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Tarkanian, Montandon campaigns named in FEC complaint for illegal “soft money” ad



LAS VEGAS – The Nevada State Democratic Party has filed a complaint the with Federal Election Commission alleging that the Tarkanian for Senate campaign coordinated the use of “soft” money to illegally attack Sen. Harry Reid, a federal candidate. Congress has passed strict laws against the use of “soft” money in federal elections.

Soft money is money raised for state or local races, can be raised in much higher increments then federal money and can be raised from corporations and unions. Raising of soft money is regulated by state laws and not federal laws, which are much stricter.

The complaint alleges that Mike Montandon for Governor used soft money to pay for an illegal ad attacking Sen. Harry Reid to the benefit of and in coordination with the Tarkanian for Senate campaign. The complaint specifically names consultant Steve Wark in his current capacity as a simultaneous advisor to both campaigns.

On March 18, 2010, Montandon for Governor ran an internet ad featuring pictures of Rory Reid and Sen. Harry Reid.

The ad was illegal because the Tarkanian campaign, through its common consultant, used soft money to attack a federal candidate, Sen. Reid.

“With this illegal ad, the Montandon and Tarkanian campaigns and their mutual advisor have demonstrated utter disregard for the most basic campaign finance laws,” said Sam Lieberman, chairman of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “For a state candidate to attack a federal candidate in this manner clearly violates federal law, and their inability or unwillingness to adhere to basic campaign finance rules is troubling and must be punished.”

Click here to read the full complaint: http://nvdems.3cdn.net/84141216c894a4df65_sqm6b9kbx.pdf

-Submitted by Phoebe Sweet, communications director, Nevada State Democratic Party

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