Las Vegas Sun: Nevada Democrats want to see list of governor’s ‘dark-money’ inaugural donors

Nevada Democrats are working to hold Joe Lombardo accountable after he blocked a bill that would have required him to disclose who funded his inaugural committee – following reports of his efforts to shroud his post-election donors – and be transparent with Nevadans as he promised. After Lombardo vetoed a number of affordable housing bills that would have impacted the business interests of his biggest donor, slumlord billionaire Robert Bigelow, Nevadans deserve to know what he’s been hiding since getting elected.

Read more about Lombardo’s shifty ways below.

Las Vegas Sun: Nevada Democrats want to see list of governor’s ‘dark-money’ inaugural donors

Casey Harrison

July 2, 2023

Key Points:

  • The Nevada State Democratic Party is requesting records from Gov. Joe Lombardo’s office after the Republican last month vetoed a bill that would have required the disclosure of donors from the nonprofit that organized his post-election inauguration events.
  • In a copy of the records request obtained by the Sun, Democratic Party officials claim Lombardo’s camp established the nonprofit to prevent disclosing who contributed to the fund and how much. If the fund was established as part of a political action committee, donors would be disclosed as part of contribution filing requirements.
  • The nonprofit Nevada Inaugural Committee has since changed its name to the Service First Fund and has run attack ads against Democratic legislators to bolster support for some of Lombardo’s education bills. That raises doubts over who is benefiting from the money, Nevada State Democratic Party executive director Hilary Barrett wrote.
  • “Revelations that Gov. Lombardo established a dark-money group for his inaugural committee, breaking from a bipartisan tradition to disclose inaugural donors and spending, means that Nevadans are in the dark on what special interests have donated to the governor’s inaugural and who is potentially benefiting from that money,” Barrett wrote. “As Gov. Lombardo recklessly threatens budget vetoes and a shutdown of state government, it is more important than ever that there should be sunshine on who has been trying to buy influence with him via his inaugural committee.”
  • Lombardo on June 16 vetoed Senate Bill 60, which would have compelled candidates for Nevada’s six statewide executive offices to disclose PAC spending supporting their campaigns, and would have retroactively applied to committees and candidates — including three Democrats and three Republicans — involved in the 2022 midterms.
  • While Lombardo was noticeably outraised by Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak during the 2022 midterms, Las Vegas-based real estate mogul Robert Bigelow helped bankroll his campaign and close that gap. As first reported by the Sun, Bigelow donated over $50 million to PACs supporting Lombardo and other Republicans.

Read the full story here.



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