State Treasurer Schwartz 'virtually certain' he'll run for governor in 2018

News - July 19, 2017

By Ray Hagar
Nevada Newsmakers

Nevada State Treasurer Dan Schwartz said Wednesday it is "virtually certain" he will run for governor as a Republican in 2018.
Schwartz, speaking on Nevada Newsmakers, said he would officially announce his campaign in about two months.

"I am virtually certain I will do it," Schwartz said about running for governor. "I will probably announce sometime in September and have an exploratory committee in mid-August.

"It looks like this is going to happen," said the one-term treasurer, purported to be a millionaire.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt is considered the front-runner for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He has already secured the financial backing of Nevada's richest citizen, Las Vegas Sands boss Sheldon Adelson.

Schwartz said he was not concerned about Adelson's financial support of Laxalt: "Sheldon is a good man. I'm not disparaging him. But this world is full of billionaires and full of millionaires. He's not the only guy in town."

Yet Adelson "has bought" Laxalt, Schwartz suggested.

He cited news reports earlier this year that Laxalt, on Adelson's behalf, urged Nevada's top gaming regulator to influence a high-stakes trial between Las Vegas Sands Corp. and its' former Macau CEO.

"I really question, and it is a question and not a statement, as to whether Sheldon has bought Adam," said Schwartz.
Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett, the regulator in question, taped his conversation with Laxalt and turned it over to the FBI.

The FBI determined no crime had been committed by Laxalt, yet Schwartz said ethical questions remain.

"It is a statement of fact that the FBI did not find any criminal activity," Schwartz said. "But there is a real question as to how you are using your position, in this case attorney general, to appear before a public board, which is the Gaming Control Board, and effectively advocate for that board to intervene on behalf of someone else who is not your client.

"That is where the distinction (between crime and ethics) comes in," he said

"Do you think if it were someone else who had not donated $50,000 to his campaign, that Adam would have shown the same intensity of getting a hold of Mr. Burnett?" Schwartz said.

(Editor's Note: Laxalt never appeared before the Gaming Control Board on behalf of Adelson. He had the conversation with Burnett about interveneing into the Las Vegas Sands court case at a Reno coffee shop, according to Burnett’s affidavit about the secretly-recorded conversation).

Schwartz also said Adelson's influence and financial backing are behind state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson's campaign for lieutenant governor.

Laxalt and Roberson have indicated they are running as a GOP governor-lieutenant governor ticket for 2018. In Nevada, however, campaigns for those offices have traditionally been independent and have not officially been regarded as a ticket.

Roberson's candidacy is a "millstone around the neck" of Laxalt, Schwartz said.

"This is speculation and it is simply an attempt to develop an insight as to why Michael Roberson -- perhaps the most unpopular Republican, if not the most unpopular candidate in this state  -- is running?" Schwartz said.

"Adam is a smart guy. Why would you put a millstone around your neck?" Schwartz said. "It leads again back to the (Las Vegas) Sands and Sheldon. I mean Sheldon and his accomplice, (Sands senior VP) Andy Abboud, are big fans of Roberson. And again, I don't understand why he (Laxalt) would do that."

Abboud is a senior vice-president at the Las Vegas Sands Corp., and deals with corporate government affairs.

"There are some issues of money," Schwartz said. "Sen. Roberson has been a prolific fundraiser but he had his head handed to him in the congressional race (in 2016).

"This to me, makes me even more nervous about the attorney general," Schwartz added. "If you are in the pocket of the state's richest citizen, what does this suggest for your administration if you're elected governor?"

Asked if Laxalt and Roberson are both "in Adelson's pocket," Schwartz said, "I believe they are."

No clear choice for the next treasurer

Schwartz said there is no clear candidate to replace him as treasurer. He would also like to run for governor on a ticket that includes a female candidate for lieutenant governor.

"What I would really like to do -- and Adam has kind of opened the door to this -- is I would like to run with a woman," Schwartz said. "I would like to see a woman be nominated for lieutenant governor, not like the last election with the Democratic nominee (Lucy Flores) but someone with experience who can help the state."

Schwartz would return the duties of economic development to the lieutenant governor's office, if elected governor. Current Gov. Brian Sandoval made economic development a gubernatorial cabinet position in 2011.

Before that, it has been a duty of the lieutenant governor since former Lt. Gov. Bob Cashell pushed for it in the early 1980s.

"I haven't had a lot of kind words for Steve Hill, who is the head of GOED (Governor's Office of Economic Development)," Schwartz said. "He is his own czar. I want to bring GOED back into the governor's office through the lieutenant governor."

Schwartz said he has surpassed the goals he set for himself as treasurer, although he has been urged to stay in his current position.

"I've had a number of people who want me to stay as treasurer and my response to them is, and I say this in all modesty, 'I've done it all,' " he said. "We've doubled and tripled investments, we cut the unclaimed-property claim period from 120 to 20 days and we have restructured the college saving programs.

"I could sit with my feet on the desk or coffee cup in hand, but that to me is not a good return for Nevadans," Schwartz said about remaining state treasurer. "I have had a number of people who called me and asked if I would run against (U.S. Sen.) Dean Heller and the answer is no."

