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A Closer Look at that Tea Party Nod to Sharron Angle

(Chuck Muth) – The Tea Party Express has now revealed a bit of their reasoning behind their endorsement of Sharron Angle a few days ago, as well as their plans to assist her campaign….and I’m not exactly impressed.

While the TPE endorsement is certainly invaluable to Angle in this race, as well as extremely timely, the group made the same mistake as the Tea Party Crasher, Scott Ashjian….they failed to at least consult with at least some of the recognized local tea party leaders in Nevada. So there’s been some backlash from the home-town folks against this endorsement, though not necessarily against Angle herself.

“The Tea Party Express is a national organization making decisions on their own,” wrote Debbie Landis of Anger is Brewing – a legitimate, recognized tea party organization in Nevada – in an email yesterday (hat tip to Jon Ralston). “No Tea Party group in Nevada has been arrogant enough to endorse and, when we submit a list of candidates, they will qualify as ‘grassroots approved’ based on certain criteria, not sold as a blanket solution to preclude individual investigation and consideration.”

TPE definitely should have communicated better with Landis and other Nevada tea partiers before springing their endorsement on them. But then there’s this.

“To understand why this race is so important to us at the Tea Party Express, consider this,” reads a fundraising email that arrived in my inbox this morning. “Conservative Republican Sharron Angle faces one Republican challenger….who gave money to Harry Reid.”

That’s it.

That’s it?

The candidate who gave money to Reid, of course, is Sue Lowden. However, in her defense, she and her husband donated what amounted to about $6,000 some three decades ago. However, since that time they have contributed well over $250,000 to Republican candidates and organizations in Nevada….and have contributed over $700,000 or their own money to defeating Reid already this election!

Seriously. $6,000 to Reid over a period of ten years some thirty years ago vs. $700,000 to defeat him the first three months of this year alone.

And for that Lowden is being slammed by TPE? Where is their sense of proportion? Is this really the best TPE could come up with to explain (and, frankly, mislead by omission) their decision to back Mrs. Angle?

And then there was this:

“We are in the middle of a $100,000 fundrasing campaign to begin our TV and radio ad campaign in support of Angle’s candidacy,” the TPE email continued. “And we only have 8 days left to reach this goal.”

$100,000? That’s it? That’s not even one full week of statewide television ads. And it’s nowhere near enough juice to overcome what some polls show as a 40 point deficit between Angle and Lowden between now and June 8.

Half a million would likely make Angle competitive with the Avis-candidate (always #2, but trying harder), Danny Tarkanian. But to beat Lowden (unless the Lowden campaign does it to themselves), Angle and TPE are gonna probably need almost twice that amount.

Maybe between them they have it. Angle will just now benefit this month from the “net” proceeds of her aggressive national direct mail fundraising prospecting campaign. That’ll probably be worth a couple hundred thousand, at least. And TPE is showing at least a couple mil in the bank.

But if today’s email truly means that a hundred large is all they intend to pump into this race, last week’s endorsement of Sharron Angle may go down as nothing more than a lot of sound and furor signifying nothing. Stay tuned, Batfans. This one ain’t nowhere near over.