Exclusive: NV GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Joe Lombardo: Gov. Steve Sisolak Is ‘The Original Defunder of Police’

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo waits before a Republican primary debate for Nevada governor Wednesday, May 25, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, Pool)
AP Photo/John Locher, Pool

Clark County Sheriff and Republican nominee for Governor in Nevada Joe Lombardo appeared on Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Saturday and detailed how his general election opponent, Gov. Steve Sisolak (D-NV), was “the original defunder of the police.”

May 2020 saw the death of George Floyd and the violent riots that followed throughout the summer as the radical left waged war against law enforcement, calling for local and state governments to “defund the police.” While speaking with Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle, Lombardo noted that Sisolak had been leading the charge on handcuffing law enforcement well before the Summer of 2020, when he was the chairman of the Clark County Commission.

“Several years prior to that we did a tax initiative in southern Nevada, actually it started at the… legislative level,” that was “brought forward by Sheriff Bill Young that we would fund police through the general fund through sales tax moneys, revenue generated. And they only approved a portion of that and they said, ‘Come back over time as whatever is needed for further approval.’ So they did approve that at the legislative level and then it goes back to home rule where the local county commission – where Steve Sisolak was the county chairman – they decide whether it’s going to be implemented in the respective jurisdiction…So that vote goes before the county commission to enact the sales tax and Steve Sisolak being the chairman orchestrated a no vote on that on two separate occasions. And by that fact, we were unable to hire folks or police officers themselves to include or increase the staffing levels at the local Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and making it more difficult to do our job. And so you can see by proxy or by de facto, that he was the original defunder of the police, showing lack of support, even though it was a voter-approved initiative. It was voted on by the citizens of the state of Nevada, but yet it was stopped by the chairman of the county commission, which was in fact Steve Sisolak.”

Lombardo pointed out that as Sisolak ascended the political ranks to the governorship, his war on law enforcement continued as he signed several bills that resulted in “an environment of chaos,” that yielded “double-digit” crime increases.

“So, the Democratic-controlled legislature brought forward several laws that prevented us from doing our job as police officers and creating an environment of chaos in the state of Nevada… to where it was willy-nilly free will for criminals to commit the acts that they intended to commit,” Lombardo told Boyle. “And what I mean by that they prevented our ability to effect arrests under misdemeanor arrests, there was a lot of threshold changes from felonies to misdemeanors, there were a lot of sentencing guidelines adjusted to lessening of responsibility when crimes were committed. So all the way across the board, he made it very difficult for us to do our job and provide that blanket of safety for the communities. And you say, ‘How did he make it more difficult for us?’ Well, he’s the governor, and there was no conversation prior to with the legislature to prevent this law and legislation from going forward and discussion with legislators. And eventually, when these laws did pass via the floor and presented to the governor to implement into law, his veto pen was lost, and nobody could find his veto pen. He failed to push back on these ill-conceived laws, and as a result – similar to what we’re seeing across the nation, because it’s the Democratic rhetoric or the Democratic playbook – we’re all suffering.”


Breitbart · Sheriff Joe Lombardo – July 9, 2022

Lombardo later detailed what has materialized as a result of the abhorrent leftist policies that have allowed criminals to run wild.

“It’s frustrating to see when [law enforcement officers] effect an arrest – it’s the proverbial circular door or the tail wagging the dog. The crook is back out the street before the cop is able to get back in his car. The habitual criminal statute that was affected as a result of these bad policies, and what I would tell you is the proverbial three strikes you’re out that people are used to hearing about in years past, that has changed to five strikes you’re out and seven strikes you’re out. And it’s still at the discretion of a judge if they want to implement that enhancement. It’s frustrating when a police officer gets out there, and you see a crime of violence has occurred, and we get the suspect in custody, and then you look at his rap sheet, and he’s a 14-time ex-felon and you see that he got arrested probably days before the current incident, and he’s walking the streets.”

The Clark County sheriff highlighted the relationship between narcotics and crime, pointing out that drugs are at the root of the vast majority of crimes, and leftist policies are exacerbating issues with drug-associated offenses. 

“In my opinion and through my experience as a career law enforcement official, 90 percent of all crime has a basis of narcotics. Either they’re trying to sell narcotics to line their pocketbook, or they’re trying to steal goods to feed their habit or to purchase narcotics to sell to line their pocketbook. There’s some nexus in that fact outside crimes of emotion that have a direct lineage to narcotics, so what does the legislator do? ‘Oh well, let’s soften the crimes associated with trafficking narcotics.’ That’s the frustrating piece of what we do in this business… We’re treading water; we’re barely keeping our head above water to try to effect or provide a quality of life for the local communities and our citizens and our families.”

Lombardo was part of a panel along with Republican nominee for Senate U.S. former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt at an event former President Donald Trump hosted at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. The panel focused on law and order, and one thing all on the panel agreed upon was Democrats attempting to cozy up to law enforcement for political gain ahead of the midterm elections.

“Everybody on the panel opined on the same issue: the fact the Democrats are grabbing on to law enforcement for support in this election cycle as they pushed back on it the previous two years, now they’re looking for their support because they see the error of their ways. It’s very frustrating,” Lombardo said towards the start of the interview. 

As America First candidates are taking home nominations around the country, Lombardo emphasized that the political “paradigm is changing because people are frustrated and they’re pissed.” 

“I’m hoping that myself and Adam Laxalt are the two candidates that are going to effect change here in the state of Nevada,” he went on to add. “And it isn’t because of a party thing, it’s because it’s the way to business. We have to change that groupthink, that paradigm, that tunnel vision, the inability to see the other side of the coin and have that discussion that the government of America was based on. We have to change that paradigm, or, if we do not, the state of Nevada is going to continue to go down the wrong direction and all of this ability to diversify the economy for success in the future is not going to occur because people are going to say, ‘Hey it’s not safe in the state of Nevada. Their policies and regulations are ill-conceived. It’s not a good environment for business. No matter what it may be, we’re going to fly over the state of Nevada and put our roots somewhere else more beneficial to our family, our company, and our lifestyle.’ And we have to change that for us to be successful here and I anticipate that’s going to happen in this cycle.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.