Reality Check: 'Wake Up!'
‘Wake up, Nevada!’ It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard on Northern Nevada T.V. stations over the last week. It’s the latest ad from Senator Dean Heller in his bid for reelection to Senate.
‘Wake up, Nevada!’ It’s a phrase you’ve probably heard on Northern Nevada T.V. stations over the last week. It’s the latest ad from Senator Dean Heller in his bid for reelection to Senate. The ad makes several claims against his primary opponent, Danny Tarkanian. We put those claims to the test in our Reality Check:
Radio Guy: "Wake up Nevada! Danny Tarkanian lost his bid for state senate last night, facing questions about a telemarketing business.”
According to a Las Vegas Sun article, Tarkanian helped incorporate '75-100' businesses in the 90's. Four of those were later indicted by the U.S Attorney General. In one of the four, the head of the business was convicted of wire fraud and money laundering. Tarkanian testified that he had no involvement in the daily operations of the businesses.
Radio Guy: “Wake up, Nevada! Danny Tarkanian lost his race for secretary of state last night. Tarkanian was sanctioned by the (Nevada) Supreme Court for practicing law without a license.”
In August of 2006, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a $300 monetary sanction against Tarkanian for not filing a brief on time.
That order shows the court got mad at Tarkanian for wasting the 'courts valuable resources.' The same order shows Tarkanian became inactive with the state bar five months before but claiming that he was sanctioned for not practicing law isn't the whole story.
Radio Guy: “Wake up, Nevada! Danny Tarkanian lost the U.S. Senate primary last night to Sharon Angle.”
In the primary election in June 2010, Tarkanian lost to Sharon Angle. Angle would later lose Harry Reid in the general election.
Radio Guy: “Wake up, Nevada! Danny Tarkanian lost his race for U.S. Congress after being sued for legal malpractice.”
We had to look at this one closely. In 1998, Tarkanian was sued for legal malpractice. He was hired to set up a business, but according to legal documents, Tarkanian filed the wrong permits for the wrong jurisdiction. According to the document, he (Tarkanian) 'breached their duty of care, causing the plaintiff’s injury.'
Tarkanian had to pay that client $35,000.
However, the first time he ran for the House of Representatives was in 2012. That was 14 years later.
Radio Guy: “Wake up, Nevada! Danny Tarkanian lost another race for Congress last night after defaulting on a $17 million federal judgment for a fraudulent development scheme.”
The ad is referring to the 2016 general election, where Tarkanian lost to now Congresswoman Jacky Rosen. There was a land deal gone wrong with Sanitarian's family company and a developer in Southern California.
A judge ordered Tarkanian's L.L.C to pay $17 million. However, Tarkanian refused claiming they were the victims of loan fraud, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Radio Guy: “Wake up, Nevada! Danny Tarkanian is running for the U.S. Senate again, facing new questions over $700,000 he's taken from a children's charity?!?!"
The children’s charity the ad is talking about is his own children's basketball charity, The Tarkanian Basketball Academy. Tarkanian paid himself $660,000 since 2005.
What about the remaining $40,000? Steve Sebelius, with the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas reported last week that Tarkanian transferred that money from the charity to his family's L.L.C. to himself to his 2012 congressional campaign.
We asked Tarkanian about the claim last week:
"There's nothing to it,” said Tarkanian. “The charity loaned money to a business, a business paid it back with interest. Period. No story."