Las Vegas Paper Endorses Dem Senate Candidate After Its President Maxes Out Donations to Her Campaign

Rep. Jacky Rosen / Getty Images
October 22, 2018

The Las Vegas Sun endorsed Democratic Senate candidate Jacky Rosen on Sunday over Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) months after the newspaper's publisher and president maxed out donations to Rosen's campaign.

Brain Greenspun, who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats, made two $2,700 donations to Rosen's campaign during the primary and general election periods. He donated $2,700 on Sept. 28, 2017 and $2,700 on March 30, 2018, according to filings with the FEC.

The editorial board for the Las Vegas paper published an endorsement with the title, "For US Senate, Jacky Rosen is our choice." The endorsement praises the current congresswoman as a "throwback leader who worked across the aisle to an exceptional degree" and someone who will focus on issues that Nevadans care about deeply.

With her focus on issues that affect Nevadans most deeply — health care, women’s rights, the environment, gun safety and many more — she’s the kind of leader Nevada should have in Washington. In fact, she’s the kind of leader every state should have.

Although her opponents have characterized Rosen as a puppet of the Democratic leadership, particularly Nancy Pelosi, the attack is groundless.

Rosen joined the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group available only to lawmakers who join with a member of their opposing party.

While it’s true that Rosen and Pelosi aligned on many issues — as did all Democrats — ProPublica reported that Rosen broke ranks on 38 major votes, including on such issues as Veterans Administration whistleblower protection and tax cuts for small businesses and middle-class families (both of which Rosen favored). In those and other cases, Rosen voted independently and prioritized Nevadans’ best interests ahead of partisan politics.

The editorial board then slammed Heller, saying Nevadans "can no longer trust him" to represent their interests and that he flip-flopped on supporting the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood. They also castigated him for saying he was "vehemently" opposed to President Donald Trump and then voting with his administration after the president threatened his seat for "holding out on GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare."

His betrayal was on full display just nine days after Trump sweated him, when Heller voted in favor of the so-called "skinny" repeal of Obamacare.

Now, his turnaround is complete. At a Trump rally last month in Las Vegas, Heller told him it had been "an honor to work with you," and Trump said he and Heller "love each other."

But such flip-flops are nothing new for Heller. One memorable example came during a town hall in April 2017 when Heller stated, "I have no problems with federal funding for Planned Parenthood" and "I will protect Planned Parenthood" but then immediately backtracked and said he would "continue to look at the issue."

This isn't the first time the newspaper has endorsed the same politicians who Greenspun has personally supported with his pocketbook. Back in 2016, the paper endorsed failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D., Nev.), Rep. Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) and Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D., Nev.). He donated $5,400 to Clinton, $5,400 to Masto, $2,700 to Rosen and $2,700 to Kihuen.

Greenspun received criticism from Jon Ralston, a former Sun reporter, in 2015 for killing his 2012 column that was critical of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).

"The column was never published because Las Vegas Sun Editor Brian Greenspun attempted to protect his friend, Reid, from the criticism," Ralston wrote on his website.