Gov. Hobb’s sweariing in at the state capitol || Pool photo
By Howard Fischer || Capitol Media Services
The top two Republican lawmakers want Katie Hobbs to put money left over from the inaugural celebration into a state account — where it can’t be used to elect more Democrats.
In a hand-delivered letter Thursday, House Speaker Ben Toma and Senate President Warren Petersen called on her to surrender control what’s left from the more than $1.5 million Capitol Media Services first reported she collected for the Jan. 5 celebration. At the same time, the costs listed totaled only about $207,000.
Right now, the excess is controlled by a corporation set up under the Internal Revenue Code as a “social welfare” organization. And under federal law, proceeds can be used for political purposes.
That alarmed the two GOP leaders who said it was not right.
Nicole DeMont, who was Hobbs’ campaign manager — and now runs that social welfare organization– refused to comment on the request. So, the money remains where it is and can be used to buy campaign ads in 2024 to elect Democrats and defeat Republicans.
In asking Hobbs to surrender the cash, Toma and Petersen said she should put any excess into a state Protocol Fund.
Under state law, Protocol Fund dollars can be used for “promoting the interests of the state or to promote and encourage citizen public service to this state.” Governors also have used cash for other purposes, ranging from new office carpeting to gifts for foreign dignitaries.