Clark County voters to make themselves aware of the candidates who are running for judicial offices and who may be controlled by their campaign manager.
That is a judicial race problem, but it is not limited to that race alone; other races such as the ones for Sheriff, county commissioners, state senators and the assembly should also be included.
The Las Vegas Tribune has emphasized many times that those public
officials who are controlled by their campaign managers are in danger
of losing their election and the opportunity to sit on the bench if
they are controlled by someone who could be making decisions and
rulings for them. That also applies to others in different races, such
as for Sheriff, where candidates may be in the same position unless
they are using an inexperienced and/or low-priced campaign team to
help them get elected, allowing them to break free from that
controlling campaign situation.
Clark County has had its fair share of controlling campaign managers
before the new wave took over, creating a new style of campaigning.
From Hank Pesner to Jerry May to Jim Joyce — and many others, most of
whom have left this world — controlling campaign managers have been
around. But never did it seem as dirty then as it seems today in the
modern frame of today’ politics.
Among them, at least one, Jim Joyce, considered one of the most
powerful and respected individuals in the field, can be said to have
“helped shape Nevada Politics for a Generation,” according to media
reports; but others claim that if Joyce were alive today, he would be
ashamed of the profession of which he was so proud.
Candidates are afraid to “upset” Dave Thomas because “he can elect” —
but most candidates have privately expressed their disdain for having
to deal with him and others are not happy with his way of operating.
Candidates that are under Dave Thomas’ control, like Judge Vincent
Ochoa, on many occasions have denied relationship with their campaign
manager. Judge Ochoa told the Las Vegas Tribune that he was not under
contract with Thomas.
He may have told the newspaper the truth because he may not be “under
contract” per se, but it can’t be denied that Thomas is running
“The only reason Judge Ochoa’s political sign is in the front of our
building is as a favor to Melodie Nelson, who is a very good friend of
this newspaper,” said Perly Viasmensky, General Manager of the Las
Vegas Tribune. “We have a good rapport with the judge; in fact I
personally like him, but we will never promote anyone under Dave
Thomas’ control,” she stated.
The newspaper believes that all those judge candidates — Rebecca
Burton, Linda Marquis, Chris William Marcek, Robert Pool — under the
control of Dave Thomas should not be elected to the bench because obviously they are either afraid of him or controlled by him, which ultimately has the same results: the candidates are not strong enough to be in control of their own decisions. The same can be said of those sitting judges hoping to be reelected
under Thomas’ power: Vincent Ochoa, Ron Israel, and Diana Sullivan.
In an article in the daily paper, penned by one of the area’s most
respected journalists, Jane Ann Morrison, Ms. Morrison stated “Thomas
routinely tries to talk people out of running against his clients,
including his wife, District Judge Nancy Alf. The man with the
reputation as a ‘judge-maker’ considers it part of his job.”
For example, when a candidate running against Judge Diana Sullivan was
scheduled to appear on the political radio show Face The Tribune, her
boss, who is friends with Judge Sullivan, told her that if she appears
on the radio show she would be fired. And her campaign manager,
political consultant Johnny Jackson, told the Las Vegas Tribune and
radiotribune.com during an appearance on the radio show that he was
assaulted by Thomas during an event at the Filipino Nurses of Southern
Nevada Yearly Gala at the Gold Coast.
Judge Sullivan herself committed to appearing on Face The Tribune and
when she was told that her “boss” would not allow her to be close to
the Las Vegas Tribune in any way, shape or form, she told this
reporter in front of another sitting judge that she “runs her
campaign” and said that her judicial executive assistant will call for
the details and confirm the date.
Las Vegas Tribune waited for those details and the confirmation and
when the newspaper then called to confirm, there was no return call
and the link to the newspaper that many jurists receive free of charge
“That kind of political maneuvering can only hurt the results of the
elections; it ultimately gives the impression — whether the candidate
wants to see it that way or not — that some judge candidates are
weak-willed, rendering them incompetent and incapable of making their
own decisions. A community will suffer under such a wimpy, weak-willed
judge and needs to be informed that such is the case. One would think
that any additional exposure to inform their constituents of their
platform would be a good thing for both the candidate and the voters,
and should be the choice of the candidate,” said Maramis Choufani,
Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.
Choufani was referencing the race in Department 28 where the
incumbent, Judge Ron Israel, is under the wing of Dave Thomas and the
challenger, Robert Pool, is under the “guidance” of Constable John
Bonaventura, who has thrown his hat in the county commissioner ring
after losing his office.
Bonaventura has also placed all his most trusted followers to run
against all the County Commissioners whom he blames for losing his
office (luckily there are only three of the seven County Commissioners
running for re-election, otherwise he might not have enough friends to
Las Vegas Tribune did not agree with the decision of the commissioners
to eliminate the office of the constable, but we also do not agree
with the Constable and his team’s decision of running for what they
call “pay back,” believing that the voters are going to believe they
are running with the “good intention” of serving the community.
In the judicial race for District Court Department 2, Dave Thomas’
horse in the race is Richard Frank Scotti. Even if he assured his long
time friend that he would not run in that race, Thomas ordered him to
run. Clark county voters should not elect Scotti in that race.
In Department 5, Judge Carolyn Ellsworth is not Thomas’ protégé and
she should be kept instead of having a puppet like William Horne
taking orders from Dave Thomas on which public appearances he should
honor and which ones he should not.
Horne was scheduled to appear on Face The Tribune and waited until two
hours before the show to inform them that his son was sick and he had
to take him to the hospital, instead of being man enough to tell the
radio station that Dave Thomas did not give him permission to appear
on the show.
Horne should not be elected to the bench, or to any position for that
matter; but since there will not be a primary for certain positions,
those running without a primary will be named in future issues of the
Las Vegas Tribune.
Most candidates represented by Dave Thomas may know that they are
doing something wrong; they may also know that Thomas’ clients are
known for being controlled, otherwise they would not hide the fact
that they are Thomas’ clients, and his staff would not hide the fact
that they are calling from his office when they call the Las Vegas
Tribune inquiring about the event that will take place on May 16 at
the newspaper’s office building.