Clark County School Board President Carolyn Edwards – a longtime Democrat activist known to harbor ambitions for higher political office, possibly even in the Legislature – has been brought up on charges before the Nevada Commission on Ethics for breaking the law by using taxpayer dollars to promote a massive $669 million tax hike last year – a ballot initiative that was soundly and overwhelmingly defeated by voters.
The charge is quite serious. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week: “If she is found to have willfully done so, Edwards could be fined up to $5,000 and face the possibility of being removed from office.”
As such, she and her high-powered attorney sought to have the charges dismissed without a hearing, a request that was unanimously denied by the commission last week. From the LVRJ story:
Before the election, Edwards had a district employee send an email blast on Oct. 20 seeking volunteers to “distribute door hangers and yard signs to registered voters encouraging them to support Question 2.” State law prohibits public employees from “requesting” or causing a governmental entity “to incur expense or make expenditure to support or oppose a ballot question.” There’s no wiggle room, said Caren Cafferata-Jenkins, executive director of the Nevada Commission on Ethics.
Edwards’ lawyer mounted a vigorous defense of the Democrat school board member for using her position of authority and influence to promote a ginormous tax hike.
He claimed there was no violation of the law even though the law is plain and clear.
He said Edwards’ actions weren’t for a “political purpose,” even though it was clear the purpose was to get voters to approve a political question on the ballot.
He claimed the ballot question wasn’t a “ballot question” at the time when Edwards’ email went out because no votes had yet to be cast.
He said the money involved was meaningless since it only took all of 30 seconds for Edwards’ secretary to send the email out – a value the attorney set at 20 cents, neglecting to take into consideration the actual value of the email list itself.
And he said it was Edwards’ “duty” to do what she did since her job on the school board is to, as the RJ described it, “make sure schools are well maintained and cared for.”
That a Democrat who allegedly broke the law to promote a huge tax hike is being vigorously defended by a lawyer using the lamest excuses under the sun isn’t exactly surprising. But the identity of the lawyer representing this alleged law-breaking, tax-hiking Democrat is
Republican state senator and lieutenant governor candidate Mark Hutchison!
Don’t take my word for it. Read it and weep.