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Drive-By Muthings: November 9, 2012

* Politico reports that major donors to Karl Rove’s American Crossroads Super-PAC want to know how in the world Obama won. Politico notes that Romney and his supporters spent some $1.2 billion on this year’s presidential race, with 40% of Team Romney’s support coming from Super-PACs. “Obviously, somebody made a mistake and didn’t do things right,” donor Stan Hubbard is quoted as saying.

Gee, ya think?

* What went wrong? Same thing that goes wrong every election for the GOP. “GOTV” to Democrats stands for “Get Out the Vote.” But to high-priced Republican media consultants like Rove it means “Get On TV.” Ground war beats an air war.

* I may have been pre-mature in writing on Wednesday that the GOP has no heir-apparent for the 2016 presidential race. Talk has already started about anointing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 41’s son and 43’s brother.

* Third-party spending went through the roof this year thanks to stupid campaign finance reform laws – especially McCain-Feingold. As such, not only have candidates lost control of their own races, but even the candidates’ parties have little to no impact or control any longer. This is not good for our democracy.

The answer isn’t to further tighten and limit the amount of money in politics. You can’t. Money will find a way. Always. No, the only way to right this wrong it to remove all contribution limits, as well as allow corporations and unions to donate directly to candidates, but with disclosure on the Internet of all donations and expenses within 72 hours.

* The ONLY way to temper conservative opposition to some kind of immigration deal that involves allowing certain illegal immigrants and their families to remain in the country legally, but without getting actual citizenship itself, is to throw into the deal something BIG that will pacify the vast majority of the anti-amnesty opposition. Oh, and Sen. Marco Rubio HAS to take point on the issue and put all of his political capital behind it.

* Where did Ron Paul’s Republican voters go in Nevada? Looks like a significant number did, in fact, go to the Libertarian Party candidate. Here are the numbers: In 2008, LP prez candidate Bob Barr chalked up just over 4,000 votes. This year, LP prez candidate Gary Johnson took in almost 11,000 votes. A big increase. But nowhere near enough to “spoil” Romney’s bid. He lost here by over 50,000.

* Attention tea party activists who wasted time, effort and treasure on Chris Edwards. The “Republican” congressional candidate lost by 57,013 votes. He was slaughtered 64 percent to 32 percent. Not that I’m the kind of guy to say “I told you so,” but, um, well, yes, I did tell you so.

* Meanwhile, Republican state senate candidate Mari Nakashima St. Martin lost to her Democrat opponent by a whisker-thin margin of just 313 votes. Worse, had she won, Republicans in the state senate would have had an 11-10 majority.

So tell me again why you all hopped on the political Titanic that was the Chris Edwards campaign again instead of focusing on a race that was actually winnable and significant?

* While most third-party candidates are lucky to pull 2, 3 or 4 percent of the vote in a race with both a Republican and Democrat candidate, conservative Independent American state senate candidate Janine Hansen raked in 20 percent of the vote in District 19 against Republican Pete “Tax My Meat” Goicoechea. Danged impressive.

* Not only has Senate MINORITY Leader “Moderate” Mike Roberson flip-flopped on tax hikes, but he’s hand-picked the most liberal leadership team he could have possibly picked for the 2013 session. State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer will be Robey’s left-hand man as assistant leader and Sen. Joe Hardy – who I believe is the last remaining Republican legislator to have voted for the Mother of All Tax Hikes in 2003 – will be the caucus whip.

It’s as if Bill Raggio never left.

* By the way, did I mention that each tax hike appearing on the ballot not only lost on Tuesday, but lost BIG? Yet Republican candidates refused to campaign on the issue of opposing tax hikes. Gee, and some wonder why Republicans failed to win control of the state senate and actually lost a seat in the state assembly?

* Remember that auto accident Sen. Reid was in a week before the election? Well, I’m told the driver of the car is actually a registered Republican. One wag suggested – with tongue planted firmly in cheek – that we make him Conservative of the Year!

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

* Republicans in Clark County hoping to take back the local GOP from the Ron Paulbarians are having a secret meet-up meeting on Monday, November 12th at 5 p.m. at 5525 S. Decatur, Suite 105.

Oops. I guess it’s not a secret any longer.

* Democrats are laying track for term-limited Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto to take on Gov. Brian Sandoval in 2014. And with Sandoval having already blown off his conservative base – and with Cortez-Masto’s fundraising capabilities and Harry Reid’s grassroots machine – don’t be betting the farm against her.

* Democrat Secretary of State Ross Miller is readying for a run to replace Cortez-Masto in the AG’s office.

* Republican Senate MINORITY Leader “Moderate” Michael Roberson is rumored to be mulling a run for Miller’s Secretary of State office in 2014 after he helps shepherd through the new-and-improved (though not lemon-scented) Sandoval Tax Hike in the upcoming session. No word yet on whether he’d run as a Republican or a Democrat though.

* Economic Development czar Steve Hill is said to be eying/coveting/salivating over the lieutenant governor’s seat in 2014 just in case Sandoval is re-elected and then runs for and wins Sen. Reid’s seat in 2016.