(Chuck Muth) – LVRJ columnist Jane Ann Morrison reports this morning that Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D-Diners Club) “has returned $100,675 to contributors to his political action committee Victory 2010 in the aftermath of strong criticism that the solicitation he mailed out crossed the ethical line and fell into ‘pay to play’ mode.”
According to Morrison, Horsford will report and return $19,975 worth of pay-to-play dinner club memberships which were made to his PAC prior to the scheme being exposed publicly here by us and by the Nevada News Bureau.
Horsford is also returning another $80,000+ in uncashed checks that he received after the story went public, but according to Morrison, has no intention of reporting who those checks came from. “Under the law,” Morrison writes, “he doesn’t have to report them if he returned them within two weeks after they’re received without cashing them.”
Well, that may be the law…but considering the circumstances under which those checks were written, Sen. Horsford should not only disclose the names of the people/entities who contributed to his Victory 2010 PAC, but he should swear off re-soliciting or accepting any additional/replacement contributions from those folks for the duration of this campaign cycle.
Let’s say Louie Lobbyist wrote Sen. Horsford a $10,000 check for a dinner club membership the day after the scandal broke. As it stands now, Sen. Horsford is going to return that check uncashed, never disclose that the check was even received, let alone from whom, and then he’ll just go right back and have Louie write a NEW check for another Horsford PAC or campaign and voters will be completely in the dark about it.
If Sen. Horsford is truly interested in honestly and transparency in government as he claims, he’ll not only return the uncashed checks, but will publicly disclose who they came from even if not “legally” required to do so, and will refrain from accepting any additional donations from those individuals or entities for the duration of the 2010 campaign.
Anything less will assure that this stain on Sen. Horsford’s character will remain with him for the duration of his political career.