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Who Is Stephen Cloobeck?

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(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Stephen Cloobeck, Board of Directors for Corporation for Travel Promotion, left, looks back at President Barack Obama as he is introduced at a fundraiser at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

You might not know who Stephen Cloobeck is right now, but that could change in the next few months.

Cloobeck’s name has been appearing in the national media and he is a well-known donor to Democratic causes and candidates in Nevada.

Recently, he has hinted that he might run for governor. 

Two Democrats are currently in the race for governor, Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani both announced they plan to run.

When he spoke to KNPR's State of Nevada, the businessman and donor said he admired both of the candidates, but reserved judgment about who he was going to support and whether he might get in the race.

"I'm watching to see how Steve and Chris does to see where really I'm going to put a lot of my efforts," he said, "And if they can't do it, well then, I have a lot of time to make my decision."

He didn't rule out a run because he has a goal in mind.

"We will do what is best for the state because we would like to see a Democrat in Carson City," he said.

Where he did not hold back was on his thoughts about Republican candidate for governor and current Attorney General Adam Laxalt:

"When I see the - unfortunately our attorney general- the moron Adam Laxalt - disavow gun control, which we passed legally, I have a serious problem with that," he said.

Support comes from

Gun control is a major issue for Cloobeck. He turned a lot of heads when he supported Republican Senator Dean Heller last year but pulled his support this year. 

Cloobeck said Heller didn't live up to the promises he had made to him, including siding with the National Rifle Association on gun control issues. Cloobeck said he was also unhappy with how Heller handled the Medicaid issue and family leave bill. 

He was also clear about his opinion on the state of the Democratic Party.

"The party has lost its way with regard to its brand," Cloobeck said. "The party should be aspirational."

He doesn't like when members of the party speak against millionaires and billionaires. He said they shouldn't be against working hard, taking risks and making money.

"The folks who don't like that are the socialists and I disdain them," he said, "Because it's against capitalism and everyone wants to provide more for their family."

Cloobeck also didn't mince words when it came to the new tax bill that Republicans are trying to push through Congress. 

He said the bill would harm millions of students paying their way through college by removing some of the tax breaks and loan paybacks. 

He believes corporate and hedgefund loopholes should be targeted to pay for a better education system.

"It's a moderate, business-orientated liberal view," he said, "If you can take some of these liberal concepts and marry them with very smart business concepts in a sophisticated tax code, which is geared toward corporate loopholes, don't hurt the kids, the faculty, the students or the institutions."

Cloobeck doesn't believe Nevada can spend too much on education. He would like to see more money and more technology in Nevada's classrooms. 

Guests

Stephen Cloobeck, donor, Democratic Party

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