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Oakland A’s, recent recipients of $380m deal, contribute $112k to Nevada state lawmakers


April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current
January 18, 2024

In the months after receiving a $380 million sweetheart deal from the Nevada State Legislature, the Athletics Investment Group — better known as the Oakland A’s — gave at least $112,000 in campaign contributions to state and local lawmakers.

The contributions were made public through campaign finance reports, which for lawmakers were due Jan. 15 for the quarter spanning Oct. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023. The entirety of the $112,000 in contributions were made after the $380 million public assistance package was passed by lawmakers during an eight-day special session in June.

The financial disclosures show the professional baseball team, which is currently located in Oakland but plans on relocating to a proposed baseball stadium at the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue on the Las Vegas Strip, contributed between $1,000 and $10,000 to 41 of the 63 members of the Nevada State Legislature, including 10 lawmakers who voted against the public assistance package.

Of the lawmakers who did not receive donations from the A’s, most are not running for reelection. Some were the most vocal opponents of the project.

Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro and Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager, both Democrats from Las Vegas, received the maximum contribution allowed — $10,000. For Cannizzaro, the A’s money represents a small fraction of her total fundraising efforts, which for 2023 exceeded $375,000 and included maximum donations from NV Energy, Clark County Education Association and numerous gaming companies.

Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-Las Vegas), Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill (R-Carson City) and Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop (D-Las Vegas) each received $5,000 from the Athletics. Jauregui and O’Neill are both floor leaders for their respective parties.

Three dozen other sitting state lawmakers received contributions of either $1,000 or $2,000 from the A’s.

State Sen. Fabian Doñate, a Las Vegas Democrat whose seat is not up for reelection this year, received $2,000. Doñate in early hearings for the stadium bill was a vocal critic of the A’s, demanding that their leadership address lawmakers directly and then calling their responses to his questions “disingenuous.” He later voted for an amended version of the bill.

For Doñate, the contribution was his second largest, behind only a $3,000 donation from United Health.

Ten state lawmakers voted against the stadium deal but received A’s donations in the fourth quarter of last year. They were: state Sens. Melanie Scheible (D-Las Vegas) and Rochelle Nguyen (D-Las Vegas), Assemblyman Greg Hafen (R-Pahrump) and Assemblywomen Jill Dickman (R-Sparks), Alexis Hansen (R-Sparks), Natha Anderson (D-Sparks), Angie Taylor (D-Reno), Brittney Miller (D-Las Vegas), Venicia Considine (D-Las Vegas) and Shondra Summers-Armstrong (D-Las Vegas).

Thirteen legislators opposed the deal and received no contribution from the A’s. Seven of those were lawmakers who are not running for reelection, either by choice or because they are term limited. Among those who opposed the A’s deal, received no donations and are running to retain their seat this year were state Sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas) and Assemblywoman Selena La Rue Hatch (D-Reno), who were vocal in their opposition to the proposed baseball stadium.

In addition to contributions to members of the Nevada State Legislature, the Athletics also contributed $10,000 each to three Clark County Commissioners — Michael Naft, Ross Miller and William McCurdy II. The proposed baseball stadium falls under the jurisdiction of the Clark County Commission, and part of the $380 million in public subsidies approved by state lawmakers is approximately $125 million in county-issued bonds.

Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: info@nevadacurrent.com. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Nevada Current under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.