(Jim Clark) – In last week’s column I offered my opinion on which Republican candidates running for state office to represent Incline/Crystal Bay appeared, at this early stage of the campaign, to have the strongest shot at winning. I researched the Nevada Secretary of State’s records of candidates’ contribution and expense reports for 2009 to ascertain campaign cash in the bank and their breadth of supporters.
Some candidates did not file reports meaning they did not receive campaign contributions during all of last year. Two candidates, Ellie Lopez-Bowlan and Ben Kieckhefer (Republican candidates for Assembly District 26 and Senate District 4 respectively), whose reports I was unable to pull up but who in fact had filed called to tell me so almost as soon as the Bonanza posted the column on their internet edition.
A follow-up check showed that Lopez-Bowlan’s and Kieckhefer’s reports were filed under the first names of Elena and Brian, respectively, so the state search engine could not at first locate them. I am happy to report the correction.
Lopez-Bowlan received contributions totaling $42,500 during 2009 from a pretty broad group of supporters including a large one from former Incline resident Warren Trepp, a guy who knows where to put the smart money. In another interesting development Jim Pilzner, Lopez-Bowlan’s opponent in the GOP primary, sent out mailers featuring a photograph of himself and Washoe Sheriff Mike Haley in uniform. Recalling that former Sheriff Kirkland got into a dust up for endorsing candidates a number of years ago I contacted Sheriff Haley, told him about my column and asked him about his appearance in the mailer.
His reply: “Jim, thank you for your email and for what you do. Yes I am aware that Mr. Pilzner is using my picture. He did so without my permission. I learned of the use when I received the mailer. I immediately contacted Jim and directed (that) he stop mailing the flier and that he take me off his web site. Additionally I contacted other candidates running for that seat and notified the GOP of my actions. I appreciate your question and thank you for your concern. I believe I have corrected the manner. Thanks, Mike”.
Well, now Bonanza readers know about it too.
Moving to the Senate District 4 race Ben Kieckhefer reported raising $54,800 from a group of donors that looks like State Senator Bill Raggio’s Christmas card list. Indeed Ben’s largest single donation was from Raggio’s Senate Republican Leadership Conference.
By way of contrast Ben’s GOP opponent for the seat, Assemblyman Ty Cobb, reported over $123,000 in donations from nearly every prominent conservative organization and individual in Nevada including a large donation from the Nevada Realtors’ Political Action Committee. Before first running for office Cobb signed the Taxpayers’ Protection Pledge never to vote for a tax increase and as an assemblyman has been a hawk on tax measures. Kieckhefer, who has never held public office and has no voting record, has stated he will not sign the Pledge.
The issues in this race are shaping up pretty clearly.