Logo_NVDems-refreshgold 22-02

Remember When Laxalt Wasn’t “Beholden to Special Interests?” Us Neither

Four years ago today, when Republican Adam Laxalt was just three years into his Nevada residency and running to be the state’s top cop, Laxalt stood on a debate stage for the race for attorney general and declared not once, but four separate times, that he’s not “beholden to special interests.”

Did this assertion cause concern for his top donors, Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and the conservative dark money kingpins the Kochs, that they wouldn’t recoup their investments in Laxalt’s candidacy? Not likely. Laxalt has been doing the bidding of his special interest donors from the attorney general’s office his entire tenure. And, boy, did he owe them a lot. Adelson gave Laxalt $55,000 for his attorney general bid, and has donated a total of $175,000 to Laxalt for both campaigns. The Koch network has spent north of $2.5 million on Laxalt’s gubernatorial bid. At one point this cycle, the Kochs were spending 26 times more on Laxalt than on all other gubernatorial candidates combined.

A lot has changed since Laxalt, the first-time candidate, claimed he was free from the influence of special interest donors — including the endorsement of fellow Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, which Laxalt touted four years ago today and which Sandoval has denied as Laxalt seeks to replace him.

Nevada State Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla released the following statement:

“Apparently, Adam Laxalt was working on his stand-up routine at the 2014 attorney general race debate. Nevadans know Laxalt is the most bought-and-paid-for candidate in this year’s election, and is using his taxpayer-funded office to benefit his donors — whether it’s doing their dirty work or pushing their extreme agenda. Nevadans need a governor who will put them first, not a special interest puppet taking orders from wealthy corporate interests.”


Watch Laxalt’s 2014 debate performance here:


31:18- “People are tired of having this small set of special interests have access to politicians expecting presumably something back in return.”

34:01- It’s very concerning to me someone that’s going to be the top lawyer of the state and has to make major decisions about companies and our agencies, that he would take this many gifts from special interests.”

40:08- “You have to be above the law as the attorney general. That’s something I’ve pledged to do. I’m coming out of the military; I’m not owned by any special interest and I’ll work for you every single day I’m in that office.”

53:05- “I want to bring something new to this office that we haven’t had — some new energy and someone that is not beholden to special interests, someone that is going to work hard every single day for Nevada. […] I’m also endorsed by Governor Sandoval, the former attorney general. He wants me to be his partner as your attorney general and we’ll work together for the next four years to make sure Nevada families are safer and Nevada continues the rise that we’ve had in the last few years.”