Posts Tagged ‘Woodhouse’

State Senate Candidates Await Fate

By Sean Whaley | 2:46 pm November 5th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The precincts have been walked, the issues debated and the media campaigns run. Now many Nevada voters will get to weigh in on five critical races to determine whether Republicans or Democrats will control the state Senate after the polls close tomorrow.

The 21-member Senate currently has an 11-10 Democratic edge.

Gov. Brian Sandoval and many of his Republican colleagues are working to change this by winning at least four of five of the races in play between the two parties on Election Day tomorrow.

Sandoval, who is expected to push for further education reforms and other changes in the 2013 session, would love to have the leverage a Republican Senate would provide to help win passage of his agenda.

State Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas.

Democrats meanwhile, are working hard to hold on to or even increase their majority in the Senate, where they have been in control since 2008. The 42-member Assembly is expected to remain under Democratic control following the election.

Races to watch

Four of the five Senate seats in play are in Southern Nevada and the fifth is in Reno:

Senate 5, where Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk is facing Democrat and former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse;

Senate 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison faces Democrat businessman Benny Yerushalmi;

Senate 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin faces Democrat Justin Jones;

Senate 15 in Reno where Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, is running against former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno; and,

Senate 18, where Republican Assemblyman Scott Hammond faces Democrat Kelli Ross.

Republicans have a voter registration edge in Senate 15 and 18, while Democrats lead in the other three. There are a large number of nonpartisan voters in all five districts as well, however. How they vote could determine the outcome of the races.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said the top drawer candidates recruited by the Republican Senate caucus are all in a position to win on Tuesday.

State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas.

“We’re right where we want to be, we’re right where we expected to be,” he said today. “We’re positioned to win all of these races. Whether we do or not the voters will tell us tomorrow.

“All of our races are very close,” Roberson said. “Some of them could certainly go either way. But we feel like we’ve done everything we can to put us in a position to be successful.”

The Republican candidates have been successful in attracting both Democrat and nonpartisan voters, he said.

“So I think you’re going to see a lot of ticket splitting; I think you’re going to see a lot of people who are registered Democrat or registered nonpartisan that come over and vote for our candidates,” Roberson said.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, was equally optimistic about the outcome for his Democratic candidates.

“Our take has always been that we were going to maintain and expand our majority,” he said today. “We went out and recruited some great folks and we’ve been out working hard on the ground since February, knocking on doors.”

The candidates and the caucus have raised the funds needed to fund competitive campaigns, and polling shows they are doing well with voters, Denis said.

“The registration numbers were great for us, and the early vote has been great for us,” he said. “So I feel real confident about our folks and how they’re going to do tomorrow.”

Early voting results statewide did favor Democrats, with 307,877 votes cast compared to 259,913 for Republicans. Not all of those votes came in the five Senate districts.

Republicans out raising Democrats in all five races

But the campaign funding race has favored Republicans, according to the Campaign Contribution and Expense forms filed with the Secretary of State’s office updated through Nov. 1.

Even so, all of the candidates have brought in and spent large sums since the beginning of the year, showing just out important both parties see the races.

The Brower-Leslie race alone has generated nearly $1.2 million in contributions combined since January.

In Senate 5, Kirk has raised $336,000 since the beginning of the year, but has spent $392,000. This compares to $243,000 for Woodhouse with nearly $267,000 spent.

In Senate 6, Hutchison has brought in just over $572,000 while spending nearly $520,000. Yerushalmi has raised $292,000 while spending $290,000.

In Senate 9, St. Martin has raised over $388,000 and spent $376,000, while Jones has raised nearly $313,000 and spent $297,000.

In Senate 15, Brower has almost $704,000 and spent $718,000, with Leslie bringing in nearly $483,000 and spending $500,000.

In Senate 18, Hammond has raised $214,000 and spent 208,000, while Ross reported just over $201,000 in contributions and $186,000 in expenses.

