One would think that the controversy may have taken place in the Ward 6 race, where Kelli Ross, the wife of the termed-out councilman Steve Ross, is now facing former Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, but that is not the case.
The most controversial race is among incumbent Bob Beers and a newcomer to both Nevada and Las Vegas politics.
By reading this week’s Las Vegas Tribune editorial, one has to assume that the former Virginia and Florida resident and retired USAF Lt. Colonel Steve Seroka, must have some ulterior motive to be inclined to join the race for the Ward 2 city council seat for which the incumbent is, perhaps, the most popular and most respected public official of our times.
The controversy and maybe the reason that Seroka is running for Beers’s seat in the city council is around the battle of the Badlands Golf Course development in Ward 2 that gave birth to a new political action committee called Citizens for Better Neighborhoods.
CFBN-PAC has spent thousands of dollars to flood Ward 2 with fliers bashing Seroka, but there is the possibility that Seroka may have outspent CFBN-PAC with what many believed is mainly controlled by two powerful Las Vegas moguls — Jack Binion, the son of veteran gaming figure Benny Binion, and Attorney Frank Schreck — who together are against the Badlands Golf Course development in Ward 2.
In a time frame so close to the election, the controversial Badlands development should no longer be an issue due to the fact that, as gaming attorney Frank Schreck told a reporter of the local daily newspaper in November 2016, “We’ll get our justice in court.”
Steve Seroka, a former high- ranking military man, had a turbulent divorce from his wife Patricia, also a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Air Force, who filed the lawsuit.
Court transcripts show Steve Seroka calling the mother of their children (also a fellow high-ranking USAF officer) despicable names such as “whore” and “b*tch,” and many others in front of the couple’s children.
He was also accused of watching internet pornographic material in front of the couple’s minor children; and in a court setting, Steve Seroka pleaded the Fifth Amendment.
Steve Seroka also reportedly had an affair with another fellow Air Force member during his marriage to wife Patricia.
Las Vegas, Clark County and Nevada have their own share of bad publicity, corruption and questionable reputation, making Steve Seroka not needed or wanted in our community.
“Seroka’s retirement has allowed him to now spend his time advocating for Veterans,” but ironically, as a veteran organization, Veterans In Politics International and its president, a retired U.S. Marine, Steve Sanson, brought charges that Seroka attempted to mislead the voters with his campaign materials.
“Las Vegas City Council — Ward 2 candidate, Steve Seroka, a retired Air Force [officer], has prepared campaign literature which violates multiple military regulations, including Department of Defense Regulation, 1334-01 (Wearing of a Uniform),” wrote VIPI on its web page.
Las Vegas Tribune is not afraid to give credit where credit is due; the newspaper has always given Sanson and VIPI all the credit they deserve when they deserve it. (During a May 20, 2017 radio interview on the VIPI radio show with Las Vegas Municipal Court Judge Heidi Almase, who is running for reelection, a co-host on the show used the articles that Las Vegas Tribune has been publishing about the judge, only referring to the newspaper as “a local newspaper” with no name or credit; the co-host may be new in the business, or her lack of class did not get addressed as part of her journalist schooling.)
The Veterans in Politics International article about Steve Seroka’s violation of multiple military regulations is very informative and may be creditable coming from a veteran’s organization.
Specifically, § 3.1 [the wearing of a uniform by members of the Armed Forces (including retired members)]and § 3.1.2 [during or in connection with furthering political activities, private employment, or commercial interests, when an inference of official sponsorship for the activity or interest may be drawn.]
In all of his campaign materials, Steve Seroka uses as his title: “Colonel Steve Seroka,” rather than the title “Colonel Steve Seroka, (Ret.)” as required by the Joint Ethics Regulations (JER) paragraph 2-304 (Use of Rank: “Use of Military Title by Retirees or Reserves: Retired Military members and members of the Reserve Components not on active duty).
This regulation provides that these service members may use military titles in connection with commercial enterprises provided they clearly indicate their Retired or Inactive Reserve Status.
Similarly, the wearing of a uniform is subject to regulation. With respect to members of the Air Force, Air Force Instruction (AFI) 36-2903, issued by the Secretary of the Air Force implements Regulation 1334-01. Chapter 1, § 1.4.6 provides that the wearing of an Air Force uniform is not permitted when “furthering political activities, private employment or commercial interest.”
Steve Sanson President of Veterans In Politics International contributed in part to this article.