The enmity between North Las Vegas Councilwoman Anita Wood and Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins continues.
Collins, through his campaign fund and his political action committee, the nobly named Nevadans for the American Dream, sent out mailers highly critical of Wood, the Ward 3 incumbent fighting to remain the incumbent. Collins said Wood needs to be replaced but didn’t name who should replace her.
It’s no secret that the county commissioner is supporting Janice Ridondo, who is his liaison at Clark County and also rents her home from him. But Tony Gales is also in the three-way race.
On the mailer, Collins doesn’t say whether he supports Ridondo or Gales.
There are different rules governing the reporting of an individual’s campaign funds and political action committees.
Collins said he has been told his campaign expenditure funds don’t have to be reported until next year. The mailer his PAC paid for is an independent advocacy report in this year’s municipal elections.
Wood filed a complaint with Secretary of State Ross Miller saying Collins should have filed the independent expenditure by the March 12 deadline. Collins countered that the PAC mailer didn’t drop until after the deadline and will be reported in the next filing. I’ll let the secretary of state sort that out.
However, after I asked Collins about it, he filed a report for his PAC on March 23 saying he paid $2,234 to an advertising company. Nowhere in his new PAC report does Collins name the beneficiary of that $2,200.
The voters of Ward 3 in North Las Vegas are probably not breathless with anticipation over the secretary of state’s decision about whether Collins reported his expenditures correctly. However, in elections often won or lost by hostile mailers, Ridondo does get an advantage financially and psychologically when someone else pays for negative mailers.
A search of Ridondo’s contributions shows that developer Jim Rhodes is pouring money into the accounts of both Collins and Ridondo. The developer used six different names for the contributions, his own and five company names, which is legal.
At least some of that money went to Collins’ PAC, and his PAC paid that $2,200 for Ridondo.
The municipal primary election is Tuesday. And I doubt anyone will decide, based on this issue, who deserves a vote.
However, this is one more sign of how people use laws designed for transparency to hide the reality of where the money flows. And they always say: Follow the money.
MAY I RECOMMEND?: I’ve been telling my friends, so I might as well tell my readers, the exhibit “National Geographic’s 50 Greatest Photographs” at The Venetian is fantastic and worth a visit by anyone who enjoys photography.
The magazine’s editors pulled 50 photographs from its 50-year history, everything from a lion caught in a sandstorm (one of my favorites) to an underwater cave (another favorite).
If you go, don’t bypass the videos explaining how certain shots were taken. Some were carefully thought out, others were blind luck. Skipping those would be a mistake.
Many photos you may recognize, such a the young Afghan girl with the green eyes and the parallel shot of her 17 years later.
The admission fee is $15 for locals, seniors, military and students and $18 for other adults. Children 12 and younger are free if each child is accompanied by a full-price-paying adult.
The show was scheduled to close May 31 but has been extended and will continue until at least through Labor Day. My only suggestion is that the written explanations would be easier to read with more lighting, but that didn’t ruin my experience of several hours.
Jane Ann Morrison’s column appears Monday, Thursday and Saturday. Email her at Jane@reviewjournal.com or call her at 702-383-0275.