A new Chuck Schumer ad uses a "former Republican" to attack Nevada's Republican U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt. Unmentioned is the star witness's work for a far-left group that supports Laxalt's opponent and wants to defund police.
In the ad, Schumer's Senate Majority PAC features testimony from "Patty," a "business owner" and "former Republican" who slams Laxalt as "wrong for Nevada." The ad does not reveal that "Patty" is former Nevada state senator Patricia Farley, who began caucusing with Democrats more than five years ago in 2016. Two years later, Farley joined Battle Born Progress, a liberal nonprofit that works closely with Laxalt's opponent, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D.). The group under Farley has taken a number of radical liberal positions on hot-button issues—a far cry from Schumer's portrayal of Farley as a disillusioned conservative entrepreneur.
In July 2020, for example, Battle Born Progress called to end the "school-to-prison pipeline" and "save money" by "defunding school police." One year later, group executive director Annette Magnus said Nevada "should be teaching" critical race theory in its public schools because "young people need to know this information." Battle Born Progress also opposes voter ID requirements and supports late-term abortion. Cortez Masto said in November that she was "so glad" to speak at the group's annual fundraising event.
Schumer's willingness to omit Farley's status as a liberal activist—and his decision to criticize Laxalt using a "Republican" figure—suggests the Democratic leader is concerned by Cortez Masto's reelection chances. President Joe Biden won Nevada by 3 points in 2020, but his political standing has since deteriorated in the Silver State as Democrats navigate record-high inflation, gas prices, and illegal immigrant encounters. Fifty-six percent of Nevada voters disapprove of Biden, compared with 32 percent who approve, according to Civiqs.
Senate Majority PAC spokeswoman Veronica Yoo told the Washington Free Beacon the ad identifies Farley "as a local business owner and former Republican because those are the facts." Yoo did not answer questions about Farley's work with Battle Born Progress.
Farley in 2014 ran for state Senate as a Republican, receiving 57 percent of the vote. Two years later, she announced she would change her party affiliation to nonpartisan and caucus with Democrats, a decision she said stemmed from her disappointment with "party politics." Farley's subsequent political contributions and employment history, however, tell a different story.
In May 2018, just months after declining to run for reelection, Farley made her first federal political contribution—to failed Democratic congressional candidate Pat Spearman. Three months later, Farley donated to Nevada Democratic senator Jacky Rosen.
In October 2018—one month before leaving the state Senate—Farley joined Battle Born Progress as the president of its state PAC, Nevada Values. The group quickly launched a six-figure ad attacking Republican state Senate leader Michael Roberson. Roughly one year later, in December 2019, Farley endorsed Pete Buttigieg for president, saying the former South Bend, Ind., mayor "is offering bold solutions to our nation's biggest problems." She went on to contribute $1,500 to Buttigieg's PAC, and has not contributed to a Republican at the federal level.
Still, Farley told the Free Beacon she is a "current independent" who is "not interested in pushing partisan political agendas" and "only care[s] about giving Nevadans the facts they need to make an informed decision." While Farley also claims in the ad that she "used to work with Adam Laxalt in the state government," she later told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she had "few personal interactions" with the Republican.
Farley still serves as president of Nevada Values as of February 2022, the PAC's latest campaign finance disclosure states. Nevada Values is registered as a Battle Born Progress affiliate and uses the same mailing address, email address, and phone number as the liberal nonprofit.
Both Laxalt and Cortez Masto cruised to victory in Nevada's June 14 primary elections, and the pair will now face off in November. Cortez Masto holds a strong financial advantage—she has $9 million on hand to Laxalt's roughly $2.1 million.