Roberson said a Republican majority in the Senate will bring more balance to the Legislature.

“And that’s going to encourage more bipartisanship, more cooperation, more collaboration,” he said. “And I think the end result will be better legislation, better public service for the people of Nevada, coming out of Carson City.”

Denis said he has a track record of working across the aisle with Republicans, and that his leadership will ensure bipartisanship and balance with the GOP.

“I think the balance has to come from leadership, and I’ve show that,” he said. “I know Sen. Roberson has said he wants to do that; he’s going to have to prove that with his actions. And so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll want to do that.”


Audio clips:

Sen. Michael Roberson says the Senate GOP candidates are positioned to win on Tuesday:

110512Roberson1 :23 to be successful.”

Roberson says Republicans will draw Democratic and nonpartisan voters:

110512Roberson2 :10 for our candidates.”

Roberson says a GOP Senate will encourage bipartisanship:

110512Roberson3 :18 of Carson City.”

Sen. Mo Denis says Democrats are poised to hold on to and even expand their Senate majority:

110512Denis11 :19 knocking on doors.”

Denis says he is confident the Senate Democratic candidates will do well Tuesday:

110512Denis2 :13 to do tomorrow.”

Denis says he has a track record of working with Republicans:

110512Denis3 :24 to do that.”


Republicans Lead In Fundraising In Critical State Senate Races But Democrats Argue They Have Broader Support

By Sean Whaley | 3:27 pm May 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Republican candidates have big leads in fundraising in four of five seats considered critical to control of the state Senate in the 2013 legislative session, with a slight monetary advantage in the fifth, according to campaign contribution reports filed this week.

Both Democrat and Republican caucus leaders are fighting hard to win the seats to control the 21-member house where Democrats now lead 11-10.

The first reports of 2012 show contributions through May 18 and were filed Tuesday with the state Secretary of State’s office. Several candidates also raised money in 2011 and these amounts have given the GOP candidates the funding edge early on in the 2012 election season.

Republican caucus leader Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, is optimistic that the GOP can retake control of the Senate in the November general election. Republicans need to win four of the five seats to do so.

Democratic Senate leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, is equally confident Democrats will maintain control.

Roberson said he is pleased with where the Senate candidates are right now, but added that it is a long time until November. Roberson also said he is pleased but not surprised at the level of contributions to the candidates and the caucus.

“I know the caliber of the candidates we have,” he said. “The group of candidates that agreed to run this time on the Republican side, our endorsed candidates, are some of the best candidates either party has seen in 20 years.”

But Senate Democrats point out that two of their candidates, Justin Jones and Sheila Leslie, both had larger numbers of individuals contributing to their campaigns than their GOP counterparts in the 2012 reports, suggesting they have a broader base of support. A third candidate, Joyce Woodhouse, also out-raised her opponent in the 2012 report.

The Senate Democratic Caucus also out-raised its Republican counterpart so far in 2012, $187,000 to $149,000.

“The recent finance reports show that the Senate Democratic Caucus is a very strong position to expand and protect the majority,” said Mike Luce, executive director of the Nevada Senate Democrats. “We have very strong candidates and the registration in these new districts favors Democrats.

“We have been  saying all along that the Democratic candidates are running strong campaigns and talking about bringing jobs to this state,” he said. “Our message is working, our campaigns are knocking doors and raising the necessary funds to run competitive races.”

In Senate District 5, where former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk, a Republican, is expected to face Woodhouse, a former state senator, in the November general election, the GOP has the edge in contributions so far. But Kirk has also spent much of his war chest already.

Kirk reports $131,000 in total contributions and expenses of $67,000. Kirk has a primary battle. Kirk received a $5,000 contribution from the Retail Association of Nevada in the first reporting period this year.

Woodhouse reports raising about $96,000 and spending $18,000. She has large contributions from the Nevada State Education Association, $5,000; outgoing state Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, $5,000; and Nevada Senate Democrats, $5,000; in the first reporting period for this year.

