Tarkanian, Montandon Campaigns Named in Nevada State Democratic Party FEC Complaint

From the state Dems on Thursday:


April 8, 2010

Tarkanian, Montandon campaigns named in FEC complaint for illegal “soft money” ad

Las Vegas, NV. – The Nevada State Democratic Party has filed a complaint the with Federal Election Commission alleging that the Tarkanian for Senate campaign coordinated the use of “soft” money to illegally attack Sen. Harry Reid, a federal candidate. Congress has passed strict laws against the use of “soft” money in federal elections.

Soft money is money raised for state or local races, can be raised in much higher increments then federal money and can be raised from corporations and unions. Raising of soft money is regulated by state laws and not federal laws, which are much stricter.

The complaint alleges that Mike Montandon for Governor used soft money to pay for an illegal ad attacking Sen. Harry Reid to the benefit of and in coordination with the Tarkanian for Senate campaign. The complaint specifically names consultant Steve Wark in his current capacity as a simultaneous advisor to both campaigns.

On March 18, 2010, Montandon for Governor ran an internet ad featuring pictures of Rory Reid and Sen. Harry Reid.

The ad was illegal because the Tarkanian campaign, through its common consultant, used soft money to attack a federal candidate, Sen. Reid.

“With this illegal ad, the Montandon and Tarkanian campaigns and their mutual advisor have demonstrated utter disregard for the most basic campaign finance laws,” said Sam Lieberman, chairman of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “For a state candidate to attack a federal candidate in this manner clearly violates federal law, and their inability or unwillingness to adhere to basic campaign finance rules is troubling and must be punished.”

Couldn’t find the ad in question on YouTube so either it’s not there anymore or I’m looking in the wrong place.  Will post it when I find it.

Am awaiting comment from both campaigns.

Update (2:51 PM):

Ok, it was not a YouTube ad, just a small web ad.

“We ran a little web ad on Drudge for two days and collected a few hundred email addresses,” said Montandon.

“The complaint is completely without merit,” said Montandon.  “Suggesting that I somehow coordinated or mingled funds with the Tarkanian campaign is just insane.  Steve Wark did do some work for me last year, but so what?”

Team Montandon will send me a copy of the ad in question this afternoon; I’ll post it here once I’ve got it.

Update (2:58 PM):

“The Tarkanian campaign had no prior knowledge of the internet ad, all questions should be directed to the Montandon campaign,” says Team Tark campaign manager Brian Seitchik.

Update (5:55 PM):

Here is the ad:

And a statement from the Montandon campaign:

Accusations Against Montandon Campaign Show Reid’s Willingness to Abuse His Control of the Democratic Party of Nevada

North Las Vegas – The recent complaint filed against the Montandon campaign and others is the first of what is expected to be many uses and abuses of Senator Harry Reid’s money and control of the Democratic Party.

Republicans are eager to challenge Nevada’s senior Senator because he has lost touch with the average Nevadan. Harry Reid is integral part of the Washington liberal elite and he has proved with this complaint against the Montandon campaign that he will do anything to further his own personal goals.

His son Rory, attempting to salvage a gubernatorial campaign by dissociating himself with his father’s tainted name, is using the money and resources of his father’s good ole boy network to lash out at the ideological link I’ve made between him and his father.

The internet ad linking Rory to his father was created by a media consultant out of Texas. The ad was not coordinated with anyone else, in theme, direction or content.

It is ridiculous to think that the Montandon campaign would have the desire to spend resources on any other campaign, or that targeting Rory Reid would have to be done with no reference to any “dynasty”. The complaints have no basis in fact.

  • Ruh Roh Raggy

    Was it an illegal soft money contribution when Catherine Cortez went after Brian Krolicki 2 weeks after he announced he would run against Reid or just an enormous misuse of taxpayer money?