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Brett Lindstrom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brett Lindstrom
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 18th district
Assumed office
January 7, 2015
Preceded byScott Lautenbaugh
Personal details
Born (1981-03-23) March 23, 1981 (age 39)
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceOmaha, Nebraska
OccupationFinancial advisor

Brett R. Lindstrom (born March 23, 1981) is a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. In 2012, he unsuccessfully ran for a Nebraska seat in the U.S. Congress, losing to incumbent Lee Terry in the Republican primary election. In 2014, he was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, representing an Omaha district.

Personal life and professional career

Lindstrom was born March 23, 1981, in Lincoln, Nebraska. He was raised in Omaha, where he graduated from Millard West High School in 1999. He attended the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, graduating in 2004 with a B.S. in history. At the university, he joined the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team as a walk-on, playing in five games as a back-up quarterback.[1][2][3][4]

Lindstrom returned to Omaha, where he worked with his father, Dan Lindstrom, as a financial advisor. In 2007, he married Leigh Ancona; the couple produced three children.[1][3]

2012 Congressional election

In 2012, Lindstrom made his first bid for elective office, running for Nebraska's 2nd District seat in the U.S. Congress. He was one of four Republicans challenging the incumbent, Republican Lee Terry; the others were railroad worker Paul Anderson; Glenn Freeman, a onetime Douglas County Republican chairman; and Jack Heidel, chairman of the mathematics department at the University of Nebraska Omaha.[5]

In his campaign, Lindstrom accused Terry of lacking commitment to conservative principles.[6] He took Terry to task for voting for an increase in the United States debt ceiling without demanding a balanced budget amendment in return;[7] and he condemned Terry's efforts to speed approval of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, calling Terry "unequivocally beholden to corporate lobbyists and special interests"[8] and accusing him of defending "corporate special interests over the Nebraska taxpayer"[9] In debate, Terry counterattacked, declaring that a Lindstrom press release on the pipeline "sounded like it came from the Democratic Party".[10]

Lindstrom led the challengers in fundraising, although his receipts were an order of magnitude less than Terry's.[5] Terry won the Republican primary election with 60.0% of the vote; Lindstrom came in second, with 22.8%, trailed by Heidel with 11.0%, Freeman with 3.9%, and Anderson with 2.2%.[11] Terry went on to win the general election, defeating the Democrats' candidate, Douglas County treasurer John Ewing, by a margin of 50.8%–49.2%.[12][13]

Nebraska legislature

2014 election

In 2014, Lindstrom ran for the Nebraska Legislature from the 18th District in northwestern Omaha. Incumbent Scott Lautenbaugh, a Republican, was ineligible to seek re-election under Nebraska's term-limits law.[14][15]

Four candidates sought the position. Lindstrom, a Republican, described himself as a fiscal conservative. Chad Adams, a carpenter, called himself a "blue-collar, small-government Republican with libertarian leanings".[16] Mike Tesar, a retired Omaha chief deputy prosecutor, had been a Democrat for most of his life, but had re-registered as an independent in 2013; he condemned the Legislature's recent decision not to expand Medicaid under the provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Joe Vaughn, a chef, stated that he was running as an independent to allow voters to choose someone who was not a member of one of the two major parties, declaring that both were corrupt and represented "the special interests and wealthy donors";[16] he had unsuccessfully attempted to gather enough signatures to run as an independent in the 2012 2nd District congressional election.[16]

In the nonpartisan primary election, Lindstrom placed first, with 1689 votes, or 45.8% of the total. Tesar came in second, with 1301 votes (35.2%). Vaughn and Adams trailed, with 449 votes (12.2%) and 252 votes (6.8%) respectively.[17]

As the top two vote-getters, Lindstrom and Tesar moved on to the general election, in which taxes figured as a major issue. Lindstrom, calling himself "a committed fiscal conservative", stated that he would work to eliminate the state's income tax, particularly the tax on income from Social Security, and the state's inheritance tax.[2] Tesar called the elimination of many of these taxes impractical, stating that a certain level of taxation was necessary to maintain essential services, among which he included medical care and health insurance for all, an educational system that would enable graduates to obtain good jobs, adequate law enforcement, and alcohol- and drug-treatment programs in prisons.[18]

