Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011 | 6:03 p.m.
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford accused Republican lawmakers of hypocrisy Wednesday for defending the state’s Washington, D.C., lobbying office while criticizing federal spending.
Horsford made the remarks as he questioned the state’s contracts - $185,000 for the next nine months and $247,000 for next fiscal year - with District Strategies.
That company, which the state has used for the previous two years, was the only bidder who responded to a request for proposals the state sent out after the session.
Republicans said Wednesday that the governor's Washington office is helpful during their trips to visit federal agencies.
Horsford said: "People claim they support reducing our reliance on the federal government, reducing spending. Now they want to support contracts to facilitate that relationship. It's a bit of hypocrisy," he said.
Nevada's Washington office has been a favorite target for years — by Democrats when there’s a Republican governor and by Republicans when there’s a Democratic governor.
District Strategies is owned by Ryan McGinness, son of Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon. According to the office’s web site, it's a two-person office and it invites the public to stop in.
The contracts are for the same level of spending as the previous year, and included hard costs like rent, said Sandoval's Senior Adviser, Dale Erquiaga.
Sen. Dean Rhodes, R-Tusarora, said the office has been a great help on rural land-use issues. Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, also said that the office has been a vital resource when dealing with federal issues.
Horsford suggested that representatives, like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid or Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nevada, could serve those functions.