United States Senate candidate Jon Bruning is defending his position on investments, including a $675,000 lake home near Ashland that he purchased with executives of Nelnet. Critics contend this places Bruning, the Attorney General, in a possible conflict of interest. Bruning says he informed the Department of Banking and Accountability and Disclosure about the arrangement and a procedure is in place that would recuse him from any litigation involving Nelnet.
Bruning dismisses earlier criticism about his investments. He says he invests in Nebraska businesses, preferring local to Wall Street investments. Bruning tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate, KFAB, on its Good Morning Show that he has invested in businesses such as storage facilites, retirement homes and several banks in addition to the lake home.
Bruning is now having to explain his dealings with two executives with Nelnet, a Nebraska based student loan institution. Nelnet and several other loan institutions came under fire in 2007 due for questionable business dealings and overcharging the federal government due to a loophole in regulations. Nelnet settled the case for $55 million. Bruning initially waived a $1 million settlement the state reached with Nebraska, then reinstated it. Bruning maintains the entire issue was ridiculous and the two executives did nothing wrong.
Bruning and the two Nelnet executives bought the home in 2008, one year after the Nelnet issue was brought to light.