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State officials report contributions, expenses

Officeholders around the state filed annual contribution and expense reports Thursday, with many of the biggest names in state politics reporting little if any fund-raising activity in 2003, the year between elections.

Gov. Kenny Guinn reported zero contributions, but expenditures of $395,816 for the year.

While that included a number of smaller checks to pay off expenses from his 2002 campaign, the vast majority went to a fund to rehabilitate and improve the Governor’s Mansion. Guinn wrote a check for $300,000 from his campaign treasury to the mansion project.

Secretary of State Dean Heller asked candidates to voluntarily add additional information to their reports that lawmakers had deleted from the forms last year, including their beginning account balance. Without that information, he said, residents can’t accurately follow how much a candidate has raised.

Heller himself reported having $27,782 in his campaign account when 2003 began, and he spent $24,085 of that. He reported no contributions.

Attorney General Brian Sandoval, who had a much more hotly contested election race in 2002, raised $171,850 during 2003 from every major contributor in the state, including mining companies, casinos and major law firms. He spent even more – $187,149 – apparently in large part to finish paying off debts from his campaign.

Controller Kathy Augustine’s report also showed little activity, with just $3,000 in contributions and $9,227 in expenses for the year. She didn’t file the voluntary form indicating how the total in her campaign fund.

Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt’s report had not been received at press time.

Members of the Legislature and most other office holders are also required to file the contribution and expense reports. Candidates were required to either file the reports with the Secretary of State’s Office by 5 p.m. Thursday, or to have them postmarked by that time. That means it will take a few days for all the reports to trickle in.

But most of the Nevada Supreme Court managed to get their reports in Thursday. Myron Leavitt’s was not filed; he died last week. Only Bob Rose’s report was missing as of 5 p.m.

Justices Deborah Agosti, Miriam Shearing, Nancy Becker and Bill Maupin all reported zero contributions and minimal, if any, expenses. Only Mark Gibbons – who won his seat on the court in 2002- listed real assets in his campaign account, $61,892 as of Dec. 31. He reported only $1,942 in expenses and $5,000 in contributions for the year.

Shearing’s report was the simplest of all those filed: No beginning funds, no contributions, no expenses and no funds at year’s end. She has announced plans to retire at the end of this year.

Contact Geoff Dornan at nevadaappeal@sbcglobal.net or at 687-8750.