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Political Potpourri

Today is former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich’s 90th birthday. Happy Birthday, Congresswoman!

Herman Cain was the first GOP prez candidate to confirm his participation at the 2011 Conservative Leadership Conference and Presidential Debate yesterday. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, announced yesterday that he would NOT participate in the July 10 Las Vegas debate. No reason was given.

Despite issuing statement today declaring that “we must stop spending money we don’t have,” Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nevada) has not yet signed the “Cut, Cap & Balance” pledge sponsored by the Club for Growth.

Read and sign the pledge yourself HERE.

Urge Rep. Heck to join you in signing the pledge HERE.

Former USS Cole skipper Kirk Lippold built up a lot of good will on the campaign trail over the months leading up to last weekend’s GOP selection of former Republican Chairman Mark Amodei as their standard-bearer for September’s special election for the 2nd Congressional District seat. But he pitched it all away after stating that he would run for the seat no matter what the Central Committee decided.

No wise. As I’ve taught candidates for many years, the party folks can’t help you anywhere near as much as you think they could and should; however, they can hurt you in ways you can never imagine if you put a burr under their saddle….which is exactly what Lippold did on Saturday.

The other major candidate in the CD2 race, state Sen. Greg Brower, said he accepted the decision of the Central Committee and would not challenge Amodei even if the Nevada Supreme Court reverses the district court’s decision and makes the special election a free-for-all once again. Smart move. He’s now well-positioned to run for attorney general in 2014 after his state senate term is up.

GOP CD2 nominee Mark Amodei’s out-of-the-chute TV ad warning of a Chinese take-over if we don’t get our financial house in order not only raised his profile nationally, it raised serious awareness of the issue. And it appears Amodei’s position on the issue is the majority’s position on the issue.

Yesterday, Amodei’s pollster, John McLaughlin, released the results of their latest survey showing that “44 percent of all voters say that Congress should raise the debt ceiling but only if it is tied to spending caps and significant cuts in federal spending,” while “39 percent say that Congress should not raise the debt ceiling at all.”

When you’re on the same side as 83% of voters, I’d say you’re fairly well positioned.

On Tuesday, state Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness announced that “rookie” state Sen. Michael Roberson has been tapped to serve as chairman of the caucus’ Campaign Committee. “Roberson will lead fundraising and recruiting efforts for Republican Senate candidates,” McGinness explained in a news release, “and will help organize the GOP ground game for the upcoming 2012 election cycle.”

Smart move. If only Republicans in the state assembly were so smart.

Gov. Brian Sandoval won a concession from the Legislature allowing the state’s top chief executive to appoint the State Superintendent of Public Schools. Alas, the current not-so-super superintendent, Keith Rheault, has a contract through 2013.

Our kids can’t and shouldn’t have to wait that long. Sandoval ought to fire Rheault and pay him off to vamoose immediately and hire Michelle Rhee to replace him! All in favor?

From Geoff Lawrence of NPRI: “While the 76th Legislative Session will be remembered as yet another session when the (Supreme) Court, to the surprise of many, threw a monkey wrench into the budget debate, what should be equally memorable is the governor’s sudden unwillingness to support a spending level that he himself initially proposed.”

What he said.

Speaking of that budget deal, Republicans were crowing about how they got meaningful reforms to the state’s out-of-control collective bargaining troubles in return for jacking up taxes some $600 million. Not so, however, according to a story in yesterday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal:

“Part of a new law aimed at keeping publicly paid supervisors from unionizing will have no effect in Clark County, according to labor, business and government leaders. The heads of local supervisors’ unions say the law contains such a narrow definition of supervisors who are ineligible to organize that it will affect none of their members.”

Republicans were offered a bag of magic beans and some table scraps in exchange for higher taxes….and they fell for it. Again.

Speaking of which, Ass. Mark Sherwood aggressively pushed for negotiating with Democrats for those tax hikes this past session as a way to get GOP bills passed. How’d that work out? Well, Sherwood introduced six bills. Every one of them was killed. Brilliant “strategery” there. Hey, Mark, would you vote for higher taxes and get nothing in return? “Surewould.”

Next month’s election for a new GOP honcho for the Clark County Republican Party will pit two veteran activists against each other: Eddie Facey and David Gibbs. Early money is on Gibbs, but questions are being raised over his scheduled 3-month deployment as an adviser to Iraq shortly after the election.

Speaking of the Clark GOP, all of the southern Nevada Republican legislators have reportedly been kicked off the Central Committee for missing two consecutive meetings while they were deployed to Carson City for the 2011 legislative session. Stupid is as stupid does.

Up north, Nevada GOP Treasurer Dave Buell will take the reins of the Washoe Republican Party on July 1st, filling the shoes of highly respected/well-liked outgoing chief Ralph McMullen.

Meanwhile, former Nevada GOP spokes-babe Ciara Matthews has been hired as Communications Director for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List organization in Washington, DC. Her focus “will be on overseeing political and legislative communications, including traditional, online and social media.”

Sorry to see Ciara leave Nevada….but we wish her luck and suspect the prodigal daughter will one day make it back home.

And finally, word on the street is that university regents ponied up big time for a parting gift for outgoing Chairman James Dean Leavitt: $1,700 for a pair of cowboy boots. Yowza! But I guess it was cheaper than a gold watch at today’s prices.