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VICTOR JOECKS: Corruption infests Nevada Democrats

Democrats love to use isolated incidents to paint America as systemically racist. They’re much less interested in rooting out the systemic corruption plaguing Nevada Democrats.

Three weeks ago, few people knew of Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow. She’s a three-term Democrat representing the southwest part of the valley. Then the Review-Journal exposed a major scandal. A last-minute amendment directed $250,000 of tax money to The Arc of Nevada, a small nonprofit. Shortly after session, Gorelow became the group’s executive director.

After the public learned of this, Gorelow announced that she wouldn’t be running for re-election. In political terms, that’s essentially an admission of guilt.

But Gorelow isn’t alone.

Assemblywoman Tracy Brown-May, another Las Vegas-area Democrat, is the chief administrative officer of Opportunity Village. The last-minute amendment that gave $250,000 to Gorelow’s group also directed $250,000 to … Opportunity Village. The amendment stripped funding from the Nevada Blind Children’s Foundation. That group probably would have fared better if one of its top officials served in the Assembly.

Moves like this stink of corruption, even if they are technically legal. Adding to the stench: Brown-May is on the board of The Arc of Nevada.

There’s more. The Review-Journal recently exposed that Assemblyman Cameron “C.H.” Miller, a Democrat from North Las Vegas, pulled a similar stunt. Miller is the president and CEO of the Urban Chamber of Commerce. Sure enough, the Legislature then approved $100,000 for — you guessed it — the Urban Chamber. Miller initially noted his role and abstained from voting on the bill in committee. After receiving questionable legal advice from the Legislative Counsel Bureau, he voted for the bill.

But wait, there’s even more. Assemblywoman Venicia Considine, another Las Vegas-area Democrat, is the director of development and community relations for the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada. Considine supported two bills that gave the group $4.5 million, including $4 million for a capital improvement project. Considine said she didn’t advocate for the funding and stands by her vote.

Notice the larger pattern here too. Recall all the Democrats who’ve been engulfed in scandal in just the past decade. In April, a federal magistrate judge issued a scathing order sanctioning Clark County Commissioner Justin Jones. He inappropriately deleted text messages in an attempt to cover up an apparent quid pro quo scheme. The scandal implicated former Gov. Steve Sisolak too. His fellow Democrats on the commission barely gave him a wrist slap.

In 2021, Alexander Assefa resigned his Assembly seat over allegations of misusing campaign funds. He later pleaded no contest to theft charges and received probation. In 2019, former Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson went to jail for abusing campaign funds. Among other inappropriate expenses, prosecutors said he spent at least $100,000 in campaign funds to repay personal credit cards.

There’s not space to detail the sexual harassment scandals that forced Ruben Kihuen, Mark Manendo and Mike Sprinkle out of the public spotlight.

At this point, it’s hard to argue these are isolated incidents. In a country of 335 million people, a few examples of bad behavior don’t prove much about the system. But there were only 28 Assembly Democrats during the session. At least four have engaged in behavior that looks corrupt amid a backdrop of scandalous behavior among Democrat politicians.

Nevada Democrats are systemically corrupt. Because they won’t clean house, voters should do it for them.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on X.

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