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September 20, 2014

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MEMO FROM RENO:

Will firefighters union endorse Brian Sandoval instead of Rory Reid?

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Former federal judge and gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval celebrates his victory over incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons in the party primary at the Garden Shop Nursery in Reno on Tuesday, June, 8, 2010. Standing by during his acceptance speech is his wife, Kathleen, and children, James, Maddie, and Marisa.

Click to enlarge photo

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Rory Reid addresses the crowd during the Nevada State Democratic Party Convention on Saturday at the Flamingo.

The, shall we say, contentious relationship between Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid and the county’s firefighters union is well-known.

As the commission seeks to reduce overtime and other costs associated with firefighter pay, the union has made Reid its top target to attack that effort.

“Doubtful” might not be strong enough a word to describe Reid’s chances at earning the union’s endorsement in his gubernatorial bid this year.

But would the union go for an endorsement of Reid’s Republican rival, Brian Sandoval?

Maybe.

Rusty McAllister, president of the Professional Firefighters of Nevada, said the association is seeking an endorsement interview with Sandoval.

A union with staunch Democratic leadership endorsing a Republican? Well, it’s not outside the realm of possibility. The firefighters endorsed Sandoval in his 2004 race for attorney general, McAllister said.

But would they back Sandoval’s efforts to reduce retirement benefits for public employees, as he proposed in his short-term deficit solution? And what about his efforts before the Nevada Supreme Court to keep executive branch employees from serving in the Legislature?

Suppose we’ll see how deep the firefighters’ anger at Reid goes.

Provoking a fight? It didn’t work

Reid’s weeklong effort to get in front of the anticipated release of Sandoval’s education plan fizzled without a peep from Sandoval.

Reid spent the week lobbing news releases at Sandoval, accusing him of seeking to lay off 20 percent of the state’s teachers. Reid also released an education-focused television ad, the first of the general election season.

Down more than 20 points in recent public polls, Reid’s campaign hopes to goad Sandoval into engaging on an issue it sees as beneficial to them.

Sandoval has been on a months-long tour of schools in the state and is preparing his own detailed education plan. But the week passed with nary a word from the campaign.

His campaign spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said the plan is being developed and will be released when it’s ready.

As for Reid’s claim — based on numbers from Sandoval’s “short-term deficit solution” — that Sandoval wants to lay off teachers? Kinner said the plan was carefully crafted to avoid a single layoff.

File this under ‘mistake’

Just before the primary, Secretary of State Ross Miller went to court to halt a Republican group from running ads supporting GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval on the basis it hadn’t registered as a political action committee in Nevada.

In the wake of that case, a reader decided to check the filing status of the Keystone Corp., a Las Vegas-based nonprofit group dedicated to supporting conservative candidates in state legislative and gubernatorial races.

Keystone, founded by businessman Monte Miller (no relation to the secretary of state), has already put out a slew of endorsements in those races and has contributed money to candidates. Turns out Keystone, however, is not registered as an active PAC.

The organization is not up-to-date with its corporate filings and is listed as being in default, which just means it needs to get current with its paperwork. And it had no PAC registration.

The organization, however, had been filing its required contribution and expense forms. But those forms listed a defunct phone number and e-mail address.

So, what gives, the reader wondered. If Ross Miller was going to court to stop Virginia-based Alliance for America’s Future, why was Keystone free to engage in its own political activity?

In a brief interview last week, Monte Miller said the group accidentally filed the wrong corporate filing paperwork. He said he’d be overnighting the correct paperwork and a $75 check to the secretary of state to bring the group into compliance.

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