November 16, 2011

Conklin, lobbyists enjoy CSG-sponsored Brazil trip

Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, D., Las Vegas, and several Nevada lobbyists recently returned from an eight-day trip to Brazil as part of a Council of State Governments delegation, once again raising questions about non-session lobbyist expenditures.

Conklin told the Las Vegas Sun that he spent his trip "learning about the burgeoning tourism opportunities for Nevada in Brazil, how the country conducts elections, its financial markets and how it approaches everything from energy to economic development." Conklin was joined on the trip by two Barrick Gold lobbyists as well as former Assembly Speaker-turned-lobbyist Richard Perkins.

The CSG, Conklin and Perkins all denied the trip was for lobbying purposes, with Perkins telling the Sun: "Trust me, I’m not going to fly 22 hours to Brazil to go lobby Marcus."

The Sun story comes on the heels on a Las Vegas Review-Journal story about non-disclosed lobbyist spending on lawmakers. Shelia Leslie, D., Reno, who introduced legislation requiring out-of-session reporting, told the Sun that trips such as the CSG one should be disclosed "no matter what country it's in or when it happens."