Democratic congressional candidate Susie Lee, who is running in Nevada’s third congressional district, has a hypocrisy problem when it comes to the #MeToo movement.
Lee, a Democrat vying to succeed likely Democratic Senatorial nominee Jacky Rosen, bashed Republicans when Steve Wynn was exposed to have years of allegations of misconduct against him by various women at his companies.
The Wall Street Journal first exposed the allegations, which Wynn denies, that forced Wynn to step down from the Republican National Committee (RNC) and lose his job atop his own company. Wynn is one of the biggest players in Nevada politics who has donated to many politicians in his state and elsewhere. The scandal rocked the state of Nevada’s political scene, forcing almost every politician in both parties to weigh in.
Lee, like other Democrats in her state without political donations from Wynn, Wynn’s wife, or his company, bashed Wynn and threw gas on the fire. Lee told the Nevada Independent, a newspaper in the state:
Mr. Wynn appears to have systematically used his power to exploit and take advantage of many women who were simply doing their job, trying to make a living and support their family. This kind of behavior is a terrible abuse of power. I am pleased that Wynn’s board and the appropriate gaming regulatory authorities are investigating these allegations. I hope these authorities will send a message to workers in the gaming industry that sexual harassment, no matter how powerful or influential the perpetrator, will not be tolerated.
But, per financial disclosure forms that Lee filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives—forms she filed more than three months late—she had investments in Wynn Resorts, Wynn’s company, totaling between $165,003 and $400,000. The form includes three separate investments, which are reported in ranges, in Wynn Resorts.
The first and most substantial, in a range of $100,001 to $250,000, is an ARW Subtrust through a Fidelity Investments ARW Substrust Brokerage Account in Wynn Resorts, Limited. The second, worth between $50,001 and $100,000, is a Fidelity Investments Rollover IRA in Wynn Resorts, Limited. The third, worth between $15,001 and $50,000, is through Lee Children’s Trust via Fidelity Investments Lee Children’s Trust Brokerage Account.
After publication of this article, Lee’s campaign manager Brandon Cox reached out to Breitbart News to say that the Lee family divested its investments in Wynn Resorts after the allegations against Wynn became public in January.
What’s more, as the Nevada Independent reported, Lee’s husband Daniel served under Wynn at Mirage Resorts in the 1990s.
“Lee has never taken a contribution from Wynn, but her husband Daniel Lee was the chief financial officer of Mirage Resorts under Wynn in the 1990s,” the Nevada Independent’s Riley Snyder and Megan Messerly wrote.
The district, Nevada’s third, has swung back and forth from Republican to Democrat since its creation in the early 2000s. Compared to other Nevada congressional districts, it is particularly small and consists of just the suburbs outside Las Vegas in Henderson and most of unincorporated Clark County. For its first few terms of existence, Nevada’s third was represented by Republican Jon Porter. In the 2008 wave election that saw former President Democrat Barack Obama defeat Republican Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at the top of the ticket, Democrat Dina Titus captured the seat for one term. In 2010’s Tea Party wave election, Republican Joe Heck recaptured the seat and held it until last year when in 2016 he gave it up to run for U.S. Senate. In that election, Democrat Jacky Rosen recaptured the district for her party—narrowly defeating pro-Trump Republican Danny Tarkanian by less than 4,000 votes.
Republicans lost statewide in Nevada from the top of the ticket on down—with the exception of Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV), who won re-election—after Heck shocked the political world by abandoning Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape of then-candidate Trump making vulgar remarks on never-before-released footage about women with Billy Bush. Heck’s abandonment of Trump doomed candidates like Tarkanian at the top of ticket. Tarkanian lost the seat to Democrat Jacky Rosen. Trump lost the state to Clinton by just over 27,000 votes, a very tight margin of victory for the Democrat.
Now, in 2018, Tarkanian is attempting another comeback statewide as he challenges Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) in the state’s senate primary. The winner of the Tarkanian-Heller bout will most likely go on to face Rosen in the general election for the U.S. Senate seat. But, while the Senate race may capture more national and statewide attention with a competitive primary in the summer and general election in November, it’s Nevada’s third congressional district that may have more of an impact on the national political debate as Republicans nationally scramble to hold onto their House majority.
Right now, the GOP majority hangs by a thread. With dozens of veteran Republicans retiring for whatever reason–some due to scandal, some because of age, others for other reasons–every precious seat counts for a GOP majority in the House. If the Democrats retake the House, as they are trying to do, then it would significantly negatively impact President Trump’s efforts to achieve implementation of his agenda.
This district, Nevada’s third, offers a unique opportunity for Republicans to add to their majority, and take away a seat from Democrats– something that exists only in a few other districts across America such as rural Minnesota and elsewhere throughout the Rust Belt, New Hampshire, and a handful of other places. The potential for Republicans to be able to go on offense is particularly appealing to the party, which has in the first year plus of President Trump’s administration been on defense almost every day amid the chaotic story of the moment, whatever it may be at the time.
On the GOP side, a crowded field has emerged, but just three of the candidates right now have a serious chance of winning the nomination. Victoria Seaman, the former assistant majority whip of the Nevada state assembly, is the leading candidate there—but two other Republicans, former Las Vegas television reporter Michelle Mortensen and state senator Scott Hammond, are in the race as well.
Seaman has called on Mortensen to join others and return her donations from Wynn, or donate them to charity. Hammond has also taken money from Wynn, and did not respond to the Nevada Independent’s inquiries.
Seaman told the Nevada Independent that the allegations against Wynn are “serious” and troubling. Seamon said:
Yes it’s concerning. I’ve said publicly, and was the first in Nevada to do so, that these allegations are serious and Republicans like Michelle Mortensen should return the donations she’s received from him. I’ve never been a part of the ‘boys club’ so I don’t much care what they think of me – it’s important to be honest and tell it like it is here. If our Party is going to scream about Al Franken and Harvey Weinstein, we have to honestly do the same about Mr. Wynn.
Seaman is part of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) “Young Guns” program, something that highlights and boosts up-and-coming GOP candidates across the country. Seaman declined to comment for this piece for Breitbart News on Lee’s investments in Wynn Resorts.
Losing Lee as a candidate would be catastrophic for Democrats. As the NRCC has detailed, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi–who is vying to become Speaker again, and most of the rest of the Democratic Party establishment, have thrown in completely with Lee as their candidate. Pelosi held a fundraiser on the Las Vegas Strip with Lee recently, and other Democratic leaders like House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) have all backed her campaign financially.
This post has been updated with Lee’s campaign manager’s comments.