Incumbent Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) is embattled in a race with the Republican nominee, Joe Lombardo, Clark County’s current Sheriff. I previously reported on some of Sisolak’s uber-expensive campaign themes and commercials.
Since then, Sisolak’s campaign has flown off the rails; consistently showing himself to be a petty Betty. Saturday, the Governor made a tweet using the phrase “sugar daddy” to describe the Sheriff’s relationship with a donor.
In response, John Abel, Las Vegas Police Protective Association Director of Governmental Affairs called out Sisolak for the use of a term with roots in sex trafficking.
I think you should probably rethink some of the words you use as a Governor and a “professional” political candidate Steve. The term sugar daddy has roots in prostitution and human trafficking. As a governor you should pass laws that combat crime not make fun of it. words matter.
— John Abel (@JAbel_Lvppa) October 30, 2022
Dictionary.com’s definition of ‘sugar daddy’ reads:
a wealthy man who spends freely on a younger person, generally a woman or a gay man, in return for companionship or sexual intimacy
Sisolak’s campaign has used the exploitation of crime victims as political talking points. Multiple times, Sisolak has pointed out that Lombardo’s daughter was the victim of crime when her vehicle was stolen, in a string of illegal acts resulting in the arrest of the accused individual. On Thursday, Sisolak used a criminal hearing to politically grandstand and tarnish Lombardo.
Can you stop exploiting his daughter as a crime victim? thx pal, on behalf of crime victims.
Also didn’t your appointee murder a journalist in a rage about losing an electon to a seat nobody even cares about? #SitDownSteve #Lombardo22
— BrutalBrittany💕 (@BrutalBrittany2) October 28, 2022
This is not the first time that Sisolak has referred to Lombardo’s daughter as a crime victim. During the Governor’s debate, Sisolak pointed to the crime victim’s misfortune. The exchange can be found around the 43-minute mark in C-SPAN’s video of the debate. Sisolak says,
“His daughter’s car got stolen out of his driveway, his driveway, and the culprit who stole it was caught in excess of a million dollars in illegal narcotics, a million dollars of illegal narcotics in that car.”
Moderator John Ralston pushes back,
“So what? So, so what? So, so, so, he’s a victim of crime too.
Sisolak, while speaking over Ralston, says,
“That’s how unsafe it is,”
“That’s terrible though, right?”
“It’s absolutely terrible, and I’m glad that they captured the ‘gly’, [sic] I’m glad that his daughter was okay. I’m glad of all of that. But, that is a… obviously there is a drug relation to the car that got stolen out of his, his, driveway.”
While Sisolak used the debate stage to talk about a crime victim having a familial relationship with law enforcement and painting it as an irony (irony is a literary device in comedy), this was not the first time he campaigned on Lombardo’s daughter as a crime victim, or feigned sympathy.
On September 7, after the suspect was arrested, Sisolak wrote,
Politics aside, I am glad to see that Joe & his family are ok after becoming victims of the spike in crime in Southern NV. I can’t imagine a scarier feeling knowing the suspect had large amounts of cocaine & meth and was at his home.
Politics aside, I am glad to see that Joe & his family are ok after becoming victims of the spike in crime in Southern NV.
I can’t imagine a scarier feeling knowing the suspect had large amounts of cocaine & meth and was at his home.
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) September 7, 2022
And, in a more direct campaign-flavored Tweet, Sisolak writes,
Crime in Clark County is so bad even the sheriff is feeling the impact after a car was stolen straight out of his own driveway. Every family deserves to feel safe in their community, but Joe is more concerned with campaigning for a promotion to do his job.
Crime in Clark County is so bad even the sheriff is feeling the impact after a car was stolen straight out of his own driveway.
Every family deserves to feel safe in their community, but Joe is more concerned with campaigning for a promotion to do his job.
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) October 3, 2022
By that time, along with his comments in the debate airing, Nevadans had seen enough of this rhetoric at the expense of crime victims.
Sisolak has carried on with his tones of mockery, this week holding up an award and thanking Lombardo for it as a backhanded compliment.
— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) October 25, 2022
I had seen enough disingenuous remarks coming from Steve Sisolak and likened it to his constant grandstanding on Lombardo’s familial incident.
Sisolak’s weird “look at my trophy” rant reminded me of another tongue-in-cheek comment he made about Lombardo’s daughter as a victim of crime. Imagine being a crime victim used as a thinly-veiled campaign talking point by the opponent. It’s all so unpalatable. Vote #Lombardo22
— BrutalBrittany💕 (@BrutalBrittany2) October 26, 2022
With the “look at my trophy” rant, it seems that Sisolak forgot about, willfully ignores, or hopes that the voters have short memories, because the shoe was on the other foot when he gave this reception to Sheriff Lombardo, saying,
“You are not going to find a better Sheriff in the United States of America than that gentleman right there. That he even has to run for re-election is a travesty as far as I am concerned. Joe, we should make you Sheriff for as long as you want to be Sheriff.”
— Team Lombardo (@teamlombardonv) October 23, 2022
With 10 days left in the midterm election, those with very vulnerable grips on power will continue to tantrum. If it’s not twisting the knife, so to speak, into crime victims, smugly thanking your opponent for a shiny participation trophy, or using sex trade terminology in abject libel, it will come as more petty behavior. This type of behavior would be admonished even if it was carried out by 12-year-old drama queens on TikTok.
But, it’s not only Sisolak’s words and actions that speak volumes to Nevadans, it’s also his inactions. On Friday, Nevada Day, celebrating statehood, was observed with a Carson City parade that has been a tradition since 1938. The Governor, Steve Sisolak did not attend. As embattled Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D) was booed during her participation the announcer asked where the Governor was, saying,
“Where is Steve? Where is Steve? Where is Siso… where is that guy? I’m sorry… unbelievable… I don’t understand. I don’t think there’s ever been a year that the Governor doesn’t show up!”
The route for Carson City’s Nevada Day parade passes in front of the Governor’s mansion, one of Sisolak’s residences. As Lombardo continues to lead in the polls, it was taken by Nevadans to mean that Sisolak’s partisanship is more important than representing Nevadans as Governor.
You know @GovSisolak is aware that he’s losing when he skips the parade that celebrates the state he governs and runs right by the house he lives in.
— Keith Schipper (@SchipperKeith) October 29, 2022
I shook hands with Laxalt & Lombardo, Sisolak pulled another no show @ the Nevada Day Parade.
— Charles Knapp (@LopearedGalute) October 30, 2022
Sisolak may have skipped the parade anticipating that Nevadans would boo him, as they did to Masto. His campaign staff did, indeed, get booed while Lombardo got a warm reception.
— Elizabeth Ray (@elizabethrray) October 29, 2022
— Team Lombardo (@teamlombardonv) October 29, 2022
The Sisolak campaign was also booed at the Independence Day parade in Boulder City.
Sisolak booed and it was well deserved.
— Always Smiling and I Love Nature (@manthaqqq) July 5, 2022
Sisolak was also booed by a crowd of basketball fans last year. He gets booed a lot.
Yeah, it’s unfortunate he had to actually do something. Mostly, our Governors fly under the radar.
— Vital Vegas (@VitalVegas) August 9, 2021
While Nevadans are making their opinions known through expressions and at the ballot box, Sisolak continues to use petty, disingenuous, unbecoming, unprofessional, and manipulative behaviors in his campaign.