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Ellen Spiegel

Ellen Spiegel
Ellen Spiegel
/

Name

Ellen Spiegel

Occupation

Business Consultant

Political Office

Controller

Political Affiliation

Democrat

How would you describe yourself to voters?

I possess 40-years’ business experience, including 24 years of business ownership, as well as a decade of legislative service, which give me the tools needed to get the job done. During five terms in the Nevada Assembly, I worked with three different Governors – two Republicans and a Democrat - each of whom signed bills of mine into law. My legislative accomplishments included insurance coverage for preexisting conditions (AB170, 2019); marriage equality (AB229, 2017); and getting Nevadans closer to having equal pay for equal work (AB106 and AB276, 2017).

During my tenure, I served in various leadership roles. In 2019, I was Chair of the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee; in 2017, I was a Majority Whip, and over the years I was Vice Chair of a number of Committees and sub-Committees, including Revenue (then called Taxation), Transportation, and the Ways & Means Subcommittee on K-12/Higher Education/Capital Improvement Programs. Additionally, I served two full terms on the Interim Finance Committee.

In short, I know where the money comes from, where the money goes to, and I have ideas to help the state make better use of its assets.

I’m a graduate of Cornell University, with a degree in Consumer Economics, and I was proud to be an ecommerce pioneer. Among my achievements: I helped bring The Weather Channel online; developed the very first online store that let people purchase software and download it to their computers; and was instrumental in the development of Internet privacy and email marketing guidelines that protect consumers. My career began in financial services, working at companies like American Express and Lloyds Bank, and I also have been licensed to sell life insurance and mutual funds. Today, my consulting firm helps businesses with risk management, quality assurance; strategic and business planning; and leadership development/mentoring.

My experience makes me the most qualified candidate.

I have an ambitious vision, and you can find it on my website, EllenSpiegel.com/vision. I want to create programs that will help the state better use its assets to help Nevadans and move the state forward. That’s the approach I would bring to this office.

I’m proud to have the support of Governor Sisolak, the outgoing Controller, Catherine Byrne, and groups such as the Nevada AFL-CIO, the Nevada State Education Association, Nevada NOW and others.

What do you see as the top issues in this campaign?

My top three priorities are: Provide fiscal stability for the state, its residents and its businesses; support workforce development; and increase jobs, aid to small business and economic growth.

Each year, Nevada writes off millions of dollars in uncollectable funds, and for the last reported year, (fiscal year ended 6/30/2020), that cumulative amount was nearly $200,000,000. These monies could be used to bolster our education system, enhance social services, build (or repair) infrastructure – or be used for a variety of other programs. Collecting these funds on an ongoing basis also would help us keep taxes low. First and foremost, we need to be increasing collections of monies owed to the state.

We also must continue to diversify our economy. Accordingly, I would use the office to help Nevadans starting small businesses by breaking down a barrier to entry and helping them get started on the “Right Track.” This would help develop additional revenues and decrease the need for social services (thereby helping the state’s bottom line). I have additional ideas, which are available at https://ellenspiegel.com/vision

The Controller is the state’s chief financial officer. What is the biggest financial issue that the state faces?

Nevada does not have the revenue needed to adequately fund all of our priorities. That’s why it’s vital our Controller understands how the state works, increases efforts to collect monies owed to the state and helps grow our economy.

What are your top goals if elected to the office of the Controller?

My top goals are to increase collections of funds owed to the state and to help the state better use its assets to enhance fiscal stability and help move the state forward.

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

I have a comprehensive vision for how the Controller’s office can help Nevada move forward – and help keep our taxes low - by using state funds wisely, transparently, and efficiently. My decade of legislative experience and my 40 years of business experience give me the tools needed to get the job done.

For years, Nevada’s K-12 education system has consistently ranked among the lowest in the country. What steps should lawmakers take to improve the state’s public schools for all children?

While the majority of efforts to improve education in Nevada are outside the scope of the Controller’s role, by improving the collections of debts owed to the state, I would be able to help provide more monies that could be used for education.