It’s rare when a city council race gets thrown in the national spotlight, but thanks to the incidental undercover work of one of it’s candidates, and the shadiness of another, Las Vegas city council has garnered not only a few past and future mainstream bylines, but is now the center of a Federal Bureau of Investigation case.
The election is between current Councilwoman Michele Fiore, a staunch alt-right Trump supporting Republican, and incumbent Sarah Ashton-Cirillo, a trans activist liberal.
Councilwoman Michele Fiore was elected to serve in the June 2017 municipal election. She was appointed to the LVCVA Board in February 2018. July 3, 2019, she was unanimously voted to serve as the city’s mayor pro tem and served in that capacity for a year.
Fiore has been the center of controversy for some time. There was a petition to recall her for racist “divisive rhetoric” where she said out loud at a Clark County GOP convention, “If there’s a job opening and my white ass is more qualified than somebody’s black ass, then my white ass should get the job.”
Fiore responded to recall efforts by threatening, “so whoever it is that jots their name and signs a signature claiming something about me, I will find out who they are and what they’re about.”
During the same interview, Fiore defended referring to Roxann McCoy, the president of the Las Vegas branch of the NAACP, as a “criminal.” The remark came after McCoy criticized the councilwoman for proposing a “Blue Lives Matter” event.
Fiore was asked to and did step down as mayor pro tempore in August, 2020, as a direct result of her comments.
Ashton-Cirillo, currently the Director of Community Outreach for Bridges Crisis Management, is Fiore’s opponent in the current run off for Las Vegas Ward 6 city council election in 2022.
But, this story begins long ago, when Ashton-Cirillo fortuitously found herself thrust into the center arena of white supremacist right wing politics, and had the right sense of justice and intelligence to keep the receipts.
According to messages obtained by the Washington Post, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) was involved in a conspiracy to stage a “Brooks Brothers Riot” in his home state to prevent President Joe Biden’s win.
A tiny group of men clad in yellow-and-black Proud Boys shirts arrived with scores of other Trump supporters to protest the counting of ballots at Nevada’s largest polling center two days after the turbulent 2020 election, as President Donald Trump raged that his win had been stolen.
In an exclusive with Vozwire, Ashton-Cirillo stated that her entrance into this world was not exactly as an undercover spy, at least, not at first.
“The McShane people knew I was progressive, and because of their intense desire for political grifting, wanted Democrat and liberal business, too. So they offered me a position, but on the condition I didn’t tell anyone, since they received blowback for having a trans person around. So, while they knew about me, the PB’s [Proud Boy’s] and Alt – Right had no idea.”
“Rory and Woodrow [of McShane LLC] have absolutely no real ideals or values, it’s consultants like them that have allowed for the rise of empty political vessels like Trump and MTG [Marjorie Taylor Greene]. I only met them in mid-September, by October they were giving me all the inside info. No NDA, nothing. My social media is and has been open. No one looked.”
“When I had the chance to go to that fundraiser pre-election, knowing that Gosar and Biggs would be there, it was incredibly exhilarating, owing to their rabid anti-trans agendas. I found out after that they both became incredibly bothered by my presence.”
“This is crazy, and I’m just the same person worrying about development and potholes, who happened to be in position to expose these con artists and crackpots, and took the opportunity to do so. For democracy’s sake. We came too close to losing our nation’s soul, the fabric was being torn as to what made us a nation of both today and the future.”
“I came home every day wondering if they would find out and come after me. The threats now are getting worse by the day, but in sunlight comes protection and a regrowth of our ideals and ideas. So I’m excited for the future and at peace with my choices. No apologies. We have to be careful, extraordinarily so, yet again we can’t live in fear of living or making a difference.”
The story of Ashton-Cirillo’s involvement doesn’t end there, as this past month, FBI agents corresponded with her relating to their investigation of Fiore and other potential matters of interest.
“Based on the copious amounts of information in my possession, some given to me directly by Michele [Fiore] and her political allies, and their highly sensitive content, I’ve retained Paul Padda as my campaign’s attorney, since we expect this matter may unfold in a multitude of different directions over an extended course of time.”
According to reports filed with the Secretary of State, Fiore has used campaign funds to cover payments for food, parties, and personal items, including payments to family members such as her daughter, who Fiore claims performed campaign services.
Agents raided Fiore’s home earlier this year, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
The FBI also interviewed City Councilwoman Victoria Seaman, a former close ally, who had a falling-out with Fiore last summer.
In my ongoing talks with Ashton-Cirillo, she has disclosed that she is the recipient of threats.
“The threats have followed me everywhere!”
Ashton-Cirillo shared one threat, which is, at best, indirect, but has admitted that she has received much worse.
She divulged a private message from Carolyn St. John, currently the Eligibility Specialist for the State of Nevada, formerly a Family Services Specialist, and a member of the Republican party in Nevada.
“Is this piece of shit one of your friends? I’m asking because you seem to be on the wrong side of things if you care at all about children! And if you don’t, then you’re just as bad as discreet because you are on the side that allows it! I hope you go down in flames, not because of your choice of sexual immorality, but because you support these pedophile pieces of shit!!!” St John penned this to Ashton-Cirillo from a Facebook account where she is holding a beer bottle and behind what looks like a jail wall.
The Gettr link is now broken, as the original post is now gone, but Ashton-Cirillo says it was a post from another unknown Democrat. Gettr is the new pro-Trump social network created by Trump cohort Jason Miller.
Ashton-Cirillo is now a well known figure to the Clark County GOP. As you can see in the following video provided to Vozwire by Ashton-Cirillo, she is the focus of a comment from a member of the audience, wanting to deny her access to future events “because she is a Democrat!” The videographer says in a low voice into the camera “You’re a star Sarah. Even when you are not here you’re a star.”
Ashton-Cirillo is now writing a book about her experience with right wing extremism. She shared a first look at the introduction, and it’s compelling set up draws you into the story of her unintentional stint as an undercover trans liberal activist on the inside of the Nevada Republican party.
“What must be stated clearly and without equivocation is that no amount of internal fortitude, no amount of intellectual curiosity, no amount of literary dreaming would have been enough for me to have conjured this unfathomable escapade without an almost pathological need by many of the politicians, party leaders, activists, and consultants in this book to have given away their stories to me. Having mentioned this during previous interviews, I’ll repeat it now. I never signed an NDA, never received financial compensation, and never asked to know about most of what will be discussed in these pages.”
As Ashton-Cirillo writes her gripping memoir, and deals with threats to her safety, she is also moving forward as an open dedicated politician with her constituents as her focus.
“My campaign, and my service to our our community, is about truth, transparency and a way forward for every resident. This scares people. It scares people like Michele Fiore who is under FBI investigation, and it scares those radical fascists who hide behind lies, fake science and cult worship. Ultimately I don’t want to spend my time answering questions about the fraud, grift, and greed of my opponent, nor do I want to have to continuously push back against conspiracy theories from the far right, ultimately this race must be about fundamentals like housing inequality, roads, parks, and ensuring prosperity for the neighborhoods that make up Las Vegas. However I’ll always make certain to battle back against the constant barrage of threats and hate that has come my way and plague our nation daily.”