Laughlin incorporation opponent kicked out of Democratic club


A Laughlin man accused a political organization of booting him from the group because he spoke out against the town's incorporation.

Michael Bekoff, a Laughlin Town Advisory Board member who served as treasurer of the Laughlin Democratic Club, said club members kicked him out because he disagreed that the town was financially ready to become its own city.

"The money's not here yet," Bekoff said. "They've seized on this right-to-vote stuff."

A camera from Laughlin's KLBC Channel 2 was present at the group's Thursday meeting, which Bekoff said was unusual. "I walked into an ambush," he said. "It was planned."

In a video clip posted online from the meeting, members are seen voting to censure Bekoff, remove him as treasurer and finally to remove him from the club.

Bekoff wants to challenge his removal from the club with the county party.

"I'm a registered Democrat," he said. "I have every right to be a member."

But Terry Ursini, who runs the town club, said Bekoff is playing "small-town politics" and misrepresenting why he was dropped from the 20-member club chartered by the Clark County Democratic Party. The same television camera has recorded more than one meeting in the past four months, he said.

"Incorporation was not the reason he was kicked out," Ursini said. "It's only Mike's version of the way Mike sees it. He lives in his own little world. He doesn't want to listen to or respect the vote of the members."

The club held a vote in January regarding residents' rights to vote on incorporation. The vote was 12-1, with Bekoff the lone vote against.

The next month, Bekoff misrepresented information he received from meetings on incorporation when he addressed the state Legislative Commission and the County Commission, Ursini said.

"I have every right to go and speak as a dissenting member," Bekoff said. "I didn't say anything regarding the club. I was speaking on behalf of the (town) advisory board."

Both the state and county government bodies were given legislative power to set an election date regarding incorporation. State officials passed on the decision, and county officials voted against the matter, citing financial feasibility issues. The matter is expected to be heard again by the state committee this month.

Contact reporter Kristi Jourdan at kjourdan@reviewjournal.com or 702-455-4519.

 

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