Adam Laxalt’s tangled web of special interest ties just keeps getting messier. New campaign finance reports show Charles Koch personally contributed millions toward a super PAC responsible for a $1 million pro-Laxalt ad buy, and yesterday, it was reported that a family friend of Laxalt’s biggest donor will be the new RNC finance director. The Republican gubernatorial candidate is propped up by wealthy GOP mega-donors who wield their money and influence to pull Laxalt’s strings and shape his decisions as the state’s attorney general. In no particular order, here are the top five reasons Laxalt is just another special interest crony:
Top Koch brothers target. Laxalt is among the top five gubernatorial races that the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity PAC is backing in 2018, with the group announcing a massive effort to help him at a Koch network retreat Laxalt attended last weekend.
Millions in out-of-state Koch network ad buys. The Kochs’ Americans for Prosperity PAC recently announced a seven-figure ad buy in Nevada to support Laxalt, on top of the $1 million already spent on ads by another Koch super PAC, Freedom Partners, when Laxalt launched his campaign.
Deep ties to incoming RNC finance chair and Adelson pal, Todd Ricketts. POLITICO reported yesterday that GOP mega-donor Todd Ricketts, who co-hosted a high-profile fundraiser for Laxalt at his Washington, D.C. home last May, is expected to be tapped as the RNC’s new finance chair. Todd Ricketts’ family has long been connected to Laxalt’s biggest benefactor, billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Ricketts’ father Joe and Adelson funded a super PAC that was the sole contributor to the American Integrity Project, a PAC dedicated to sinking the candidacy of Laxalt’s primary opponent, Dan Schwartz.
Pushed Adelson’s anti-pot agenda instead of fighting for Nevada businesses. Laxalt has been taking fire for being the only attorney general from a state with legal recreational pot not to sign a letter to Congress urging a fix for the marijuana industry’s banking problems. Sheldon Adelson, who gave $20,000 to Laxalt in 2017 together with his wife, funded more than 90 percent of a multimillion dollar effort to squash the 2016 ballot initiative to legalize marijuana and has financed similar efforts to block legalization in other states.
Used his attorney general’s office to help Adelson out in a lawsuit. Laxalt found himself in hot water throughout 2017 for trying to push the state’s top gaming regulator to intervene in a lawsuit on behalf of Adelson, which led to a bill and hearings in the state legislature to remove Laxalt as counsel to the gaming board.
Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Helen Kalla released the following statement:
“Adam Laxalt has been bought and paid for by powerful mega-donors because he puts their interests first. The only reason people like Sheldon Adelson and Charles Koch are handing Laxalt piles of cash is because they know he would do their bidding. Laxalt’s fealty to wealthy Republican special interests is so deep that he’s already allowed it to influence his taxpayer-funded attorney general’s office. Why should Nevadans expect him to behave any differently as governor?”