Trump-loving Laxalt’s law-and-order rhetoric rings hollow – The Nevada Independent


It’s been a rough week for Adam Laxalt, the Nevada Republican Party’s law-and-order nominee for the US Senate.

Laxalt, a former attorney general, has spent time and capital positioning himself as the best sheriff to protect Nevada from godless Democrats, outlaw leftists, and progressive hobgoblins plotting to steal elections. He found allies along the way.

The ex-Navy JAG attorney recently touted an endorsement from the National Association of Police Organizations. To amplify the branding effort, Laxalt has also enlisted the support of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, whose director of government affairs enthused: “We know Adam Laxalt will have our back.”

After the appearance of Donald Trump’s July 8 appearance on Treasure Island, in which he called Nevada a “crime cesspool” while acolytes Laxalt, Clark County Sheriff and GOP Gov. Hopeful Joe Lombardo, and police union officials admired grinned, there’s no limit to Republican anti-crime rhetoric. In a meandering speech, Trump managed to simultaneously compliment and camouflage Laxalt and Lombardo.

Aside from the fact that Laxalt’s opponent, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, has served two terms as Nevada Attorney General, not everyone has jumped on Laxalt’s badge-polishing bandwagon. Notably absent from Laxalt’s recommendations was Reno Police Chief Jason Soto, who recently announced his support for Cortez Masto. She is also supported by other law enforcement organizations, including the Nevada Law Enforcement Coalition and the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers. Together they represent 19 law enforcement organizations and unions in the state.

Soto is not a progressive in cop clothes. It was the first time he had ever endorsed a Democrat. And Reno’s top cop backing Cortez Masto right in Laxalt’s backyard was bad news for the Republican.

The news got much worse on Monday when the FBI issued a search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence, where boxes of confidential documents stolen from the White House were being sought. Trump and his sycophants immediately began spreading lies and conspiracies, including the FBI planting evidence and being manipulated by mysterious left-wing influencers.

To no one’s surprise, Laxalt leapt up in blind support for Trump, tweeting, “We don’t live in a 3approx world country. We live in America. Today’s raid on Trump’s home is just another example of the left increasing arming of our federal agencies while the likes of Hunter Biden roam free.”

It was about what one would expect from a man who, given the facts, vigorously promoted Trump’s big lie about widespread voter fraud. Given Laxalt’s downplaying of the deadly January 6 riot in the US Capitol, an event in which police officers were killed and injured, it would have been more surprising had he exercised his right to remain silent.

Then the other shoe fell. The Washington Post reported that some of the materials wanted in the Trump search warrant contained classified documents related to nuclear weapons. Trump immediately called the reporting a “joke” and – surprise! – is now trying to raise funds for the scandal while FBI agents and Justice Department officials continue to receive threats from his diehards.

Law and Order party?

The twice-impeachable Trump is the biggest mocker in the history of the presidency and is setting new lows even now that he is out of office. The guy who once chided, “If you’re innocent, why are you accepting the Fifth Amendment?” exercised that right more than 400 times in affidavit in the New York Attorney General’s damning civil investigation into his business practices.

More than 400 times. Meyer Lansky dodged Estes Kefauver’s questions just 33 times.

Law and Order party?

You’re forgiven for confusing Laxalt’s rhetoric with Trump’s, but Laxalt is the real candidate for the Senate. And now that he’s declared himself a law-and-order candidate, his record is fair game.

Although these records include incidents of a reckless youth, his failure to disclose an arrest of a youth on suspicion of assaulting a police officer is in his application to the Nevada Bar. The Democrats continue to call him for it. A little more openness might have silenced his critics long ago. But maybe he forgot.

Laxalt seemed to have forgotten it again in October 2021 when asked under oath about the incident during the federal trial of Trumplandia hustler Lev Parnas. Parnas was eventually found guilty of using Russian oligarch Andrei Murayev’s attempts to make illegal donations to US politicians, including then-gubernatorial candidate Laxalt, as a passerby.

Something far more disturbing came in February 2017 when The Nevada Independent first reported that then-AG Laxalt had privately approached Gaming Control Board Chairman AG Burnett with a plan to have the casino industry regulator intervene in a civil lawsuit involving gaming billionaire and GOP mega-spender Sheldon Adelson was involved. Adelson had been one of Laxalt’s greatest political supporters. Adelson lost millions in the lawsuit.

Burnett was so disturbed by Laxalt’s water transport that he taped their conversation and turned the tape over to the FBI. After an investigation, no charges were brought. Some people think Laxalt got lucky.

Who knows, maybe the FBI wasn’t under the spell of the left back then.

It turned out to be a good thing for the Nevada GOP law-and-order nominee for the US Senate.

John L. Smith is an author and longtime columnist. He was born in Henderson and his Nevada family roots date back to 1881. His stories have appeared in Time, Readers Digest, The Daily Beast, Reuters, Ruralite, and Desert Companion, among others. He also provides weekly commentary on Nevada public radio station KNPR.


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