Posts Tagged ‘Angle’

GOP Political Operative Sig Rogich Says Palin Not Electable As President

By Sean Whaley | 3:24 pm December 13th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Long-time Republican political operative Sig Rogich said today that Sarah Palin is not a viable candidate for president in 2012.

Rogich, who was involved in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents, said Palin, a Tea Party favorite and former Republican Alaska governor, is unelectable.

“I’m not overly enamored with (Palin),” he said.

“As a candidate nationwide I don’t think she is electable for a presidency, and I think that over time you will see reasons why,” Rogich said.

Rogich made his comments in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.

Rogich said he does not believe a clear front-runner for the GOP in the 2012 presidential election has emerged yet.

Asked about possible choices within the GOP to face President Obama, Rogich mentioned former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour as potential candidates.

Rogich also headed up Republicans for Reid in the Nevada Senate race. U.S. Sen. Harry Reid easily won another term on Nov. 2, and Rogich said early on he did not believe the outcome of the contest against GOP challenger Sharron Angle was ever in doubt.

A lot of Nevadans, including moderate Republicans, thought Angle was eccentric and took positions that were not good for the state despite flawed polling that showed a much closer race, he said.

“So I felt pretty good about winning this election,” Rogich said.

Audio clips:

Nevada political operative Sig Rogich says Sarah Palin is not electable as president:

121310Rogich1 :08 see reasons why.”

National Conservative Think Tank Launches Spanish Language Website

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 12:34 pm December 2nd, 2010

CARSON CITY – A national conservative think tank today launched a new website to give Spanish-speaking Americans access to its analyses and policy recommendations on the nation’s most pressing problems.

The Heritage Foundation launched, where the organization’s work on issues ranging from education reform to the new national health care law will be available in Spanish.

“The new website,, will give Spanish-speaking Americans access to the top-flight research and informed, conservative commentary that has helped Heritage build a center-right majority in the nation as a whole,” said Heritage Vice President for Communications Mike Gonzalez.

The new site will be in Spanish only.

“Surveys show that vast majorities of Hispanic Americans already embrace conservative attitudes, such as the desire for smaller government and less regulation,” he said. “They also cherish personal freedom and free enterprise – the promise of which drew them and their forebears to this country in the first place. Heritage Libertad will provide the hard facts and conservative analysis too often ignored by the liberal-dominated media currently serving the Hispanic community.”

 The new site, which is aimed both at the influential Spanish language media and Spanish speaking residents of the U.S., will include information, statistics and analysis of special interest to Hispanics, as well as blogs, audio and visual content in Spanish.

“Heritage Libertad will include a robust social media platform for sharing and discussion with an intention to give conservative, free market-oriented Hispanics the opportunity to meet, exchange views and form online communities of their own,” Gonzalez said.

In a teleconference announcing the launch of the new site, Gonzalez said the time is right to reach out to the nation’s Spanish-speaking communities.

He said the progressive agenda suggests incorrectly that the U.S. is an unfair country where Hispanics are victims who need big government assistance to become successful.

“We need to reach out to them and tell them the opposite,” Gonzalez said.

Israel Ortega, Spanish media associate for the Heritage Foundation who will serve as editor of the site, said issues from rising deficits and unrestrained government borrowing to education challenges are important to all citizens. Libertad will be a conservative voice on these policy issues for Spanish speakers, he said.

While Hispanic Americans may hold conservative views on many policy issues, turnout at election time suggests many vote for Democratic candidates.

In the Nov. 2 contest between Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. and GOP challenger Sharron Angle, exit polls showed that Hispanic voters played a key role in the majority leader’s election victory.

The Heritage Foundation, established in 1973, works to develop effective policy solutions based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values and a strong national defense.

Reno Mayor Cashell Defends Reid, Criticizes Extreme Right Element In GOP

By Sean Whaley | 9:00 am November 26th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Reno Mayor Bob Cashell said this week he expects to see Harry Reid continue to help northern Nevada in a variety of ways now that he has won re-election in a bitterly contested Senate race.

