To recruit, support and advocate for candidates for public office who support
A Political Action Organization for the
In 1995, Las Vegas was the site for the Western States Republican Leadership Conference. National Committeeman for Nevada Tom Weisner, along with Joe Brown, Bob Maxey and Jerry Dondero, organized funding for the event. The Conference was hugely successful and included business entrepreneurs Barry Becker and Tito Tiberti. This group of conservative business leaders recognized that their comraderie and common goals were a source of strength in keeping Nevada business-friendly. Together, they recognized the importance of donating and raising money for candidates who share their vision. Founding members Ed Nigro, Terry Graves, Ted Gibson and Jim Gibson proposed that the group be non-partisan to attract as many business leaders as possible. The organization grew immediately and included Bruce James and John Ensign. Around this time, the group proposed an annual membership dues of $1,000 per year. Their vision was to make their group state-wide, but primarily located in Las Vegas.This Nevada non-profit corporation, now known as Keystone Corporation, waxed and waned a bit in membership until Monte Miller and John Gibson revitalized it in the early 2000s,
In 2019, the Democrat-controlled Legislature passed an extension of the business payroll tax without the requisite 2/3rds majority of both Houses, as required by the Constitution. Along with senior Republican legislators, Keystone supported a lawsuit against the Democrat legislators who passed the law in violation of the State Constitution. The Nevada Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs In 2021, resulting in a payroll tax refund received by all businesses.
In 2020, Keystone was successful in electing 20 out of 22 legislators who recognize the importance of keeping taxes low and limiting regulation. In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown, Keystone founded its Young Professionals Network in September 2020, recognizing the importance of mentoring up and coming business owners to ensure that the State remains business-friendly. The Keystone Young Professionals Network started with about 20 individuals and has doubled in size in 2022.
Keystone’s mission has been and will always be to promote more responsible government and a business-friendly environment. To accomplish this, the organization actively participates in the election process and sends representatives to Carson City who share those same values.
Keystone’s leaders do not take their role lightly. Through a rigorous interview and research process, the Board selects pro-business candidates who share Keystone’s ideals and who will not succumb to pressure to increase taxation in the State. As part of the selection process, the entire Board meets to approve candidates for endorsement.
Financial support is provided through Keystone membership annual dues, special events, and fundraisers such as the Annual Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Historically, the Annual Dinner had been held at The Venetian Hotel due to the generosity of Sheldon Adelson and the Adelson Family. In 2022, The Annual Dinner will be held at TI (Treasure Island) Hotel & Casino, due to the generosity of Phil Ruffin.
Keystone is a major player in the Nevada electoral process. In an age where free enterprise and free markets are under siege by left-wing socialists and bureaucracy, we stand as a rock-solid defender of Nevada’s business and entrepreneurial community.
At its core, Keystone was created to maintain Nevada’s low taxation and responsible regulatory environment and that purpose remains as our tradition and why we continue to exist.