Adam Laxalt Loses Nevada Gubernatorial Election
It seems odd that there should be any concern about the status in Nevada, the gambling center of the world and the first state to legalize and regulate the game, but running for Governor this year was state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is in favor of the abolition of online poker. Fortunately, Laxalt lost his bid for election on Tuesday, losing to Democrat Steve Sisolak, 49.4 percent to 45.3 percent. Sisolak will replace online poker supporter, Republican Governor Brian Sandoval, who is exiting his position because of term limits.
Laxalt is a Game Hater
In 2015 and 2016, Laxalt co-signed a letter with a handful of other state Attorneys General, supporting Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA). In November 2015, he spoke with Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston and gave a completely gibberish answer as to why he signed the letter.
There’s a couple giant exceptions to this, alright? One is Congress spoke on this issue and had an existing Wire Act, ok? And then Attorney General Holder issued an opinion a few days before Christmas some years ago and changed that landscape. He changed that landscape without gaming companies, without law enforcement, without all the parties that should’ve been involved to make sure that we can keep consumers safe and all this can be done properly. So, I think obviously in this case we’re looking to return it back to what the status quo was, that Congress passed, and, you know, the other thing is obviously gaming is a different animal. You know, you have, you need to know where the sources of money are coming from and you need to make sure you can police this area.
A better answer would have been that he just thinks online poker is bad. The real answer is that he had strong ties to Adelson and would do anything for the octogenarian’s sweet, green, wad. Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. has used the services of j3 Strategies, a lobbying consultancy. Adelson also hired j3 to help create his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG) and Laxalt used them during his Attorney General campaign. Did I mention that Tessa Laxalt, Adam’s sister, works for j3 Strategies? Maybe I should have led with that.
Laxalt Family Thanksgiving Should Be Nice
I’m no political expert, but methinks that one reason Adam Laxalt may have had trouble earning enough votes to defeat Sisolak is that he wasn’t even able to get all of the votes from within his own family. A group of a dozen extended family members spoke out against him on multiple occasions. Two cousins organized a fundraiser for his opponent and the group wrote an op-ed for the Reno Gazette Journal in October explaining why Laxalt was shit.
One of their big problems with him is that they believe he only entered politics in Nevada to capitalize on his grandfather’s name. Paul Laxalt was a popular figure in Nevada politics, serving as Governor from 1967 to 1971 and Senator from 1974 to 1987. He was a close confident of Ronald Reagan.
His family wrote:
….for those of us who were actually raised in Nevada, it’s difficult to hear him continue to falsely claim that he was raised in Nevada or has any true connections to Nevadans. The simple fact is that while he may have been born in Reno, he left as an infant and was raised on the East Coast, 3,000 miles away, in Washington, D.C., and moved here only in 2013, only one year later launching his political career. Aside from the occasional short visit, Adam never knew the state or its people. Perhaps if he had, he would stand for Nevada’s values rather than for those of his out-of-state donors.
They also hit on how shitty he has been at his job:
Second, there is the simple question of whether Adam is qualified to head the executive branch in Nevada. His brief experience as a practicing lawyer was described as a “train wreck” by members of his own firm. His tenure in the attorney general’s office has been little more than a four-year publicity tour for his current campaign for governor — in fact, he outsourced jobs in the AG’s office to out-of-state lawyers who were given special exemptions to practice law in Nevada.
Then, with the help of his outsourced entourage, Adam proceeded to undermine, time after time, not only twice-elected Governor Brian Sandoval, but the welfare of all Nevadans. Most concerning are the ethical shortcomings that have come to light while Adam has been attorney general, and his willingness to ignore the law for self-serving political purposes. In his short time in public office, Adam has already demonstrated a servitude to donors and out-of-state interests that puts their concerns ahead of real Nevadans’.
In his concession speech, Laxalt was gracious, saying that he would assist Sisolak in his transition in any way needed.
In an interesting post-script, the aforementioned Jon Ralston tweeted sarcastically today, “Hey, all, congratulate @adamlaxalt on his new job writing editorials for Sheldon Adelson: ‘Can legislative Democrats who hope to turn Nevada into a California-like regulatory state suppress their more economically destructive tendencies….’”
I don’t know if Ralston knows something or if he’s just being sarcastic, but that editorial in the newspaper owned by Adelson and which endorsed Laxalt, certainly reads like that of a sore loser.