Home>Articles>Commissioner Michael Naft Launches Smear Campaign Against GOP Challenger

Democratic Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft, District A (Photo: Clark County Government)

Commissioner Michael Naft Launches Smear Campaign Against GOP Challenger

GOP Challenger Ryan Hamilton responds, ‘Michael Naft is desperate to ensure that important community issues play no role in this race’

By Megan Barth, June 25, 2024 4:21 pm

Democratic Clark County Commissioner Michael Naft (Friends of Michael Naft) has launched a smear campaign targeting his GOP challenger Ryan Hamilton. In a campaign mailer (see below) sent throughout District A, Naft employs what is known as the “wrap-up smear,” a common tactic used by both parties to smear an opponent with falsehoods in order to merchandise the smear to the public and the press.

Campaign mailer paid for by Friends of Michael Naft featuring GOP opponent Ryan Hamilton (Photo provided)

One notable wrap-up smear was launched by former Nevada Senator Reid against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2012. On the Senate floor, Reid claimed that Romney had not paid his taxes for 10 years prior to the 2012 election. After the allegation was found to be false, Reid said he had no regrets for launching the baseless attack due to the fact that Romney lost the election.

To note, “Friends of Harry Reid” is a significant contributor to Naft’s reelection campaign.

The widely-distributed mailer alleges that Hamilton, an openly-gay man, was charged with racism, yet no substantiation or attribution exists to support that claim.

The mailer also borrows from the Democrat’s political playbook to accuse Hamilton of being “against reproductive freedom,” an “election denier,” and, of course, a “radical extremist.”

One of the photos that appears on the mailer is photoshopped to make it look as though Hamilton took part in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The photo, according to Hamilton, was from a charity event held in Las Vegas for homeless drug addicts.

Hamilton told The Globe, “Naft has had five years as a commissioner to implement a regional plan for homelessness and has failed to do so. Clark County has no regional plan to tackle homelessness. In 2020, Naft campaigned on solving homelessness and even raised taxes to try to accomplish that goal–and yet there are nearly 1,200 more homeless individuals on the streets now than when he was last elected. The number of homeless people who die on the streets has spiked 79 percent during his term as Commissioner. It’s clear he doesn’t have the ability to help manage this problem. Michael Naft is an empty suit politician hand picked by his bosses Steve Sisolak and Dina Titus to do what he is told.”

When Hamilton was asked about whether or not he thought the 2020 election was stolen or rigged, Hamilton scoffed, telling The Globe, “This is a baseless accusation. The article cited in the mailer doesn’t include any attribution to support the claim. I believe Joe Biden is the President and I am supporting President Trump. The reality is that elections in Clark County have become a national embarrassment under Michael Naft. The county is regularly short of workers to conduct elections and count times have taken weeks in some elections. After calling for a special election in a 2020 commission race, the county reversed themselves and certified a winner in an election decided by 10 votes, but with nearly 1,000 discrepancies. Naft’s record on elections is bungling them. The cost is public confidence.”

Although abortion is protected up to 24 weeks under Nevada law, Hamilton told The Globe that he is against partial-birth abortion and has no plans to rewrite abortion laws as county commissioner. Instead, Hamilton believes in common sense regulation of sexual health clinics, like licensing and accreditation, that is expected of any other health facility to ensure the safety of its patients.

“As county commissioner, I have pledged to dedicate my time to improving the quality of life for people who live in Las Vegas,” Hamilton told The Globe.

Hamilton issued this summarized statement to The Globe:

Michael Naft is desperate to ensure that important community issues play no role in this race. From the cost of living. traffic, homelessness and crime, and beyond to the animal shelter, Naft has failed to deliver a single, meaningful result for Clark County. As a result, he has resorted to spreading lies and disinformation about me and my past.

Naft has not contributed to any significant improvements in the county, despite serving five years in office. Naft prefers to spend his time bragging on social media about handing cookies out to public employees while Nevadans suffer under a surge in crime, road rage incidents, traffic deaths, inflation, and homelessness. Clark County is on the decline under Naft’s watch.

I will remain laser-focused on these issues for the next several months. Voters deserve a campaign based on truth and someone who will focus on Clark County’s most pressing issues, and that’s what I intend to give them.

My campaign will work hard to ensure voters know that Mr. Naft is an abject failure as a commissioner, and the evidence is all over the Valley. No matter how hard he lies, he will not be able to hide from his record.”

The Globe’s attempts to reach Michael Naft for comment were unreturned at the time of publishing.

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Megan Barth
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