Nevada NewsMakers

News - September 18, 2018 - by Ray Hagar

Editor's note: This story is in response to an eariler Nevada Newsmakers story on developer Lance Gilman supporting Democrat Steve Sisolak for governor.

By Ray Hagar

Nevada Newsmakers

The campaign consultant for Republican Adam Laxalt's gubernatorial campaign told Nevada Newsmakers that Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center developer Lance Gilman is using "extortionary" tactics against his candidate because Laxalt's attorney general's office would not charge Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro with sexual harassment after an investigation.

Gilman, a longtime Republican appearing on Nevada Newsmakers Tuesday, said he was supporting Democrat Steve Sisolak for governor because Sisolak is adept at economic development. Gilman, a longtime Republican plus a Storey County commissioner and brothel owner, said the issue with Antinoro had nothing to do with his endorsement.

Yet Laxalt's campaign consultant, Robert Uithoven, said later Tuesday he believes Gilman's support for Sisolak is about the Antinoro controversy.

"For Lance Gilman, this is what I believe to be extortionary tactics on his part because he's just mad that the attorney general is not at his beck and call. No one has conducted a more thorough investigation of Sheriff Antinoro than the AG's office," said Uithoven."

Gilman has been using underhanded tactics against Laxalt, Uithoven said.

"This guy, Lance Gilman, has been doing everything he can to try to threaten the attorney general for months, whether it is sending messengers to try and intimidate the attorney general, or trying to force action from the top law enforcement officer of the state, without even a proper investigation, which now has been done," he said. "It is literally appalling what Lance Gilman has been up to this entire year and I believe it is extortionary."

"And, by the way, it is against the law for a public official, or anyone, to extort another public official in this state," Uithoven said.

Many agencies have investigated Antinoro's charges of sexual harassment charges and came up with the same conclusion as the attorney general, Uithoven said.

"This was brought to Adam Laxalt's  predecessor and Catherine Cortez-Masto kicked it out of her office," Uithoven said. "The Sparks Police Department investigated this, the FBI has investigated this. And there are public records for everyone to see how much time and effort was taken in the attorney general's office in investigating this matter.

"And just because it doesn't turn out the way brothel owner Lance Gilman wants it to, doesn't mean that Adam Laxalt doesn't have businesses' support in Northern Nevada," Uithoven said. "He has tremendous support and it will show on election day."

Gilman, who appears to have some influence in state politics and the Trump Administration, is not speaking for the Northern Nevada business community, Uithoven said. Nor does Gilman speak for fellow TRIC developer Don Roger Norman and his son, Roger Norman Jr. The Normans hosted a fundraiser for Laxalt, Uithoven said.

"Lance, he tries to speak for everybody but he is only speaking for himself," Uithoven said.

Gilman stressed on Newsmakers his endorsement is not about the Antinoro issue:

"There will be many who say that (no investigation by the AG) is one of the elements we have looked at and they are very wrong,"  Gilman said about his support for Sisolak. "They are two separate issues completely."

Uithoven also bristled because he said Gilman insinuated Laxalt knows little about economic development.

"He (Gilman) said he (Laxalt) doesn't have any economic development plans," Uithoven said. "Do you think these job providers, the backbone of the economy in Northern Nevada, these leading executives in Northern Nevada would be supporting Adam Laxalt if they didn't have full faith and confidence in his ability to lead this state?

"He (Laxalt) already is a statewide office holder, he already represents every state agency and his opponent (Sisolak) knows nothing but Clark County," Uithoven said.

Sisolak, a former university regent, is currently the chairman of the Clark County Commission.

Laxalt has tremendous support from the business community in Northern Nevada, Uithoven said.

"Despite what a brothel owner in Storey County says, we have tremendous support across Washoe County among the business community," Uithoven said. "And that has been well earned. I don't think there is a gaming executive in Northern Nevada who isn't supportive of Adam Laxalt's campaign, Alex Meruelo at the Grand Sierra, the Caranos have been incredibly supportive, the Farahis have been incredible supportive, contractors like Western Nevada Supply and the Reviglios have been very supportive."