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March 26, 2017

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Clark County GOP accuses PAC of misconduct in recall effort

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Cathleen Allison / AP

Nevada Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, talks on the Assembly floor at the Nevada Legislature on Monday, March 18, 2013, in Carson City.

Efforts to recall Nevada Assembly Republicans took a blow Wednesday after the Clark County Republican Party filed a complaint accusing a conservative PAC of illegally using contributions in recall efforts.

The party filed an election integrity complaint with the secretary of state's office accusing conservative activist Tony Dane of accepting more than $245,000 in illegal contributions from donors for his CRC Political Action Committee without revealing the source of the donations.

Party political director Nick Phillips said the complaint against Dane was filed because he doesn't want elected officials to be worried about a recall election in the middle of the session. Phillips said he thinks voters would reject a recall attempt and that legislators deserve a chance to vote on issues before being subject to a recall.

"This is nothing new," he said. "It's the same people doing things that they've been doing for a long time."

The complaint says Dane's PAC sent mailers attacking Assembly Speaker-designate John Hambrick and Assemblyman Chris Edwards earlier in January. In an interview with the Associated Press, Dane said he plans to consult on some or all of the recall PACs currently established, and to make "sizable" donations to all of them.

Recall PACs against Hambrick, Edwards and Stephen Silberkraus have already been formed, and conservative activist Chuck Muth said there is interest in forming additional groups against Assembly Republicans who haven't taken a strong anti-tax stance.

Dane said all of the PAC's money comes from him and his consulting business, and that he consults for a number of local and national clients that support conservative ideology. He said none of his clients has told him how to spend the money.

"No one has directed me to put a penny into my PAC," he said.

Dane said that he's upset with "liberal Republicans" in the Assembly and accused them of electing moderates into leadership.

No recall petition filed against a legislative member since 1993 has succeeded, according to data from the Nevada secretary of state's office. Dane chaired a group in 2003 that unsuccessfully tried to file a recall petition against former Gov. Kenny Guinn.

The state only recognizes recall petitions that obtain 25 percent of registered voters' signatures in a particular district.

Secretary of state spokeswoman Catherine Lu said the office was looking into the complaint, but couldn't comment on any specifics until all of the facts are gathered.

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