Laxalt doing CPAC panel on ‘rigged’ voting, probably a ‘how-to’

how thrilled
Photo posted by Adam Laxalt on his Facebook page when Donald Trump came to Las Vegas to campaign for Nevada Republicans in 2018.
how thrilled
Photo posted by Adam Laxalt on his Facebook page when Donald Trump came to Las Vegas to campaign for Nevada Republicans in 2018.

CPAC – the Conservative Political Action Conference – has been underway in Washington this week.

The annual gathering has always played host to some of the right’s oddities and absurdities. A forum promoting flat tax policy might be followed by one on flat earth fundamentalism. If this year is like years past, Nevada’s Sharron Angle will be there selling a self-published book or something.

But over the years, especially early on, CPAC participants used to have lively and sincere disagreement with each other over which exotic flavor of libertarianism was most likely to result in the one true free market utopia.

Nowadays it’s just all Trump/Trumpism all the time.

What will surely be one of the more exhilarating panels at the forum was scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon: A conversation between Kellyanne Conway and Betsy DeVos.  The former is one of the premier field marshals in Trump’s war on the concept of knowable truth. The latter is a secretary of education who despises public education. Good times.

There are multiple panels and speakers addressing some element or other of “socialism,” and frankly it’s hard to know why. No one has more competing and varied perceptions of what socialism is, or should be, than socialists. The number of variations of socialism is roughly the same as the number of individuals who refer to themselves as socialists. However, the U.S. right is pretty sure there is one socialism, it is icky, and they’ve got it all figured out. You’d think a single panel would be more than enough.

Trump is scheduled to be hugging the flag, literally, on the CPAC stage Saturday afternoon.

And earlier Saturday, Republican politician, occasional Trump rally warm-up act and pretend Nevadan Adam Laxalt, in a return to his home town, will moderate a panel titled “‘Every Vote Counts,’ Especially When the Counts Are Rigged.”

Laxalt and CPAC are pretty tight. Last year at his annual wingnuts/lambnuts shindig, CPAC also set up a little “CPAC West” series of panels in Nevada. Which just goes to show what type of stimulating events would never be attracted to the state if not for the miracle of Sheldon Adelson’s money. Praise be.

Over the years a frequent featured speaker, both at CPAC and Laxalt’s wingnuts/lambnuts thing, has been former Trump National Security Advisor John Bolton. Weirdly, he wasn’t invited this year.

Mitt Romney had been invited. But then he was uninvited. Perhaps it was something he said. Something honest.

One of the scheduled speakers on Laxalt’s panel is Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota Republican U.S. senator who lost a razor-close 2008 reelection bid to Democrat Al Franken, and evidently is still pretty bummed about it.

Perhaps to Laxalt’s chagrin, the session he will be moderating has been Californicated: The other panelist is Harmeet Dhillon, a Bay Area attorney. But she is also the co-chair of the Women for Trump Coalition, which evidently is a real thing that exists, so it’s all good.

Although the panel is on “rigged” vote counts, Stacey Abrams was not invited.

No additional details of the panel Laxalt was scheduled to moderate were available.

But the U.S. right’s long-term political strategy is to disenfranchise and suppress as many non-white voters as is humanly and institutionally possible. So Laxalt’s panel on “rigged” vote counts will probably focus on how to rig the counts even more effectively.

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.