Updated June 17, 2022 - 7:05 am
A Democratic super PAC is attacking Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt in a new ad featuring a former Nevada state senator who left the GOP during her term.
The ad — paid for by Senate Majority PAC — accuses Laxalt of working on behalf of corporate donors during his term as attorney general from 2015 to 2019 and features former state Sen. Patty Farley, I-Las Vegas.
“I used to work with Adam Laxalt in the state government. His allegiance is to big corporations and his donors,” says Farley, who runs a construction business in Las Vegas. “They plow money into his campaigns. They can reap the benefits. That’s just now Adam Laxalt works, and it’s wrong for Nevada.”
Added Farley: “I believe Adam Laxalt is about Adam Laxalt, not the people of Nevada. And I say that as a former Republican.”
The ad says Laxalt accepted $1.8 million in corporate donations during his term.
Laxalt’s campaign replied that his Democratic general-election opponent, incumbent U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, was no stranger to corporate and PAC money herself.
“It’s laughable that someone who spent eight years serving as the partisan prosecutor of Harry Reid’s political machine would make any accusations about corruption,” the Laxalt campaign said in a statement. “Senator Masto is bought and paid for by radical environmentalists who have shelled out millions of dollars of campaign cash on her behalf. She’s desperately trying to distract from her record of supporting the Biden agenda that has caused massive inflation, skyrocketing gas prices, and shortages in basic goods that Nevadans need.”
The Laxalt campaign referred to the money-tracking website Open Secrets, which reports that Cortez Masto accepted more than $566,000 in corporate PAC donations between 2015, the year before she was elected, through 2020.
Farley left the GOP in 2016, saying she was disenchanted with party politics. She later elaborated that conflict with then-Republican state Senate leader Michael Roberson was a factor in her decision.
In an interview, Farley acknowledged having few personal interactions with Laxalt, although her tenure in the Senate overlapped with his. But she said the view among her fellow Republicans was that Laxalt was disinterested in issues and that his deputies handled requests from legislators.
“If he was doing something, he was always controlled by somebody else,” Farley said.
Since her views about Laxalt were well-known, the Senate Majority PAC reached out to her to ask her to cut the ad, which was produced independently of Cortez Masto’s campaign.
“I think we’re at the point where everybody has go to get out and vote for the best person,” Farley said.
The former Republican said she likes several GOP candidates running in the current cycle, including defeated secretary of state contender Jesse Haw, Assembly District 35 primary winner Tiffany Jones and Democrat-turned-Republican John Lee, the mayor of North Las Vegas who came in fourth in the GOP primary for governor.