Roberson: I'm not Rory Reid!

Congressional hopeful Michael Roberson has responded to a complaint filed by a friend of one of his opponents, claiming that he has done nothing wrong and insisting the complaint itself is deficient.

In his response, Roberson says allegations about a network of PACs tied to him are not similar to a 2010 case involving then-gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid, who was forced to pay a $25,000 fine after erecting dozens of phony PACs. Reid used the PACs to circumvent campaign contribution limits to his own campaign, which is markedly different than Roberson creating PACs that then gave to candidates, his attorney, Josh Hicks, argues. The argument essentially is that while Reid used the PACs as shells to accept contributions and then funnel the money back to himself, the Roberson-linked PACs gave money to candidates and the Senate Republican Caucus.

Thus, Hicks argues, they are not so-called conduit contributions, or donations made in the name of another to somsone, which is prohibited by Nevada law. The allegations in the complaint, made by close Danny Tarkanian friend Michael Brown, are that contributions by major donors to the Roberson PACs were then directed to Roberson-favored candidates Becky Harris and Patricia Farley, this enhancing the amount of money they could receive from one source above the $10,000 limit. That is, the PACs were just way stations for Farley and Harris money, thus circumventing limits in the same way Reid did.

"Nowhere in Nevada law is there a presumption that contributions made to a PAC, and subsequent expenditures made by that PAC, are deemed to be an improper activity simply because they are close in time," Hicks wrote.

One interesting aspect of Hicks' response is criticism of the secretary of state, Barbara Cegavske, for even forcing Roberson to respond to "such a facially deficient and vague citizen complaint." Don't forget these two Republican officeholders do not like each other, dating back to when he leapfrogged her in leadership and then then snubbed her in committee assignemnts.

The complaint against Roberson was originally reported by The Review-Journal's Ben Botkin. The complaint and Roberson's response are below. It's now in the secretary of state's hands.

2016.02.03.BrownVS Roberson.pdf by Jon Ralston



Wayne Thorley Letter Re Senator Roberson (C16-02) by Jon Ralston