The Nevada Supreme Court Monday rejected an appeal by perennial candidate Ike Yochum of Carson City, effectively ordering him to pay the state fine for refusing to file candidate contribution and expense reports.
The court upheld Carson District Judge Bill Maddox who granted the state summary judgment in the case. The secretary of state's office records indicate Yochum will have to pay the maximum $5,000 fine for each of three reports he failed to file during and after his 2002 run for lieutenant governor.
His total fine is $15,000 but he said that's not a problem because he intends to ignore the order.
"It didn't come as any surprise to me. Our whole judicial system has totally thrown the constitution into the trash heap," said Yochum, a prominent member of the Independent American Party. "My arguments were constitutional and they didn't address any of them."
Yochum said he's not concerned by the ruling because it doesn't affect him. "Their rulings are without merit and without force and effect. They're not effective as far as I'm concerned and I'm going to ignore it."
Yochum has run for several offices over the years including state Senate and Assembly. He is a retired electrical contractor.
"I've run for everything except dog catcher," he said. "Maybe I'll try that next."
He appealed to the high court arguing district court lacked jurisdiction in the case, that the campaign reporting requirements are unconstitutional and that the Candidate Acknowledgment he signed when he filed for the office was "an acknowledgment only, not a commitment" to pay any fines.
The attorney general's office responded that the law is clear, and there is no doubt Yochum violated it. They moved for and received a summary judgment in the case.
Candidates for office in Nevada are told when they declare for an office that the law requires they file three separate contribution and expense reports. They are also told filing late or failing to file those reports can result in fines of up to $5,000 for each missing report. And they sign a statement acknowledging that.
Yochum is one of 11 former candidates with district court cases filed against them by the secretary of state's office. Several of those are members of the IAP, which has long argued they should not have to report contributions or expenses.
Two other prominent IAP members, ranchers David and Jackie Holmgren, also had lawsuits filed against them stemming from his 2002 run for governor and her run that year for the Assembly in rural Nevada. Those fines have been waived.
Those still facing court action to recover the fines and the office they sought are:
• Rudolpho Amadeus, Clark public administrator, 2006
• Brad Barnhill, Clark Assembly 2006
• Carolyn Bauer, Washoe state Senate 2002
• Keith Borders, Clark sheriff 2006
• Bruce Carlsen, Ely mayor 2005
• Steven Dempsey, Clark Assembly 2006
• Justin Ramsaier, Clark Assembly 2002
• Kendall Stagg, Washoe Assembly, 2002
• Zachary Triggs, Elko sheriff 2002
• Kevin Williams, Clark Commission, 2002