MyNews4 is reporting this afternoon that “State Sen. Mark Amodei says he will formerly request the Nevada Republican Party chairmanship next month.” Best news Republicans have gotten all week.
That appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court of the decision to allow Tea Party of Nevada candidate Scott Ashjian to remain on the ballot even though he broke the law when he filed his candidacy might not happen after all. Plaintiffs are saying they don’t have the money – I’m told around $8,000-$10,000 – to file the appeal. So it looks as though the Tea Party Crasher might dodge yet another bullet. BTW, how many political lives does this guy have left?
I inked a column yesterday referring to the ongoing brouhaha over Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s “Chickens for Checkups” health care comments as her “macaca moment” – a reference to former GOP presidential wannabe Sen. George Allen whose videotaped comments using the word “macaca” killed his 2008 presidential aspirations. What I did not realize was that Nevada’s Dean of Political Pundits, Jon Ralston, had used the exact same reference over a week ago. So consider this a belated tip o’ the hat to the master versifier.
Now, as for the ongoing “Chickens for Checkups” fiasco itself, it is absolutely breathtaking at how badly the Lowden camp has (mis)handled the situation. This issue should have been put to bed over a week ago. Instead, it continues to grow and spread, seemingly by the hour, threatening to take down the candidate who has been perceived as the frontrunner since getting into the race last October 1st.
The ONLY way to combat this situation now is to fight the ridicule with good humor. Self-deprecating humor. The LAST thing the campaign should be doing is sending out angry, defensive political cookie-cutter press releases and statements….like this one that went out yesterday:
“Despite the fun Harry Reid and his political hacks are having with chickens and goats, real Nevadans are suffering from his taxpayer funded bribes on legislation we don’t want and cannot afford. In November, Nevadans will send Harry Reid a pink slip – a pleasant exchange for today’s farm animals.”
Lowden’s biggest advantage has been the perception that she had the best chance to defeat Harry Reid in November. But the magnitude by which this mess has been botched has many now thinking the campaign isn’t ready for prime time.
Meanwhile, Reid and the Democrats are drooling with glee. This is now a full-blown crisis demanding immediate and serious triage. If the campaign doesn’t get its “stuff” together FAST, Lowden risks becoming the next Charlie Crist – the Florida governor whose own 40-point lead in the Sunshine State’s U.S. Senate race against Marco Rubio is now a 20-point deficit.
In other news….
You know, it’s usually a really, really bad sign when I find myself in the position of not being able to take issue with a Nevada Democratic Party press release slamming a Republican candidate. However, their latest missive headlined “Brian Sandoval: Four More Reasons Not to Believe Again” accurately hits the nail on the head, citing four major league flip-flops by the GOP gubernatorial candidate, all of which should be of concern to conservative voters, in one week.
Sandoval’s “inevitability” seems less and less inevitable by the day.
Which reminds me, the new Mike Montandon campaign slogan, “The only electable conservative,” kills two birds with one stone. It tells voters that Sandoval’s no conservative and the Gov. Jim Gibbons can’t be elected in November. The question, of course, is whether or not enough GOP primary voters will buy it and start swinging over to Mayor Mike’s camp with only seven weeks to go. Pretty hard sell this late in the game. Then again, it’s amazing how many voters are just now starting to tune in.
Speaking of Gibbons, he was named one of Nevada’s worst governors this week. Pretty bad for his campaign, right? Wrong. He was named bad by a big liberal DC organization, CREW. So this will actually help him in a Republican primary campaign dominated by conservative voters if the governor plays his cards right.
And finally, Republican congressional candidate Kenneth Wegner, running in the GOP primary for the right to lose to Democrat incumbent Rep. Shelley Berkley in November, complains in a press release today that he has been excluded from an upcoming debate being hosted by radio talk-show host Heidi Harris of KDWN AM 720.
And I have no problem with that whatsoever.
Wegner is generally considered a non-viable perennial candidate and KDWN has every right to invite or not invite whomever they choose for their privately held event. However, Wegner’s campaign also reveals in the same press release that he “is being shut out by Clark County Republican Party officials.” And that’s a whole ‘nuther thing altogether.
“Wegner says he first suspected that the Clark County Republican Party leadership was slighting him when his pre-paid advertising did not run during the Party’s official events or the Lincoln Day Dinner. The Party’s leadership told Wegner’s campaign that the ads did not run because they ‘forgot to run them.’ Wegner’s campaign also contends that while the Clark County Republican Party has given the three other Republican candidates the opportunity to speak at the monthly meetings, Mr. Wegner has been told he would not be allowed to address the members.”
Unfortunately, this is par for the course for the Clark County GOP under Reich-Chairman SpongeBob Ruckman. This guy has run the party with an iron-fist since taking over in January, purging anyone he either (a) doesn’t like, or (b) doesn’t agree with, or (c) has been fighting big government and higher taxes for more than two years.
While former Nevada GOP Chairman Chris Comfort was an egotistical lug, SpongeBob Ruckman is a super-egotistical thug. He doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing, or even should be doing, but he bullies and browbeats Central Committee members, and even Executive Board members, into submission and compliance. Most are scared to death to criticize him.
But now some Republicans such as Mr. Wegner are starting to come forward and speak out. I was going to suggest that the chickens were going to come home to roost for Ruckman soon, but in deference to the difficulties the Lowden campaign is having on the poultry front these days, I’ll suggest instead that what goes around comes around.