Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to see former Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., recently because of Domenici’s affair with the daughter of his friend and one-time opponent, former Republican Sen. Paul Laxalt of Nevada.
“I don’t mention Domenici anymore because of what he did to Michelle [Laxalt],” Reid said in an hourlong interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week.
“He asked to see me last week, but I wouldn’t meet with him. But that’s another story,” Reid said.
Reid is close with Laxalt, 90, who walked him to the well of the Senate to be re-sworn in after his tough 2010 re-election campaign. The two grew close after Laxalt defeated Reid for the Senate seat in 1974 by fewer than 1,000 votes, one of the closest races in history. Reid replaced Laxalt after he retired in 1987.
Domenici and Reid had a close working relationship during their overlapping Senate tenures, serving as the top Republican and Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water. Reid also worked with Domenici on a special panel that explored the idea of biennial budgeting in the early 1990s.
“Senator Domenici is a friend with whom I have been proud to work in the Senate for a long time. He has served the people of New Mexico and the U.S. Senate honorably, and his mark on both his state and this body will endure long after he retires,” Reid said in a statement when Domenici announced his retirement plans in 2007.
Reid’s most recent comments to the Las Vegas newspaper came after the Albuquerque Journal reported in February that Domenici, 81, had an out-of-wedlock son — Adam Paul Laxalt, currently an attorney with Lewis and Roca in Las Vegas — with Michelle Laxalt, Sen. Laxalt’s daughter, during the 1980s. At the time, Domenici was 46 and she was 24.
Adam Laxalt is an Iraq War veteran and served as a staffer in the office of former Sen. John Warner, R-Va.
Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.