Truth squad provision stays in Nevada ethics law
June 4, 2003
Efforts by First Amendment supporters to repeal a law that requires the Nevada Ethics Commission to determine the truthfulness of campaign statements made in election campaigns failed this legislative session.
An Assembly-Senate conference committee report recommending the “truth squad” provisions of Nevada law not be repealed was adopted by both houses of the Legislature.
The action sends SB147 to Gov. Kenny Guinn for his signature. The bill had been amended by the Assembly to repeal the truth squad provisions, but the Senate did not agree, sending the measure to conference.
The American Civil Liberties Union, the Nevada Press Association and others are challenging the law on First Amendment grounds.
Gary Peck, executive director of the ACLU of Nevada, said the lawmakers’ decision is unfortunate but not surprising.
“It’s just another instance where crass politics have taken precedence over the public interest and the Constitution, and where the taxpayers will once again end up footing the bill that will inevitably come due when the law is struck down in federal court.”
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Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, authored the truth-in-campaigning law in 1997 and has argued strongly against its repeal.