Photo by George Lauby
Photo by George Lauby
Don Stenberg said Thursday that he will fight for the individual's right to keep and bear arms, while his leading opponent Jon Bruning is lukewarm on the subject.
Stenberg is in a hot race for the Republican nomination, facing Bruning, Deb Fischer and Pat Flynn.
Stenberg spoke at the North Platte Pawn Shop at the invitation of the Gun Owners of America.
He said he staunchly supports the second amendment of the Constitution, while Bruning wrote a paper in law school supporting gun control.
Also, Stenberg would have opposed President Barack Obama’s 2008 nomination of Eric Holder to be the U.S. Attorney General, based on Holder’s history of support for gun control.
He said his leading opponent, Bruning, would have voted for Holder because a no vote would have been fruitless, given the Democrat majority in Congress.
“Bruning said he would have wanted to be reasonable,” Stenberg said, “but to me it’s a matter of principle, not politics.”
Republican. Lives in Gretna. Age 63. Nebraska Treasurer, elected in 2010.
Background: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, law degree and Master of Business Administration from Harvard. Nebraska Attorney General, elected in 1990, 1994 and 1998; Director of the Department of Administrative Services.
Campaign receipts as of March 31: $627,927
At the gathering, Gun Owner Association lobbyist John Velleco heaped criticism on Holder for the federal governments failed “Operation Fast and Furious,” program, wherein 2,000 weapons were deliberatly released and ended up in the hands of drug gangs along the Mexican border.
The stated intent of Fast and Furious was to see how guns were trafficked to the highest levels of drug cartels, but the program was doomed to fail from the start, Vellco said.
“There were several problems,” Velleco said. “The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms never notified, even informally, the ATF liaison in Mexico. It was an unworkable plan from the outset.”
Meanwhile, two U.S. border agents and 300 Mexicans have been killed with the illegal weapons, Velleco said.
No one in the ATF bureau or the U.S. Department of Justice has taken responsibility for the failed effort, he said.
Rep. Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House of Representatives' committee on oversight and government reform, has asked Holder to explain the failure and who is responsible, but Holder has not cooperated.
Issa believes that gun control, not crime control is the main objective of the Obama administration.
“The Justice Department helped to create a huge mess, and is now seeking more authority to regulate firearms to clean up their own mess,” the April 27 newsletter of the Gun Owners of America said. “At the same time, the Department has taken no action to hold anyone accountable within the government.”
Velleco said he would be glad to work with Stenberg in Congress.
Lance Carlson of North Platte, one of a handful of North Platte residents who attended, spoke up for Bruning. He said Bruning has an “A rating” from the National Rifle Association.
In reply, Stenberg brought up Bruning’s law school paper.
Bruning leads, but many undecided
A survey on April 23-24 by state Sen. Deb Fischer’s campaign of 500 likely Republican primary voters has Bruning leading with 30 percent, Stenberg with 21 percent and Fischer 19 percent, but 28 percent of voters are still undecided.
The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent, according to a report by the Nebraska Watchdog news service of Omaha.
In March, Bruning was leading by 30 points in several polls.