Las Vegas Sun

October 23, 2017

Currently: 83° — Complete forecast

Guinn campaign money to help mansion face lift

CARSON CITY -- Gov. Kenny Guinn said he will donate about $300,000 of his remaining campaign funds to complete the refurbishing of the Governor's Mansion.

The governor filed his campaign contribution and expense report Wednesday with the secretary of state's office, the final day for submitting the documents.

The documents noted that he had $701,416 left from the more than $3 million he raised for his second-term re-election campaign. Guinn said he intends to use a little less than half of that money to complete the work at the mansion, and he will spend the remainder on office expenses during his next four years.

In contrast, state Sen. Joe Neal, the Democratic candidate who challenged Guinn, received $29,391 in the final reporting period and spent $30,248, ending up $857 in the hole as of Jan. 3.

Candidates are required to file three reports of campaign expenses and contributions, one on Aug. 22, a second covering the period from Aug. 23 to Oct. 24 and the third and final from Oct. 25 to Jan. 3, 2003.

In his third report, Guinn showed he collected only $23,500 since Oct. 25, but he had $1 million on hand at the beginning of the reporting period.

During the final period, he donated $55,000 to the Andre Agassi Foundation in Las Vegas, and he paid $75,000 to the Rogich Communications Group and $70,000 to his campaign manager and former chief of staff, Pete Ernaut, according to the report.

In all, Guinn reported he paid more than $500,000 to Ernaut and his company, Ernaut Strategies Inc., to handle the campaign during 2002.

The report also notes that Guinn contributed $3,000 each to a number of Assembly candidates including Joe Hardy, Garn Mabey, Geny Del Rosario, Luis Valera, Walter Andonov, Chad Christensen and Valerie Weber.

He also gave $5,000 each to Senate candidates Dennis Nolan of Las Vegas and Maurice Washington of Sparks.

Guinn spent $50,000 with OIZ Advertising of Las Vegas during the reporting period, according to the documents.

The reports also show how quickly a contributor can change allegiances after an election.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, who headed the Senate GOP Caucus, gave $5,000 to Richard Bunker in his race for the state Senate in Clark County in District 9. Bunker lost to Assemblyman Dennis Nolan in the GOP primary. A week after the election, Raggio gave $5,000 to Nolan.

Michael Shustek, the Las Vegas commercial real estate financier who ran his own unsuccessful and controversial campaign to elect Democrat John Hunt as attorney general, reported making a $33,000 contribution to Passkey Systems in October. Shustek's firm Vestin Mortgage contributed $76,341 to the campaign. Of that amount, $16,000 went to Mobil Media of Nevada and more than $26,000 went to MRC Group Research of Las Vegas. Swan Advertisement received $9,290 from Vestin.

In his third and final report, Shustek does not list any direct contributions to Hunt.

The secretary of state's office is investigating Shustek on an allegation that he funneled money through other contributors to the Hunt campaign to avoid the donation limit. The complaint was filed by Ernaut, who had run the successful campaign of the GOP candidate for attorney general, Brian Sandoval.

That investigation, which has spanned three months, is not complete.

The reports were due Wednesday, but they are considered filed on time if postmarked by midnight Wednesday. Many of the reports are still in the mail, an employee of the secretary of state's office said.

State Treasurer Brian Krolicki reported raising more than $320,000 for his election campaign last year and having $32,241 cash left over as of Jan. 3.

Controller Kathy Augustine reported she collected $14,200 since Oct. 24. At that time, she had $46,275 in the bank. She reported this week that she has $18,733 in unspent campaign contributions.