It was a rough week for Republican gubernatorial hopeful Adam Laxalt. From being exposed as a lackey for the Koch network (again), to Gov. Brian Sandoval laughing at the thought of voting for him, to his education policy being debunked as “sheer fantasy,” this week was one embarrassment after another for the Nevada resident of seven years. Here’s a recap of Laxalt’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.
MONDAY: RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL EXPOSES LAXALT’S SECRET WORK TO PUSH KOCHS’ CLIMATE DENIAL AGENDA — The headline, “Laxalt joined Koch brothers, his campaign allies, in bid to block ExxonMobil fraud probe,” pretty much says it all. In 2016, when climate change had long been settled science, Laxalt wrote that it was the product of a “cultural movement” subject to “vigorous debate.” The Reno Gazette-Journal excoriated Laxalt’s climate skepticism, saying human-caused climate change is “a long-settled point of consensus.” As the RGJ notes, the anti-climate Koch network has already spent $2.5 million to boost Laxalt’s gubernatorial bid.
TUESDAY: LAXALT’S “FIESTA” FAIL — In a lazy and sloppy attempt to pander to Nevada’s Latino community, the Laxalt campaign issued a press release in Spanish that was clearly written by Google Translate. On Tuesday evening, Nevadans piled on to point out the embarrassing errors, including Laxalt’s translation of “political party” as “fiesta.” Laxalt has still not corrected the release or apologized to Latinos. Now that’s one fiesta we’d rather skip.
WEDNESDAY: CAMPAIGN MELTS DOWN OVER LEAD FOOT LAXALT STORY — The Nevada Independent reported that Laxalt had received eight traffic violations while he lived in the Northern Virginia area, where he spent most of his life before moving to Nevada seven years ago. One speeding ticket from 2003 carried a $140 fine, which Laxalt didn’t pay until last month. But instead of responding to questions from the Independent, Laxalt’s campaign team engaged in an embarrassing Twitter meltdown attacking the media outlet hours after the story posted. Friday morning, immigration activists held a press conference in Las Vegas to ask why Laxalt was able to break the law so many times with no serious consequences. Can Laxalt zoom away from this one? Only time will tell.
THURSDAY: SANDOVAL ON THE THOUGHT OF VOTING FOR LAXALT: ? — If a picture is worth a thousand words, this video is worth a million. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who hasn’t tried to hide his disdain for Laxalt and refused to endorse him, was asked who he plans to vote for to succeed him. Hear his response for yourself, and you may laugh as hard as he did.
FRIDAY: LAXALT’S EDUCATION BUDGET MATH GETS AN “F” — Apparently on Team Laxalt, 2+2=5. Laxalt has been claiming he’d invest the entirety of next year’s expected budget surplus, up to $500 million, in education. But Sandoval’s chief of staff, an expert in the state budget, told The Nevada Independent’s Jon Ralston that most of that money would be eaten up by rollup costs and inflation, leaving little left for new investments. On top of that, Laxalt wants to repeal Gov. Sandoval’s commerce tax, which brings in about $200 million per year for schools and is the state’s fifth largest revenue source. Laxalt has also pledged to keep education funding levels the same and that he wouldn’t raise taxes — so where is he getting this extra half a billion dollars? As Ralston put it, Laxalt’s “plan” is “sheer fantasy.”
FRIDAY (AGAIN): LAXALT STOOD BETWEEN 100,000 NEVADANS AND THEIR OVERTIME PAY — A new report from the National Employment Law Project shows that Laxalt caused over 100,000 Nevadans to miss out on a total of $8 million in overtime pay. In a departure from his usual M.O. of signing on to out-of-state legal battles led by fellow Republicans, Laxalt actually led the charge to keep Nevada workers from taking home the pay they deserve. Why would Laxalt fight to keep workers’ paychecks in the pockets of corporations? Maybe it’s because his big donors, the Kochs, also opposed overtime protections for workers.