The other Republican in the Senate 5 race, Annette Teijeiro, reports about $28,000 in contributions and $15,000 in expenses. The primary is June 12.

Author: David Ball, via Wikimedia Commons.

In Senate District 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison is expected to face businessman and Democrat Benny Yerushalmi, Republicans also have a fundraising advantage.

Hutchison reports $185,000 in contributions and nearly $48,000 expenses. Contributions include $5,000 from the Keystone Corp., $5,000 from the Retail Association of Nevada and $10,000 from the Senate Republican Leadership Conference.

Yerushalmi reports $74,000 in contributions and $10,000 in expenses. He has a primary against Thomas Welsh. Yerushalmi, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in 2010, has $4,000 contributions from both the Nevada State Education Association and the Clark County Education Association.

In Senate District 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin is expected to face Democrat Justin Jones, the candidates are fairly evenly matched. Both face primary opponents. Brent Jones is also a GOP candidate, and Frederick Conquest has filed as a Democrat.

St. Martin reports nearly $114,000 in contributions and $60,000 in expenses. Contributions include $10,000 from the Senate Majority Political Action Committee, $10,000 from the Jobs First PAC, and $10,000 from the Senate Republican Leadership Conference.

Justin Jones reports nearly $112,000 in contributions and $23,000 in expenses. Contributions include $2,500 from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund.

GOP candidate Brent Jones has raised nearly $33,000 in contributions.

In the Senate 15 race where incumbent Greg Brower, R-Reno, will face Leslie, who resigned her Senate 13 seat to challenge the attorney who was appointed to fill out the term of the late Sen. Bill Raggio, the Republican is leading in the fund-raising race.

Brower reports $299,000 in contributions and $76,000 in expenditures, with a $7,279 donation from the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Leslie reports $141,000 in total contributions and $58,000 in expenses. Her contributions include $2,000 from R&R Partners, $5,000 from the Laborers’ Intl Local 169, and $8,700 from the Barbara Buckley Campaign. Buckley is a former Assembly speaker.

In Senate District 18, where Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, is likely to face Democrat Kelli Ross in November, Hammond reports $127,000 in contributions and $70,000 in expenses. Contributions include $2,500 from Station Casinos and $5,000 from MGM Resorts International.

Hammond raised $59,000 in the first 2012 reporting period from Jan. 1 through May 18. He also raised $68,000 in 2011.

Hammond, who is endorsed by the GOP Senate Caucus, and who faces a primary challenge from Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, is well ahead in contributions. McArthur reports about $16,000 in total donations. Republican Conrad Vergara, has also filed.

Ross, who has a primary against Democrat Donna Schlemmer, reports $47,000 in contributions and $5,500 in expenses. She received $10,000 from the Committee to Elect Steve Ross and $5,000 from the Committee to Elect Tom Collins.

Schlemmer has raised about $7,000.

Democrats have a voter registration edge in three Clark County races: Senate 5 by 40.6 percent to 37.5 percent for Republicans; in Senate 6 by 41.4 percent to 38.2 percent; and in Senate 9 by 39.6 percent to 35.3 percent, based on registration numbers through April.

Republicans lead in Senate 15 in Washoe County, 40 percent to 38 percent, and in Senate District 18 in Clark County, 40.7 percent to 37.6 percent.


Audio clips:

Sen. Michael Roberson says he is pleased with where the Senate candidates are but that it is a long time yet to November:

052312Roberson1 :14 sure we’re successful.”

Roberson says the GOP Senate candidates are some of the best in the past 20 years:

052312Roberson2 :20 in 20 years.”


