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Drive-By Muthings: August 9th

* In response to our announcement last week that former Michigan GOP chief Saul Anuzis and I were forming a Dump Reid PAC, someone from the email address RUBINCOMP@AOL.COM wrote: “Sorry, but I’m not a war monger, or racist or liar or someone who hates everyone with brown skin or infirmities, therefore I can’t support your Nazi causes. I hope you all rot in hell.” Well, I never!

* Friday’s first First Friday Happy Hour Brew-ha-ha at Stoney’s was a smashing success. Over 200 people stopped by, tossed back a brew or two, mixed and mingled with like-minded conservatives and libertarians and listened to Arizona Republican Rep. John Shadegg rip Obama’s health care plan a new one. If your ears were burning, someone at FF was probably talking about you. Don’t miss next month’s.

* Among the movers-and-shakers who popped in to rub (OK, bend) elbows at the First Friday Brew-ha-ha at Stoney’s: KXNT’s Alan Stock and Ciara Turns, Assemblyman John Hambrick, GOP Chairman Sue Lowden, U.S. Senate candidate Ed Hamilton, Tony & Joan Delgado, Republican consultant guru Ryan Erwin, possible lieutenant governor candidate Calanit Atia, and Andy Mathews, Victor Joecks and Patrick Gibbons from the incomparable Nevada Policy Research Institute.

* Republican Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert is apparently serious about entering the GOP gubernatorial primary race against Gov. Jim Gibbons, Joe Heck and Mike Montandon. Considering what an ineffective job she did as minority leader last session its hard to see by what rationale she thinks she could be an effective governor. Then again, at least this would get her out of the Assembly. Run Heidi, run!

* Consider the odds that Barbara Buckley eventually chickens out and let’s Harry Reid’s kid have the Democrat nomination for governor. And then the Republicans suffer a bitter and divisive four-way (or more) primary fight in the gubernatorial primary. That could mean the only way to keep Rory Reid from moving into the Governor’s Mansion is if Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman runs for the seat as an independent. Don’t laugh. He just might be able to pull it off.

* With Gansert telling folks she’s thinking of running for governor, the remaining Republicans in the Assembly caucus are pondering who would take her place. Chad Christensen is said to be interested, as is freshman John Hambrick. But moderate, tax-lover Lynn “The Bug Man” Stewart is said to be all but salivating over the possibility of becoming the Top Banana. If that happens, kiss all hope for Republicans in the Assembly good-bye.

* Some guy named Mike Wiley emailed me this morning to let me know that he won’t fill out my questionnaire designed to assess the level of seriousness by candidates but that he is, indeed, the Chosen One we should all rally behind against Harry Reid. “If Andrew Jackson was alive today he would be dragging these phony Democrats out and picking out a tree,” Wiley writes in a press release, “but since he is not here, I will go to Washington to Impeach, Indict and Incarcerate those responsible for the economic treason committed against my fellow Americans, so help me G-d.” Yeah, he’s credible.

* Danny Tarkanian announced on Friday that he was going to announce his campaign for U.S. Senate against Harry Reid tomorrow from his home – in an exclusive gated community. Talk about playing into the “rich Republican” stereotype. Whose brilliant idea was this? Why not announce at UNLV tomorrow, where the Tarkanian name is worth its weight in gold and where Reid will be speaking on the cap-and-trade issue? Talk about made to order. Sheesh.

* Tarkanian’s press release, with a San Diego dateline and an out-of-state contact number, for some reason wasn’t sent to three of Nevada’s top political bloggers – myself, Jon Ralston and Steve Sebelius. If the slight was intentional, it was unwise. Why poke the bear with a stick? If it was an oversight, that’s incompetence. Either way, not a great way to kick off a high-profile campaign against the Senate Majority Leader.

* As we all know, Harry Reid is a bare-knuckle political street fighter. On the other hand, here’s a sampling of the white-hot campaign rhetoric from Tarkanian’s official announcement: “This race must be about solutions and ideas and I intend to provide the voters with a new vision for how Nevada should be represented. I don’t have all the answers, but I understand that for us to come together as a country we have to start listening to each other.” Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya.

* Nevada GOP Chairman Sue Lowden is said to be quietly soliciting donations this weekend to judge the level of support she might get for a campaign against Harry Reid. If she can meet her goal of raising twenty-five large or more by the end of the week at $200 a pop, don’t be surprised by the formation of an official exploratory committee with former state Sen. Bob Beers serving as campaign treasurer. Not that I’ve heard anything or anything.

* By the way, happy 50th birthday to my friend and Dean of the Nevada Press Corps, Jon Ralston. Many more….youngster.

* And finally, congratulations to Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Molly Ball, who on July 31st brought into the world a healthy baby boy weighing in at six pounds even. Mazel tov.

FAMOUS LAST WORDS

“I’ve never met anyone who likes outgoing NV Sen. Mike Schneider, or who thinks he’s ever been effective.  Danny Tarkanian, who is a likeable schlub, winning his suit against Schneider, however, does not make him a credible candidate for the US Senate; he should try again for state constitutional office or Schneider’s seat again.”

– Blogger Mike Zahara, The Watchdog Wag, 8/9/09