Donations to lawmaker PACs off to a slow start | NevadaAppeal.com

Donations to lawmaker PACs off to a slow start

Sean Whaley
Nevada News Bureau

State lawmakers’ political action committees, formed to help their candidates win seats in the Legislature, are off to a slow start in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports filed this week with the Nevada secretary of state’s office.

Many of the lawmaker-created PACs reported no contributions in the first campaign contribution and expense report, filed Tuesday. The reports cover financial activity from Jan. 1 through May 18 of this year.

More lawmakers are forming their own PACs in an effort to both help their party’s candidates and to wield more influence.

A PAC called A Brighter Nevada, formed by state Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, received only $1,000, according to its filing. The Battle Born Leadership Group PAC, formed by Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, reported no contributions.

But a few of the committees did report some more significant contributions.

The Assembly Republican Caucus brought in $95,000, including $10,000 from Keystone Corp., and spent $70,000, including a $5,000 contribution to the Committee to Elect Wes Duncan. Duncan is running for the Assembly District 37 seat in Las Vegas now held by Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin.

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Conklin’s Nevada First PAC reported no contributions.

The Senate Majority PAC formed by Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, brought in $34,500, including $5,000 from Station Casinos. It also contributed $10,000 each to GOP Senate candidates Mari Nakashima St. Martin and Mark Hutchison. The PAC also took in $160,000 in 2011.

The Majority 2012 PAC formed by Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, reported $7,500 in contributions in 2012. It also took in $15,000 in 2011. It contributed $5,000 to each of four Senate Democrat candidates: Sheila Leslie, Joyce Woodhouse, Justin Jones and Benny Yerushalmi.

The two main Senate caucus reports showed bigger numbers in the first report of 2012, with Democrats out-raising Republicans $187,000 to $149,000.

The Nevada Democratic Party also won the fundraising race in the first 2012 report over the Republican Party. The Democratic Party took in $465,000, while the Republican Party brought in only $75,000 in contributions.

All of these numbers will change after the primary as the parties and caucuses gear up for the November general election.