In the course of the campaign, the Lindstrom organization received about $70,000 in cash and in-kind contributions, and spent about $81,000.[19] Major donors to his campaign included groups representing Nebraska bankers and members of the National Association of Realtors.[18] He received endorsements from Nebraska governor Dave Heineman, from Omaha mayor Jean Stothert, and from incumbent Lautenbaugh.[18] Tesar received about $71,000, and spent the same amount; this included over $32,000 from the Nebraska State Education Association and $6,000 from the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys.[20]

When the election was held, Lindstrom won the seat, with 4907 votes, or 54.9% of the total; Tesar garnered 4031 votes, or 45.1%.[21]

Legislative tenure

2015 session

In the 2015 session of the Legislature, Lindstrom was appointed to the Banking, Commerce, and Insurance Committee, and to the Natural Resources Committee.[22] He ran for the chair of the Nebraska Retirement Systems Committee, in defiance of an unwritten rule under which freshman legislators did not run for leadership posts, losing by a 24–25 vote to incumbent Jeremy Nordquist. The closeness of the vote was attributed in part to the influx of conservative senators after the 2014 election; Nordquist, a Democrat, had supported the Affordable Care Act and the proposal to expand Medicaid in Nebraska thereunder, and a 2014 referendum that increased the state's minimum wage.[23]

Among the "most significant"[24] actions taken by the Legislature in its 2015 session were three bills that passed over vetoes by governor Pete Ricketts. LB268 repealed the state's death penalty; LB623 reversed the state's previous policy of denying driver's licenses to people who were living illegally in the United States after being brought to the country as children, and who had been granted exemption from deportation under the Barack Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; and LB610 increased the tax on gasoline to pay for repairs to roads and bridges.[24][25][26] Lindstrom voted in favor of the death-penalty repeal, and to override Ricketts's veto of the measure;[27] he voted against passage of LB623, and to sustain the gubernatorial veto;[28] and voted in favor of the gas-tax increase, and to override the veto.[29]

2016 session

In its 2016 session, the Nebraska legislature passed three bills that Ricketts then vetoed. LB580 would have created an independent commission of citizens to draw new district maps following censuses; supporters described it as an attempt to de-politicize the redistricting process, while Ricketts maintained that the bill delegated the legislature's constitutional duty of redistricting to "an unelected and unaccountable board".[30][31] Lindstrom voted against the bill in its 29–15 passage.[32] Sponsor John Murante opted not to seek an override of the governor's veto.[33]

A second vetoed bill, LB935, would have changed state audit procedures. The bill passed by a margin of 37–8, with 4 present and not voting; Lindstrom was among those voting in favor. The bill was withdrawn without an attempt to override the veto; the state auditor agreed to work with the governor on a new version for the next year's session.[30][34]

A third bill passed over Ricketts's veto. LB947 made DACA beneficiaries eligible for commercial and professional licenses in Nebraska. The bill passed the Legislature on a vote of 33–11–5; the veto override passed 31–13–5. Lindstrom voted for the bill, and for the override of Ricketts's veto.[35][36]

The legislature failed to pass LB10, greatly desired by the Republican Party, which would have restored Nebraska to a winner-take-all scheme of allocating its electoral votes in U.S. presidential elections, rather than continuing its practice of awarding the electoral vote for each congressional district to the candidate who received the most votes in that district. Supporters were unable to break a filibuster; in the 32–17 cloture motion, Lindstrom was among those who voted in favor of the bill.[37][38]


