Adam Laxalt brings his family on stage Aug. 13, 2022 before he spoke at the Basque Fry in Gardnerville.
Photo by Steve Ranson.
The activist group End Citizens United has filed a complaint against U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt charging he used his Morning in Nevada PAC to announce his candidacy last August.
“In 2021, at the Morning in Nevada PAC’s annual Basque Fry, Laxalt and Republican allies fostered support for his 2022 Senate candidacy, despite him still being listed as the current president of the PAC,” the complaint said.
“By using the 2021 Basque Fry to effectively announce his candidacy, the cost of the event results in an in-kind contribution that, by law, cannot exceed $5,000,” the complaint charges, adding that the cost of the event was at least $18,991.
Laxalt is the Republican nominee in the Senate race. The former state attorney general, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2018, is trying to unseat Democrat U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto.
The Federal Election Act of 1971 prohibits federal candidates and any organization that is “directly or indirectly” established, maintained, financed or controlled by a federal candidate from raising or spending funds in connection with an election. The complaint says Laxalt remained the PAC’s president until Aug. 31, 2021, at which point he turned it over to longtime adviser Robert Uithoven when he announced his candidacy officially. But the complaint charged Laxalt has remained closely tied to Morning in Nevada and last week used the annual Basque Fry again to advance his campaign.
The Basque Fry was originated by Laxalt’s grandfather, former governor and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, in the 1970s.
The complaint charges that, this year as well, the cost of the event was likely in violation of the contribution limit.
End Citizens United was formed to try to reverse a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Citizens United vs. FEC, which struck down as unconstitutional a federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from making expenditures in connection with federal elections.