Nevada State Senate 5 Debate Focuses On Unfair Political Attacks, Taxes And Budget Shortfall

By Sean Whaley | 8:29 pm October 18th, 2010

Democratic state Senator Joyce Woodhouse and Republican challenger Michael Roberson debated the budget, taxes and unjustified political attacks today in a race viewed as critical by both parties for the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

Woodhouse, running for a second term in Clark District 5, said the mailers sent out by the Nevada State Democratic Party attacking Roberson did not come from her campaign or have her review.

Roberson, an attorney, said the misstatements about his campaign should be an embarrassment for Woodhouse and the Democratic Party.

“I don’t have a voting record,” he said. “Apparently they know they can’t talk about jobs and taxes and the economy.”

Woodhouse, a retired educator with the Clark County School District, had her own criticism of Roberson for calling her a liberal loony.

Roberson said his criticisms of Woodhouse are based on her voting record in her four years in the Senate.

Democrats, who have a 12-9 majority over Republicans in the upper house, are trying to hang on to Woodhouse’s seat to maintain and potentially expand their majority. Republicans are seeking more seats in an effort to exert greater control over discussions on the budget, taxes and the redrawing of Nevada’s political boundaries.

In the debate on Jon Ralston’s Face To Face television program, Woodhouse said she is a hardworking person. She called Roberson’s comments hurtful.

Roberson countered that voting to give the Millennium Scholarship to illegal immigrants as Woodhouse did is a loony idea.

He also criticized Woodhouse’s former employer, the Clark County School District, for having more than 350 bureaucrats making in excess of $100,000 a year.

Roberson said the attacks on him from the Democratic Party are clearly untrue and he asked Woodhouse to denounce them.

The ads, based on a questionnaire filled out by Roberson for the conservative pro-life group Nevada Concerned Citizens, say he wants to keep women from getting birth control and investigate women who have miscarriages. Roberson said he only answered “yes” to a question about whether he is pro-life.

Woodhouse would not go so far as to denounce the ads, saying, “I do dislike negative campaigning incredibly.”

She did say they “are not good political pieces.”

The candidates were also asked about how they would deal with the next two-year state budget, which faces a funding shortfall of anywhere from $1.5 billion to $3 billion.

Woodhouse said she is pursuing a review of the state budget as part of a legislative panel looking to eliminate nonessential services and consolidate programs. But once all efficiencies are identified and implemented, a tax increase may be needed to balance the budget, she said.

Roberson said he would not raise taxes to balance the budget. The budget shortfall is more in the $1.5 billion range, he said. The average government employee makes 30 percent more than a private sector employee and state employee pay will have to be reduced, he said.

Nevada’s spending levels are unsustainable, Roberson said. Woodhouse’s record does not show one case where she voted against a tax increase, he said.

Audio clips:

Michael Roberson says Democratic attacks are outlandish:

101810Roberson :09 please tell me.”

State Sen. Joyce Woodhouse says she is a hardworking conscientious person:

101810Woodhouse :13 are really hurtful.”

Nevada Senate Democrats Offer Access In Exchange For PAC Contributions, GOP Criticizes ‘Pay To Play’

By Sean Whaley | 12:26 pm August 17th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Money may not buy happiness but a sizable five-figure donation to Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford’s political action committee will get you some serious face time with Democratic leadership.

Horsford, D-Las Vegas, is seeking financial support for Senate Democrats in an effort to build a veto-proof 14-seat majority in the 21-member upper house for the 2011 legislative session. Democrats have a 12-9 edge now with the potential to pick up two more seats.

In an effort to achieve his goal, Horsford has sent out an email to potential contributors offering access to himself and the Senate leadership in exchange for cash.

Donations can get contributors into the Victory Leadership Circle for $25,000 or more, or into the Chairman’s Leadership Circle for between $10,000 and $25,000, or into the Caucus Leadership Circle for between $5,000 and $10,000, or into the Friends of Nevada Senate Democrats for between $1,000 and $5,000.

State Republican Party Chairman Mark Amodei criticized the “pay to play” email and said everyone should have access to Nevada’s citizen Legislature.

