Donations to lawmaker PACs off to a slow start |

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.

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.