NV Dems File Ethics Complaint Against Adam Laxalt for Abusing AG’s Office, Submit FOIA Request for Secret Recording

NV-AG Adam Laxalt
NV-AG Adam Laxalt

Laxalt reportedly pressured the chairman of the Gaming Control Board to intercede in a lawsuit on behalf of Nevada’s wealthiest casino magnate

The Nevada State Democratic Party filed a complaint today with the Nevada Commission on Ethics requesting an investigation into reports that Attorney General Adam Laxalt used the powers of his office to try to help his largest campaign donor and failed to avoid his own conflicts of interest on the matter.

Laxalt recently sought to pressure the chairman of the Gaming Control Board to intercede in a lawsuit on behalf of Nevada’s wealthiest casino magnate, prompting the regulator to secretly record his conversation with Laxalt and turn over the tape to the FBI. The Gaming Control Board recently confirmed the existence of that recording last week, and the Nevada State Democratic Party’s complaint includes a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for its release in conjunction with the ethics complaint.

“Nevadans have a right to know if Adam Laxalt engaged in unethical behavior at the request of his largest campaign donor,” said Roberta Lange, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Adam Laxalt clearly tried to use the powers of his office as Nevada’s chief law enforcement officer to act as a personal attorney for his favorite billionaire. One can only imagine the abuse of power Amoral Adam would engage in as Nevada’s Governor. We’re submitting public records requests for the recording of Attorney General Laxalt’s inappropriate conversation with Nevada’s chief gaming regulator, and we’re asking the Nevada Commission on Ethics to immediately investigate this matter for ethical violations. Voters deserve to know the full extent of Laxalt’s unscrupulous behavior.”

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Naomi Klein Makes Moral Case for World Beyond Fossil Fuels

Activist and author, Naomi Klein, praises ‘courageous’ invitation by Pope in face of fossil fuel industry’s power

by Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Author and activist Naomi Klein spoke at the Vatican on Wednesday, calling climate change a “moral crisis” that should unite all people. (Photo: Adolfo Lujan/flickr/cc)

Naomi Klein—activist, author, and self-described “secular Jewish feminist”—spoke at the Vatican on Wednesday where she championed the Pope’s message for global action on climate change and made the case for “the beautiful world” beyond fossil fuel addiction.

Klein, who was invited to speak by the Vatican, gave her speech ahead of a two-day conference to discuss the Pope’s recent encyclical, Laudato Si’, on the environment and the threat of the global economic system—subjects that the author of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate knows well.

The encyclical has garnered praise from environmental campaigners like Greenpeace International’s Kumi Naidoo, who called it a “clarion call for bold, urgent action.”

“Pope Francis writes early on that Laudato Si’ is not only a teaching for the Catholic world but for ‘every person living on this planet.’ And I can say that as a secular Jewish feminist who was rather surprised to be invited to the Vatican, it certainly spoke to me,” Klein told reporters ahead of the conference, which is called People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course.

She praised what she described as “the core message of interconnection at the heart of the encyclical.”

Klein also expanded on what may appear to be an unlikely alliance with the leader of the Catholic Church.

“Given the attacks that are coming from the Republican party around this and also the fossil fuel interests in the United States, it was a particularly courageous decision to invite me here,” she said, according to the Associated Press. “I think it indicates that the Holy See is not being intimidated, and knows that when you say powerful truths, you make some powerful enemies and that’s part of what this is about.”

“In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality.”  — Naomi Klein

“I have noticed a common theme among the critiques. Pope Francis may be right on the science, we hear, and even on the morality, but he should leave the economics and policy to the experts,” Klein said in her speech. “They are the ones who know about carbon trading and water privatization, we are told, and how effectively markets can solve any problem. I forcefully disagree.

“The truth is that we have arrived at this dangerous place partly because many of those economic experts have failed us badly, wielding their powerful technocratic skills without wisdom,” she said. “In a world where profit is consistently put before both people and the planet, climate economics has everything to do with ethics and morality. Because if we agree that endangering life on earth is a moral crisis, then it is incumbent on us to act like it.”

Echoing the Pope’s message to address inequities, Klein said that “our current system is also fueling ever widening inequality.”

But Klein stressed that her appearance at the Vatican did not mean that any one world view was “being subsumed by anyone else’s.”

“This is an alliance on a specific issue. It’s not a merger,” Klein said. “But when you are faced with a crisis of this magnitude, people have to get out of their comfort zones.”

Despite the magnitude of the crisis, Klein stressed: “We can save ourselves.”

“Around the world, the climate justice movement is saying: See the beautiful world that lies on the other side of courageous policy, the seeds of which are already bearing ample fruit for any who care to look.

“Then, stop making the difficult the enemy of the possible.

“And join us in making the possible real,” she said.

The two-day conference, which comes in the lead-up to the COP21 international climate talks in Paris later this year, is being coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity (CIDSE), an alliance of Catholic development agencies. Alongside Klein, other speakers include Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pontifical council president H.E. Cardinal Peter Turkson, and CIDSE secretary general Bernard Nils.


