Steven Lustgarten (D-NE)

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Steven Lustgarten


Campaign links: Steven Lustgarten (D-NE-Senate)


Steven Paul Lustgarten

Steven Lustgarten 2012 Senatorial Candidate Nebraska Class I seat.


Biography of Steven Lustgarten from Facebook

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin not far from Lambeau field, but arrived in Omaha at age 3, so it is all I remember from childhood. My father was an attorney at Union Pacific Railroad and my Mom was a homemaker who was active in the Unitarian Women’s Alliance. I went to Lewis and Clark and graduated from Burke High School in 1969. After a year at Wayne State College, I left the state to attend other c…olleges looking for a program that would mesh with my restless curiosity about the world. In 1973 I suspended my education and was hired as a Reporter for the Alliance Times Herald, where one of the first stories I covered was the AIM takeover of Wounded Knee. This was one of the events in my life that galvanized my interest in political engagements. Returning to school, this time at Portland State University in Oregon, I focused more on communications studies and in 1983 won an Academy Award for my first film, a 90 minute feature that bested Spike Lee’s student effort. From this launching pad, I was able to garner a top Los Angeles agent and started out on my film career. I returned again to Nebraska in 1989 to make my second feature film in Plattsmouth and Omaha which became the basis for my establishment of a film and video distribution company, LEO Films in 1991. LEO was a smashing success built from a $3000 credit card that soon was selling to Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and other major chains. The company released over 80 features from Sundance to genre titles in its’ history. Returning to my home state once again in 2008 to help with an elderly father, I worked on the Obama campaign and afterwards started a local video production company in Omaha servicing the needs of local businesses and ad agencies, and engaging on social media videos. See More
About Me

The most common question I get now is “Why do you want to run for Senator?” That’s like the famous question asked of bank robber Willy Sutton “Why do you rob banks?” who answered, “Cuz thats where the money is.” Well Congress is where the power is and to effect any change in this world one needs to be in a position to nudge those levers of power. Right now they’re frozen, rusted and immovable. This is the greatest threat to the country and by extension to the world today. The founders of the Constitution perhaps did do good a job on ensuring that one group could not dominate the government process. One of the inciting reasons for my entering the race was the near shutdown of the government last August as the Republicans, most of whom had signed the Norquist Grover pledge not to raise taxes, would not vote for the continuing resolution to raise the debt level and allow us to pay our already incurred debts. This led to the creation of the Super Committee that was to find a way to cut the budget drastically and if unable to automatic draconian cuts would be imposed on cherished programs of both parties. Well surprise. They weren’t super enough and now we’re facing those cuts at the end of this year. This is irresponsible and unwarranted. We elect people to make wise and informed decisions about our financial priorities. Computers could make automatic cuts and be a lot cheaper. I cite this as an example, but there are few choices in Washington that are not stuck due to the same motivation: Republicans want us to fail so they can blame the Obama administration and his Democratic cohorts and then call for an all right wing government that will cut government in all its aspects except for the military. It will look like a stick figure with enormous biceps.

So why would a vote for me be any better? What makes me think that I can win against the Republicans? It boils down to this: I don’t have anything to lose and I can push it to edge. A familiar candidate may make Democratic party chiefs more comfortable, but comfy does not excite electorates and win elections. I am single with one adult daughter living in Central Nebraska. I own my own business that I can put on hold and devote all my time and efforts to the campaign. I don’t have any favors owed to politicians, parties or special interests. I don’t have to be cautious about harming my future political chances as I’m not a career politician. Hmm. Maybe that’s the short answer. I’m not a politician. I can take chances and the only way to win this is to break the mold of typical snooze inducing campaigns full of promises they have no way of fulfilling and invigorate a new class of engaged voters who care about what is going to happen to this country should an all Republican Congress take over in 2013.

In 2010 primary elections in Douglas County only 10% of the registered Democrats voted. We are the 10% I guess, but we’re going to need the other 90% to get things moving again. They are your friends, neighbors, co workers and we need them to step up and make their voice heard. Every vote does count as much as every molecule of oxygen, or every grain of sand is important. I won’t even go into the plight of those who aren’t even registered. Though, the state makes it way too hard to register to vote, perhaps intentionally as wider participation usually favors Democrats. Why not a simple online registration process or even via mobile phone text? In keeping with this I’ve started a GET OUT THE VOTE NEBRASKA Facebook page and hopefully movement that will take Nebraska up from its 40th position of the states in voting participation.Colorado is 9, Iowa is 8 and South Dakota 4.

Education Info


  • Wayne State College
  • English, Media
  • Arizona State
  • English
  • Portland State
  • Media Communications
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • Journalism
  • University of Iowa
  • Creative Writing

High School:

  • Burke High School ’69
Work Info
Employer: Film Independent
Position: Owner of Video Production Company
Time Period: January 1989 to present
Location: Omaha, NE