By Mark Waite
The campaign contribution story published in the Pahrump Valley Times Friday raised a bit of a stir in the Nevada District 36 assembly race.
Assembly candidate Walt Grudzinski used the public commenting section on the PVT website about the story to demand a retraction in an advertisement by his rival James Oscarson. The ad stated two of Oscarson’s opponents — referring to Republicans Delmar Leatham and Nathan “Nate” Schlump — lived in Clark County while “the other has never voted in Nye County,” referring to Grudzinski.
Brian Shoemake wrote in a comment that Oscarson’s accusation was true and contrasted it with Oscarson’s 30-year residency in Nevada, the past six years spent in Pahrump. Richard Hatch, a $500 donor to Oscarson’s campaign, wrote that he has the Nye County voting records to prove it.
Grudzinski told the Pahrump Valley Times he voted in late May before the advertisement appeared in the June 1 edition of the newspaper, though not in previous elections.
Oscarson raised $18,916, according to a campaign finance report filed May 22 with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office; Grudzinski raised $2,100, of which $1,600 came from family members. Grudzinski criticized the influence of money in the campaigns that he said “pulls the strings of the candidate like a puppet.”
In a previous interview with the newspaper, Grudzinski said he moved to Pahrump two years ago, and he was appointed to the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission last December. Grudzinski asked how Oscarson could avoid a conflict of interest on health related legislation as marketing director for Desert View Hospital.
Just before that story, Oscarson touted his endorsement by outgoing, three-term, Nevada District 36 Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Pahrump.
In a statement released by Oscarson’s campaign, Goedhart said, “He brings a record of local community involvement and, as a longtime resident of Nevada, knows the issues that are near and dear to our hearts. James brings a level of statesmanship, integrity and life experience that will serve us well.”
“I have a lot of respect for the assemblyman and I am honored that he thinks I am the candidate that will best represent District 36,” Oscarson said.
“I have lived, worked and voted in the district for over six years. I know the issues and I believe that we need local representation; representation that will live here, with the constituents as their friends and neighbors. Representation that has to live with their own decisions. Clark County and Carson City have no idea what it is like in the rural counties. I want to be the strong voice that carries our message to the Nevada legislature.”
In an unrelated campaign finance note, Darryl Lackey, a candidate for Nye County Commission District 3, corrected the PVT, he did file a report, it listed $180 of in-kind contributions and $100 in expenses.
Nancy Lord, a candidate for Fifth Judicial District Court judge, filed her report three days late; it was stamped May 25. The report was due to be filed electronically with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office by May 22.
Lord lists $100 of in-kind contributions and $687 in expenses to herself. The report incorrectly lists her running for district attorney, a race in which she competed two years ago.
The reporting laws changed this year to require the electronic filing of campaign contributions and expense reports with the Secretary of State; previously many local candidates filed paper reports with the county clerk’s office.
Two additional reports were added this year. The first one, due on May 22; the second reporting date is Friday. A third report is due Oct. 16 and a fourth Nov. 2.
The final report isn’t due until Jan. 15, 2013, well after the election. Previously only one report was due just before the primary, the second one just before the general election and the January follow-up report.
The contribution and expense reports were sometimes not available until after election day.