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Las Vegas council race grows ugly as dueling PACs join fray in Ward 2

Updated June 3, 2017 - 4:55 pm

The mailer melee playing out in west Las Vegas residents’ mailboxes has grown ugly, as the race for the Ward 2 City Council seat pulls into the final stretch.

A pair of political action committees has pumped a combined $88,000 into the heated race to represent Ward 2 on the council.

The groups’ names are barely distinguishable: Citizens for Better Neighborhoods is anti-Steve Seroka, while the newer Citizens to Preserve Neighborhoods is on the offensive against incumbent Councilman Bob Beers.

But the PAC offensive against Seroka, a retired Air Force veteran, got more personal recently, when the Citizens for Better Neighborhoods used salacious details from his ex-wife’s decade-old divorce filing in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Seroka called the ad blitz “disgusting, vile and desperate.”

The mailers ask, “Who is the real Steve Seroka?” The flip side contains excerpts from the divorce documents, contending Seroka immersed himself in internet pornography, “used the F-word to her” and “demanded sex two times a day, five to six times a week.”

“The people of Ward 2 are smart, and they see right through this,” said Seroka, who has remarried since the 2006 divorce. “It’s an attempt to take the community’s eyes off the issues where the incumbent has turned his back on us.”

Beers has gotten complaints from people angry about some of the mailers’ comntent, and said he has pointed out those mailers were coming from a PAC, not his campaign.

Asked whether it’s fair for a PAC to use divorce details in a campaign mailer, Beers said, “It isn’t, really.”

“Nor is it fair for my opponent to frankly lie about the morality of my actions as a councilman,” the incumbent added. “I wish we could keep this on the issues.”

Fresh punishment delivered daily

Seroka’s campaign shot back at Citizens for Better Neighborhoods with a mailer denying the allegations and contending “a rich developer and his attack dog Super-PAC will say anything to keep their puppet, Bob Beers, in office.”

A controversial plan to develop the Badlands golf course has figured prominently in the council race since Seroka announced his candidacy in January. EHB Cos.’ development proposal for the course has drawn ire from a number of homeowners in the wealthy Queensridge development next door.

The City Council narrowly approved in February 435 condominiums at the eastern corner of the shuttered course. Any other development there would be subject to council approval.

Seroka is depicted as Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers trilogy in another Citizens for Better Neighborhoods-funded mailer warning that the city could be on the hook for $250 million if the council imposes restrictions on the golf course that result in a significant change in its value.

The anti-Beers Citizens to Preserve Neighborhoods PAC was formed less than a month ago, and has received the vast majority of its dollars from Christina Roush, a contender for the council seat who was eliminated in the April primary. One mailer depicts Beers as a pointing Uncle Sam with the message: “I’m running for re-election, are you a fat cat lobbyist willing to fund my campaign?”

Roush said Beers “continues to blur the facts and distort the truth,” which is why she has contributed $23,000 to the group.

“Citizens to Preserve Neighborhoods was formed to highlight ‘Bad Boy’ Bob Beers’ behavior to his constituents,” the PAC’s registered agent, Andrew Woods, said in an email. “Beers has a long history of saying yes to those who fund his campaigns but no to his constituents and their concerns.”

A third PAC, dubbed Advocates for Quality of Life, has joined the fray, dropping pro-Beers mailers on Friday.

Now five groups, including the candidates’ campaigns, are sending mailers in Ward 2.

“We are all probably looking forward to the end of the campaign,” Beers said. “No one more than the mailman.”

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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