The Nevada secretary of state’s office is being asked to investigate whether a half million dollar contribution by the advertising firm running the Energy Choice Initiative campaign to a political action committee run by a Clark County teachers union violates state law against conduit contributions.The complaint is being submitted Tuesday by the Nevada State Education Association’s own political action committee, Strong Public Schools Nevada, questioning whether the $500,000 contribution made by Left Hook to the “Nevada Leads” PAC violates state law against making a campaign contribution in another person’s name. “Nevada Leads” is the political arm of the Clark County Education Association, which split from the NSEA earlier this year.The complaint, submitted by NSEA lobbyist Chris Daly, notes that the California-based Left Hook has never made a campaign contribution in Nevada and received significant payments from the PAC supporting the energy ballot question about the same time it made the $500,000 contribution. Daly asked the office to investigate based on the size of the contribution and as it appeared to “violate the spirit of campaign finance reporting.”“If the contribution was, in fact, a pass-through contribution from the Yes on 3 campaign or one of its financial supporters, then the effect would be to shield the public from knowing the identity of the true source of funds of the contribution,” he wrote in the submitted complaint.The complaint states that outside of some CCEA members appearing in ads paid for by the ballot initiative, no paid communications from Nevada Leads have been made to advocate for the energy choice ballot question.In a statement last week, Left Hook employee and Question 3 campaign manager Dave Chase said the contribution was made “related to their efforts to advocate for passage of Question 3 to bring affordable, clean energy choices to Nevada’s families.” He declined to say why the contribution came from the firm and not the campaign itself.
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February 24, 2017
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