I-Team: Fiore campaign money use in question

LAS VEGAS - Clark County Democrats are raising issue with how a Republican candidate is spending campaign dollars.

A complaint was filed with the secretary of state about Las Vegas city council candidate Michele Fiore questioning the use of $44,000.

By law, a candidate can't take campaign dollars for personal use and can't profit from that money. Right now, it's unknown if Fiore's breaking any rules.

More information is needed, but she hasn't fulfilled the I-Team's request for it.

"There might be an ethical concern about whether or not the candidate is using campaign dollars for personal uses," said Mark Peplowski, a political science professor.

The I-Team found more than $70,000 has been spent on Fiore's group called Politically Off the Wall and $10,000 for her Truth in Politics magazine. The payments come from the campaign of Republican and Ward 6 city council candidate Michele Fiore to her home address. 

"That may seem like a big deal but if the consulting firm is spending the money on the campaign, if the publication is to benefit the campaign, then technically, they're not violating the law," Peplowski said.

On Tuesday, Clark County Democrats filed an Election Integrity Violation Report with the secretary of state stating it appears Fiore is attempting to pay herself from campaign funds.

Longtime College of Southern Nevada political science Professor Mark Peplowski says more information is needed.

Like a contract about campaign work done by firm Politically Off the Wall, a rate card revealing advertising costs for the publication Truth in Politics and documents showing how each campaign dollar is being spent on both entities.

"I mean there's a little bit of smoke, but I'm not sure there's a fire," he said.

Fiore says, Politically Off the Wall is her company, and it gives her the best accountability and control of her campaign which she runs.

And Truth in Politics is a magazine distributed around Las Vegas which counts her campaign as an advertiser.

"But if it's going directly to a business that is that person's alter-ego, it would then be a little bit of a problem," Peplowski said.

Fiore sent the I-Team a lengthy statement saying this move to complain about her campaign dollars is a standard political practice for failing candidates.

And her opponent Kelli Ross sent also sent a statement, as well, saying this proves what we already know about Fiore - that she is willing to say and do whatever it takes to win.


 


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