“Congress needs more problem solvers and devoted advocates like Susie Lee. Susie has dedicated her life to expanding opportunity for Southern Nevadans, and her message of working across the aisle and delivering results will keep this seat in Democratic hands this November.” – DCCC Chair Ben Ray Lujan
To: Interested Parties
From: Drew Godinich, DCCC Regional Press Secretary
Date: June 12, 2018
RE: The Case Against Danny Tarkanian
Nevadans know Danny Tarkanian. In election after election, in years that have leaned Democratic and Republican, Nevadans have rejected him. Again. And again. And again. And again.
But now – because deep down, he really just wants to get elected to something – he’s back for round six. Nevadans haven’t forgotten his many scandals: profiting off of a charity, and helping to set up a company that scammed senior citizens. Nevadans know Danny Tarkanian. And they know that he does not have their family and their community’s best interest in mind. They know that someone who blindly does Washington’s bidding in a primary election can’t be trusted to be an independent voice for Southern Nevadans in Washington.
With the national winds blowing strongly at Democrats’ backs, Susie Lee’s strong and motivating candidacy, there is little evidence that this year will be any different. After a fractious primary, Danny Tarkanian is emerging bloody and bruised, with little campaign operation to speak of. Meanwhile, Democrats are united behind Susie Lee, who has outraised the entire Republican field combined for every quarter she’s been in the race. Democrats turned out in overwhelming fashion in the primary on Tuesday, making clear that Susie Lee has the grassroots momentum and backing to win this race in November.
Danny Tarkanian managed to lose this district once, even as Donald Trump won it by 1 point in 2016. Danny Tarkanian will lose this district again in 2018.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
HEADLINE: Democratic education advocate Susie Lee jumps into competitive House race [Nevada Independent, 09/04/2018]
Cook Political Report: NV-03 Leans Democratic: “Republican perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian’s last-minute switch from the Senate race to this race is unwelcome news for the NRCC. After all, Tarkanian lost this district in 2016 while Trump carried it… [Susie Lee]’s the favorite.” [Cook Political Report, 4/06/18]
HEADLINE: GOP House Candidate: Guns Prevent Genocide [Newsmax, 04/05/2018]
HEADLINE: Did Danny Tarkanian take $700,000 from a children’s charity? [Nevada Independent, 02/10/2018]
HEADLINE: Danny Tarkanian accused of making illegal campaign contribution [Las Vegas Review Journal, [02/05/2018]
“In February he praised the Trump administration’s proposal to include $120 million in the budget to restart licensing for the nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain.” [Nevada Independent, 05/01/2018]
HEADLINE: Tarkanian faces 2012 campaign funding, charity questions [CBS 8, 01/29/2018]
DANNY TARKANIAN: A PERENNIAL LOSER WITH A SCANDAL FOR EVERY SEASON
Got a Bridge to Sell You
You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Danny Tarkanian-related scandal in the Silver State. Danny Tarkanian helped set up 13 fraudulent charities used by telemarketing scammers to prey on vulnerable senior citizens. In fact, these companies were specifically “designed to mislead” and he set them up with people who were “convicted of defrauding seniors.” These phony companies, posing as charitable organizations or promoting noble causes, ripped off millions of dollars. In one year alone, Tarkanian incorporated at least four business entities later found by authorities to be fronts for telemarketing schemes.
More recently, The Nevada Independent revealed that Tarkanian took money out of his parents’ life insurance – without their knowledge – to pay off his own mortgage. Tarkanian lied about doing this to his parents when called out – only to be corrected later.
This, in addition to Tarkanian’s history of not paying his taxes and forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for his bad land deal.
Like Taking Candy From a Children’s Charity
Tarkanian has a troubling history of profiting off failing children’s charities and broke businesses. From 2014 to 2017, Tarkanian received $289,000 from the children’s basketball charity he runs, despite it having an operating deficit of over $161,000. Worse, he apparently used funds from that charity to boost his 2012 congressional campaign. Then, he jacked up the prices, charging each child an additional 25%.
But Tarkanian doesn’t limit his shady profiting to children’s charities. His real estate company went broke after defaulting on a $17 million federal judgment for a fraudulent development scheme, and hadn’t made payments towards its millions in debt due to “insufficient operating income” – but that didn’t stop Tarkanian from paying himself $16,000 per month from the company. Tarkanian even lied about having paid off his debt.
Supports Skyrocketing Healthcare Premiums in Nevada, Jeopardizing Constituents’ Health Care
Due to Republicans’ actions in Washington, healthcare premiums are expected to increase by 15% in Nevada. But Danny Tarkanian also opposes the ACA and is open to repealing it, and even supports putting work requirements on Medicaid recipients. The Republicans’ replacement would’ve gutted pre-existing condition protections and jeopardized health insurance for 27,200 people in NV-03. The Washington Republican healthcare ‘plan’ that Tarkanian has embraced would impose an age tax on seniors, destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and did nothing to lower the price of prescription drugs.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
Nevada’s Third Congressional District encompasses the southern Las Vegas suburbs to the far southern portion of the state. Drawn to be a fair fight district, the 3rd has switched party hands several times throughout the years, and boast a nearly even Democratic to Republican voter registration.
Despite the President’s one point win in the district in 2016, incumbent Congresswoman Jacky Rosen prevailed over tried and true loser Danny Tarkanian. This underlines both the independent nature of the district and Nevadans’ enduring distaste for Danny Tarkanian.
While Republicans will be busy trying to repair their coalition after a divisive and expensive primary, Democrats have been united behind independently-minded Susie Lee, who has outraised the Republican field combined every quarter she has been in the race. Her record of education advocacy and service is powerful and clearly motivating voters, and presents an effective contrast to Danny Tarkanian’s career of office-seeking, scandal, and self-enrichment.
In this primary, Democrats in Southern Nevada showed that they have the momentum and grassroots enthusiasm to hold this seat, showing up to elect a strong Democrat in Susie Lee. A united Democratic front combined with a weak, proven loser in Danny Tarkanian means that Democrats are well-positioned to hold this perennial swing seat in November.