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Wolfson launches ad defending office amid attack ads from outside groups

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Campaign Ads 2018IndyBlog

Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson is going on the defensive in his re-election effort, launching a new ad responding to a series of critical ads paid for by an outside group.

The ad, which will begin airing on Thursday, features Wolfson speaking directly to the camera for 30 seconds deriding political action committees funded by “out-of-state billionaires” paying for ads that “spread lies to mislead you.”

“Here’s the truth: my office has never paid witnesses to influence their testimony, and we prosecute people based on the crime committed, not the color of their skin,” he says in the ad.

The ad is likely a response to ads run by a group called Nevada Law & Justice PAC, which has run a robust digital and television ad campaign targeting Wolfson’s record in the district attorney’s office. Part of the ad cites a 2014 Las Vegas Review-Journal story on his office’s practice of quietly paying rent and other expenses for witnesses in crime cases without divulging the information.

The PAC reporting spending more than $37,000 through an in-kind donation for “research and polling” to Peoples’ PAC, which is funded by Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada’s Action Fund and the Accountable Justice Action Fund. It gave a similar in-kind donation to the Color of Change PAC, a large online racial justice nonprofit based in Oakland.

The group didn’t report receiving any contributions over the reporting period, and won’t have to until the June 8 pre-primary campaign finance reports are due.

The reference to “out-of-state” billionaires may refer to a recent $500,000 donation made by the George Soros-backed Open Society Foundation to a “Light of Freedom” PAC created to oppose a ballot question seeking to ban sanctuary cities in Nevada. That group gave $175,000 to the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada’s Action Fund, which then gave $35,000 to yet another PAC called Peoples’ PAC, which made a $37,000 in-kind donation to the group opposing Wolfson.

Wolfson reported raising more than $618,000 over 2017 on campaign finance reports, and added another $239,000 over the first five months of 2018. His sole opponent, criminal defense attorney Robert Langford, reported raising just over $37,500 in 2018, after filing to run in March.

Because no Republicans filed to run for the office, the race will be decided during Nevada’s June 12 primary.


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