PLAN condemns mining industry influence on legislative process


The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, a statewide coalition of groups working for social, economic and environmental justice, is calling for members of the Nevada Legislature to reject the unseemly and overbearing influence of the gold-mining industry in dictating the state’s budget and tax law.

The record on mining’s influence on the political process is clear, and appears to be directly related to campaign contributions.

In the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, the two biggest multinational mining companies in Nevada and the world, Barrick and Newmont Mining, spent $924,225 on candidates, including $40,500 to Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, $18,250 to Assemblyman Marcus Conklin and $15,500 to Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea.

That represents nearly 87 percent of the entire industry’s state campaign contributions in those two elections. The entire mining industry gave $1,066,225 to candidates in the past two election cycles, with 62 percent going to Democrats and 38 percent going to Republicans.

“It appears that the $1 million that mining industry invested in elections will reap windfall dividends for their largely foreign shareholders,” said Bob Fulkerson, PLAN state director. “The Nevada Assembly appears reluctant to move mining revenue reforms before adjournment on Monday, relying instead on a one-time contribution that represents a tiny fraction of the billions these companies export from our state every year.

“The one-shot payoff that mining is offering does nothing to fix the systemic problem, and consigns the Nevada Legislature to the pathetic role of Oliver Twist begging for gruel from an overbearing master,” Fulkerson said.

The figures were compiled by the Alliance for a Just Society using data collected from the National Institute on Money in State Politics:

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