Past practice has been to provide access to all, he said.

“Who do you think you are,” Amodei said. “You are supposed to be a citizen Legislature.”

Amodei, a former state Senator from Carson City, says he is well aware of what is at stake in November and that both parties are working hard to win their races. But Republicans, who controlled the Senate from 1993 until 2009, never tied access to political contributions, he said.

The latest approach by Democrats is an unfortunate development in Nevada, Amodei said.

“It’s too bad we have to import this full time professional Legislature view for access to leadership in the Nevada Senate,” he said.

Horsford did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Horsford’s email is quite specific about what type of access will be available for each level of support:

“Organizations or individuals that contribute $25,000 or more will receive a private dinner with the Senate majority leader and chairs of all the standing committees,” the email solicitation says. “The dinner will permit up to 10 invited guests to accompany the Victory Leadership Circle Member.

“Organizations or individuals that contribute between $10,000 – $25,000 will receive a private dinner with the Senate majority leader and a chair of a standing committee of their choice. The dinner permits up to seven invited guests to accompany the chairman’s leaders member.

“Organizations or individuals that contribute between $5,000 – $10,000 will be entitled to a private reception with the Senate majority leader and Nevada Senate Democrats.

“Organizations or individuals that contribute between $1,000 – $5,000 will be entitled to a luncheon with the Senate majority leader,” the email says.

In a letter accompanying the contribution information, Horsford says Democrats are poised to do well in November, particularly with the primary loss by long-term Republican incumbent Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, to a political newcomer in Clark District 9.

“This game changer provides a direct path for Benny Yerushalmi, a life-long Nevadan and small business owner, to increase the majority in the state Senate come November,” he said.

Senate Democrats are also looking for an upset of Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, and holding on to the seat now held by Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, who is in her first re-election campaign.

“In this election cycle, the stakes have never been higher,” Horsford says in the email. “Reapportionment, the budget and major policy issues affecting the working families and small businesses of Nevada are too important to be held hostage by the Republicans who will now be controlled by an even more conservative membership moving forward.

“Growing the majority and obtaining at least 14 votes will be critical in ensuring that we are able to put Nevada back on the path to prosperity,” he said.

Horsford’s PAC didn’t see much financial support up to the June primary. The contribution and expense report for Victory 2010 showed only one major contribution of $10,000 from the AFSCME labor union in Washington, DC.


Copy of mailer signed by Senator Horsford here:

Horsford Victory Leaders Mailer

Gibbons, Lawmakers Meet to Discuss Budget in First “Open Door” Session

By Sean Whaley | 2:40 pm December 21st, 2009

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons and nine state lawmakers from both political parties spent about an hour today informally discussing potential solutions to the state’s budget shortfall, including a discussion of state employee furloughs versus pay reductions.

The first “open door” meeting proposed by Gibbons to discuss solutions to a current $67 million shortfall in the state general fund budget was productive, according to two of the lawmakers who attended.

The meeting was not open to the general public, and it disbanded before an invitation to the media to attend the last 15 minutes of the get-together could be accommodated.

Gibbons left to attend another engagement after about an hour of discussion.

Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns said the governor appreciated the open dialogue with the five Democrats and four Republicans and said there was agreement to continue the meetings on a regular basis.

“The important thing was to have a starting point for a dialogue, which seemed to go very well today,” he said. “The second thing is, make sure your dialogue includes the exchange of ideas. Everyone got a chance to speak.”

Burns said the furlough and pay reduction discussion came up because not all state employees are now being required to take a furlough day as required by the 2009 Legislature to help balance the budget. Key correctional positions are exempted, for example, creating an inequity with other state employees, he said.

Gibbons had proposed a straight pay cut for all employees instead.

“It is not fair to have a certain segment that doesn’t have to take a furlough or some sort of pay reduction, and a certain segment that does,” Burns said.

Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, who attended the meeting via videoconference from Las Vegas, said he welcomed the chance to talk directly with Gibbons.

“I needed the opportunity to lobby him to have a special session in order to clear the decks so we can get the Race to the Top money,” he said.

Some lawmakers have called on Gibbons to quickly call a special session so a Nevada law prohibiting the state from receiving the federal stimulus funds to improve student achievement can be repealed and an application can be submitted next month.

Gibbons has so far rejected the call for an early special session, saying Nevada is better off applying for the second round of funding in June.

Coffin said he also pushed for a legislative change at a special session to allow the state to use $160 million in borrowed funds to help get through this fiscal year rather than next year. Only $30 million in the loan from a local government investment pool can be used this year without the change.

Some lawmakers have proposed accessing the borrowed funds now rather than making immediate budget cuts to balance the budget.

Assemblyman James Settelmeyer, R-Gardnerville, said the meeting provided good interaction.

“It opened a line of communication which is good to see,” he said. “There have been times when the Legislature and the executive branch have not talked that much.”

Settelmeyer said he agrees that it is better to wait to call a special session so that the Race to the Top issue and the budget problems can all be addressed at the same time.

Settelmeyer said he is concerned about the inequities in the application of the one-day-a-month furlough requirement. The fact that the furloughs do not apply to all employees equally was an unintended consequence the legislation failed to recognize, he said.

Settelmeyer said he would rather see staff prepare a list of all the new programs approved by the Legislature over the past 10 years so they can be evaluated as to whether they are necessary.

“Are they all necessary or are there some programs we could do without?” he asked. “I don’t want to see any more cuts to state employee salaries across-the-board.”

Other lawmakers attending the meeting included Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas; Assemblyman Tom Grady, R-Yerington; Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka; Assemblyman John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas; Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, R-Henderson; Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas, and Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson.

Keystone Announces Endorsement of GOP Fiscal Conservatives in State Senate Races

By Sean Whaley | 12:07 pm November 16th, 2009
CARSON CITY – Today the Keystone Corp., which identifies itself as Nevada’s leading political voice for free market business development, private sector job creation and fiscal conservatism, announced endorsements in key Nevada state Senate races for the upcoming 2010 election cycle.

The Keystone Corp. is a statewide political action organization that recruits, supports and advocates for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Endorsed candidates include: Sen. Barbara Cegavske – running for reelection in Clark County’s District 8; Ty Cobb – currently an assemblyman representing District 26, running for state Senate in Washoe County’s District 4; and Chad Christensen – currently an assemblyman representing District 13, running for state Senate in Clark County’s District 9.

Other endorsements are James Settelmeyer – currently an assemblyman representing District 39, running for state Senate in the Capital District; and Michael Roberson – an attorney from southern Nevada, running against Sen. Joyce Woodhouse in Clark County’s District 5.

Keystone’s board members offered the following comments for each of their endorsed candidates for state senate:

“Sen. Barbara Cegavske has a proven record as a fiscal watchdog on behalf of the Nevada taxpayer. Sen. Cegavske is a conservative senator Nevadans need to fight for their interests in Carson City.”

“Assemblyman Ty Cobb has been a consistent, reliable and fierce advocate on behalf of the Nevada taxpayer, and we believe his voice on fiscal discipline and accountability will be a needed asset to our state Senate.“

“(Christensen) has fought to control government spending in order to promote economic growth. Chad Christensen will be the strong advocate for private sector job creation and limited government.”

“Assemblyman James Settelmeyer understands what is needed to make Nevada fiscally strong. He is one of the hardest working legislators in Carson City and a genuine policymaker. Mr. Settelmeyer will make the right decisions to promote economic growth while protecting taxpayers.”

“In our interview process, we found Roberson to be a strong and principled advocate for private sector job creation in Nevada. He will be a welcomed addition to the state Senate, replacing a senator who supported job-killing tax hikes in the midst of one of Nevada’s worst recessions in state history.”