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Political Potpourri for the Dog Days of Summer

With the addition of Robin Reedy, Lynn Hettrick and Stacy Woodbury to senior staff positions in his administration, Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons is finally portraying an image of experience and competence. Alas, this amounts to closing the proverbial barn door after the horse is already out.

Nevada Republican National Committeeman Bob List said in an interview this week that Gibbons has but a “slim” chance at re-election next year. That opinion, in and of itself, is not new or news. That it was said out loud and in public by a high-ranking GOP party official is.

Gibbons’ GOP primary opponents Mike Montandon and Joe Heck are still refusing to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising, as Gibbons already has, to oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes. So even though Gibbons would likely get crushed in the general election in 2010, he still has a shot at getting the GOP nomination.

A Reno radio station jumped the gun last week, announcing that Nevada GOP Chieftess Sue Lowden had decided to run against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) next year without, you know, confirming the story with, um, the candidate. Chalk it up to premature speculation.

GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle has signed on with a very aggressive national direct mail fundraising firm. Despite her decidedly unimpressive fundraising total of just $35,000 thus far, conservative estimates suggest she could easily net over a million bucks in small-dollar mail donations before all is said and done should she land the Republican nomination. Combined with her superior grassroots organizing ability, don’t write this fiery conservative off too soon.

I ran into state Sen. Dennis Nolan (RINO-Las Vegas) in a hotel elevator in Philadelphia last week at the National Conference of State Legislators. He informed me that the rumors that he was leaving the GOP and running for re-election as a Democrat next year were not true, adding that he will continue to raise taxes and expand government as a Republican and has no intention of switching parties. Sorry, Republicans.

Sources close to Assemblyman Don Gustavson (R-Reno) report that a recent survey of term-limited state Sen. Maurice Washington’s district found surprising strength for the conservative in a head-to-head GOP primary against Washoe County Commissioner Bob Larkin. Another conservative vs. moderate dust-up to keep an eye on.

And finally, Appeal letter writer Rheba Montrose demanded yesterday that I apologize to Gov. Jim Gibbons for criticizing him for not attending a recent Nevada GOP meeting. Montrose wrote that if I “had bothered to ask why he wasn’t there (I) would have found out that Jim Gibbons….was in Iraq.” Except….the meeting was held on July 13th and Gibbons reportedly didn’t leave for Iraq until July 16th. Apology demand denied.