Nev. Assemblyman Chris Edwards Votes to Raise Taxes on Businesses but Fails to Pay His Own

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NewsMaxTV Las Vegas reports that Assemblyman Chris Edwards failed to pay his Nevada business taxes for the past five years. The Nevada Secretary of State’s website lists Edwards as president of Zoetic Enterprises, Inc. The company has not paid Nevada business license fees since 2011, even though it continued to operate. Last year, the Secretary of State revoked Zoetic’s standing.

Edwards, who is currently under investigation for violations related to campaign-reporting discrepancies, campaigned against raising taxes, while professing to be a conservative, during the last voting cycle and won election to Assembly District 19 in 2014.

Since being elected, Edwards has drawn sharp criticism from constituents over his pro-tax voting history. According to public records, the assemblyman voted for 26 out of 32 tax bills that are now law. A partial list includes AB191, which provides for additional taxes on fuels for motor vehicles; AB258, which taxes crowd-funding on the internet; AB175, which imposes an excise tax on the transport of a passenger; and AB380 which requires the collection of sales taxes on internet purchases. Nevadans are paying a laundry list of new taxes.

Edwards has been silent on his pending investigation and his voting record but has issued a press release announcing the creation of a new political PAC, “Citizens Against Corruption in Government PAC.” Nathan Emens, a political consultant for Speaker John Hambrick, is listed as the registered agent for the newly-formed PAC.

The most interesting and perhaps ironic point of Edwards’ pledge to fight corruption is the fact that he is under investigation himself, along with GOP majority leader, Assemblyman Paul Anderson.

NewsMaxTV filed a complaint with the Secretary of State and sent, by certified mail, a request for Anderson to turn over campaign finance records within ten days or face legal action. According to NewsMaxTV, Anderson paid over $40,000 in credit card debts between two accounts with no detail on what he used the credit cards for.

Candidates are mandated to report all donations and disclose the donors. Likewise, they must also show how their campaign funds are used and to whom they are paid. The complaint also exposes the fact that Anderson wrote checks that totaled more than $5,000.

By law, political PACs and the candidates’ campaigns are barred from coordinating with one another. This legal definition makes it impossible for Edwards to shed light on and answer questions about his pending investigation by way of a PAC he is prohibited from coordinating with. Furthermore,  it is unlikely that the PAC will be able to expose Anderson’s financial shenanigans, either.

Anderson also has a political PAC called “Growth and Opportunity PAC.” Records seem to indicate that it has donated to the Edwards campaign.

One might conclude it odd that the assemblyman would form a PAC to fight corruption in government and yet will not go after the two people currently under investigation for corruption – himself and Anderson.  How “establishment” does that sound?

Opinion by DiMarkco Chandler