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Nevada Republicans Spend Weekend Courting Right-Wing Fringe

Last weekend, Nevada Republicans stumped with two right-wing criminals, Dinesh D’Souza and Joe Arpaio. Let’s take a look at the highlights from last weekend’s GOP fundraising circuit.

FRIDAY: Sharing the Spotlight with D’Souza in Reno

Sen. Dean Heller, gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, and attorney general candidate Wes Duncan attended the Washoe County GOP dinner on Friday featuring Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing conspiracy theorist and convicted felon.

D’Souza gave an hour-long tirade on a range of topics. Below are some choice excerpts, but here’s a quick preview: he quotes Hitler, says the Democrats are worse than Nazis, and spouts conspiracy theories. Do Heller, Laxalt, and Duncan agree with D’Souza’s comments?

  • On Election 2016: “They had worked so hard to drag the crooked hag across the finish line.” [Cheers and applause from the audience]

  • On naming his latest book: “I use the title The Big Lie in my most recent book because […] Hitler coined this phrase, ‘the big lie,’ [and said], ‘small lies are actually pretty easy to detect.’ […] But Hitler’s point is that a big lie is not like this. A big lie is so big that you can’t get your head around it, and it’s very difficult to refute.”

  • On the Democratic Party: “The Democratic Party is the party of the slave plantation. The Democratic Party is the only party in the history of the world to argue that slavery is good. […] I mean, even Hitler didn’t have the chutzpah to say, ‘what I’m doing to the Jews is good for the Jews.’ The Nazis didn’t go there, but the Democrats did.”

SATURDAY: Dinner and a Gun Auction in Carson City

Less than a week after the deadliest high school shooting in United States history, Nevada Republican candidates attended a Carson City GOP fundraiser that featured an auction of a semi-automatic rifle similar to an AR-15, the same style used by the Parkland, FL shooter. Among those in attendance were Sen. Dean Heller, Rep. Mark Amodei, gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt, lieutenant governor hopeful Michael Roberson, and attorney general candidate Wes Duncan.

If Laxalt had been doing his job to enforce the voter-approved Question 1 ballot initiative to expand background checks for gun sales, an auction like this could have been subject to a background check for the purchaser.

SUNDAY: Sending Surrogates for Arpaio’s Speech in Minden

Finally, when it came to the Douglas County GOP dinner featuring Joe Arpaio — the notorious bigot who racially profiled Latinos and was convicted of criminal contempt — many candidates decided to stay home.

Laxalt dispatched State Sen. James Settelmeyer on his behalf. Heller and Duncan were also missing at the Arpaio event, but sent Assemblyman Jim Wheeler in their places. Wheeler is known for saying he would vote to permit slavery if that’s what his constituents wanted. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval called the comments “deeply offensive,” and Roberson — who recently was caught on tape calling Democrats “lesser humans” — called them “outrageous” and “embarrassing.”

Nevada State Democratic Party executive director Alana Mounce released the following statement:

“Last weekend shows how desperate Nevada Republicans are to pander to the extreme fringes of their base. They’ll appear with one divisive zealot and send surrogates to the other to avoid showing their faces while still demonstrating their support for the bigoted, racist Trump agenda. Radical criminals like D’Souza and Arpaio are antithetical to Nevada values, and Republicans like Heller, Laxalt, and Duncan who lent their presence to these fanatics are out of touch with Nevadans.”