Ross campaign files ethics complaint over flyer

The campaign for a Clark County Commission candidate says a political action committee is running afoul with a trio of recent fliers that have prompted at least one ethics complaint to the state.

The direct mail fliers, sent by Southern Nevada Citizens Alliance, claim that Steve Ross is endorsed by the National Rifle Association, supports campus carry and opposes marriage equality.

Ross’ campaign says those claims aren’t true, and filed an ethics complaint on May 19 with state saying the PAC is trying to mislead voters in the County Commission District B election.

The first ad the PAC sent out on May 16 also lists the incorrect date of the primary election.

“On Tuesday June 7th, JUST SAY NO TO CONSERVATIVE STEVE ROSS,” the flier reads.

The primary election is June 14.

The complaint called the error “the most reckless and egregious” ethical violation by the ad, calling it a “clear and deliberate attempt to mislead voters as to the actual date of the election.”

“This is yet another example of dark money political attacks trying to suppress voter turnout and deceive voters with lies about Steve Ross,” Ross campaign spokeswoman Cinthia Zermeno in an emailed statement. “This shows how desperate Marilyn Kirkpatrick’s supporters are to win this election and the voters need to know they are being deliberately misled.”

Calls to the PAC were not returned Friday or Tuesday.

Kirkpatrick’s campaign manager Bradley Mayer declined to comment about the fliers.

The PAC has raised $40,000, according to a May 24 campaign finance filing. Half of that came from the Committee to Elect Chris Giunchigliani and the Nevada State AFL-CIO, each of whom donated $10,000.

Ross’ campaign said they plan to file a second ethics complaint this week in response to a flier sent out last week by the Southern Nevada Citizens Alliance.

While the ad correctly listed the date of the primary, it claims Ross opposes gay marriage and is endorsed by the conservative group Nevada Concerned Citizens.

Steve Ross’ son Shane Ross is gay. A picture that shows Shane Ross with his partner has been featured in several of Ross’ recent campaign ads.

The ad cites an April 30, 2016, article in the Review-Journal, but no such article ran in print or online on that date.

The flier appears to reference a 2011 blog by Review-Journal columnist Steve Sebelius. In the column, he wrote about the endorsements Ross received during campaign for mayor of Las Vegas. Ross has not been endorsed by the group this election.

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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