Democrats try to keep Laxalt/tape story alive

The state Democratic Party on Monday made additional information requests related to a clandestine tape the chairman of the Gaming Control Board made last year of Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

The pair of records requests, one for the control board and one for the attorney general’s office, indicate the Democrats’ ongoing efforts to keep the story alive because Laxalt is seen as the GOP’s leading candidate for governor next year.

The story of the tape, which Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett later passed on to the FBI, broke last month. It occurred a year ago while Burnett was resisting efforts from Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson, Laxalt’s biggest donor, to persuade the control board to intervene in a civil suit that eventually cost Adelson $75 million.

The control board subsequently rejected The Nevada Independent’s efforts to obtain the tape. But the Democrats, hoping to keep the issue alive, have gone on a fishing expedition of their own and initiated an ethics complaint against the attorney general.

The latest foray to the two offices includes an attempt to obtain:

 

----Copies of all correspondence within the attorney general’s office regarding Burnett’s recording of his April 2016 meeting with Laxalt and distribution of that conversation with the FBI.

 

----Copies of all correspondence between the attorney general’s office and control board staff related to Burnett’s recording and turning over his April 2016 conversation with Laxalt to the FBI sent or received from February 1, 2017 to the present.

 

----Copies of all correspondence between control board staff and any other branches of state government or outside counsel regarding Burnett’s recording of his April 2016 meeting with Laxalt.

----Copies of all correspondence within the control board from April 1, 2016 to present regarding Burnett’s recording of his April 2016 meeting with Laxalt and distribution of that conversation with the FBI.

 

----Copies of all correspondence between Burnett and the FBI regarding either Laxalt or the Las Vegas Sands Corporation.

 

The Democrats really want the tape released — as should anyone who believes the public has a right to know what was said during a secretly recorded conversation between the state’s top gaming regulator and the state’s top law enforcement official. The Democrats are ipso facto partisan; the public’s right to know is not.

“If Attorney General Laxalt wants to clear up his ethics scandal and put this to bed, there is a simple solution: call for the release of this FBI tape. The fact that Laxalt won’t tells you exactly how damaging this recording must be,” said Stewart Boss, spokesperson for the Nevada State Democratic Party.

There’s only smoke so far, and a lot of it. Boss’s politically motivated remarks notwithstanding, the tape would help determine if there’s fire, too.