  1. ^ a b "Sen. Brett Lindstrom—Biography". Archived March 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved March 5, 2015. Archived March 5, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Meet Brett: Lindstrom for Legislature". Retrieved March 6, 2015. Archived January 24, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ a b Petersen, Brandi. "Husker returns to Lincoln as senator-elect". KETV. November 14, 2014. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  4. ^ "#15 Brett Lindstrom". Archived November 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved March 5, 2015. Archived November 7, 2012, at Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ a b Stohs-Krause, Hilary. "Republican candidates seek to beat the odds by challenging Terry in House primary". NET Radio. April 18, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Walton, Don. "Brett Lindstrom says he's more dependable, conservative than Terry". Lincoln Journal Star. July 30, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  7. ^ "CONGRESSMAN TERRY FLIP-FLOPS AGAIN: Lindstrom’s answer to the federal deficit problem". Archived March 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Lindstrom for Congress '12. Archived June 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine November 12, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2015. Archived March 7, 2015, at Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Press Release: What Lee Terry Doesn't Want You To Know About Corporate Lobbyists & The 'Keystone Kickback'". Archived March 7, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Brett Lindstrom for Congress '12. Archived June 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine Archived March 7, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ "Press Release: Current Keystone XL Pipeline Plans Bad for Nebraska". Archived March 6, 2015, at the Wayback Machine Brett Lindstrom for Congress '12. Archived June 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine September 18, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2015. Archived March 6, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Murray, Robyn. "Terry squares off with GOP challengers". KVNO News. April 20, 2012. Retrieved March 6, 2015. Archived September 2, 2014, at Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 15, 2012", p. 24. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  12. ^ "Ewing Challenging Terry In Omaha-Area Congressional Race". NET. September 13, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  13. ^ "Official Results of Nebraska General Election - November 6, 2012", p. 13. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  14. ^ "Legislative District 18 - LB703 (2011)". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved March 5, 2015. Archived February 5, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Hoffman, Alex. "Tesar, Lindstrom compete for District 18 seat". KETV. October 13, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  16. ^ a b c Hendee, David. "Four in race for Legislative District 18". Omaha World-Herald. April 27, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  17. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 13, 2014", p. 35. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c Hendee, David. "Candidates offer personal touch in northwest Omaha's Legislative District 18 race". Omaha World-Herald. October 14, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  19. ^ "Financial Summary", Friends of Lindstrom. Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Financial Summary", Tesar for Legislature. Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  21. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: General Election, November 4, 2014" Archived January 8, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, p. 20. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
  22. ^ "2015 Legislative Committees". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved February 22, 2015. Archived February 22, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  23. ^ Soderlin, Ryan. "Nebraska lawmakers stick with age, experience in choosing Kearney Sen. Hadley as speaker". Omaha World-Herald. January 7, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
  24. ^ a b Knapp, Fred. "2015 Legislature Leaves Its Mark On Nebraska". NET (Nebraska public radio and television). June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  25. ^ Walton, Don. "Senators override Ricketts' veto of Dreamers licenses". Lincoln Journal Star. May 28, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  26. ^ Pluhacek, Zach. "Gas tax hike gets Nebraska lawmakers' OK, governor's veto". Lincoln Journal Star. May 7, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  27. ^ "Legislative Journal, One Hundred Fourth Legislature, First Session". Nebraska Legislature. Vote on final reading of LB268 is at pp. 1738–39; override of veto is at pp. 1896–98.
  28. ^ "Legislative Journal, One Hundred Fourth Legislature, First Session". Nebraska Legislature. Vote on final reading of LB623 is at pp. 1791–92; override of veto is at pp. 1930–32.
  29. ^ "Legislative Journal, One Hundred Fourth Legislature, First Session". Nebraska Legislature. Vote on final reading of LB610 is at p. 1500; override of veto is at p. 1623.
  30. ^ a b Matheny, Ryan. "Nebraska legislators wrap up 2016 session". KMA. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  31. ^ Nohr, Emily. "'Unconstitutional, unelected and unaccountable': Ricketts vetoes bill to revamp how political maps are drawn". Omaha World-Herald. April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  32. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine p. 1622. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  33. ^ "Independent redistricting commission vetoed, no override attempt offered". Unicameral Update. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  34. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine pp. 1579–80. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  35. ^ Duggan, Joe. "Legislature to vote on overriding veto on bill that would allow work licenses for those brought to U.S. illegally as kids". Omaha World-Herald. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  36. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Passage of LB947 is on p. 1614; the veto override is on pp. 1637–38. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  37. ^ Stoddard, Martha. "Bill to return Nebraska to winner-take-all Electoral College method comes up short". Omaha World-Herald. April 13, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  38. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine p. 1591. Retrieved April 29, 2016.

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