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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John Stinner
Member of the Nebraska Legislature
from the 48th district
Assumed office
January 7, 2015
Preceded byJohn Harms
Personal details
Born (1951-10-11) October 11, 1951 (age 69)
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceGering, Nebraska

John Stinner (born October 11, 1951) is a politician from the state of Nebraska in the Midwestern United States. In 2014, he was elected to the Nebraska Legislature, representing a district in the western part of the state. Stinner is a member of the Republican Party.

Early life and career

Stinner was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 11, 1951. In 1969, he graduated from Montour High School in the Pittsburgh area. He accepted an athletic scholarship to play football at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; there, he was a member of the teams that won national championships in 1970 and 1971. In 1973, he obtained a B.S. in business administration; in 1976, an M.A. in economics.[1][2]

Stinner married in 1972; he and his wife, Rita, produced two children.[1]

Following his graduation, Stinner worked in Lincoln, first as a CPA for Peat Marwick Mitchell, then as senior lender and head internal auditor for First Commerce Bancshares. In 1988, he and a group of investors founded Gering State Bank, in the city of Gering in the western Nebraska Panhandle. In 1997, the bank was renamed Valley Bank and Trust Co. In 2011, it expanded into the front range of Colorado, where it operated as Western States Bank. As of 2016, it had eight locations in six western Nebraska communities: Gering, Scottsbluff, Bayard, Ogallala, Grant, and Wauneta; and three locations in Fort Collins and Loveland, Colorado.[3][4][5]

Stinner was elected to the Gering School Board in 2000, and served from 2001 to 2004, including a stint as the board's president. In 2007, he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board. He eventually served a total of ten years on the board, five of them as president.[6][7]

In 2013, Stinner was elected chairman of the Nebraska Bankers Association (NBA); the organization is described as providing "education, financial services, lobbying, and other industry functions" for its membership, which consists of nearly all of the commercial banks and savings institutions in the state. According to the Nebraska chapter of Common Cause, the NBA spent a total of $740,000 on lobbying over the five-year span from 2011 through 2015, making it the fifth-highest spender among lobbying organizations in the state.[3][8][9][10]

Nebraska legislature

2014 election

In early 2014, Stinner announced that he would run for the Nebraska legislature from District 48, coterminous with Scotts Bluff County and including the cities of Gering and Scottsbluff. The incumbent, John Harms, was ineligible to run for a third consecutive term under Nebraska's term-limits law.[2][11][12]

In the officially nonpartisan race, Stinner, a member of the Republican Party, faced Scottsbluff attorney Mike Meister, a Democrat. Meister had obtained undergraduate and law degrees from Creighton University, then enlisted the U.S. Army and served in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate. He had subsequently joined his father's law practice in Scottsbluff. In 2002, he had run for the post of Nebraska Attorney General, losing to Republican Jon Bruning with 34% of the vote to Bruning's 66%. In 2010, he had run as the Democratic candidate in the state's gubernatorial election; he was named only after the party's original nominee, Mark Lakers, had abruptly withdrawn from the race after questions were raised regarding his campaign finance reports. Meister had been defeated, garnering 26% of the vote to incumbent Dave Heineman's 74%.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19]

Both Meister and Stinner stated that the state's tax system needed to change. Both expressed support for infrastructure improvements, including the completion of the Heartland Expressway, a planned multilane divided highway running roughly north-south across the Panhandle and passing through the Scottsbluff-Gering area. Meister favored the proposed expansion of Medicaid in Nebraska under the provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act; Stinner favored some alternative approach to providing access to basic health services. Meister supported a ballot initiative to raise the state's minimum wage; Stinner equivocated, saying that there was evidence both for and against such a measure.[13][20]

Over the entire course of the campaign, Stinner raised contributions of $109,000 and spent $101,000. Meister raised $39,000 in contributions and spent $35,000. Stinner contributed $2,500 to his own campaign; other major contributions included $9,000 from a Scottsbluff farm-implement dealer, $5,000 from a Gering welding-and-fabrication business, and $5,000 from a Gering electrical contractor. Meister contributed over $12,800 to his own campaign; he also received $3,100 from the Bob Kerrey Senate campaign, and nearly $1,000 from the Nebraska Democratic Party.[21][22]

In the nonpartisan primary election, Stinner received 3919 votes, or 75.2% of the total, to Meister's 1292 votes, or 24.8%.[23] Since there were only two candidates, both moved on to the general election, which Stinner won with 6484 votes, or 70.2% of the total, to Meister's 2757 votes, or 29.8%.[24]

Legislative tenure

2015 session

In the 2015 legislative session, Stinner was assigned to the Appropriations Committee, and named vice-chair of the special Building Maintenance Committee.[25]

