Newspaper column: Nevada attorney general hits the road to listen to constituents

Attorney General Adam Laxalt addresses constituents in Elko recently. (Elko Daily Free Press photo)

Attorney General Adam Laxalt addresses constituents in Elko recently. (Elko Daily Free Press photo)

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt has been taking a page from his grandfather’s playbook in recent weeks touring various communities in the state with some of his staff and conducting townhall meetings with concerned citizens in what he calls “AG for a Day.”

He says the idea is a homage to grandfather Paul Laxalt’s practice of touring the state with his cabinet and staff members while governor. The senior Laxalt called it his “Capital for a Day” tour.

A couple of weeks ago Adam Laxalt crisscrossed Northern Nevada and this week he has been meeting constituents across Southern Nevada.

“Our goal has been to try to bring our office to the people …” he explained in a recent interview. “I think government is best that is closest to the people, and so for us to get out there and make sure we are up to date on what is on everyone’s mind. It’s been very successful in that respect.”

Laxalt said one of the most common concerns expressed to him and his staff has been about federal government overreach when it comes to regulations and restrictions. To address this he has created a solicitor general office in his agency, which is essentially the state’s lawyer.

That office, he said, has been able to work very aggressively to create some federal-state boundaries and bring Nevada to the negotiation table on some of the big issues.

“People are pretty excited that this office has been active in that federalism space and working hard to try to give our local economy and some of our most important sectors some space to survive in some cases and ideally to be able to grow and thrive down the road,” Laxalt said. “We’re working very hard to do the best we can with our limited resources.”

The attorney general’s office is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the Interior Department and its Bureau of Land Management over land use restrictions being imposed on agriculture, mining, oil and gas and recreation in the name of protecting greater sage grouse habitat.

Laxalt has argued that the BLM’s sage grouse protection efforts blatantly disregard the input of Nevada experts and stakeholders in violation of federal law.

The attorney general’s office also has been actively involved in the waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules that were being promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers to wrest control of every stream, ditch, wetland or muddy spot that might eventually spill a few drops of water into any rivulet, even though water rights have always been under the purview of the states.

Laxalt joined 22 other attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in this case. A couple of months ago the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the current regulations are too broad, but there is more legal wrangling to come.

In addition to the battle over sage grouse and water, Laxalt joined other attorneys general to challenge the president’s executive order granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants with U.S. citizen children. A recent 4-4 U.S. Supreme Court ruling put the executive order on hold for now.

His office also has worked with Elko County in its attempts to keep open a road in the Jarbidge Wilderness area and with a church fighting for water rights in Nye County.

Laxalt said he and his staffers have also fielded questions about his office’s program to help military personnel, the first of its kind in the nation, as well as efforts to stem domestic violence, fraud and Open Meeting Law violations.

“I think that attorneys general across the country have been what we like to call the last line of defense and, as we face the coming months of the close of this administration, typically presidents take their lame duck status gracefully and slow down on the way out,” Laxalt observed, “but this president and his administration has signaled that they’re going to crank up the rule making process and try to change as many rules as possible. So attorneys general are standing ready to prevent any of these rules that have not gone through the proper rule making process or that we think are outside of their legal jurisdiction.”

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

10 comments on “Newspaper column: Nevada attorney general hits the road to listen to constituents

  1. Barbara says:

    Great man. Best vote I cast in the last election.,

  2. Nypo says:

    Today’s 2d Amendment moment: Four killed in mass shooting at mall in Burlington, Washington.

  3. Bill says:

    How refreshing it is to finally have an Attorney General who gets out among the people to learn and who has in a short time taken the initiative to represent the State and the people’s interests and who has aggressively represented us in the ongoing over reach of the the federal government.

  4. Well said Barbara and Bill…I couldn’t agree more. Nypo (is that a typo?)…it wasn’t a 2nd Amendment moment in Burlington, it was an aberration and misuse of it. The real 2nd Amendment moment was at the Crossroads Mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota last Saturday where an off duty police officer shot and killed a “soldier of the Islamic State” who had stabbed nine innocent patrons after making references to Allah.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Anyone care to offer an opinion about who the bigger dupe is between Cruz and his supporters now that Cruz has done what so many of his supporters refused to do?

  6. The biggest dupes…are those who sit on their hands and allow Hillary Clinton to slither into the Oval Office. Ted Cruz kept his promise to support the nominee…and gave six reasons why Hillary must not be allowed to become President. His supporters would do well by following his lead in that effort.

  7. Steve says:

    Running an “anti-candidate” campaign doesn’t bode well for success.

