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December 19, 2014

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Ad attacks AG candidate Ross Miller over trips, gifts

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Cathleen Allison / AP

Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller testifies at the Legislative Building in Carson City on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

CARSON CITY — A conservative group launched a television and web campaign Monday against Ross Miller, Nevada's Democratic secretary of state and attorney general candidate, for trips and gifts reported on his financial disclosure statements.

Miller was quick to respond, saying the State Government Leadership Foundation should reveal the donors behind the attack ad.

The commercial portrays Miller as a politician enjoying the good life by accepting trips and freebies.

"Fancy parties, exclusive sporting events. Posing with celebrities — even Playmates," the 30-second ad says. It shows photos of Miller with boxer Mike Tyson and Las Vegas entertainer Holly Madison, a former girlfriend of Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner.

"Ah, one can dream, but for politician Ross Miller, it's reality," the commercial says.

The photos are not new and many were posted by Miller himself on social media.

The State Government Leadership Foundation is aligned with various Republican organizations, such as Republican Legislative Campaign Committee and Republican Secretaries of State Committee. On its website, it advocates for voter identification, ending collective bargaining with government unions, lowering taxes and reducing government regulation.

As secretary of state, Miller has taken on anonymous third-party groups in Nevada's elections and pushed for tougher campaign disclosure laws.

"My disclosure forms are public for anyone to see," he said in a statement. "The real question is, won't this group also be transparent and disclose who paid for this ad? Nevadans have a right to know who is trying to buy their vote and what they hope to gain."

Miller said he'll review "every legal option" to try to compel the foundation to divulge its backers.

The ad doesn't mention Adam Laxalt, the Republican candidate who likely will face Miller in November in the attorney general's race.

Miller, 37, is a former Clark County prosecutor and has served eight years as secretary of state. He is the son of Bob Miller, a former Nevada Democratic governor. Laxalt, 35, is the grandson of another former Nevada governor and U.S. senator, Paul Laxalt.

Miller reported raising nearly $900,000 for his campaign last year. Laxalt didn't get into the race until January and has not filed any fundraising reports yet.

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