Judge grants restraining order on out-of-state ads
Carson District Judge Jim Wilson on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order blocking the Alliance for America’s Future from running commercials in support of gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval.
Secretary of State Ross Miller asked for the order, saying the Alliance is not registered as a political action committee in Nevada and is, therefore, barred from political activity in the state.
When he asked the group to either cease activities in Nevada or register with his office, he said the Alliance refused, denying they are a PAC and saying state law barring their political activity is a violation of the First Amendment.
Wilson set a June 1 hearing to hear arguments in the case.
Miller said state law requires the Alliance to register and disclose who is responsible for the ads. He said the action is in no way intended as an attack on Sandoval, one of several Republicans running for governor, and that he has no evidence Sandoval’s campaign has coordinated efforts with the Alliance.
“This is an out of state group clearly trying to influence a Nevada election,” said Miller. “It is my job as secretary of state to make sure voters have as much information as possible about who is campaigning for or against our candidates.”
He said other groups creating and running ads and television commercials are registered with the state.
“Unless this group has something to hide, they should come out of the shadows and disclose their identities so that we won’t have to pursue further legal action,” he said.
According to the temporary restraining order, the ad in question advocates Sandoval’s election.
If the state wins its argument, the restraining order would become permanent until the Alliance registers, and the group could face civil penalties for each violation – each time the commercial aired – of up to $5,000.