  8. Barbara says:

    Anon -“Anyone care to offer an opinion about who the bigger dupe is between Cruz and his supporters now that Cruz has done what so many of his supporters refused to do?”

    I have and continue to be a Cruz supporter since before he ran for President, and I have to say, I really do not understand your “bigger dupe” comment, nor the attacks by the pundit class or so-called conservatives.

    Senator Cruz gave an outstanding speech at the Republican convention:

    “And to those listening, please, don’t stay home in November. If you love our country, and love your children as much as I know that you do, stand, and speak, and vote your conscience, vote for candidates up and down the ticket who you trust to defend our freedom and to be faithful to the Constitution.

    We must make the most of our moment — to fight for freedom, to protect our God-given rights, even of those with whom we don’t agree, so that when we are old and gray, and when our work is done, and we give those we love one final kiss goodbye, we will be able to say, ‘Freedom matters, and I was part of something beautiful.’

    The case we have to make to the American people, the case each person in this room has to make to the American people is to commit to each of them that we will defend freedom and be faithful to the Constitution.

    We will unite the party, we will unite the country by standing together for shared values, by standing for liberty.

    Senator Cruz released a statement Friday stating he would vote for Trump and outlining 6 reasons why:

    First, last year, I promised to support the Republican nominee. And I intend to keep my word.
    Second, even though I have had areas of significant disagreement with our nominee, I’ve made this decision for two reasons. by any measure Hillary Clinton is wholly unacceptable — that’s why I have always been #NeverHillary.

    Six key policy differences inform my decision. First, and most important, the Supreme Court. For anyone concerned about the Bill of Rights — free speech, religious liberty, the Second Amendment — the Court hangs in the balance. I have spent my professional career fighting before the Court to defend the Constitution. We are only one justice away from losing our most basic rights, and the next president will appoint as many as four new justices. We know, without a doubt, that every Clinton appointee would be a left-wing ideologue. Trump, in contrast, has promised to appoint justices “in the mold of Scalia.”

    For some time, I have been seeking greater specificity on this issue, and today the Trump campaign provided that, releasing a very strong list of potential Supreme Court nominees — including Sen. Mike Lee, who would make an extraordinary justice — and making an explicit commitment to nominate only from that list. This commitment matters, and it provides a serious reason for voters to choose to support Trump.

    Second, Obamacare. The failed healthcare law is hurting millions of Americans. If Republicans hold Congress, leadership has committed to passing legislation repealing Obamacare. Clinton, we know beyond a shadow of doubt, would veto that legislation. Trump has said he would sign it.”

    I won’t go into the other reasons, as I believe these two are most paramount. Cruz has always revered the Constitution, and has made it his life’s work to defend it. When Trump first put out his list of jurists for the Supreme Court, he left himself considerable wiggle room to go outside the list. He stated many times that the list was a “guide” and everything is negotiable. To get Cruz’ statement (I hardly call it an endorsement) of support, Trump released this statement, “This list is definitive and I will choose only from it in pricking future justices of the United States Supreme Court.”

    Secondly, Cruz, more than anything other Senator, has worked to repeal Obamacare. He was roundly criticized by members of his own party for his filibuster against funding Obamacare, and was blamed for the short-lived government shutdown. A Republican House and Senate have demonstrated they will do nothing to repeal Obamacare unless they get a cooperative President. Trump has publicly said he would sign any bill repealing Obamacare.

    Senator Cruz has and is a consistent constitutional conservative who has made a principle decision to vote for Trump. His conscience is clear in this decision, and it agrees with what he has always advocated.

    My loyalty is not to a person or a party. Being a private citizen, I have the luxury of not having to make this decision until election day. I have always been in the #NeverHillary camp. I will consider all the circumstances and make the most informed decision as to whether my conscience will allow me to vote for Trump. I absolutely do not trust Donald Trump, and if Senator Cruz has one fault, it is being too trusting of people. He has in the past supported Mitch McConnell only later to find out McConnell lied to his face. One thing I do know, neither Senator Cruz nor I am “dupes”, and we need Senator Cruz to keep using all the tools in his tool box to pull Trump to the right. Senator Cruz has once again proved he is the consistent conservative I thought him to be. I count this as a Win!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Based on the above Barbara, I say it’s a tie.

    And as a “constitutional conservative” familiar with Cruz’ words, maybe you can point out the Constitutional provision supporting Cruz’ pledge to “patrol and secure “Muslim” neighborhoods” in this country.

    The only “win” I see here is a win for hypocrisy and dictatorship.

  10. Barbara says:

    I would want to read the entire interview to make sure I am accurately commenting. Care to clarify what you meant by “dupes”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s