Las Vegas Sun

January 16, 2018

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Jon Ralston:

Special Vegas council election could be very special

If you have too many Beers, you may get rolled by Ric or have to take it on the Chinn — it’s time for your Friday Flash, extra-special special election edition:

• When a conservative deficit spends: Ex-state Sen. Bob Beers tapped into familiar GOP sources to help fill his war chest to a respectable $44,500 for the March 20 balloting to replace Steve Wolfson after he became district attorney and took a lower profile. But he reported spending $17,000 more than he took in, shoveling much of it into advertising but also helping old friends Dan Burdish (the Citizen Outreach boss and ex-party staffer) with $5,000, and George Harris, another ex-party apparatchik still looking for his first substantive win in politics since birth, with $2,500 to his Mundo restaurant.

Beers has other consultants, too, including longtime neighborhood rabble-rouser Lisa Mayo and veteran operative Steve Forsythe. Mayo recently tried to recall Steve Ross (again) and Forsythe was the man who ran Byron Goynes’ disastrous attempt to be the alternative.

My guess is Ross isn’t too friendly to any cause that Mayo is involved in, so I find it odd that he has been conscripted by “Veterans in Politics,” a group with little credibility and with few members, I’d guess, to moderate interviews Saturday as a prelude to the group’s endorsement. When I mocked VIP, which has attacked the sheriff and former district attorney on issues that have nothing to do with veterans, the group’s boss, Steve Sanson (once arrested on gun charges) replied – and I have changed nothing in his Facebook retort: “have you served your country and what services have you continued to do every year for our community without receiving a pay check? Jon is known as a bias reporter he supports who ever has a checkbook.’

I am so … devastated.

Sanson said he would not provide me with a list of actual members because it “has a lot of LV Metro cops that really dont want to be mentioned!!!!!!!!!” I’m leaving all of his exclamation points intact so as to quote him accurately – and literately.

But I digress.

Ross clearly is not a Beers guy – he said on Twitter that he likes Kristine Kuzemka and Ric Truesdell (my guess is he likes him more) and “some of the other candidates.” But Ross, like Mayor Carolyn Goodman, surely wants no part of a strong contrarian such as Beers on the council with another former legislator, Bob Coffin, who already seems to be driving Her Honor batty.

• When a de facto Goodman Family member runs: Truesdell had not filed a report as I type this, but his campaign says he will disclose $77,400 with $22,000 more in in-kind contributions. Truesdell has spent about $50,000 — none of it on consultants Steve Redlinger (his son-in-law works cheap) and Bradley Mayer (on loan from The Family after electing both of them mayor). Redlinger says they have raised $40,000 in the week since the report cutoff. (Have I mentioned lately that I am in favor of real-time campaign reporting so these arbitrary periods don’t have cutoffs?)

Truesdell, not having the benefit of years in the Legislature or of having the last name of a beloved alcoholic beverage, has flooded the district with mail pieces, all of them positive. Until now, that is.

The last two pieces — eight in all — have gone after Beers, and in Thursday’s piece, showing Truesdell knows the ex-state senator is his main competition, he pounded him again for his tenure on the board of that great red ink ride known as the Las Vegas Monorail.

It would seem the only other of the nine candidates with any chance is ex-cop Bob Chinn, who has Jim Ferrence, an expert in grass-roots turnout machines. But Chinn only has raised $10,000 – including $250 from ex-District Attorney David Roger – and I’m not sure he can get enough name recognition in enough time, nor do I think being a member, current or otherwise, of the police force does what it once did in the valley.

• Goodman-Ralston ticket? In his latest mail pieces, Truesdell uses my characterization of Beers as a “human flamethrower” to, ahem, burn him – I meant it as a frank, colorful description, not a criticism. But the latest mailer also has a picture of Oscar and Carolyn Goodman, the mayors who do not endorse, but contribute and allow their pictures to be repeatedly used by Truesdell.

I am just wondering if this is the first time in history that my good friend, ex-Mayor Oscar Goodman, and I have been used together in the same mail piece (much less same campaign!) to try to elect a candidate.

Is this a potent double boost or does one cancel out the other?

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