Profile: Senate Candidate Jeffrey Stein

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May 4, 2018 - 6:45am

A retired Omaha economist and analyst with some very different ideas is one of five Republicans running for U.S. Senate this year. We profile Jeffrey Stein as part of NET News Campaign Connection 2018 election coverage.

On his campaign web site, Jeffrey Stein promises all his votes in the Senate will be based on reducing the deficit. He would do this with a big change in the way the federal government collects and spends.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jeffrey Stein (Photo by Mike Tobias, NET News)


Other Resources

Stein for Senate web site

KETV "Chronicle" interview with Stein


Other Senate Race Profiles

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Larry Marvin (D)

Jane Raybould (D)

Frank Svoboda (D)

Deb Fischer (R)

Jack Heidel (R)

Dennis Macek (R)

Todd Watson (R)

(Note: Since Libertarian candidate Jim Schultz is uncontested we are not including him in our primary profiles, but plan to include him in our general election coverage.)


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GOP officials in Nebraska's two largest counties excluding some candidates in voter information (April 17, 2018)


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Libertarian (not contested in primary)


Campaign Connection 2018 is the home for NET News coverage of the 2018 elections.

“What I really want to do is implement an explicit cost system because I think one of the biggest problems we have right now is this bundle. There is no accountability. Everything's bundled together,” he said.

An explicit cost system. A really simple explanation of Stein’s idea is this is a way for people to give their input online on very specific items in the federal budget. Lawmakers would then build the budget based on this guidance, and pay for what people want through a flat sales tax.

“First identify your costs, and then say ‘How are you going to pay this off?’ There's nobody else in the world that has a household budget that starts off and says ‘Well, we'll just, you know lift the debt ceiling and be able to borrow more to get by.’ You say ‘No, how much do I have during this year, and what I'm going to allocate that for, and if I have a special assessment that comes up during the year, I'll allocate some dollars for that, and if I don't, then I'll have to go borrow it or, you know, make a plea for people to pay more.’ And then you have that, the dynamic percentage that comes in.”

If this sounds like something from someone who spent 33 years working in roles that included economist, strategic planner, finance manager and computer analyst for a large communication company, that’s Stein’s background.

The now-retired 65-year-old from Omaha graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s in economics. He’s been on the ballot before, losing a bid for Ralston School Board in the 1980s and finishing third out of three Libertarian candidates running for 2nd District House of Representatives in the 2016 primary.

This time he’s running as a Republican. “I just think that the Republican Party might need a little help, to really be taken serious in Nebraska. I'm going to probably offend a lot of them, but I hope that they can see the value of what I'm trying to get to. A lot of it is emotional issues now, it's not about economics, and I want to focus on economics and a lot of the issues that are going on right now are more emotional.”

On some of those other issues: Stein supports decriminalizing all drugs; says abortion is “an individual choice”; doesn’t believe a wall on our border with Mexico would be effective; and says he doesn’t like assault rifles and a trained dog is a more effective personal protection than a weapon.

“I'm not a gun person,” Stein explained. “I know people that are. The ones that are qualified I have no problem with that. I think our really big issue is you got seven and a half million people that you wouldn't trust with one of them. That's a problem. And that's not a problem with guns, it's a problem with your society and how you're raising your children, so let's get back to the kids and start teaching them some values.”

On trade issues, Stein said we have more problems than just tariffs. “I mean the Chinese have been known for a long time that if you have one coming out the front door, three things are coming out the back, and the intellectual theft from the Chinese is rampant, because there's no controls of barriers. But it's also that way in Russia too. And unless you're an international market there's no way to control it except by just saying ‘Oh okay I won't do business with you.’ So if you're not a fair business partner, I don't want to do business with you, and I'll get by with less. And I'll go find another market somewhere.”

Stein is also promoting something he calls a Capitalized Sterilization Program. He said it’s a voluntary program that would pay people $50,000 to have sterilization surgery as a way to encourage responsible reproduction. “If you have made the choice that you don't want to have children, and I'll guarantee you that if you have one in here our government's going to pay more than that supporting that child through his lifetime on that, okay. It’s one way of making sure that you don’t have unwanted children that come in.”

Stein said he liked the “rabble rouser” aspect of President Donald Trump, but added “I have to be honest, President Trump lost me at ‘parade.’ I'm not a parade or a flag waver and if he wants to have our troops goose stepping down the streets in Washington like North Koreans I'm not in. And then to sit there and then what really got me going on it is well it’s a $121 million to do this?”

In terms of his own budget priorities, the list starts with education. “I like the kids, so I'm going to say education. Let's just all get smarter. That'd be my number one. I think the arts and sciences are where we ought to put our money. Health is just, we've got to focus on that.”

Stein’s campaign is as unusual as some of his views. He has a web site, but no social media or fundraising and is actually turning down invitations to participate in forums and voter information efforts, saying he “cannot become the dog who moves to the wag of the tail” in letters to organizers declining invitations (posted on his web site).

“I certainly come at things from a different angle. And I'm trying to find solution sets rather than sit around and throw stones,” Stein said.



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