Among the "most significant"[26] 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.[26][27][28] Stinner voted against the death-penalty repeal, and to sustain Ricketts's veto of the measure;[29] he voted for passage of LB623, and to override the gubernatorial veto;[30] and he voted for passage of the gas-tax increase, and to override the veto.[31]

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".[32][33] Stinner voted for the bill in its 29–15 passage.[34] Sponsor John Murante opted not to seek an override of the governor's veto.[35]

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; Stinner was among those voting for it. 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.[32][36]

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. Stinner voted for the bill at its initial passage, and in favor of overriding Ricketts's veto.[37][38]

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, Stinner was among those who voted for the bill.[39][40]


  1. ^ a b "Sen. John Stinner—Biography". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved June 7, 2015. Archived September 27, 2015, at Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b Guzman, Chabella. "Local businessman announces candidacy for Legislature". Scottsbluff Star-Herald. January 4, 2014. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Ex-Lincoln banker taking reins of NBA". Lincoln Journal Star. May 3, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  4. ^ "History". Valley Bank and Trust Co. Retrieved June 7, 2016. Archived September 5, 2015.
  5. ^ "Hours & Locations". Valley Bank and Trust Co. Retrieved June 7, 2016. Archived March 28, 2016.
  6. ^ Holsinger, Roger. "Stinner to fill Gering School Board vacancy". Scottsbluff Star-Herald. August 8, 2007. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  7. ^ "John Stinner selected to represent bankers". Scottsbluff Star-Herald. May 8, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Description of NBA's function at Jordan, Steve, "New leader chosen for Nebraska Bankers Association", Omaha World-Herald, January 18, 2014. Retrieved June 7, 2014.
  9. ^ Duggan, Jack. "Money spent on lobbying Nebraska Legislature hit record $15.6 million in 2015". Kearney Hub. No date. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  10. ^ "2016 Lobby Report". Nebraska Common Cause. p. 3. Retrieved June 7, 2016.
  11. ^ "Legislative District 48 - LB703 (2011)". Nebraska Legislature. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "2014 Candidate Guidebook", p. 20. Nebraska Rural Electric Association. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  13. ^ a b Nelson, Brandon. "Both candidates in Nebraska Legislative District 48 want tax changes". Omaha World-Herald. October 14, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Purvis, Jerry. "Attorney, banker square off in Senate race: Meister eyes property tax system". Gering Citizen. May 1, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  15. ^ Lydick, Beverly J. "Meister only wants to be state's top attorney". Fremont Tribune. June 11, 2002. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  16. ^ "Nebraska election 2002: Attorney General". Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  17. ^ "New Candidate To Challenge Heineman In Governor's Race". WOWT. July 18, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  18. ^ Beck, Margery A. "Mike Meister has 3 weeks to find running mate". Lincoln Journal Star. August 8, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  19. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: General Election, November 2, 2010", p. 11. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  20. ^ "Heartland Expressway". Brochure at Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  21. ^ "Mike Meister for Legislature", general statement 10/21/2014–12/31/2014. Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Retrieved June 6, 2016. See "Financial Summary" tab for overall numbers; "Schedule A" for contributions by individuals; "Schedule B" for contributions by businesses and organizations; "Schedule C" for loans.
  22. ^ "Stinner for Legislature", general statement 10/21/2014–12/31/2014. Nebraska Accountability and Disclosure Commission. Retrieved June 6, 2016. See "Financial Summary" tab for overall numbers; "Schedule A" for contributions by individuals; "Schedule B" for contributions by businesses and organizations; "Schedule C" for loans.
  23. ^ "Official Report of the Board of State Canvassers of the State of Nebraska: Primary Election, May 13, 2014", p. 37. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  24. ^ "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. 22. Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  25. ^ "2015 Legislative Committees". Nebraska Legislature. Archived February 12, 2015.
  26. ^ a b Knapp, Fred. "2015 Legislature Leaves Its Mark On Nebraska". NET (Nebraska public radio and television). June 3, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  27. ^ Walton, Don. "Senators override Ricketts' veto of Dreamers licenses". Lincoln Journal Star. May 28, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  28. ^ Pluhacek, Zach. "Gas tax hike gets Nebraska lawmakers' OK, governor's veto". Lincoln Journal Star. May 7, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  29. ^ "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. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  30. ^ "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. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  31. ^ "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. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  32. ^ a b Matheny, Ryan. "Nebraska legislators wrap up 2016 session". KMA. April 25, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine p. 1622. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  35. ^ "Independent redistricting commission vetoed, no override attempt offered". Unicameral Update. April 19, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  36. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine pp. 1579–80. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ "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 June 6, 2016.
  39. ^ 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.
  40. ^ "Legislative Journal: Carryover Legislation". Archived April 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine p. 1591. Retrieved June 6, 2016.

External links

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