Secretary of State doesn’t enforce the laws he doesn’t like, critics say

By Carlo Maffatt | Watchdog.org

LAS VEGAS — Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is the man in charge of enforcing state election law. But critics say he “selectively enforces those laws,” and he shouldn’t be attorney general.

Nick Phillips, political director for the Clark County Republican Party, told Nevada Watchdog, “We are very disappointed with Ross Miller. He has proven, for several years now, that the law does not apply equally to all political parties.”

ROSS MILLER: Critics say he refuses to enforce the laws he doesn’t like.

The most recent example came today, when the courts declared Jesse Holder ineligible to run for Assembly in District 10 because he doesn’t live in the district.

According to court documents, “Mr. Holder knowingly and falsely represented his eligibility as a candidate for Assembly District 10.

Holder isn’t alone.

Last week, Democratic candidate for Nevada State Assembly Meghan Smith was declared by the courts ineligible to run for Assembly 34. According to court documents, Smith swore on an affidavit that she lives in the district, when if fact she does not.

But despite the recent judgment, Smith hasn’t stopped campaigning. According to the Nevada Constitution, she can still win the seat. When a post is vacated or a candidate is disqualified, the assembly decides. If she wins the majority of votes, chances for appointment are good.

In fact, Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick told The Las Vegas Review Journal she “won’t rule out the possibility that Smith could win an assembly seat through appointment.”

In 2013, the courts found Democrat Andrew Martin ineligible to run because he, too, lived outside the district in which he was running. Nevertheless, he was appointed to the seat and is now running for state controller.

On the other hand, critics say, Miller is eager to enforce laws that could help his career.

As reported by Jonathan Keim of National Review Online, Miller threatened to pursue “every legal option” to force the nonprofit conservative group State Government Leadership to disclose its donors when the group launched an ad campaign targeting Miller. The ads portrayed him as a politician living the high life and accepting $60,000 in freebies to attend boxing matches, Vegas shows and a Beverly Hills conference.

“How is he accountable for protecting the elections’ integrity for Nevada voters when Secretary Miller routinely ignores the complaints on election laws and violations stay un-investigated?” says Julie Hereford, co-Founder of the New America, a nonpartisan, nonprofit political group.

Tom Jones, who is running for state controller representing the Independent American Party, says, “All this could have been avoided, at great expense for the taxpayers, if Mr. Miller had done his job either verifying basic candidate qualifications or moving swiftly to remove such candidates from the ballot. But I’m afraid there is a political agenda behind these convenient errors.”

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

Top