The White House has stepped up its use of taxpayer funds to conduct a political campaign in Nevada against Ballot Question 7.
A deputy drug czar has been dispatched to the state to attack the drug reform measure, which would regulate and tax marijuana. White House drug czar John Walters has already campaigned in Nevada along with an elaborate entourage.
Walters’ deputy Scott Burns spoke Monday at the community center in Dayton. Protesters at the event objected to his use of tax dollars for political purposes.
In 2005, when Walters campaigned against a similar measure, Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller, whose office polices election campaigns, tried to find out how much public funding was spent in the campaign, but the White House refused to disclose the amount. Brian Sandoval, then Nevada’s attorney general, issued an opinion saying that the state could not force disclosure, but Sandoval was also critical of a federal government with bottomless funds intervening in a state-level campaign under the guise of drug education.
“It is unfortunate that a representative of the federal government substantially intervened in a manner that was clearly a state of Nevada issue,” Sandoval wrote. “The excessive federal intervention that was exhibited in this instance is particularly disturbing because it sought to influence the outcome of a Nevada election.”