Retailers form PAC to defeat margins tax

UPDATE: This post catalyzed quite the interesting legal debate over what exactly this PAC and its affiliate (especially) might have to disclose after my suggestion that the use of an LLC might be for disclosure evasion. Some attorneys think that SB 246 from last session will force the LLC to disclose but it is by no means clear. If the LLC is simply seen as a vendor not providing free services, it may not have to disclose. Ad one attorney among several who weighed in told me:

"Let me put it this way: the SOS surely is correct to say it will vigilantly enforce against attempts to circumvent reporting requirements. But an LLC—any LLC, if it is a true free-standing entity—may be engaged by a PAC or a candidate or whomever to handle campaign services. If the PAC then sends money it has raised through contributions to that LLC under some sort of contractual arrangement to provide campaign services, the monies the LLC spends on those activities are not campaign expenditures and, therefore, are not required to be reported except as a payment from PAC to LLC.

"If the SOS suspected there was an intent to evade the law, they could move on it, but the factual information necessary for a well-founded complaint on this would be very difficult to amass. In essence, you don’t need to run around hiding things here—it’s perfectly legal to do this, and only evidence of an illegal plan could undo it, really."

It's clear the SOS folks think they would have grounds to force the LLC to register and disclose. But it's unclear if it would come to that. Mary Lau of the retailers told me they had SB 246 in mind when they set it up this way.

Thanks again to the Gang of 63 for all of the forward-thinking on disclosure....




I knew I should never take a vacation.

While I was out of town over the July 4th holiday, one of my sources sent me news of a PAC formed by the retailers to defeat the margins tax. But I neglected to inform you, dear readers, when I returned. Mea culpa.

It exists -- "Protecting Nevada Jobs " -- and you can read the filing documents here.

So this is the real one while this one won't get much cash.

What's interesting about this PAC, which has Retail Association of Nevada execs Mary Lau and Bryan Wachter listed, is that Ruby Mountain Enterprises is listed as an affiliated group. That's also an entity, an LLC, controlled by Lau and Wachter.

So what gives? One election expert speculated that if the PAC pays the LLC, then it would not have to disclose specific expenditures. We'll find out next year.

Waiting for Gamers.

Note to self: Find a better system to remind yourself when things are sent to you on vacation. Or get a bigger staff. Or a staff.