- "Led the Fight (Gladis)" (2022)
- "Spoke Up for Us (Kasey)" (2022)
- “Big Family” (2016)
- “Badass Women of Washington: Catherine Cortez Masto”
Those who have worked with Catherine describe her as intelligent, a hard worker, and “much less bombastic” than the typical politician. For a good personal profile of the senator, watch this 4-minute CNN video from 2017: “Badass Women of Washington: Catherine Cortez Masto”.
Catherine making history
When then-Vice-President Biden was asked in 2016 why Nevadans should elect Catherine to the Senate, he replied: “Because she has everything that’s needed to be a great senator…Catherine has the intellectual, the compassionate side, she has the experience. She’s going to be, mark my words, one of the great senators.” Then-President Obama said: “I’m backing Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate because she’ll fight for you every day. Catherine was one of the first Attorneys General in America to sue the big banks for the practices that led to the mortgage crisis. In the Senate, she’ll work to raise the minimum wage, reduce the cost of college, and invest in our schools.”
Catherine’s election in 2016 was historic: the first woman from Nevada elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first-ever Latina in the country elected to the Senate. Here is a brief video excerpt of her victory speech on the evening of her election. Now both Nevada senators are women, but Catherine remains the only Latina in the Senate.
In 2018 it was announced that Catherine, in addition to serving in the Senate, would chair the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Then-Senate-Minority-Leader Chuck Schumer said: “Catherine Cortez Masto was our first choice for DSCC Chairwoman because she has demonstrated the attributes we want in a leader: she breaks glass ceilings, is hardworking, astute politically, an outstanding fundraiser and respected by every member of our caucus.” Catherine made history again in her role as DSCC Chairwoman, helping the party take back the Senate majority.
Catherine was born and raised in Las Vegas. After law school she worked four years as a civil attorney in Las Vegas and two as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington DC. She also served as former Nevada Governor Bob Miller's chief of staff. In 2003 Catherine was named executive vice chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Starting in 2007, Catherine served two terms as Attorney General of Nevada. In that role she became well known as an advocate for seniors, women, and children. She worked closely with local law enforcement to keep Nevada’s communities safe. She led the push to break up sex trafficking rings throughout the state. She created a senior protection unit to safeguard older Nevadans from identity theft, exploitation, and abuse. To help middle-class families recover from the housing crisis, Cortez Masto created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force to investigate and prosecute lending scams. She led the fight to hold big banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse and secured a $1.9 billion settlement for Nevada homeowners.
Catherine’s service in the U.S. Senate
Catherine’s priorities as a Senator have included:
Catherine’s position on four Senate Committees allows her to continue to advocate for the issues that matter a lot to Nevadans and the rest of the country: Committee on Finance; Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; and Committee on Indian Affairs. She currently is chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s Public Lands, Forests, and Mining Subcommittee.
Catherine’s Republican opponent
Catherine’s Republican opponent in the general election is Adam Laxalt. Laxalt was Nevada co-chair of the Trump 2020 presidential campaign. After Trump lost the 2020 election and refused to concede, Trump and Laxalt made false claims of large-scale fraud in Nevada's election and sought to overturn the election results...as the Las Vegas Sun reported, Laxalt filed "a string of junk lawsuits, which were thrown out like the litter they were". When alleging fraud Laxalt pointed to Las Vegas businessman Kirk Hartle, who told a television interviewer soon after the election that he was stunned to discover that someone had voted under the name of his deceased wife; Hartle said “That is pretty sickening to me, to be honest with you...it makes me wonder: How pervasive is this?” In 2021 it was discovered that Hartle, a Republican and Trump donor, had been lying -- he himself had voted his dead wife's ballot in addition to his own. In October 2021 the office of the current Nevada Attorney General announced that Kirk Hartle was being charged with two felony counts for submitting a ballot on behalf of his wife. ("The voter-fraud allegation that perfectly captures the post-2020 Republican Party", Washington Post, Oct 22, 2021)
Laxalt called the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade a "historic victory".
When Laxalt was Attorney General of Nevada for one term from 2015 to 2019, he sought to weaken federal environmental protection regulations, opposed some common-sense gun safety regulations, filed legal briefs in support of laws restricting abortion, joined lawsuits against the Obama administration over a U.S. Department of Labor regulation protecting certain employees' right to overtime pay, and opposed a multi-state investigation into ExxonMobil's role in climate change. As Attorney General he also:
In 2021 when Laxalt announced his campaign for Senate, he said that "the radical left, rich elites, woke corporations, academia and the media" were "taking over America." When Laxalt was running for governor of Nevada in 2018, seven members of the extended Laxalt family hosted a fundraiser for his Democratic opponent. In her remarks at the fundraiser Monique Laxalt said of her cousin Adam: “We believe that he came from Washington to Nevada for the sole purpose of using the family name to pursue a political career which would allow him to eventually return to Washington as one of Washington’s most elite…We believe that he not only has no true connection to Nevada but has demonstrated a disdain for our beloved state and to its people. We do not believe Adam Laxalt represents Nevadans or has the interests of our people at heart.” After going to a private prep school in Alexandria, Virginia, Adam went to college and law school in Washington DC. He worked for then-Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs John Bolton, before joining the office of Virginia U.S. Senator John Warner. At age 17 Laxalt had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer and a year later was arrested for driving under the influence. In 2016 Laxalt referred to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia as “the greatest jurist of our lifetime.”
Laxalt has a terrible environmental record. In 2018 the Sierra Club wrote: “The Sierra Club often endorses candidates for political office, but this year we are taking a more unusual step: explicitly opposing Adam Laxalt’s bid for governor. Despite his carefully honed facade of polite and vague blandness, the evidence is clear that Laxalt would cave to big-money interests on virtually every crucial environmental issue in Nevada: protection of public lands; clean energy and climate change; and protection of endangered species. The first thing to understand is that Laxalt is heavily supported by billionaire Charles Koch, whose network of conservative political groups has adamantly fought any and all policies aimed at slowing carbon emissions and climate change.”
Support for Catherine
In 2021 when Emily’s List endorsed Catherine’s re-election campaign, it said: “In her first term, this trailblazer has made a tremendous positive impact on her state and our country, she has changed the face of power in the Senate… She quickly established a reputation as a tireless champion for working families and an effective leader who makes Nevadans’ voices heard.”
Catherine has a strong environmental record – a 95% lifetime score from the League of Conservation Voters. When the Sierra Club endorsed Catherine in 2016 it said: “From fighting to protect Nevada’s Yucca Mountain from being turned into a nuclear waste dump, to encouraging the continued transition to 100% clean energy, to protecting Nevada’s vast and unique public lands, Cortez Masto has consistently stood with Nevadans and we look forward to working with her in the Senate.”
In 2016 Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly wrote about Catherine's record on gun safety: “As Nevada’s attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto stood with us in support of background checks legislation. That bill was vetoed, but Nevadans have the opportunity to enact it at the ballot box this fall. Catherine Cortez Masto should be the next senator from Nevada.”
Catherine has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood, and an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association.
This will be one of the closest and most consequential races of 2022; it may determine which party controls the Senate. It is crucial for Nevada and for the country that Catherine be re-elected to continue her important work in the Senate, and crucial for Nevada and the country that Trump’s ally Adam Laxalt not become a senator.