October 9, 2006

Derby responds to Heller attack ad

Dean Heller hasn't any plan except to follow the usual Republican playbook. Attack and slander. His newest ad is a perfect example. But the Derby camp sets the record straight.

Documentation and Response to Heller Attack Ad

I’m Dean Heller and I approve this message.

Announcer: What do we really know about candidate Jill Derby?

Announcer: Her television commercials claim she’s not a politician.

Announcer: The truth.

“We run for office, it’s an elective office. And I’ve run three times for six years terms.

It’s a political office in that I run for it. I’ve been a Regent for 18 years.”
Citation: KOH Radio 9/7/06


o This quote has been taken out of context. The conversation on KOH went as follows:

Bill Manders: “You just said you’ve been serving for 18 years, that’s pretty much a career politician, isn’t it?”

Jill Derby: “This is a non-paying job. That isn’t my career, this is my public service. When it’s not your career and you’re not being paid for it, I don’t consider that a career politician. In other words, the taxpayers haven’t paid my salary.”

“Who does pay your salary?”

“I don’t have a salary as a Regent.”

“You’re appointed?”

“No, no we run for office. It’s an elected office. I’ve run three times for six year terms.”

“So it is a political office?”

“It’s a political office in that I run for it. It’s a non-partisan office and it’s a non-paid office and part time. So it isn’t really something that’s my full time job that the taxpayers pay me for.”

“But you’ve been doing it for 18 years.”

“Yes, I’ve been a Regent for 18 years.”

“So it’s a career, isn’t it?”

“I wouldn’t call it that. My career is as an educator. I make my living other places. I don’t make my living being a Regent.”

  • It is worth noting, Jill has received $1,800 for attending Regents meetings since they started being paid in July 2005. Divide Jill’s “salary” by her 18 years of service as a Regent and she’s been paid $100 per year.
  • Heller has been collecting a paycheck from Nevada taxpayers for the past 12 years. He currently makes $80,000 a year as Secretary of State.
  • Career by definition is “a field or pursuit of consecutive progressive achievement especially in public, professional, or business life; a profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent calling.”
  • Jill’s makes her living as an educator and education consultant.
  • Heller has made his living as an elected official for the past 12 years.
Announcer: Derby’s term has been very troubled.
Citation: RJ story 5/2/04


• This charge references a Las Vegas Review Journal editorial related to Jim Rogers’ offer to become chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education. The story makes no reference to Jill, only to the Regents as a group.

• There are 13 members on the Board of Regents. It is disingenuous to blame Jill for problems created by other Regents.

• Jill’s record of achievement on the Board of Regents is impressive.
  • She chaired the Board through the state’s most explosive period of growth in higher education and the creation of a new law school.
  • She led the charge for the creation of Nevada State College and the development of its academic program to address state shortages for teachers and nurses.
  • She led efforts to ensure funding equity among institutions across the state.
  • She led the effort to increase the role of community colleges in the system.
  • Thanks to Jill, meetings of the Board of Regents are held at campuses around the state, not just in Reno and Las Vegas.
  • She led the system’s efforts to comply with gender equity.
  • She led the Academic and Student Services Task Force to develop the academic program for the Nevada State College.


• In 2003, Jill was nominated for the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, Distinguished Service Award in Trusteeship for her exemplary work as a Regent. More than a dozen distinguished Nevadans supported her nomination including former Sen. Richard Bryan, Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins and former UNR President Joe Crowley.

Announcer: What’s worse, she’s been named the biggest spender of them all.
Citation: RJ story 8/16/2000


• Like any state official or state worker, Jill has been reimbursed for travel expenses related to events where she is an official Regents representative.

• The Regents don’t meet in Gardnerville, so Jill has to travel for every Regent meeting.

• In 2000, Jill was board chairwoman and traveled extensively both to promote the system, work with education leaders, and learn about successful initiatives in other states that could be replicated in Nevada.

These trips resulted in several system initiatives that have had significant impact on the quality of education and the efficient use of limited resources.

Jill brought the idea of green building to the system, a policy that will save millions over the years through energy efficiency.

Building personal relationships with education experts across the country to share new ideas about academics, improving faculty, and getting the best leaders for campuses.

The higher education system is a billion dollar enterprise with huge implications for the state of Nevada. Not only is the system an economic engine for the state, but a source of educated and skilled workers.

• Regents were not required to report expenses until 1999. Between 1999 and 2006, Jill has been reimbursed $52,366.41 in travel expenses. Of the money reimbursed to Jill:
    o $3,650.32 was spent to attend out of state AGB conferences.
    o $7,982.04 in total personal reimbursements for out-of state trips.
    o $3,875.58 was spent to attend university/foundation dinners, celebrations, and commencements
    o $13,324.28 was spent in mileage for personal car (in-state, on official business). Jill must drive from Gardnerville home to meetings across the state including Elko, Reno, and Fallon.

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