Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's Happening in North Las Vegas?

Strange things are happening in North Las Vegas. George Knapp has his own take on what's happening, but I've been hearing things that tell a different story... Or at least, things that make this story far more nuanced and complicated.

Laura at The Sausage Factory has some questions about what's going on.

When North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck's dentist, Wade Wagner, won the Ward 4 City Council race by one vote over the Democrat incumbent, Richard Cherchio, North Las Vegas prepared itself for a recount.

During the Clark County election department's audit, it was discovered that someone voted in the wrong ward. The election might be invalid. Shit got real.

A city council meeting was called. The decision was made by the council to re-do the election in the precinct where the "mis-vote" was cast. Mayor Buck abstained from voting because not only is Wagner her dentist, her husband worked for his campaign. Cherchio also abstained from voting.

As expected, the Wagner campaign is suing over the decision. And for some reason, former North Las Vegas Mayor (and failed gubernatorial candidate) Mike Montandon filed a restraining order. But to be quite honest, as a resident of unincorporated Clark County, I didn't care. I don't live in North Las Vegas and I never plan to.

And honestly as a Henderson resident, folks may wonder why I'm paying more attention to this. Let me explain why.

Knapp may have his own questions about Cherchio, but I am really wondering what's behind this mysterious push for Wade Wagner. Police and fire unions formed PACs and sent out attack mailers, but they never filed the necessary reports with the Secretary of State's office. Why?

These said mailers included a whole bunch of attacks that were proven to be false, such as accusing Cherchio of approving hundred-million-dollar projects when he actually wasn't on the council. Why?

And Mike Montandon is now suing to stop the revote in the disputed precinct. Why? Why is he now involved in this sordid hot mess?

But wait, there's more! North Las Vegas Mayor Shari Buck has stated that her husband, Keith, worked for Wade Wagner's campaign. However, Keith Buck was never listed as an expense (as all paid campaign workers are supposed to be) on any of the Wagner campaign's reports. Why?

Honestly, I wanted to write about this election before... But I was too afraid to take it on because of all the unanswered questions. And honestly, I still feel guilty about being a part of the media that always seemed to give North Las Vegas the short end of the stick. #lvmayor was "the sexy race" of the year, and those of us in Henderson were obviously focusing more on what was happening with the Henderson council races.

But at this point, it may really be necessary to ask more questions, since it doesn't look like we'll be getting answers easily otherwise. Why isn't Keith Buck listed as a campaign expense if he worked for Wade Wagner's campaign, as his wife, Mrs. North Las Vegas Mayor, so freely admits? Why is Mike Montandon claiming he will be "disenfranchised" if a revote occurs in HIS precinct (which also happens to be the home precinct of Shari Buck's parents)? Why is someone who was recently appointed to the Citizens Advisory Board and the Utility Advisory Board by Shari Buck now oh so conveniently filing ethics complaints against Richard Cherchio, the council member Shari Buck's friend and dentist Wade Wagner seeks to defeat?

There's something rotten in the state of North Las Vegas. And though it may be late, I figure it's better to to find out what's rotting now than never.

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