Cashell, interviewed Wednesday on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, is a Republican who supported Reid, D-Nev., in his bid for another term over GOP rival Sharron Angle.

“He’s done an outstanding job,” Cashell said. “Do I like everything going on in Washington, DC, no I don’t. But I didn’t like the alternative.”

Reid helped with Reno’s efforts to build a trench for the railroad to improve downtown and helped craft a water-sharing agreement with California over the use of Truckee River water, he said.

Cashell, elected as mayor for a final term, said Reid can help Nevada in a number of ways, including finding potential new uses for Yucca Mountain rather than the proposed nuclear waste dump. One alternative being discussed is a research center, including ways to reprocess nuclear waste, that could bring much-needed jobs to the state, he said.

Cashell said he switched to the Republican Party after a conversation with President Ronald Reagan who said the GOP can accommodate multiple points of view. He called the extreme right element of the current GOP party the RINOs, not himself or Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, who also endorsed Reid over Angle.

RINO is a term meaning “Republican In Name Only.”

The extreme element of the GOP is excluding moderates and as a result is hurting the party, he said.

Cashell also defended Raggio, who lost his job as state Senate minority leader after lending his support to Reid’s re-election bid. Cashell said Raggio’s leadership will be missed in the upcoming 2011 session where redistricting, the budget and taxes will all be critical issues for the state.

Cashell called Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, who took over the minority leadership position in the state Senate from Raggio, a “good guy.” But he said Raggio’s replacement was “petty and vindictive.”

“To call Bill Raggio a RINO is probably the most ridiculous thing that I’ve ever heard with what he’s done for the party and how he’s helped,” Cashell said. “He’s been a great Republican.”

Raggio was blamed for supporting a tax increase in the 2009 session of the Legislature, but without him the increase would not have come with a sunset clause, he said. The tax increase will expire next June 30 without an extension by lawmakers.

“I think they are going to miss his leadership,” Cashell said.

Audio clips:

Reno Mayor Bob Cashell says Sen. Reid has done a good job for Nevada:

112410Cashell1 :10 like the alternative.”

Cashell says extreme right in GOP are RINOs:

112410Cashell2 :12 they’re the RINOs.”

Cashell says calling Sen. Raggio a RINO is ridiculous:

112410Cashell3 :19 miss his leadership.”

Veteran GOP Leader Raggio Out In State Senate Leadership Shakeup

By Sean Whaley | 3:23 pm November 4th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Veteran Republican state Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, won’t be minority leader in the upcoming 2011 session, withdrawing his name from consideration for the leadership post today after getting GOP criticism for backing Sen. Harry Reid in the Tuesday general election.

The 10-member GOP Senate caucus instead unanimously supported Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, as minority leader. A member of the Senate since 1992, McGinness is in his last legislative session because of term limits.

No other caucus member sought the leadership post.

Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, who on Tuesday won a hard fought re-election campaign, was named assistant minority leader.

“I withdrew my name,” Raggio said. “If it unifies the party and pacifies some folks who are still agitated, that’s fine. My goal is to unify the party instead of splinter it.”

The Washoe County Republican Party put out a statement congratulating McGinness and thanking the GOP caucus for, “making the leadership change the caucus badly needed.”

“Senator McGinness truly represents the small government, low tax views of Washoe County Republicans and would be a strong unifying leader the party needs at this juncture,” the statement said. “The WCRP looks forward to working with Senator McGinness and the rest of the Republican caucus during the next legislative session and beyond.”

Reid said in a statement: “In this election Nevadans, Republicans, Democrats and independents voted to reject extremism. That some of Senator Raggio’s Republican colleagues even considered punishing him for being on the side of a majority of Nevadans shows that they clearly missed that message and are not listening to their constituents.

“Senator Raggio has served in the state Senate longer than any of his colleagues and he has been long respected by Republicans and Democrats alike,” Reid said. “He has been a true champion of the people of Nevada in his work to represent them in Carson City. I appreciate his support and look forward to working with him to do what is best for Nevadans.”

