35 candidates fail to follow campaign reporting law

The Secretary of State's office has turned a list of 35 candidates from the 2010 election cycle over to the Attorney General for violating the state's campaign finance and reporting law.

The candidates on the list were seeking offices ranging from local school board to governor. Those on the list either failed to file the three required campaign finance reports or filed them late. Fines can go as high as $5,000 for each of the required reports.

Election officials point out that none of the candidates has an excuse for failing to report on time since they were specifically told about the deadlines when they filed for office and signed an affidavit promising to file under penalty of law.

Some of those on the list may have filed the reports but somehow failed to fulfill statutory requirements.

Elections Deputy Scott Giles said the fines start at $25 a day for the first week a report is late but escalate to $100 a day until the $5,000 cap is reached.

But he said if the state has to take the candidate to court, the judge can also award the state court costs and attorney's fees.

Among those on the list is former Assemblyman Ty Cobb, who lost in the Washoe state Senate Republican primary to Ben Kieckhefer. His fine was set at $575 for filing his third report late.

Stan Lusak, one of numerous candidates for governor, and Robert Goodman, who ran for lieutenant governor, both failed to file two of the three reports. Each faces $10,000 in fines.

Stacie Wilke-McCulloch is one of the few successful candidates on the list. She was elected to the Carson school board in November but was late filing her second of three reports and hasn't responded to requests to either justify the delay or pay the $1,975 owed under the law.

She could not be reached for comment.

Erin Chandler, who ran for Douglas County Recorder, failed to file any of the three reports and is looking at a total of $15,000 in fines.

Jacob Hafter, who ran in the Republican primary for Attorney General, was late filing his third report and will have to pay $675. He told the secretary of state's office his campaign was over after he lost the primary.

There are two judicial candidates on the list. John Jensen, an unsuccessful candidate for Clark County family court judge, failed to file any of his three reports. He faces the maximum $15,000 in fines.

Blaine Beckstead, who ran for Clark County District Court, was late on filing his third contribution and expense report. His fine is $1,775.

The Attorney General's office will make a final attempt to get those candidates to pay up before taking them to court.


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