Schwartz touts ac­tions as state trea­surer

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NEVADA - By Ra­mona Gi­war­gis

Out­go­ing Ne­vada Trea­surer Dan Schwartz will leave of­fice with whop­ping gains in state in­vest­ments and re­turns, but the out­spo­ken Repub­li­can warned his suc­ces­sor of loom­ing debts — in­clud­ing the “un­re­al­is­tic” Raiders sta­dium.

“I love foot­ball, but I think the Raiders sta­dium is go­ing to blow up fi­nan­cially,” Schwartz said in an in­ter­view Fri­day. “There’s no eq­uity in the deal; it’s all funded on debt. I’ve heard es­ti­mates that it could cost up to $2 bil­lion. Who’s go­ing to pay for that? (Raiders owner) Mark Davis isn’t go­ing to pay for it. If you went into the bank and said I’m buy­ing a house but I’m not go­ing to put in any money, they’d laugh at you and you’d be out the door in about 30 sec­onds. That’s the same thing with this.”

Schwartz, a Repub­li­can, chose to run for gov­er­nor this year rather than seek re-elec­tion. He lost in the pri­mary.

This week, he re­leased a re­port card of his four years as trea­surer. He touted ac­com­plish­ments that in­clude dou­bling the state’s gen­eral port­fo­lio size, boost­ing an­nual re­turns by 2 per­cent, in­creas­ing funds given to state agen­cies by 425 per­cent and bol­ster­ing pro­grams that help Ne­vadans save for col­lege.

His of­fice in­vested $1 mil­lion to help fund small busi­nesses, Schwartz said, and his debt man­age­ment team re­duced Project Neon in­ter­est costs by an es­ti­mated $1 bil­lion.

But Schwartz’s big­gest re­gret is not in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tion sav­ings ac­counts. Had the ac­counts se­cured fund­ing, par­ents would have been able to use pub­lic money to fund their chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing in­struc­tion at pri­vate schools. He en­cour­aged his suc­ces­sor, Demo­crat Zach Co­nine, to find a fund­ing source.

Co­nine isn’t tak­ing the bait.

“As a gen­eral rule, I don’t be­lieve that pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion dol­lars should be di­verted to pri­vate schools,” Co­nine said. “The cur­rent ESA pro­gram is un­funded, and it ap­pears un­likely that it will ever be funded. The trea­surer’s of­fice will fo­cus our ef­forts on pro­grams that have bi­par­ti­san sup­port and help all of Ne­vada’s chil­dren.”

An­other ma­jor dif­fer­ence be­tween Schwartz and Co­nine: the Raiders sta­dium. Co­nine said he sup­ports Gov.-elect Steve Siso­lak and the Leg­is­la­ture’s ef­forts to “cre­ate thou­sands of jobs and pro­vide an ad­di­tional eco­nomic driver in South­ern Ne­vada” by ap­prov­ing the sta­dium deal.

As for Schwartz’s next move, he said he isn’t done with pol­i­tics. But first will be a two-month trek to China for Chi­nese New Year and an op­por­tu­nity to catch up with fam­ily. His wife is Chi­nese.

Dan Schwartz

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