Strong convictions

In our Sept. 18 edition, we reported on the Nevada Commission on Mineral Resources donating $2,500 in public funds to a mining political group, the Nevada Mineral Exploration Coalition. We noted that the Coalition was one of at least seven mining industry groups that contributed to the Nevada Senate campaign of Republican Greg Brower, who opposed the reelection of Democrat Sheila Leslie, sponsor of the repeal of the industry's “golden loophole”—an 1864 cap on mining taxes written into the Nevada Constitution, a cap enjoyed by no other industry.

The RN&R article prompted the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada to ask Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick on Sept. 18 for a probe “to determine whether the Nevada Commission on Mineral Resources illegally gave state funds to a private PAC that has supported candidates that push its anti-safeguard, pro-industry agenda.” Kirkpatrick chairs the Legislative Commission, which handles some legislative business when the full legislature is out of session. PLAN also urged its members to let “your legislators know you're watching how your tax dollars are being spent, and demand accountability.”

On Sept. 25 the Coalition's David Shaddrick responded with a letter calling Fulkerson's action “irresponsible” and pointing out that the Coalition also contributed to Leslie's campaign, thus attesting that not only is it a political organization, but it's one that covers its bets by working both sides of the street.

Repeal of the golden loophole will appear as Question 2 on this year's ballot.