The 2015 Legislative session is almost here, and I’d like to introduce you to the RGJ team that will be covering it for you.
I’m excited to share with you that our coverage will include exclusive work from political journalist Jon Ralston as we move into 2015. Ralston, who has covered Nevada politics for more than a quarter century, will provide analysis of statewide issues at the Legislature and Southern Nevada politics.
You might recognize Ralston from “Ralston Reports,” a television program he hosted for 14 years on all three Nevada NBC affiliates, including KRNV-Channel 4 in Reno. He previously has written for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Las Vegas Sun.
Ralston will begin writing exclusive columns for RGJ Media on Jan. 7. His columns will publish on RGJ.com and in the Wednesday and Sunday editions of the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Besides writing for RGJ Media, Ralston publishes an email newsletter, “Flash,” that provides agenda-setting political coverage and analysis. He is a contributing editor at Politico magazine and regularly appears on national television, including programs on MSNBC, FOX and PBS. You can follow Ralston on Twitter at @RalstonReports.
The addition of Ralston is just one piece of our legislative coverage we will offer in 2015 from what I believe is the best team of political journalists in the state:
* Ray Hagar will lead our political team in Carson City. Hagar, a fifth-generation Nevadan and award-winning political reporter, will deliver analysis and in-depth coverage that matters to you in the months ahead. His insight and storytelling will bring what happens at the statewide level home to you. Hagar has been covering politics for RGJ Media for about 15 years and also is a regular host on “Nevada Newsmakers,” which appears at 11:30 a.m. Monday- Thursday on KRNV-Channel 4. You can follow him on Twitter @RGJRayHagar.
* Anjeanette Damon is our city watchdog reporter who will cover issues related to Reno, Sparks and Washoe County government. Damon is a longtime Northern Nevadan who has award-winning experience in covering the Legislature and developing strong reporting that holds our elected officials accountable for their decisions. She will report on larger issues rather than the day-to-day developments of the session. Damon has previously covered the Legislature for RGJ Media and the Las Vegas Sun. She also hosted a political talk show on KRNV Channel 4 called “To the Point.” You can follow her on Twitter @AnjeanetteDamon.
* Emerson Marcus is taking on a new role as the consumer advocate reporter at RGJ Media, tackling stories that matter to you. Examples of his focus for the session include health care, taxes and fees, and quality-of-life issues. He also will continue to write his award-winning Ask the RGJ feature through the session. While this is his first session at the Legislature, Emerson has been covering breaking news and crime in Reno for about three years. You can follow him on Twitter @Emerson_Marcus.
* Engagement Editor Mark Robison will help provide meaningful analysis for you this session through our Voices coverage. His research and analytical skills will take issues beyond the political posturing that comes with legislative politics by digging into the facts. Robison also will coordinate our editorial board meetings and write our editorials. You might know Robison from his award-winning Fact Checker column, which he plans to continue developing from the halls of Carson City. You can follow him on Twitter @MarkRGJ.
We’ll be ramping up political coverage after the holidays. If you have story suggestions or issues you’d like covered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask me on Twitter @KellyAnnScott. As always, thank you for reading us.
Reno Gazette-Journal is continuing the investigation into Harvey Whittemore’s election campaign activities with the RGJ Special Report.
F. Harvey Whittemore (born 17 August 1952) is an American lawyer and businessman in the Reno, Nevada, area. As an influential lobbyist for the gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries, and for his own ventures, Whittemore has been called “one of Nevada’s most powerful men”. Whittemore was the president of Coyote Springs Investment, LLC, the land-development company behind Coyote Springs, a controversial $30 billion planned golf course community of 160,000 homes on 43,000 acres (170 km2) in the rural Nevada desert. Whittemore’s close relationship with Senator Harry Reid came under scrutiny because of perceived legislative and political pressure favors allowing Coyote Springs to overcome regulatory problems. In 2012, Whittemore came under grand jury investigation, initiated by the Federal Election Commission, to determine whether he was guilty of breaking federal campaign contribution laws.
We will follow this story and link to news and websites to tell this epic story of Nevada corruption & bribery. This scandal encompasses the top political figures in Nevada politics including Harry Reid.
Keep coming back as this section grows.
Harvey Whittemore once bounded through Nevada’s Legislature as the embodiment of influence — a lobbyist for casinos and other powerful interests, a lawyer, a gregarious personality and sharp mind. He also was a lucrative campaign contributor for elected officials, which helped open doors.
Whittemore pushed boundaries — one time seeking legislation to allow a private pier to be built at Lake Tahoe for himself and his friends. Sometimes his overreach was literal.
In the 1990s, when the Legislature installed tall glass walls in the Assembly and Senate chambers to separate lawmakers from the public gallery, they became known as “Harvey’s Walls” since they stopped his habit of reaching into the chambers before votes on bills.
On Thursday, Whittemore, in a dark suit and shackles around his ankles, entered a Reno courtroom to offer his not-guilty plea on federal charges of campaign finance law violations and lying to investigators.