Raggio, who will also be serving in his last session because of term limits, won’t be in the top Republican leadership post for the first time since 1983. He has served in the Senate since 1973 and is Nevada’s longest serving state legislator.

Some state Republicans sought a replacement for Raggio because of his endorsement of Reid over GOP challenger Sharron Angle. Reid won re-election on Tuesday. Raggio also faced a contentious primary race against Angle in 2008 that created animosity between the two Northern Nevada Republicans.

This is not the first time Raggio has been at odds with the more conservative and libertarian factions of the party. In 2003, he joined Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn in support of a tax increase. Then, in 2009, Raggio and four other GOP senators joined Democrats to override Gov. Jim Gibbons’ veto of a state budget that included tax increases.

Raggio said today he will also voluntarily step down as a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. The newly elected GOP senators are seeking fundamental changes to the way state government is funded and Raggio said he did not want to be an impediment to the process.

“They are all good people,” he said. “They’ve got their job ahead of them. There is no question this is the toughest session we’ll ever face.”

Six of the 10 members of the caucus were newly elected on Tuesday.

The caucus meeting came just two days after Republicans picked up a seat in the 21-member Senate, closing the gap with Democrats to just one. Sen.-elect Michael Roberson defeated Democratic incumbent Joyce Woodhouse in Clark District 5 to reduce the margin from 12-9 in the 2009 session. Republicans also held on to an open Las Vegas seat and Cegavske fended off a challenge from a well-financed Democratic opponent.

Despite the increase in numbers, Raggio said he and his colleagues are concerned that Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, re-elected by his caucus yesterday, has devised a plan for committee assignments that will have 5-2 Democratic majorities on two committees in the 2011 session: Commerce and Labor and Health and Education.

“It is completely inequitable when you have an 11-10 split,” Raggio said. “It is hardly fair representation on a committee.”

Raggio said that when he questioned Horsford about the plan he was told there is precedent for such a move.

“I think this will cause concern and it is not the best way to start a session,” Raggio said.

Horsford could not be reached for comment.

Nevada’s “Actual” Unemployment Rate Hit 22.3% In Third Quarter

By Sean Whaley | 2:05 pm October 29th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s “actual” unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2010 increased to 22.3 percent from 21.5 percent in the second quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows a much worse unemployment situation in Nevada and nationally because it includes workers who are too discouraged to seek employment and have given up searching, and workers employed part time for economic reasons.

The number is generated as a three-month average every quarter.

The monthly unemployment report for Nevada for September, released a week ago, showed the state’s jobless rate at 14.4 percent, unchanged from August and still the highest in the nation. But the monthly jobless report underestimates the number of unemployed because it only estimates unemployed workers who are actively seeking employment.

In citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics data when the July Nevada jobless rate was reported, the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) said: “Despite the historic run up in the unemployment rate, the reality of the recession’s impacts on Nevada’s workforce is much worse than presented.

“Use of the alternative measure of unemployment for research purposes is limited since the information is only available for the past five years, so comparisons to past recessions is not possible,” DETR reported. “But, from a policy perspective, the actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy.”

Stacey Standish, a press information officer for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the numbers for the quarterly report are generated from a survey of 60,000 households nationwide. The 22.3 percent rate for Nevada, which is 16.8 percent nationally, includes part-time workers who want to work full time, and discouraged workers who have not actively sought employment over the past year, she said.

Nevada is tops in the nation in the Labor Statistics report, followed by California at 22.1 percent and Michigan at 21.3 percent.

The grim data comes out just days before the Nov. 2 general election, where the economy and jobs have been the major focus of candidates.

The state’s record high unemployment rate, combined with Congressional approval last year of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is aimed at reducing the national jobless rate, have become major campaign issues in the Nevada Senate race between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

The effectiveness of the stimulus spending also came up in a recent debate between Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Joe Heck in the Congressional 3 race. Heck called the stimulus bill a failure at generating jobs. Titus said the state’s unemployment rate would be much worse without the jobs created through the stimulus legislation.

