In the end, it wasn’t even close.
Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald defeated challenger Robert Uithoven 193-112 in the chairmanship race yesterday at the GOP Central Committee’s fall meeting at the South Point Casino in Las Vegas.
But if you understand this Central Committee and how it thinks, this was not really a rejection of Uithoven.
And it wasn’t a rejection of the Las Vegas Sands, which clearly has a major problem – understandably so – with the fact that McDonald is a paid lobbyist for the hated – understandably so – Culinary Union.
And it wasn’t a rejection of U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, even though Heller did, in fact, endorse Uithoven. To the contrary, everyone I spoke with yesterday was absolutely thrilled that Heller was one of only 19 Republicans in the Senate to vote NOT to stop the filibuster against ObamaCare!
And it wasn’t a rejection of all political consultants in general.
No, this was a total, resounding, embarrassing, humiliating rejection of five very specific Republicans, all of whom killed Uithoven’s chances by endorsing him…
Gov. Brian Sandoval, Senate Minority Leader Moderate Mike Roberson, Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey…and the two political consultants who pull the strings of those Three Amigos, Mike Slanker and Pete Ernaut.
And as I wrote just a few days ago, this result should have come as no surprise. Indeed, this wasn’t the first time these GOP leaders got together, backed a candidate for party chair…and came away with nothing but egg on their faces.
Just a few short months ago the Three Amigos and their handlers endorsed then-Washoe County Chairman Dave Buell – the establishment’s darling who set up a separate bank account in the 2012 election to undermine and bypass the Nevada Republican Party – only to see Buell go down in flames.
You’d think after that drubbing the Three Amigos and their handlers would have learned a lesson. They didn’t. Instead of their endorsements helping to elect their preferred candidate, their endorsements doomed him. Their endorsements were the kiss of death.
As I wrote five days ago, the notion that the majority of members of the party’s Central Committee “care one iota what the Three Amigos and their consultants think is laughable.”
Indeed, the establishment leaders who maintain the only thing that counts is getting people elected couldn’t even get their guy elected party chair. Now how embarrassing is that?
Indeed, Sandoval, Roberson, Hickey, Slanker and Ernaut – all the kings horses, and all the kings men – who had everything going for them – money, power, influence – couldn’t win the chairmanship race for an extremely talented and experienced candidate for a volunteer position that doesn’t even pay anything.
And do you want to know why?
Because for the past three years these establishment Republicans have flipped the party’s foot soldiers the finger and have no relationship with them whatsoever. Sandoval didn’t even bother showing up for the party’s bi-annual convention last year and rarely, if ever, shows up for a Central Committee meeting.
The Three Amigos and their two handlers believe in winning at all costs, even if it means sacrificing core party principles.
Central Committee members, on the other hand, believe that if you win an election but lose your philosophical soul, you really haven’t won anything. Democrat-lite is still Democrat, not Republican.
Indeed, why is it better for Sandoval to increase government spending than for Rory Reid to increase government spending? Why is it better for Roberson to try to screw our mining industry by jacking up its taxes than it is for Sheila Leslie to do it? Why is it better for Hickey to vote to extend the “temporary” tax hikes than Skip Daly?
Answer: It’s not.
And while a number of Central Committee members may have suspected that Uithoven, a solid conservative, wouldn’t support the Gumby Republicanism of Sandoval, Roberson and Hickey if he’d been elected…they just weren’t willing to take the chance.
Uithoven didn’t lose. The Three Amigos and their handlers lost. Conservative, principled GOP activists won. The tea party won. The liberty movement won. Onward…