Kochs attack Nevada candidate

Kochs attack candidate

A political action committee supporting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Heck is accusing his opponent of enforcing the law as attorney general.

Television and online ads say Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, “after accepting $70,000 from taxi companies … went after Uber—once, twice, three times until she drove them out of town along with all their jobs.”

What actually happened is that when Cortez Masto was attorney general in 2014, the ride-sharing firms were unlicensed. The state Transportation Authority called on the attorney general’s office to deal with the companies “until Uber comes into compliance with the laws and regulations passed by the Nevada Legislature,” according to a Nov. 20, 2014 brief she filed. She had to go to court “once, twice, three times” because Uber continued to operate even after temporary court orders were issued, that brief said.

The TV ads say Cortez Masto “protected special interests instead of us.” Us, in this case, is Freedom Partners Action Fund of Arlington, Virginia, funded by the Koch Brothers.

It was Uber, operating illegally, which cost Nevadans their jobs. And it was the courts that shut Uber down because legislators had not had a chance to meet and change state law since Uber emerged as a new transportation form (the Nevada Legislature meets only every other year.)

When lawmakers met in 2015, they changed the law, and Uber now operates legally. Uber’s argument was with the law and the legislature, not with the attorney general’s office, which was enforcing the law. It’s not the only time recently that conservatives argued in favor of overriding state law and ignoring the role of legislators. See next story.