Both Reid and Titus are locked in dead-heat races with their opponents.

Some of the stimulus projects have also been criticized as being wasteful, including a tree planting project in Clark County first reported by the Nevada News Bureau that made a GOP list of the top 100 worst projects nationwide.

The majority of the nearly $2.5 billion stimulus funds received by the Nevada have not gone to job creating projects. The money has spent on Medicaid caseloads and jobless benefits as specified in the legislation. Three jobless related programs alone account for nearly $1.3 billion in total spending in Nevada.

The federal stimulus reporting website shows 9,300 jobs created in Nevada from the stimulus funding through June 30.

The September 2010 Nevada unemployment report showed a total of just over 1.1 million jobs in the state, nearly 24,000 fewer jobs than in September 2009.

Nevada Secretary Of State Says No Evidence Of Vote Fraud

By Sean Whaley | 11:06 am October 27th, 2010

RENO – Secretary of State Ross Miller said today there have been no complaints filed with his office about suspicious voter activity despite email rumors and media accounts that at least some electronic voting machines are pre-programmed to support U.S. Senate candidate Harry Reid, D-NV.

Miller, holding the first of two media briefings on the allegations, urged anyone seeing a violation of election or voting law to file a formal complaint with his office so it can be investigated.

“I know that tensions are running high this election and that emotions are running very strong, but I want to set the record straight,” he said. “This is the entire reason that we have formed the Election Integrity Task Force in 2008. I’m not going to stand for any fraud or intimidation at the polling place, but nor will I stand idly by and listen to rumors and innuendos undermine the integrity of our electoral process.”

Miller said several allegations have been raised as early voting is set to conclude ahead of Election Day on Nov. 2, none of which have been substantiated.

The most shocking allegation came Tuesday from Boulder City resident Joyce Ferrara, who complained to Fox news in Las Vegas that when she went to vote for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, Reid’s name was already checked on the electronic voting machine.

Miller said he first heard of the allegation via a Google alert from Fox news, and subsequently on the Drudge Report. Miller said the voter did not contact his office but went directly to Fox5 News.

Miller said it is “technically impossible” for someone to pre-program software in Nevada’s voting machines because it is not a centralized process. The election is carried out by the 17 county election officials, he said.

While it possible for a voter to inadvertently select a candidate, it is not possible for the machine to automatically select a candidate, Miller said. The electronic voting machine has a verification screen at the end of the process so the voter can see who was selected. Only then is the vote cast, he said.

It is irresponsible and unfortunate that such claims are being made because it undermines the public’s confidence in the electoral process, Miller said.

Other claims in the run-up to Nevada’s election include that voters are being compensated to cast their ballots. The task force has not received any complaint of that occurring and neither has the FBI, Miller said.

The basis of these claims is rumor and innuendo, he said.

“We want the public to come forward,” Miller said. “If someone is compensating somebody by giving a Starbucks card in order to vote for Harry Reid, we want to know about it because that is a violation of state law and a violation of federal law.”

Voters can be given something of value to generally encourage them to vote under Nevada law, he said.

Miller said his office is investigating one formal 44-page complaint filed Tuesday by the Nevada Republican Party regarding differences in the number of votes cast on the machines and the paper voting logs. A secretary of state attorney outside the elections division is doing the investigation.

These differences occur every election cycle and are usually due to common elections procedures, he said. The numbers are always reconciled and all votes that are actually cast are counted, Miller said.

“That said, we’re taking these issues very seriously,” he said.

A final report of the investigation into the issue will be made available to the public.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters Dan Burk said voters have a role in the process as well. If they have a question or concern in the middle of the voting process they need to tell the poll workers right away.

“If they don’t let us know and they go ahead and cast their ballot, there is no way we can assist them,” he said.

Miller said election complaints can be filed on the secretary of state’s website main page in the lower left-hand corner by clicking on the Election Integrity Task Force Badge.

Audio clips:

Secretary of State Ross Miller says despite rumors and news reports, there is no evidence of vote fraud in the Nevada election:

101710Miller1 :28 our electoral process.”

