Posts Tagged ‘Justin Jones’

Debate In State Senate 9 Race Focuses On Democrat Justin Jones’ Actions In Las Vegas Sands Case

By Sean Whaley | 8:38 pm September 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A televised debate today between the two candidates for the state Senate seat in district 9 in Las Vegas  - viewed as critical by both major parties – got off to a rocky start for Democrat Justin Jones.

The debate between Jones and Republican candidate Mari Nakashima St. Martin on Jon Ralston’s Face to Face program started with questions posed to Jones, an attorney, in relation to his representation of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. in a wrongful termination case.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported that Jones did not correct another Sands attorney who said in a Clark County District Court hearing that no one could view a series of emails outside Macau that were sought in the case. This statement was determined to be inaccurate and the Sands was fined $25,000 for “intention to deceive the court.”

GOP State Senate 9 candidate Mari Nakashima St. Martin.

Asked about the matter, Jones said he could not comment specifically because of attorney-client privilege, but that he has always acted honorably as an attorney in court matters. He is no longer involved in the case.

“The order from Judge (Elizabeth) Gonzalez speaks for itself,” he said. “I hope you have had a chance to look that over. I hope my opponent has also. I’m not mentioned in the order at all. And I think that I’ve acted honorably throughout that case and all of my cases.”

St. Martin is using the issue in her race.

“I think it is absolutely an issue,” she said. “I think that, you know, Justin says that he was willing to do this for a client, but he will probably have those same clients when he goes to Carson City. You know, we’re a citizen Legislature and so, he’s willing to do that in his professional career; how do we know that; you know, if he is willing to walk into a courtroom with the intention to deceive, how do we know he’s not going door-to-door with that same intention to deceive.

“The voters need someone they can trust,” St. Martin said.

Jones said: “I’m proud of my legal career. I’ve done a lot of good work in my career over the last 10 years both as a lawyer but also in the community and I think that shows. I fulfilled my obligations, Jon, and I always have.”

He called the claims “slanderous attacks” and said St. Martin was the focus of personal attacks by her GOP primary opponent and is now using the same tactics.

Democratic State Senate 9 candidate Justin Jones.

Jones said the attacks in St. Martin’s mail pieces are untrue, but St. Martin said the information is taken directly from the judge’s order and columns in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Senate 9 seat is one of five in play in the state Senate, where Democrats now hold an 11-10 edge. Republicans are seeking to win four of the five seats to take control of the Senate for the 2013 legislative session.

The district, open because of the resignation of Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, has a Democratic voter edge of 39.9 percent to 34.3 percent for the GOP as of the end of August. Since then Democrats have been out registering Republicans in Clark County as a whole.

Other issues raised in the debate included a statement by St. Martin that more needs to be done to eliminate waste in state government.

Asked to name instances of waste, St. Martin said she would seek to sunset state agencies every six years or so to force them to justify their existence.

“I think that is a great way to look internally at how we can root out waste, fraud, abuse,” she said. “Why shouldn’t we do an internal audit of our own state government.”

An example of waste is the current cumbersome process of finding who is receiving Medicaid but who also has private insurance, St. Martin said.

Jones said it would cost more money to sunset and eliminate organizations that have lost their purpose than to just leave them in existence and on the books.

Another issue discussed was the foreclosure crisis.

Jones said on his website he will crack down on illegal foreclosure activity.

“I think we’ve made a lot of progress but there’s a long way to go,” he said.

St. Martin said voters want someone they can trust, and that Jones has represented banks as an attorney.

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Audio clips:

Senate 9 candidate Justin Jones says he acted honorably in the Sands case:

092412Jones :12 of my cases.”

Candidate Mari St. Martin says the issue raises questions about Jones’ suitability for the job:

092412Martin :23 intention to deceive.”

GOP Primary Opponents Debate In Fiercely Contested State Senate Nine Race

By Sean Whaley | 8:09 pm May 31st, 2012

CARSON CITY – In the Republican quest to regain control of the state Senate in the 2012 general election, two GOP candidates in a bitter primary traded accusations today in a televised debate.

Whether GOP establishment favorite Mari Nakashima St. Martin or challenger Brent Jones wins the June 12 primary, the fiercely contested primary presents another challenge for Republicans to return to dominance in the state Senate.

GOP Senate 9 candidate Mari Nakashima St. Martin.

The issues aren’t taxes or education reform, but questions of judgment and personal responsibility. The candidates debated on the Face To Face television program.

St. Martin issued a press release raising questions about whether Jones took advantage of a mentally disabled man more than a decade ago by selling him two ostrich eggs for $30,000 to establish an ostrich farm. Jones, in return, has raised questions about St. Martin’s suitability for public office.

Jones’ claim, detailed today by the Las Vegas Sun, characterizes St. Martin as a “party girl,” on a website launched by Republicans United, a new political action committee with which Jones said he is unaffiliated. The site features pictures of St. Martin holding alcoholic drinks and socializing.

St. Martin’s criticism cites a Los Angeles Times article from 2000, which looked into Jones’ transaction with the mentally disabled man to buy the ostrich eggs.

In the debate, St. Martin said her campaign did create a website, called Freinds of Mari St. Martin, focusing on the civil lawsuit filed against Jones and others in order to “vet” the GOP candidates so that “fringe” and “marginal” candidates don’t win the primary and lose to Democrats in the November general election.

Jones has filed a lawsuit alleging defamation, saying the claims are false and defamatory. Jones said St. Martin’s campaign volunteers are telling voters wrongly that he was jailed for the civil case, which was settled.

St. Martin said her campaign is not making such calls. Volunteers are calling voters, she said.

Jones defended the website questioning St. Martin’s suitability for public office.

He also said St. Martin has no business experience, has never met a payroll, and has refused to sign the Taxpayer Protection pledge affirming a stand to reject tax increases.

GOP Senate 9 candidate Brent Jones.

“Those are the issues,” Jones said.

St. Martin downplayed the pictures, saying the characterization of her behavior suggests that young mothers are unqualified and unfit to run for and serve in public office.

St. Martin said she won’t sign any pledge, but that she supports transparency and lower taxes. She did not commit to support or oppose Gov. Brian Sandoval’s plan to extend a collection of tax increases set to expire on June 30, 2013, into the next budget cycle.

Jones said St. Martin’s equivocation on taxes is due to her support from the Senate GOP establishment, specifically Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, who voiced support for Sandoval’s decision to extend the sunsetting taxes into the next budget.

St. Martin said Jones’ comments show that he considers anyone “under the age of 40, and female, basically, is unfit and unqualified for office . . . ”

The Senate 9 District is vacant, with former Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, having resigned from the seat.

The primary battle is draining energy and resources  in a contest that Republicans need to win to take the majority in the 21-member Senate where Democrats now have an 11-10 advantage. The winner will face another Jones, Democrat Justin Jones, who has received financial help from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

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Audio clips:

Senate 9 candidate Brent Jones says St. Martin is unqualified:

053112Jones :08 payroll; absolutely unqualified.”

St. Martin says Jones thinks young women are unqualified for public office:

053112St.Martin :12 the power brokers.”