Las Vegas Sun

March 3, 2024

Rory Reid PAC scheme was clearly run out of his campaign, records show

That’s the inescapable conclusion after perusing a file of documents sent to the secretary of state’s office. They reveal just how the operation was formed to file a master PAC and then funnel money to sham mini-PACs, which would briefly hold the cash before $750,000 was re-directed to Reid’s gubernatorial campaign account, thus evading the $10,000 contribution celing.

Here’s what the documents show:

----On Aug. 11, 2010, two weeks after he had written to Reid Campaign Manager David Cohen advising him that forming the mini-PACs was legal, Paul Larsen, Reid’s law partner, wrote a letter to Reid Deputy Campaign Manager Kirsten Searer in which he advised her that the overall PAC, the Economic Leadership PAC, is “partly controlled by a candidate…no expenditure for that candidate's race would qualify as an ‘independent expenditure’….That candidate, of course, was Rory Reid.

----Six days later, on Aug. 17, in an email from Cohen to ELP Treasurer LaDawn Kern, he asked her to write $10,000 checks (the maximum) to three of the smaller PACs. “The mailing address is the same for all of them,” Cohen advised Kern – indeed, the 716 Kelso Way address just happened to be a place another Reid campaign official, Joanna Paul, was renting. And one of the PACs mentioned in the email – Nye Leadership PAC.

A Nye County Leadership PAC based in Vegas? How…unusual.

----The mini-PACS only used temporary checks to write checks back to “Rory 2010,” Reid’s campaign account. The names of the PACs are handwritten on checks, according to images provided to the SOS. That is, they knew their existence would be short-lived and had only one purpose. They were dissolved a few months after those checks were written No need to pay for permanent checks when the PAC was never intended to be permanent.

There is no longer any arguing whether there was scheme aforethought here, or that they did not plan this carefully:

Form a leadership PAC. Form smaller PACs designed for a short life span and only for funneling money back to “Rory 2010.” Dissolve PACs because they served their purpose – which was to legally or illegally circumvent campaign finance limits.

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