Your easy political action quiz
September 8, 2004
Here’s an after-primary quiz on a little-known part of Nevada politics. I tried to make it easy because, well, politics makes my head hurt.
Try to match up the Political Action Committee with my description:
1) The best acronym for a PAC in Nevada.
2) The only committee to name two residents of Idaho and one from Oregon as its sole contributors.
3) The most accurate name for a PAC.
4) Committee with the least accurate name.
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5) A committee of procrastinators, perhaps?
6) The PAC with $2.5 million
7) The committee making the best point on its expense report.
8) PAC with the least descriptive name.
9) PAC with the longest name.
10) Most intriguing name for a PAC.
a) White Rabbit Political Action Committee
b) Crown Political Action Committee
c) International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Political Action Together Legislative and Educational Committee
d) Carriers Allied for Responsible Government Officials
e) Nevada Victory 2000
f) Nevada Faculty Alliance
g) Keep Our Doctors in Nevada
h) Coalition to Keep Brothels Out of Churchill County
i) We the People
j) Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana
1-d. The best acronym is CARGO, for the committee of trucking companies. Nobody else even tried.
2-b. The Crown PAC filed a report for Nevada, even though its contributions came from Idaho and Oregon, and the only expenses it reported were contributions to a candidate in Washington. Maybe they filed in Nevada for the tax breaks.
3-h. How refreshing when a PAC calls itself the Coalition to Keep Brothels Out of Churchill County. No guessing, no ambiguity. We know exactly what this committee is trying to accomplish, and where it’s trying to accomplish it. Not like PACs who call themselves something like Patriots for the Best Darn America Ever. Or committees like the next one …
4-j. The Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, which is the PAC trying to legalize marijuana in Nevada. I know, I know. Their point is that legalized marijuana is better than criminal marijuana, as far as trying to keep it out of the hands of young people. I think they should have called their committee “Free Pot.”
By the way, the Committee to Regulate and Control Marijuana, with some $516,000 in contributions, listed most of its donors and expenses as “MPP.” I’m guessing that’s the Marijuana Policy Project, but c’mon guys. Put a little effort into it.
5-e. Nevada Victory 2000 filed a report this year with no contributions and no expenses. I think that’s admirable, although it doesn’t exactly tell me if they were victorious four years ago or not. Maybe they’re keeping the hope alive, or maybe they just didn’t get around to updating the name. I suggest Nevada Victory 3000, which they won’t have to change for quite awhile.
6-g. The doctors reported they have amassed a campaign war chest of $2.5 million. That’s not in Harry Reid’s league, of course, but it’s pretty impressive. The doctors are going up against the lawyers on a couple of ballot issues, so this ought to be fun. They’re already sniping at each other. The lawyers, by the way, haven’t raised nearly that much – yet.
7-h. The best point made on a campaign report has to be from the Nevada Faculty Alliance, which I congratulate for being sticklers on the details. In essence, the professors gave the Secretary of State’s Office a grade of D- on its forms.
“As usual,” the organization’s agent writes, “I cannot make any sense out of the reporting forms. They were not designed for PACS! You should have a separate form for PAC reporting, so things are more clear. There is no place that I can find for direct money contributions to a candidate.”
Sure enough, there is no such designation on the form, even though giving donations to candidates is a major function of PACs. Most people just list them as “other miscellaneous expenses,” without the scolding and a rap on the knuckles with a ruler.
8-i. The least descriptive name for a PAC: We the People. That clears that up. The opposition, I suppose, would be Them Animals.
9-c. The longest name, as you probably figured out, is the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades Political Action Together Legislative and Educational Committee. Maybe the painters don’t get a lot of opportunity talk about politics, so they thought they would summarize in the title.
10-a. White Rabbit PAC. The report wasn’t available, so I have no idea what the White Rabbit PAC is supporting, opposing or doing. I can only speculate. But you have to agree the name is more intriguing than, say, We the People.
Rate your score: 9-10 correct. You work for one of these groups. 7-8 correct. You enjoy puzzles, and this one was pretty easy to solve. 5-6 correct. You stopped reading halfway through the column. 3-4 correct. You only read the headline. Less than 3 correct. Why are you still reading this?
By the way, all this information – and much more, like who is getting money from whom – is available to you and anybody else from the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office. And it’s right at your fingertips, on the Web site at sos.state.nv.us.
Barry Smith is editor of the Nevada Appeal. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1221.
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