by Humberto Sanchez & Riley Snyder, The Nevada Independent, August 19, 2022
A Republican-aligned Super PAC is dropping a massive seven-figure television advertising blitz in Nevada’s Senate race aimed at attacking Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) over the hiring of more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) staff through the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act.
The ad is part of a $2 million buy and will run for two weeks in Las Vegas starting Saturday. It was produced by Club for Growth Action, the Super PAC associated with the conservative Club for Growth.
The ad buy marks one of the more significant outside spending on behalf of Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, who has been outspent nearly three-to-one by Cortez Masto and affiliated Democratic groups, according to an analysis by The Washington Post.
Club for Growth — which this cycle has been largely funded by GOP megadonors Richard Uihlein and Jeff Yass — endorsed Laxalt early on in his bid for U.S. Senate, and reported spending just over $1 million to boost his candidacy ahead of the June primary election amid a challenge by well-funded veteran Sam Brown. Club for Growth also spent nearly half a million dollars to boost the candidacy of Republican Sharron Angle in the 2010 U.S. Senate primary twelve years ago.
The ad makes claims related to 87,000 new IRS agents funded through the Inflation Reduction Act, featuring imagery of suit-clad, jack-booted IRS agents and while asserting that “Cortez Masto spends, then sics her massive IRS on middle-class families to pay for it.”
The ad also cites Cortez Masto and Senate Democrats voting to defeat a GOP-backed amendment to the IRA that would have prevented any new IRA funding from being used to audit taxpayers with taxable annual incomes lower than $400,000.
Under the law, the IRS would receive $79.6 billion over 10 years for tax enforcement and to improve services. Many of the 87,000 new workers would be hired over that decade and to replace the existing workforce, according to the IRS, which has stated that nearly 50,000 IRS employees are eligible for retirement in the next five years.
IRS Director Charles Rettig, appointed by former President Donald Trump, told the Senate in an Aug. 4 letter that those making less than $400,000 a year would not see a crackdown. Instead, the agency would be focused on wealthier taxpayers and corporations with the means to elude the IRS.
“As we’ve been planning, our investment of these enforcement resources is designed around the Department of the Treasury’s directive that audit rates will not rise relative to recent years for households making under $400,000,” Rettig said.