Government Affairs Report – February 2018

–          Butterfly Boucher

As the calendar flipped on the new year, so too did the switch on the 2018 election cycle.  Almost immediately after the fireworks ended on the Las Vegas Strip, potential candidates announced their intent to run, and several candidates and administrators decided to step away from their respective races or government positions.  To recap the month’s major events:

  • Sen. Becky Harris – no longer seeking re-election; nominated to chair the Nevada Gaming Control Board, a seat vacated by A.G. Burnett, who moved into private practice
  • Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony – no longer pursuing his race for the open seat in CD 4 (currently held by Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who is not seeking reelection)
  • Fmr. Rep. Steven Horsford – announced he is running for CD 4 (the seat he lost to Rep. Crescent Hardy)
  • Fmr. Rep. Crescent Hardy – announced he is running for CD 4 (the seat he lost to Kihuen…following this?)
  • Las Vegas City Councilman Ricki Barlow – resigned and pled guilty to a federal felony of fraudulent conversion of campaign funds for personal use
  • Deonne Contine, Director of the Nevada Department of Taxation – moved into private practice, and announced her intent to run for the seat vacated by Assemblywoman Amber Joiner, who is not seeking reelection

The moral of this story is: a lot happens in a month.  Announcements, fundraisers, and “deadlines” aside, candidate filing (where a person becomes a “candidate” and officially commits to running for a specific office) BEGINS on March 5, 2018.  Stay tuned; the political landscape will continue to change as the filing date approaches.

Stop callin’, stop callin’,
I don’t wanna talk anymore!
I left my hand and my heart on the dance floor.

–          Lady Gaga

As NAIOP represents the second largest industry in Nevada, you should be dancing (there’s another song here…but we digress).  If your phones have been like ours, ringing non-stop with candidate contribution calls, your dancing in recent weeks has looked more like moves in a game of dodgeball.  It stands to reason that this time of year, we field quite a few questions regarding contribution laws, limits, suggested guidance on contribution strategy, etc.  Accordingly, we thought a quick note on Nevada campaign finance is appropriate for this newsletter, to help you dodge the wrench from Patches O’Houlihan.

Federal Races

  • Individual contributions are limited to $2,700 per candidate, per race.
  • Direct corporate contributions are prohibited.
  • PAC contributions may be made, and are not limited.

State & Local Races

  • Individual contributions are limited to $5,000 per candidate, per race.  Primary and General elections are treated as separate races, which means an individual may contribute $10,000 to a candidate, in the aggregate, per election cycle.
  • Direct corporate contributions and PAC contributions are permitted, and limited to $5,000 per candidate, per race, in identical fashion to contributions from individuals.
  • Contributions to political committees, parties, or ballot measures are permitted, and not limited.

Candidates without a primary may still receive contributions up to $10,000.

In-kind contributions are permitted, limited by the monetary restrictions noted above.  Within 30 days of providing any in-kind goods or services, a donor must provide the recipient a signed statement setting forth the actual cost of the goods and services provided, or their fair market value.  In-kind contributions include invitations to attend annual dinners or other events where seats/tables are purchased for admission.

No contribution of any kind may be made for 30 days before, during, or 30 days after a regular Legislative Session.  With respect to a special session, the contribution blackout begins the day after the Governor issues a proclamation calling the special session, until 15 days following adjournment of the special session.

With respect to gifts, please note Nevada significantly raised scrutiny on the giving of gifts to public officials.  To that end, it is almost never appropriate to gift anything to a public official “which would tend improperly to influence a reasonable person in the public officer’s or employee’s position to depart from the faithful and impartial discharge of the public officer’s or employee’s public duties.” NRS §281A.400.

With respect to participation by the Southern Nevada Chapter in the upcoming election, the Government Affairs Committee is establishing schedules for candidate interviews in selected races and will ultimately recommend a contribution budget to the Board in the coming months.  We look forward to providing more information on these endeavors shortly.

Odds & Ends

Exactly one year from now, we will be moving back to Carson City to begin another 120-day sprint, as the 80th Nevada Legislative Session convenes the first week of February, 2019.  Who’s ready???  46 of the 50 States convene their legislative bodies annually.  Nevada and Texas are on a biennial calendar.  Can you name the other 2?

North Dakota

Have a great day!

Jon & Kerrie

Jonathan P. Leleu, Shareholder
Kerrie Kramer, Assistant Director

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
3773 Howard Hughes Parkway | #400 North | Las Vegas, Nevada 89169
Tel 702.599.8070 | Fax 702.925.2316 | |