308

    Retired Methodist minister- Isn’t the Methodist Church in favor of what harms women? Gay sex, gay preachers, abortion for all, and taking the Bible way out of context to say that “Love” is the only thing we must do forgetting that love also means living by biblical principles- of which homosexuality, abortion, and other things they are either for or against contrary to the scriptures. I have even heard of many of their leaders that say “the bible is not applicable because most of it is just myth”

    The reason the Methodists have lost millions of congregants is because of the leftist leaning that is taught at their so called seminaries.

  • gerardharbison

    I’m just so tired of Democrats peering into our bedrooms and prying into our personal lives.

  • Levi Lippincott

    It has been a long time that people have complained about lobbyists and
    the politicians they buy. Apparently that has now changed and you are
    worthy of a hit piece when you accept donations from a constituent who
    asks no favors of you other than to actually do what you have said
    during the campaign.

    Should the Senator or any candidate
    running for office for that matter be scrutinized for not running a
    background check on every person they run across in the campaign trail
    that wants to contribute to their cause? No, that is nonsense.

    Should the Senator or any candidate return any funds they receive? If there is a conflict of interest that can be shown, sure.

    Did Senator Kintner benefit from any of Mr. Haltom’s business ventures?
    Nothing in this article or anywhere else I can find shows this

    God forbid an elected
    official or candidate make an honest connection on ideas and principles
    with their constituents that warrants a financial contribution to said
    official or candidate.

  • Jerry Thomas

    Pure political games here…..