skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Power Politics: Incumbent Triumphs Despite Opposition from Utility

play audio
Play

Thursday, June 16, 2022   

Nevada saw a landslide victory in its Democratic primary this week for a state lawmaker who says she was targeted by Southwest Gas and other groups for promoting climate-change legislation.

Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen, D-Henderson, won the primary with about 70% of the vote. Southwest Gas contributed $10,000 to her primary opponent, Joe Dalia, after Cohen sponsored a bill last year requiring that energy planning be aligned with the state's climate goals. The group Nevadans for Economic Opportunity (NEO) paid for mailers attacking Cohen.

"They have a lot of money that they can deploy in small races where very few voters are paying attention to the fact that they're deploying this money, so that's concerning for reformers," said Kenneth Miller, a professor at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who is an expert on money in politics. "The good news is that there's not a lot of evidence that that money, when it's spent, influences voters very much."

The Retail Association of Nevada, which funds NEO, also has contributed to the Dalia campaign. Dalia had no comment. NEO and Southwest Gas also did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

While this kind of political activity isn't illegal, said Matt Kasper, deputy director of the Energy and Policy Institute, which published an investigation into this race, it undermines the democratic process.

"It's unfair when you have a 'dark money' entity do these types of actions in political races," he said. "It confuses voters, it gives them misinformation; voters aren't able to see who is always behind these types of campaigns."

Cohen said she's now bracing for further opposition as she competes in the general election.

"These are groups that endorsed Donald Trump, and then they're coming after me in a Democratic primary," she said. "I worry that this is sending a chilling message to legislators, because if the coalition against me is successful, it's basically telling legislators, 'Get in line or we'll take you out.'"

Cohen's Assembly Bill 380 ultimately failed. It would have given the Public Utilities Commission more oversight over Southwest Gas and would have required the gas company to justify any expansion of natural gas, given the state's goal of "net-zero" emissions by 2050.

Disclosure: Energy & Policy Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Energy Policy, Environment, Environmental Justice, Toxics. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…


Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

North Carolina is home to 934,604 small businesses. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

play sound

Danskammer Energy is no longer seeking an expansion of its Newburgh plant. The original plan called for expanding the company's "peaker plant" meant …

Social Issues

play sound

The Black Hills National Forest is one of the latest federal lands to enter a co-stewardship agreement with local tribal nations-a management model en…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021