Review-Journal may surrender to Veterans In Politics’ demand to make its political endorsements transparent
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (April 20, 2014) — Glenn Cook, an opinion columnist for the Las Vegas Review Journal (RJ) wrote an article on February 21, 2014 titled, “Judges want a VIP endorsement.” The merits of this article are based loosely on a private email conversation between Steve Sanson, President of Veterans In Politics International, Inc. (VIP) and Family Judge Matthew Harter. To make a long story short Judge Harter was angry with Steve Sanson for not rescheduling an endorsement interview for Department N after Judge Harter informed Sanson that he was unable to attend due to a conflict with his regularly scheduled religious services. Sanson exposed the dishonesty of Judge Harter by reminding him that he recently skipped religious services to campaign with his family and friends at the Las Vegas Spring Festival Parade in February 2014.
Shortly after Judge Harter sent the contents of a private email conversation between himself and Sanson to Glenn Cook, who later published a negative opinion column about the political endorsement process of VIP. In reply to Cook’s article VIP issued a press release denouncing untrue statements such as: (1) VIP lacks a connection to Veterans; although Sanson was recognized as Veteran Of The Month by the State of NV and also advocated and lobbied for Veterans Court which is now law and established in several cities; (2) VIP does not like Asians; although Sanson Co-Chaired the Asian Republicans of Nevada and VIP also endorsed Asian American judges like Judge Kalani Hoo, Judge Cedric A. Kerns, Judge Cheryl Moss, and Judge Jerry Tao; and several others. Also VIP stated that according to an incident report written by an officer of the Police Department that Judge Harter’s son had possession of stolen property inside Judge Harter’s home including a hand gun, ammunition, drugs, and also Judge Harter’s son was involved in the burglary of a Police Officer’s home. The conclusion is that several teens who were friends of Judge Harter’s teen son were arrested and convicted, yet Judge Harter used his influence to prevent his teenage son from ever being arrested, tried, and convicted; and ultimately whisked his son away to live with his reputed drug addicted mother.
For some time now the RJ has harbored contempt for VIP, mainly because the RJ wishes to establish political influence throughout Clark County Nevada, thus putting it at odds with VIP because of a sacred thing called competition. Although the RJ is printed daily and on Sundays to a combined audience of almost 400,000 readers according to ABC FAS-FAX, and the Veterans In Politics talk-show which airs on Saturdays from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST on Vegasallnetradio.com reaches less than 100,000 listeners according to sources at Lotus Broadcasting, the RJ is disgruntled and seeks to eliminate the credibility of VIP by any means necessary.
A side-by-side comparison chart of the RJ’s political endorsement process and VIP’s political endorsement process is provided below.
ITEMS RJ VIP
Do panelists have a background in politics or some formal education? ? Yes
Are panelist pre-screened to determine whether or not a past or current relationship exists with any candidate? No Yes
Are panelists automatically recused if a past or current relationship exists with any candidate? No Yes
Are panelist given pre-scripted questions to ask candidates ? No
Are endorsement interviews open for the public to attend and is admission FREE? No Yes
Are endorsement interviews recorded or filmed? No Yes
Is un-edited footage of endorsement interviews published online and made publicly available? No Yes
The RJ publishes a ‘Review of judges’ and this is conducted by distributing an anonymous survey to attorneys for the purposes of grading the performances of incumbent Judges. Much like the RJ’s endorsement interviews, the attorneys are not pre-screened nor asked to disclose any conflicts of interest before answering and providing a completed survey for rating consideration. The irony of the RJ’s ‘Review of Judges’ is that this review is conducted before the RJ’s ‘Endorsement Interviews’. One would wonder how possible it would be for the RJ to publish a low-score for a Judge and then later on to ‘endorse’ the Judge. One would assume that if the RJ rated a Judge low, than that same Judge probably would not be endorsed by the RJ too. This is definitely an enigma that is intentionally perpetrated by Las Vegas’ second most popular newspaper.
On March 13, 2014, per the request of VIP, Jason Stoffel, Esq. requested a retraction from the RJ for Cook’s column because it is libelous, deformation, and slanderous. On March 31, 2014, per the request of the RJ, Donald J. Campbell, Esq. responded indicating that Glenn Cook and the RJ can publish anything regardless of its truthfulness and that even untruthfulness is protected speech under the US and NV Constitution, and is a “good faith communication” and has the right to free speech. After reading a statement like that from Council, one can only wonder if there is any truths in the opinion columns that are published in the RJ.
“A Judges decision affects your life on a very personal level and sometimes for the rest of your life”
VIPI is the only group in the State of Nevada that endorses candidates with this type of transparency.
VIP’s Judicial endorsements are provided below for Family Divisions representing every department.
Richard Scotti DEPARTMENT 2
Judge Douglas W. Herndon (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 3
Judge Kerry Louise Earley (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 4
Judge Carolyn Ellsworth (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 5
Judge Doug Smith (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 8
Judge Adriana Escobar (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 14
Judge Michael Villani (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 17
Justice of the Peace William “Bill” Kephart DEPARTMENT 19
Judge Jerry Tao (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 20
Jacob Hafter DEPARTMENT 22
Judge Stefany A. Miley (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 23
Jim Crockett DEPARTMENT 24
Judge Kathleen E. Delaney (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 25
Judge Ron Israel (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 28
Judge Jerry A. Wiese (Incumbent) DEPARTMENT 30
No Endorsement DEPARTMENT 32
No Endorsement DEPARTMENT B
Michele “Shell” Mercer DEPARTMENT C
Judge Robert W. “Bob” Teuton (incumbent) DEPARTMENT D
Denise L. Gentile DEPARTMENT F
Judge Art Ritchie (incumbent) DEPARTMENT H
Judge Cheryl Moss (incumbent) DEPARTMENT I
No Endorsement DEPARTMENT J
Judge Jennifer L. Elliot (incumbent) DEPARTMENT L
No Endorsement DEPARTMENT M
No video (no candidate participation)
Monti Jordana Levy DEPARTMENT N
Judge Sandra L. Pomrenze (incumbent) DEPARTMENT P
No Endorsement DEPARTMENT S
Maria Maskall DEPARTMENT T
Las Vegas Justice of the Peace
Judge Diana L. Sullivan (incumbent) DEPARTMENT 12
The views and opinions expressed in this press release are an opinion and is protected speech under the United States and Nevada Constitutions. Statements are primarily protected opinion under state and federal law, and concern matters of public interest, and is immune from civil action. NRS 41.637(3)(4).
The views and opinions expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect those of Endeavor Media Group and its owners, officers, directors, employees, and affiliates.
Veterans In Politics International, Inc.
Established in 1993: Veterans In Politics International, Inc. Mission is: To educate, organize, and awaken our veterans and their families to select, support and intelligently vote for those candidates whom would help create a better world, to protect ourselves from our own government(s) in a culture of corruption, and to be the political voice for those in other groups who do not have one.
For information or if you would like to donate to our cause please visit www.veteransinpolitics.org we are a not for profit 501(C)(4).
For information contact Steve Sanson, VIPI President at (702) 283-8088 or Karen Steelmon, VIPI Auxiliary Director at (702) 238-5134.
Endeavor Media Group:
Established in 2011, Endeavor Media Group is a Las Vegas-based company specializing in political consulting and public relations for the arts and entertainment, politics and sports industries, with an expertise in media and events. For information visit emgnv.com.
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