Atkinson: “…it could have been worse”

better luck next time
(Photo: Kelvin Atkinson's Facebook page)
better luck next time
(Photo: Kelvin Atkinson’s Facebook page)

Hours after being sentenced Thursday to 27 months in federal prison and fined a quarter-million dollars for spending campaign contributions on things that were not his campaign, former Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson took to social media and declared “it could have been worse.”

Atkinson resigned from the state Senate barely a month into this year’s legislative session after agreeing to plead guilty to federal charges of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use.

His resignation momentarily sparked some optimism that legislators would take steps to toughen Nevada’s relatively loophole-ridden campaign cash laws. But that didn’t happen.

Or, put another way, it could have been better.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.

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