(Chuck Muth) – While I’d argue it’s not THE most important race on the ballot in Nevada this election cycle – in my opinion, it’s the governor’s race – the GOP primary for U.S. Senate is easily the most interesting.Click here. The Ka-Leaky-Leaky Files Still reeling from the blowback – which stretched all the way across the Atlantic to merry ol’ England – from his racist “comedy” against black people at his CCW training event in Las Vegas last weekend, Nephi Oliva, aka Nafi Khaliki, aka Knee-High Ka-Leaky-Leaky, emailed another of his bombastic threats to me at 1:22 a.m. this morning… “Right about now you’re thinking that I’m getting my ass handed to me and like a little coward you thought you could come kick me while I was otherwise occupied. You know I planned every part of this, right? … I will get back to you when I’m done pissing off the enemy. What I do to you will be my masterpiece. Buckle up bitch.” Yes, we’re to believe this pudgy provocateur is such a strategic genius that he actually planned the whole thing to backfire on him the way it did. What a goofball. FAMOUS LAST WORDS “Happy Easter to all including the Radical Left Maniacs who are doing everything possible to destroy our Country. May they not succeed, but let them, nevertheless, be happy, healthy, wealthy and well!” – President Donald TrumpThere are four candidates filed in this race, but only two are viable: Captain Sam Brown and Adam Laxalt. This is Laxalt’s race to lose. Then again, so was his 2018 race for governor. Laxalt has two statewide campaigns under his belt – his loss to Sisolak in 2018 and his barely successful run for Nevada attorney general in the “red wave” election of 2014. So he has very high name recognition. This in addition to running under his famous grandfather’s (Sen. Paul Laxalt) last name instead of his father’s (Sen. Pete Domenici). He’s also a DC “swamp creature.” Adam was raised there. Went to elite prep schools there. Worked there. Lived there. Shopped there. Partied there. And developed deep, deep ties to the GOP establishment there before moving to Nevada to run for office a few years ago. The Anointed One has been endorsed by Donald Trump – which he reminds us of ad nauseum – and other DC establishment figures. He’s also backed by big-money, third-party special interests – such as the Club for Growth, which recently dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of mailers into the race on his behalf. And after tanking his gubernatorial race, Laxalt personally cashed in, big time, on his DC connections. According to financial disclosure reports, Laxalt has raked in some $2.2 million through the law firm Cooper & Kirk in DC, which boasts as alumni Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Tom Cotton, both of whom – surprise, surprise – have also endorsed Laxalt in the race. In addition, Adam lists income from Breitbart News which, I’m sure coincidentally (not), has run a series of puff-pieces on his campaign. And if that’s not enough, he’s also aligned himself with, and has been endorsed by, Trump’s nemesis – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. By any and all measures, Laxalt should be running away with this GOP primary against Brown, a virtual unknown before jumping into this race less than a year ago. But he’s not. Brown, too, moved to Nevada a few years ago after completing three years’ worth of painful rehab in Texas for injuries sustained in Afghanistan when his Humvee as blown up by an IED and he was set on fire with the diesel fuel that soaked him during the explosion. He’s a war hero. A Purple Heart recipient. And a true inspiration to all. However… In the world of Nevada politics, he’s a major underdog. No famous political last name. No DC connections. No independent wealth. No nothing. And yet… In the fundraising department Brown has matched Laxalt almost dollar for dollar – raising over $1 million in each of the last three FEC reporting quarters dating back to last summer when both got into this race. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Everyone expected Laxalt would blow Sam away (no pun intended) in the money chase. In fact, if the unknown Brown was able to raise $1 million in each quarter, you’d think Laxalt – with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men behind him – should have been raking in $2-3 million each quarter, especially considering the recent Trump fundraising event at Mara Lago and McConnell’s fundraising event for him in DC. But it’s even worse than that… Laxalt’s 2022 first quarter report was not yet posted on the FEC website at the time of publication, so we don’t know all the details yet. However, Brown’s is…and it has some pretty impressive numbers behind the raw fundraising total. For example, Captain Sam’s financial support in the latest report includes 1,661 Nevada donors, as well as 15,551 other donors from all 50 states. And for all three quarters combined, Brown has attracted 3,600 donors from Nevada and 36,271 nationwide with an average donation of $63.00. Those are damned impressive numbers for an unknown political novice going up against a DC-anointed super-swamper. It also exposes the weakness of Laxalt’s strongest card, the Trump card. As I’ve noted in the past, just because you like pizza doesn’t mean you have to like anchovies. And just because you’re a Trump supporter doesn’t mean you automatically also support Laxalt. Indeed, as the fundraising figures clearly show, a LOT of Trump supporters are backing Brown. Now, don’t get me wrong. The wheels haven’t quite come off Laxalt’s campaign apple cart. All that DC money and all those DC connections and those DC consultants on his campaign can still pack a powerful punch. So Laxalt still has to be seen as the front-runner. However… Sam Brown’s insurgent, grassroots-fueled campaign is a lot stronger than anyone ever anticipated. And if any candidate was ever poised to lose in a major upset, it’s Adam Laxalt. And don’t think his handlers and benefactors don’t know it. I received some text messages over the past couple of days from an acquaintance who’s a veteran political operative with DC connections who wrote… “The Beltway is PISSED at Adam right now.” Truth is, Laxalt should have put Brown away months ago. He hasn’t. And while Brown is still clearly the underdog in this race, don’t be surprised if all Laxalt’s horses and all Laxalt’s men can’t put The Anointed One in the winner’s circle again. Pop Quiz I know it’s Easter Sunday and you didn’t have time to study, so I’ll make this an easy one. Was it Republican President Donald Trump of Democrat U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto-Reid who said the following? “We should be working to fix our immigration system by investing in border security and treating immigrant families with dignity. Instead, the administration is acting without a detailed plan.” OK, OK. It was a trick question. One would obviously think that quote came from Trump. But you forgot that we’re in election season, and Masto – with the Joe Biden albatross wrapped tightly around her neck – is getting killed in the polls. So the correct answer is: Masto. And Victor Joecks has an entire column on her big border flip-flop in today’s Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Campaign ’22: The GOP Primary Money Chase for U.S. Senate