Gov. Kenny Guinn did it. The state Supreme Court justices did it. Our 63 state legislators did it. In fact, all candidates for state and local offices did it. They disclosed the sources of their campaign contributions.
Unfortunately, Sen. Harry Reid - through his soft-money political action committee - has decided not to identify the names of contributors to his Searchlight Leadership Fund which he created to assist local and state Democrats in their elections.
Sen. Reid should reconsider his position. He should disclose the sources of the campaign funds. In 1997, the Nevada Legislature passed a law that requires disclosure for state and local races. Sen. Reid's PAC may be legal, but it guts the spirit of Nevada's disclosure law.
The disclosure law premise is simple: Identify who is giving campaign funds to candidates and then let the voters decide if special interests are trying to buy influence. In a recent news article, Sen. Reid said, "Not only have I voted in favor of it, I have spoken in favor of campaign finance reform during my 18 years (in Congress)." He also states that it would be foolish for him to "unilaterally disarm." We are not asking the Senator to stop raising money. It does take money to get candidates' messages out. We are asking Sen. Reid to disclose who contributed the $800,000 to his Searchlight Leadership Fund PAC.
It only raises suspicions that something is not right by keeping the names of donors secret. Where is the money coming from? Is it coming from the nuclear waste industry or giant pharmaceutical companies or others who may not have the well-being of Nevadans as their top priority?
Sen. Reid, it is not enough to vote in favor of campaign finance reform. We need you to take a leadership position. We need you to disclose the sources of your campaign contributions.
PAUL R. BROWN S.N.
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada