Good government


In a report in the Las Vegas Sun, columnist Jon Ralston used campaign disclosure reports to show how deeply meaningful political contributions can be.

Sierra Pacific Power Company gave $3,000 to Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beers. And to one of his opponents in the GOP primary, Jim Gibbons. And to Democrat Dina Titus. The only major candidate the corporation overlooked is Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, who is probably reassessing her planned appointments to the Public Utilities Commission.

That appears to be an example of evenhanded bet covering—the same sized contribution to each lucky candidate selected.

For an instance of covering bets according to someone’s idea of likely winners, there is Station Casinos. It gave Gibbons $100,000 in bundled contributions, then laid $50,000 on Gibson, $25,000 on Titus, and $10,000 on Beers. Once again Hunt was shut out. (There is a $10,000 limit on contributions any individual may give to a candidate, leading to the practice of bundling multiple contributions.)

One company gave to both women candidates and to none of the men—Palms Casino in Las Vegas gave Titus $10,000 and Hunt $5,000.

Another corporation gave to every candidate, but Barrick Gold’s contributions were pretty small for a gold mining company. Gibbons and Titus got $10,000 each, Gibson and Beers $5,000 each, and Hunt got a lousy $1,000.

“From developers to cab companies to every interest in between, many of them are giving to more than one side,” Ralston wrote.

Besides Station, Republic, and Sierra Pacific, Kummer Kaempfer, Coast Hotels, and Gaming Equipment Manufacturers shut out the lieutenant governor while giving to all the others.

If Hunt becomes governor, there may be substantial payback.

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About Dennis Myers 1397 Articles
Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely Nevada, a children’s history textbook, and a contributor to the books The Mythical West and Covering the Courts in Nevada. In September, 2020, he was inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.