Read full article

Recent Articles:

Reno gaming executive Meruelo faces challenges with his new Las Vegas Strip property, leading lobbyists say
News - July 17, 2017

"With all due respect to our home town, the competition in Las Vegas is significantly bigger. He (Meruelo) is going to have to compete against the Bellagios and the MGMs of the world and that is a difficult task because they can offer more." Alfredo Alonso

Native American tribes will provide legal pot in rural Nevada; West Wendover should have booming business, Segerblom says
News - July 13, 2017

"West Wendover is the closest (Nevada) city to Salt Lake, so I anticipate their (recreational marijuana sales) volume will be huge. When I first heard about it (W. Wendover pot shop) ... I said please invite me to that opening. Sam (Shad), you're invited too, because we want to make sure to be there when all of those Mormons come across the (state) line." State Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas

If Titus jumps into U.S. Senate race, Rosen should get out, leading Northern Nevada Democrat says
News - July 11, 2017

"If she (Titus) got in it, she would win. There's no question about that." Marlene Lockard on 2018 U.S. Senate race

Pendulum of U.S. climate-change policy now swings too far right, former Southern Nevada water czar says
News - July 6, 2017

"We've got to get serious about this (climate change). But we need to look very carefully about how we embark on this journey. As we put people out of jobs, what are we really doing to give them a sense of a future? It is not about achieving the end goal, as much as it is about developing a journey that is manageable for the population." Pat Mulroy

Titus still considers U.S. Senate run; setting up potential primary battle with Rosen, who is backed by Harry Reid
News - July 5, 2017

"It is not child play when you are running for a (U.S.) Senate seat, especially when it is a seat that they (Republicans) have to hold. So I know it will be war and I know it will be brutal." Dina Titus, on possible run for U.S. Senate

Tarkanian revels in defending Trump as Fox News contributor, notices change in Fox 'tone'
News - June 27, 2017

"I'm enjoying my position of being the voice who does support the POTUS. The media does not want to favor that side so I like being that one sore thumb, I guess you could call me." Former Nevada State GOP chair Amy Tarkanian, seen regularly on Fox News and Fox Business

Noah's Animal House, which cares for abuse victims and their pets, will open Reno shelter after 10-year run in Las Vegas
News - June 26, 2017

"I have gone through difficult times in my life and my two dogs were my rock. They are excited to see you and sit there and stay by your side. And I thought how can a woman, or a woman with children who had the courage to leave an abusive situation be expected not to bring their pet with them and have them by their side when they needed them the most?" Staci Alonso, Founder/President, Noah’s Animal House.

Nevada still needs another $1 billion for public education, teachers' union president says
News - June 21, 2017

"I would say an additional $1 billion (is needed) to make sure our schools are accountable, that we have enough resources and programs to meet the needs of the students and that we have enough educators -- not only teachers but support professionals, bus drivers to get students around and para-educators to make sure our teachers and children have the support they need." NSEA's Ruben Murillo

Macau gaming revenues surging with easing on China's anti-corruption campaign, Union Gaming executive says
News - June 20, 2017

Macau gamblers remain 'laser-focused' on the games, Grant Govertsen says: "You get these gorgeous restaurants, you don't even need a reservation half the time because you can just walk up and there you go. Gamblers, they don't want to take the time."

Construction workers needed for Las Vegas' $15 billion building boon, Boyd Gaming executive says
News - June 19, 2017

"We are going to wish we have those 100,000-plus construction workers back because I think there is going to be a real boon for the needs of all kinds of construction trades to get all these projects off the ground in the next 36 to 48 months." Bill Noonan, Boyd Gaming

Las Vegas Mayor touts Cashman as her field of dreams, says its an ideal place for Raiders stadium
News - June 15, 2017

"We were hopeful they (Raiders) would would locate at Cashman because the infrastructure is already there, the access points. We've got garage space, we'll have 40,000 (parking spaces). Once Project Neon is finished, we'll have seven access points coming off the 95 and the I-15. Plus, light rail is going to be coming from the airport, past UNLV, straight to downtown and Cashman."

Washoe commissioner: Reno mayor pushed late amendment at Legislature so former city council members could run for mayor
Commentary - June 6, 2017

"Look, there is no question, Jessica Sferrazza would like to run. But she is doing financially very, very well where she is at. So why would she give up her good business, a very powerful business, to run to be the city mayor? But I think there are some other people who were thinking about that." Washoe Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler

Washoe commissioner critical of sheriff, wants monthly reports from him after RGJ's jailhouse investigation
News - June 5, 2017

"Frankly, he's not very good at working with the commission," Berkbigler said of Chuck Allen. "Neither was his predecessor (Mike Haley)."

Rep. Amodei says he will run for re-election to Congress, shuns idea of running statewide
News - May 30, 2017

"Everything we are doing is in anticipation of being a candidate to continue to represent CD2 in the 2018 election," Amodei says

You've been hacked and you probably don't even know it, cyber-security expert Ira Victor says
News - May 29, 2017

"The cyber criminals are breaking into networks with such frequency and such ease that they don't always exploit that network right away," Ira Victor says. So it is time to protect the most valuable information -- "the crown jewels."

We're not leaving Carson City without funding Education Savings Accounts, Sen. Hammond says
News - May 25, 2017

Hammond said Gov. Sandoval assured him that he'll veto any budget that does not include Educational Savings Accounts, the Republican hill-to-die-for in the 2017 Legislature

O.J. Simpson stands good chance for gaining parole, Clark County chief deputy public defender says
News - May 23, 2017

Hall-of-fame football star is up for parole this year at Lovelock prison for his role in 2007 robbery at the Palace Station in Las Vegas. O.J. could be out by October if he is granted parole.

'Sunny' Sandoval will 'go to the mattresses' over Education Savings Accounts, Nevada treasurer says
Commentary - May 22, 2017

"Based on my conversation with him, which admittedly was a very short one, I think he will go to the mattresses on this," Schwartz said of Sandoval.

Next Page Last Page