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Such Short Memories: The Worst President Since World War II? Uh, Guess Again!

Reblogged from mykeystrokes.com:

When George W. Bush was inaugurated president of the United States on January 20, 2001, the unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent. By the time Dubya completed his second term in office on January 19, 2009, the unemployment rate at risen to 7 percent. When Dubya took office in 2001, he was left with a budget surplus of $127.3 billion. When he completed his second term, he left a budget deficit of $1.4 trillion.

Read more… 639 more words

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GOP Senator Takes Credit For Anti-Rape Law He Voted Against

The unethical dishonesty by the GOP leadership never ceases to amaze me.  Here’s a post from ThinkProgress today exposing yet another piece of flagrant dishonesty being committed by Texas’ senior senator, and the GOP’s Senate Minority Whip.  Personally, I find Sen. Cornyn’s behavior unethical, deceitful and unworthy of someone holding a seat in our nation’s Congress.


By Ian Millhiser posted from ThinkProgress Justice on Mar 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Ian MillhiserShortly after President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) reauthorization into law, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) released a glowing press release claiming that a “Cornyn bill” to “eliminate nationwide rape kit backlog” was signed into law. The so-called “Cornyn bill” is the SAFER Act, which was incorporated into the VAWA renewal, and which “provide[s] funding for state and local governments to conduct audits of untested DNA evidence and create[s] a national reporting system to help track and prioritize untested rape kits,” according to Cornyn. By all appearances, it seems like a wonderful law. There’s only one problem.

imageCornyn voted against it.

Cornyn was one of 22 Senate Republican men who voted against the VAWA renewal. He opposed the bill because he objected to a provision enabling tribal courts to prosecute non-Native Americans who commit rape or other violent crimes against women on Indian reservations. This provision is intended to combat the virtual lawlessness that faces Native American women on these reservations without the VAWA renewal. A 2010 report by the Government Accountability Office found that federal prosecutors “declined to prosecute 46 percent of assault matters and 67 percent of sexual abuse and related matters” on reservations.

(HT: Steve Benen)

This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.


Documents Reveal Anti-Gay Parenting Study Was Manipulated To Influence Supreme Court

By Zack Ford at ThinkProgress on Mar 11, 2013 at 9:15 am

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Mark Regnerus has admitted his “family structures” study didn’t actually measure gay parenting, comparing the children of separated parents who had same-sex relationships with those of married opposite-sex parents. An internal auditor of the journal that published the Regnerus study last year concluded its findings were “bullshit” because this false comparison doesn’t adequately measuring same-sex parenting. Nevertheless, conservatives have repeatedly cited the study, even to the Supreme Court, claiming same-sex couples are unfit to raise children to substantiate their opposition to marriage equality, even though medical professionals have thoroughly debunked its claims. Now, documents reveal that the anti-gay conservatives who originally funded the study conspired before data was even collected to produce results that could influence “major decisions of the Supreme Court.”

The American Independent collected internal documents through public-records requests from the anti-gay Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study, and found that its President intended the study to produce a result against gay parenting before it was even conducted. This is not surprising, as both the Witherspoon Institute, as well as the study’s other funder, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, are connected to Robert George, founding co-chair of the National Organization for Marriage and prominent legal opponent of marriage equality. Now these emails confirm that suspicion.

For example, the University of Texas hired academic consultant W. Bradford Wilcox to conduct data analysis on the Regnerus study, ignoring that he was a longtime fellow of the Witherspoon Institute and was still working with Witherspoon while the study was conceptualized. Regnerus reached out to Wilcox back in September of 2010 for input about “their hopes for what emerges from this project.” Wilcox also suggested the study be pitched to the journal Social Science Research, where Wilcox sits on the editorial advisory board.

The study was also rushed, with Witherspoon president Luis Tellez telling Regnerus in 2010 that the study should “move along as expeditiously as possible”:

TELLEZ: It would be great to have this before major decisions of the Supreme Court but that is secondary to the need to do this and do it well. I would like you to take ownership and think of how would you want it done, rather than someone like me dictating parameters but of course, here to help.

Tellez confirmed to The American Independent that he was referring to same-sex marriage cases. In April 2011 — a year before the study was complete — Tellez wrote in a letter that “we are confident that the traditional understanding of marriage will be vindicated by this study as long as it is done honestly and well.” He also suggested that no prior study had properly compared children raised by a mother and father and those “headed by gay and lesbian couples, but of course the Regnerus study doesn’t even do that.

Publication was similarly rushed. It was submitted for publication in February 2012 before Regnerus had even completed all of the data collection and accepted just six weeks later, while many other articles published in the same issue took a year between submission and acceptance. Peer review was similarly hurried, with one social demographer told he only had two weeks to review the study and offer a commentary — without even having access to all the data.

These documents vindicate suspicions that the study was politically calculated. Indeed, at every step of the process, the goal of this study was always to undermine same-sex parenting, not learn anything of its potential value. In truth, with the fraudulent methodology on national display, it has only served to reveal the animus behind those opposed to LGBT equality.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.