Posts Tagged ‘Senate 9’

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.


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.”

Senate 9 Primary Race Gets Nasty, Halseth Goes After Nolan on Rape Case Testimony

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:39 pm May 18th, 2010

If you missed last night’s back-and-forth between GOP primary challenger Elizabeth Halseth and state senator Dennis Nolan on Face to Face, you can watch the show’s last two segments here. A few notes and comments on the first segment (hope to get to the rest later today):

First, for background, you should listen to Halseth’s latest radio ad –  Ehalseth_Ad_2 — roasting senator Nolan for his 2008 testimony in a rape case involving a minor.  The ad ends with this from the alleged victim’s father:

“What kind of a person defends a child rapist who sexually assaults our kids?”

“Tell [Dennis Nolan] that defending child rapists is not OK.”

Also check out Halseth’s recent mailer:

You are now filled in.

Ralston kicked off the first segment with this comment to Halseth:

“This has gotten unusually nasty, and I am really stunned, actually, by the radio ad that you’re running right now.  You’re criticizing Senator Nolan for testifying as a character witness for a friend who was charged with the sexual assault of a teenager.”

And then turned to Nolan for comment who said:

“I think this is typical, sleazy Washington-style politics.  I was asked to… I wasn’t asked, I was actually subpoenaed by the public defender’s office, to come and testify on behalf of a friend who I’ve known for years, who grew up with my kids. I was subpoenaed; I testified; I appeared in court; I told the truth; and that’s all I can do.  That’s all anybody can expect of a citizen in our judicial system.”

Ralston referred back to Nolan’s comments about pressure (at the time of the case) from the DA’s office re: his testimony and asked him if he had regrets.

Nolan said he did not regret giving the testimony.  He said he knew both the accused and the victim, and that he told the truth.

Nolan also said that although there was a conviction in the case, the state Supreme Court has found merit in the appeal (which has not yet been decided).

Ralston to Halseth:  “I have a simple question for you.  What’s the point of this ad?  Why should he not have done what he did?”

Halseth defended the ad saying it was factual. Ralston then asked her why the ad is relevant.

Halseth:  “You don’t use your position as a state senator to influence a jury, especially in a rape case against a minor.”

Ralston asked her how Nolan used his influence to sway the jury.

Halseth:  “Listen.  As a state senator… You know… It is bad, that is bad judgment…  And inappropriate for a state senator to take the stand to defend a rapist.”

Ralston:  “Did he not respond to a subpoena?  He can’t help the fact that he was a state senator, could he…?”

Halseth:  “Listen.  It is bad judgment to do what he did.”

Ralston:  “So he should have just said, “I’m not going to respond to a subpoena?”"

Halseth:  “Well, you know, show me the subpoena.”

Ralstont to Nolan:  “So she doesn’t believe you had a subpoena.”

Nolan:  “Well, she can check with the Public Defender’s office.  When you’re subpoenaed, regardless of why, good citizens respond to a subpoena.”

Ralston pressed Halseth once more as to why she would criticize Nolan on this matter vs. on the issues, especially as he was subpoenaed in a criminal case.

Halseth:  “Listen as a sexual assault victim myself, if one of my state senators got on to a witness stand and said, and testified on behalf of my attacker, and then said the attacker was a good guy, and that the attack was consensual, I do not know how I would feel.”

So in addition to putting out these very incendiary ads and mailers, Halseth is now also saying she doesn’t believe Nolan was really subpoenaed?

I am hoping to hear back in response to my call to the public defender’s office before I am ready to click “Publish” on this post, but I assume Nolan would not lie about something that could so easily be disproved.

And if Nolan was subpoenaed, as I believe he was, what else would he do but show up and testify?  Can’t imagine a situation where someone looks forward to testifying in a rape case, but citizens must answer the call.

However, that is all beside the major point and question, one which Ralston repeatedly asked and Halseth never answered:

Why is any of this relevant?

What does any of this have to do with Dennis Nolan’s ability to fulfill his duties as a state senator and/or his position on the issues?  And/or why should anyone find Elizabeth Halseth a preferable alternative and/or what are her positions on the issues?

I wish I could say Halseth answered any of those questions (which Ralston also asked) in segment two, but she didn’t.

More on that later.

Update (2:45 pm): Public defender, Philip Kohen, confirms that yes, there was subpoena for Nolan in the 2008 case.  And he had an interesting question about Halseth:

“Here is someone who says she wants to hold a constitutional office, but yet questions someone’s obligation to answer a subpoena?”