Monday, June 25, 2012

So This Is Why Pat Hickey Flip-flopped on Campaign Finance Reform!

Remember the hullabaloo Pat Hickey tried to create around the campaign finance reform package he proposed (yet opposed last year)? Now, we're getting a better sense of why he's done such a 180 on this.

If you’re going to paint yourself as the white knight of transparency, you better make sure to clean up after your horse.

Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Reno, listed $13,594 in unitemized credit card payments in this year’s campaign contribution and expense reports, nearly 30 percent of all his expenditures.

Lumping expenses onto credit cards does not violate campaign finance laws, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. But the occasional practice by candidates has been marked as a shortcoming of state law — a way for candidates to potentially obscure how they’re spending the money.

Ah, so now we see! It's just so convenient for Pat Hickey to declare himself "The White Knight of Good Government". It's just so convenient for him to take up this cause and misuse it to smear his political opponents. And niece we finally see why Hickey is doing this. Pat Hickey doesn't want us to see his own ethical shortcomings.

[Hickey] called on the lawmakers to “hold itself to higher standards in Nevada.”

“I am asking members of both parties to lead the way in establishing higher standards of public transparency and accountability,” he said.

Hickey’s reforms, which he urged lawmakers to make the first order of business when the Legislature meets in 2013, included reporting contributions in real time, requiring candidates to report ending fund balances, and reporting trips and gifts from lobbyists and donors when the Legislature is not in session.

[Secretary of State Ross] Miller has attempted to pass many of those same reforms since 2007.

So why didn't Hickey lift a finger to help Ross Miller and Sheila Leslie enact any campaign fiance reform last year, when something actually could have been done? Why is Hickey only talking about it now, when the Legislature is not in session?

Well, this is an election year. This is indeed an election year. And in an election year, crafty politicians devise all sorts of initiatives to garner support.

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