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MEMO: Adam Laxalt joins Governor’s race with extreme views, divisive record, ethical baggage

To: Interested Parties
From: Alana Mounce, Executive Director, Nevada State Democratic Party
Date: Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Subject: Adam Laxalt joins Governor’s race with extreme views, divisive record, ethical baggage

As Adam Laxalt kicks off his campaign for Governor, he will now have to defend his record as the most partisan and ideologically extreme Attorney General in Nevada history. Laxalt has been a failure throughout his career, from his sloppy performance as an incompetent “train wreck” of a lawyer to his recent efforts to politicize the Attorney General’s office. The right-wing policy agenda and pay-to-play politics that Laxalt has embraced would be a frightening departure from Governor Sandoval’s tenure. Laxalt will do everything possible to hide from tough questions on the campaign trail, but his extreme views on the issues, his divisive record, and his ethical baggage have already put him out of step with mainstream Nevada voters.

Unlike Governor Sandoval, Adam Laxalt Refuses to Speak Out Against The GOP’s Health Care Agenda

Brian Sandoval was the first Republican Governor to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and he will be remembered for his outsize clout in speaking out against the dangers of the Republican health care plans in Washington this year.

Adam Laxalt would be a hard turn to the right on health care. Laxalt ran for office in 2014 as an anti-Obamacare crusader, attacking the Affordable Care Act in screeching terms as a “government takeover of America’s health care system” and “the most flawed piece of major legislation America has ever endured.” While Sandoval and other Republicans spoke up to protect Nevada’s successful Medicaid expansion, Laxalt refused to stand up to President Trump on the GOP’s partisan health care agenda – and he’s shown no signs that he’d fight Washington health care schemes as governor. After all, Laxalt’s favorite billionaire and biggest campaign donor Sheldon Adelson has a lot to gain financially and would definitely not tolerate opposition to Trumpcare.

Adam Laxalt Plans to Repeal Governor Sandoval’s Historic, Bipartisan Investment in Public Education

During the 2015 legislative session, Adam Laxalt announced that he was “personally opposed” to Governor Sandoval’s plan for a historic and bipartisan investment in Nevada’s public education system, which has been historically under-funded. Every Democrat in the Nevada legislature and many conservative Republicans supported the increase in education funding, while Laxalt chose to align himself with fringe extremists.

Adam Laxalt has now doubled down on his plan to repeal the Commerce Tax, making it a policy priority on his campaign website. Repealing the Commerce Tax would cost Nevada schools hundreds of millions of dollars, which would lead to teacher layoffs and harsh cuts to key programs.

Laxalt would rather force students to be stuffed in overcrowded trailers than ask large corporations to pay their fair share. Sandoval has responded by repeatedly slamming Laxalt’s plan in recent weeks – saying it would “hurt kids” and “irreversibly and permanently harm” Nevada’s public education system and business climate.

Adam Laxalt Attacked Immigrants To Further His Own Political Ambitions

One of Adam Laxalt’s first actions as Attorney General was joining Nevada in a partisan lawsuit – without Governor Sandoval’s backing – against President Obama’s immigration executive action to keep families together.

This was a bad decision motivated by misplaced priorities. Laxalt used state resources to advance his anti-immigrant political ideology because he wanted to “make a political name for himself.” Immigration advocates have rightfully labeled Laxalt the poster child of anti-immigration in Nevada. In September, Laxalt declined to join a lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s cruel decision to end the DACA program.

Adam Laxalt Went After Planned Parenthood For Political Gain

Par for the course, Adam Laxalt used the Attorney General’s office to push a partisan ideological agenda against Planned Parenthood. In 2015, Laxalt sent a politically motivated letter questioning Planned Parenthood executives in Las Vegas and Reno – using Nevada women who rely on the services Planned Parenthood provides as pawns to burnish his own political credentials for higher office. With no evidence of any wrongdoing, Laxalt was forced to quietly close the inquiry months later.

Adam Laxalt Has A Long History Of Anti-LGBTQ Views

States like North Carolina and Indiana have suffered job losses and a backlash from businesses after enacting controversial anti-transgender and anti-gay marriage laws under right-wing Republican governors. Adam Laxalt has a long history of bigoted views on LGBTQ issues that could threaten Nevada’s growing economy and kill jobs if he follows a similar course of action.

Laxalt vigorously opposed ending the military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. In 2010, Adam Laxalt wrote, “Cultural elites notwithstanding, homosexuality and its integration into society are anything but certain right now… It is one thing for the military to ask its members to accept homosexuals, but another for the military to ask its members to accept and live with homosexuality, the homosexual lifestyle.”

Laxalt has also been a vocal opponent of marriage equality, stating on numerous occasions that he does not believe in same-sex marriage. As a candidate for Attorney General, Laxalt said he disagreed with Governor Sandoval and would have continued to defend Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage, even if others thought it was no longer defensible in court because of recent judicial rulings.

Adam Laxalt Opposes Raising Minimum Wage, Fought Against Fair Overtime Pay for Workers

Laxalt’s tenure as Attorney General has proven just how out of touch he is with Nevadans who actually work for a living. Earlier this year, Laxalt said he was “certainly opposed to raising the minimum wage” and questioned the basic concept of having a minimum wage at all.

Adam Laxalt has also been an outspoken opponent of the Obama Administration’s rule to expand overtime protections for workers. The Labor Department estimated 31,000 Nevada workers would have benefitted from being paid fairly for their hard work.

Adam Laxalt Is An Unethical Puppet For Billionaire Mega-Donor Sheldon Adelson

Billionaire and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands, has taken a special interest in propping up Adam Laxalt’s political career. Adelson and his network have given more than $100,000 to Laxalt’s campaign and PAC, as well as funneling $1.5 million through the Republican Attorneys General Association to help Laxalt win the AG’s race in 2014. Laxalt’s sister and his top political consultant are both lobbyists for Adelson’s company.

Laxalt has returned the favor to his biggest campaign donor. Earlier this year, Laxalt was engulfed in a major ethics controversy after he was caught on tape trying to influence Nevada’s chief gaming regulator to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of Adelson. Laxalt’s own senior deputy AG advised against intervening, and other former Nevada AGs blasted Laxalt’s behavior.