Miller urges the public to come forward if they have evidence of attempts to buy votes:

102710Miller2 :12 of federal law.”

Nevada Rep. Dean Heller Says Taxes Are His Biggest Concern In Lame Duck Session Of Congress

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:38 pm October 19th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said today his biggest concern about a “lame duck” session of Congress following the Nov. 2 general election is the potential for tax increases.

Heller, in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said with Democrats in control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate despite what happens on election day that, “taxes are my biggest concern.”

“We do not know what we’re going to look like,” he said. “Here we are, less than 100 days out from the end of the year; we do not know what our tax structure is going to look like. And my biggest concern is this lame duck session we’re going to start raising taxes.”

Heller said he is concerned that the Bush tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year without action by Congress might not be extended for everyone.

“They are saying the top 2 or 3 percent, that we’re going to let those fade away,” he said. “That’s a huge tax increase on small businesses. Fifty percent of the small businesses in this country are going to be hit with a tax increase at the worst economic situation that we’ve had since the Great Depression and I don’t believe it bodes well.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in his debate with GOP opponent Sharron Angle last week that he wants to continue the tax cuts for the middle class, but added there is a large federal deficit that may require the wealthiest Americans to pay more.

In the interview, Heller again declined to say if he will run for the Senate seat now held by John Ensign, R-Nev., in 2012, saying, “we’ll talk about that in about six months.”

On Angle’s campaign and lead in a recent poll, Heller said he is not surprised.

A Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely Nevada voters released Monday showed Angle with 50 percent to Reid’s 47 percent. Two percent preferred another candidate in the race, and one percent were undecided. The race is considered a toss-up.

“This thing is going to go down to the wire,” Heller said. “I’ll be watching it like everyone else.”

Audio clips:

Rep. Dean Heller says he is concerned taxes may be increased in lame duck session of Congress:

101910Heller1 :14 start raising taxes.”

Heller says failure to extend tax cuts for all would mean a tax hike for small businesses:

101910Heller2 :18 it bodes well.”

Sarah Palin Energizes Tea Party Crowd, Tells Them To Support Sharron Angle In Nevada Senate Race

By Sean Whaley | 2:18 pm October 18th, 2010

(Corrected at 4:45 p.m. on Oct. 18, 2010 to reflect the actual statement by Sarah Palin about Russia in 2008)

(Updated at 4:02 p.m. on Oct. 18, 2010 to reflect crowd estimate.)

RENO – An enthusiastic crowd of Tea Party supporters showed up to cheer on former GOP Alaska Gov. and U.S. Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin today at one of what will be many stops across the county in advance of the Nov. 2 general election.

The Tea Party Express bus tour was scheduled to continue on to Elko today, then Ely and Las Vegas before heading east and ending in Connecticut on Nov. 1.

Palin spoke for about 25 minutes in a parking lot on South Virginia Street, urging those attending the rally to continue working through Election Day. Several people who attended the rally estimated the crowd at 1,000 to 1,500.

Palin made more than a few humorous comments in her address, saying “I can see November from my house,” a reference to her statement during the 2008 presidential election that Russia can be seen from land in Alaska. The comment was later spoofed on a “Saturday Night Live” episode.

She followed up with another statement: “Now we can see 2012 from our house,” a reference to the upcoming 2012 presidential election. Palin is considered to be a leading GOP candidate for president two years from now.

Palin said it is time for U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to retire, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Sharron Angle, the Republican challenger to Reid, did not attend the rally, but got an endorsement from Palin and the Tea Party, as did other Nevada conservative candidates. Angle will help repeal, “the mother of all unfunded mandates called Obamacare,” Palin said.

“I thank you for being so bold in your support of Sharron too,” she said. “Bless her heart the stuff they have thrown at her. Yet she’s still standing.”

Reid spokesman Jon Summers, in an email sent out today, noted that Angle failed to win the endorsement from her hometown newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal, which on Sunday endorsed Reid.

