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Las Vegas union head’s tweet implies candidate abuses women

CARSON CITY — The head of a prominent Las Vegas union on Thursday tweeted a photo implying that a Clark County Commission candidate beats women.

Tommy White, secretary-treasurer and business manager of Laborers Local 872, tweeted from his account images of state Sen. Tick Segerblom and a headline for a story about a candidate abusing women.

Segerblom is locked into a heated Democratic primary battle for the open County Commission District E against Marco Hernandez, Vice president of the Laborers Union. Early voting begins in Nevada on Saturday, and in the heavily Democratic district, whoever wins the primary will likely win election to the seat in November.

White’s Thursday included three pictures. One was a screenshot of a Politico headline that read “‘Cannabis candidate’ accused of abusing women and inflating his resume,” but with no link to the story or any other context beyond the headline. It followed with two pictures: one of Segerblom’s face, and another of the senator with two smiling women on either side of him.

“Wow is this TRUE” White wrote in the tweet.

But the Politico story that the headline belongs, which was published on March 7, detailed accusations levied against Illinois Congressional candidate Benjamin Thomas Wolfe.

White also is a member of the 10-person Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board that is overseeing the construction and development as well as how taxpayer money will be spent for the planned $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat football stadium being built at Interstate 15 and Russell Road. Segerblom vehemently opposed the stadium deal, one reason why the Laborers Union got Hernandez to run against him.

White did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment for this story Thursday.

“I’ve tried not to comment on his tweets,” Segerblom said Thursday. “I don’t want to make Tommy White the issue in the campaign. What he does or doesn’t do, other people can judge that.”

Hernandez wouldn’t say whether or not he supported White’s misleading post.

”One thing is I work for (White,” Hernandez said. “The other thing is he can do whatever he wants on Twitter.”

Not the first time

Thursday’s tweet wasn’t the only misleading social media post in recent days from White’s account, where he routinely attacks Segerblom over the senator’s criticisms of the stadium deal and his support for legal marijuana.

White’s account retweeted a series of pictures this week depicting a Culinary Union Local 226 event, at least one of which appears to have been altered. One image showed a superimposed campaign banners for Hernandez on the podium and a wall in an effort to make it look like the influential union supports Hernandez.

“Great to see that @Culinary226 knows who the winner is gonna be,” White added while retweeting the post.

Culinary Local 226 never endorsed Hernandez in the race.

“The Culinary Union has endorsed Tick Segerblom for County Commission District E. Tick has always stood with working families and supported workers in their fight to have good middle-class jobs with strong protections against sexual harassment and gender/racial discrimination,” said culinary union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline.

The account that posted the photoshopped pictures that White retweeted, which goes by the handle @unionman226, doctored a photo originally posted on Twitter by Nevada Independent reporter Michelle Rindels. Rindels’ photo shows that the banner on the podium was for Steven Horsford, a Democrat running in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.

Even the account’s profile picture appears to be untruthful. The original photo appears to be from a watch ad featuring Kenta Sakurai, a male model with more than 56,000 followers on Instagram whose account says he lives in Hong Kong. Sakurai did not return an email seeking comment Thursday.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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