Citizen Outreach must report its financials |

Citizen Outreach must report its financials

After unsuccessfully trying to work things out for more than a year, the secretary of state’s office has filed suit to force Citizen Outreach to report its contributions and expenses.

The conservative advocacy group ran into trouble with Secretary of State Ross Miller’s elections division, which charged that the organization was expresslyadvocating for and against candidates for office and, therefore, must register with the state and file contribution and expense reports.

Specifically, the complaint points to two advertisements targeting Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, during the 2010 election cycle.

The first pointed to Oceguera’s status as a Henderson fireman and said he would retire at age 48 with a $135,000 annual salary and benefits.

“He’s sticking us with the bill,” the ad proclaimed, accusing Oceguera of raising taxes on Nevadans. “It’s time to tell Mr. Oceguera he needs to get to work like the rest of us.”

The second add charged: “While Nevada is burning, Assemblyman John Oceguera is voting for tax hikes and enriching himself as a public employee. We don’t need any more fiddling from John Oceguera.”

The complaint, filed Dec. 1 in Carson City District Court, alleges that those advertisements “constitute express advocacy because there is no reasonable interpretation of these communications other than as an appeal to vote for or against a clearly defined candidate on the ballot.”

The complaint asks for an order requiring Citizen Outreach to register and report its contributions and expenses to the secretary of state’s Elections Division and to pay the maximum $5,000 for each of two reports not filed during the 2010 election cycle. It also asks for attorneys’ fees for the state.

Citizen Outreach hasnot yet responded to the complaint.