Focus: Republican congressional candidate Cresent Hardy
Who’s paying for it: House Majority PAC, an entity that helps Democrats and opposes Republicans
Size of buy: Group did not disclose
When it starts: Oct. 9
Where it’s running: Group did not disclose
- The ad starts by pushing back against another commercial that describes Horsford as a lobbyist, asserting that “Steven Horsford has never been a lobbyist.” Horsford has a company called Resources+ that does public relations work in Washington, D.C., but has not done lobbying work under the federal definition or registered as a lobbyist.
The company’s work is aimed at helping companies build community partnerships and emphasizes promoting a diverse workforce, but not passing legislation, according to Horsford’s campaign.
- It goes on to say Cresent Hardy is an example of “everything wrong with Nevada politics” and cites a 2011 opinion column from then-Las Vegas Sun political columnist Jon Ralston (who is now editor of The Nevada Independent). Ralston’s column did not address Hardy alone, but noted that negotiations at the end of the 2011 legislative session were delayed by a number of factors, including efforts from then-Assemblyman Hardy and two other legislators to pass construction defect legislation.
The session ultimately ended on time.
- The ad then says that Hardy tried to pass legislation benefiting his own business. Hardy, who was in construction, was an advocate for legislation curbing the ability of plaintiffs to collect attorney’s fees when they sue over construction defects.
The commercial cites a 2011 Reno Gazette-Journal story in which Hardy is quoted as saying the bills are not just about him, but have been coming up in the Legislature since 2003. As a part-time Legislature that meets for four months every two years, most lawmakers have private jobs that could lead to conflicts of interest as they do their legislative work.
The Nevada Commission on Ethics says public officials must disclose a conflict when a relevant matter is under discussion and must abstain from voting on legislation if it creates a pecuniary interest — that is, it allows them to profit more than the general population.
- It ends by saying Cresent Hardy sold water to the Virgin Valley Water District at an inflated price, “ripping off taxpayers” and “resulting in an indictment.”
The ad might lead readers to believe Hardy was indicted, but it was actually former Virgin Valley Water District general manager Mike Winters who faced one count of misconduct by a public officer. Hardy, a former member of the water district’s board, was not charged.
The indictment stemmed from accusations that the district paid a higher-than-market price for Hardy’s land, which it wanted to use for an arsenic treatment plant. Hardy told the Mesquite Citizen Journal in 2014 that he didn’t intend for the land to be used that way, but that the water district approached him and did the appraisal. He said that improvements to the land would have led to the land being valued more than plots around it.
The criminal case against Winters was dropped as part of a settlement in which he paid the district $15,000 but did not admit guilt.
Watch the ad below: