The Need For a Little Self-Vetting

I know it happens all the time, but still, it never ceases to amaze me when candidates with big disqualifying issues in their backgrounds think nobody will find out about them.

The latest case is Nevada GOP Attorney General nominee Adam Laxalt, whose scathing recent evaluation by the law firm he left to pursue his political career was leaked to the state’s leading political reporter, Jon Ralston. Let’s just say it doesn’t exactly recommend him to be the top attorney in Nevada:

Republican AG hopeful Adam Laxalt was described by his firm’s evaluation committee as “a train wreck” who “doesn’t even have the basic skill set,” according to a review of his performance two years ago.

The assessment by the Lewis & Roca Associate Evaluation and Compensation Committee (AECC) suggested that Laxalt attend seminars to “address basic legal principles” because of his “horrible reviews” and because he “has judgment issues and doesn’t seem to understand what to do.”

The recommendation: A “freeze in salary, deferral, and possible termination.”

The summary of the findings, which I have obtained, authenticated and posted below, is incredibly scathing and derogatory. The conclusion: “You need to work on the quality of your work. You need to work on your legal writing skills.”

Other than that….

You might wonder how this dude got his party’s nomination. Well, he’s the grandson of former Nevada governor and senator Paul Laxalt–a.k.a. Ronald Reagan’s favorite political friend. And it came out pretty recently that he’s also the illegitimate son of one-time Laxalt colleague Pete Domenici of New Mexico.

Well, all that may not be enough to save his candidacy now, unless his claims that the leaked evaluation is inauthentic are true, which is very doubtful. Nevadans may show us exactly how much value name ID has in a downballot race. On the other hand, Laxalt’s opponent, Democrat Ross Miller, is the son of ex-governor Bob Miller.

Small state.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.