GOP operative, partly funded by Adelson, sets up nonprofit to register voters

Much has been made -- especially by me -- of how much the Democratic voter registration edge matters in Nevada.

It is still close to 100,000 voters, and GOP operatives know they must close the gap or risk losing races they should have won or sweating out ones that should be locks (hello, Gov. Brian Sandoval).

I have learned, however, that very quietly, the GOP effort to close the margin has begun, using standard buzz phrases such as "Repeal Obamacare" and "Stop Runaway Spending," with a side of guns thrown in for good measure. I have also confirmed, through one of his operatives, that Gondolier Numero Uno Sheldon Adelson is helping to fund the effort.

Chris Carr, a former state GOP executive director and Mitt Romney operative, has set up a non-profit called Engage Nevada to facilitate the effort. I have no doubt that the Sandoval/Heller machine is behind this as Carr has been recruited to helm the GOP ground game this cycle.

But Sandoval folks will keep their distance because this technically is a c4, which means it has to be nonpartisan and theoretically register all voters. But with Carr as the head and Adelson involved, this is a fig leaf. It's about as nonpartisan as Americans for Prosperity.

Said Sandoval/Heller guru Mike Slanker: "We are supportive of their work." I bet.

"Engage Nevada is a nonpartisan, non profit 501 (c) (4) organization. Its purpose is education and voter registration," the group's attorney, Dan Stewart, told me. "It registers for all parties and non-partisans. By law, it cannot push people to register a certain way; it must return all applications. Engage fully complies with all federal and state law."

I should hope so. I know the Nevada Democrats, and I'm sure they are watching.

Carr set up the corporation in February, and sources confirm the group recently requested 14,000 voter registration forms. They have a web site, which doesn't mention guns, but a firearms group recently posted that is part of the pitch.

Carr is a seasoned, smart operative. But this is embryonic, so let's see where it goes.

More when I have it.....