“The good news for Sharron is that she will have some supporters in Reno today,” Summers said. “The bad news? That support will consist of a Tea Party group from California run by Republican consultants, and Sarah Palin.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., attended the rally but did not speak. Heller said federal election law prohibits candidates from coordinating with the Tea Party Express.

Palin told the crowd to keep working, walking precincts, stuffing envelopes and all the other tasks that need to be done for conservative candidates across the country to ensure victory on Nov. 2.

Borrowing from Sharron Angle’s “man up” comment made to Reid at last week’s debate, Palin said current political leaders should “man up” and support Tea Party candidates.

The “bigwigs” in the political machine are “too chicken to come out and support the Tea Party candidates,” she said.

Palin warned the crowd not to take it easy yet. Democratic candidates and their supporters are taking cheap shots at conservative candidates, attacks that are not being challenged or repudiated by what she called the left wing media.

“Don’t be thinking that we have victory for America in the bag yet,” she said. “We can’t let up. We can’t get cocky about this.”

Sarah Palin speaks at Tea Party rally in Reno on Monday with hot air balloon in background

Republican State Senator Bill Raggio Announces Support For Reid In U.S. Senate Race

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 3:21 pm October 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – State Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, today announced he is supporting Democrat Harry Reid in his U.S. Senate race against GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

“Other than my inability to accept her extreme and often even radical ideas and positions, if there was any concern about my natural preference to endorse a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, it was removed altogether when Angle, in a secretly taped conversation, expressed her true feelings by slamming and disavowing the Republican Party saying it had ‘lost its standards and principles,’ ” Raggio said in a statement.

“We need someone in the U.S. Senate who can be effective, work with others, and best represent the interests of our State,” he said.

“Having said this, I am not pleased or supportive of many of the issues which Senator Reid has supported and I have told him so. I believe he understands that he must vote more strongly to represent the views of his Nevada constituency in the future rather than a liberal agenda which many feel drifts toward Socialism in America. With that caveat, I will reluctantly vote for Senator Reid’s re-election.”

Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio to Announce Endorsement In U.S. Senate Race This Week

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 7:56 pm October 6th, 2010

CARSON CITY – State Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio said today he will make an endorsement in the neck-and-neck U.S. Senate race within the next few days.

Raggio, R-Reno, the longest serving state lawmaker in Nevada history, told Jon Ralston on the Face To Face television program that there appears to be some interest in his endorsement in the race between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP rival Sharron Angle.

Polls show the contest as a dead heat between the two candidates.

Raggio, who served as majority leader in the state Senate from 1993 to 2007, was challenged by Angle in his 2008 re-election bid. He won the primary by just over 500 votes.

“I’m not prepared on your program tonight to tell you who I’m going to support in this race between Reid and Angle,” he said.

Raggio said this political season, “has been the most hateful in my memory.”

“But I will announce my support in the next day or so,” he said. “I still have some issues. I think both of these candidates have problems. There are issues in their campaigns that are disturbing.”

On the subject of the upcoming budget debate in the 2011 legislative session, Raggio said his task will be to first determine what essential services must be funded, then determine the gap between those services and anticipated tax revenues. Essential services include education, health and human services and public safety, he said.

Raggio said he expects the shortfall to be about $3 billion if a sunset on a package of tax increases approved by the 2009 Legislature to balance the current budget is not removed.

Both major party candidates for governor have rejected the call for tax increases to balance the state budget.

Raggio said he does not know how the budget can be balanced otherwise.

“I don’t know where they are going to get the money to fund these kind of essential services,” he said.

Audio clip:

Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio declines today to endorse in Reid-Angle race:

100610Raggio :10 Reid and Angle”

Parties Focus On Get-out-the-Vote Effort As Campaign Season Hits Critical Point

By Sean Whaley | 9:38 am October 4th, 2010

CARSON CITY – With the Nevada campaign season kicking into high gear in the four weeks remaining before election day, candidates and their supporters are also starting to focus on what could mean the difference between victory and defeat: voter turnout.

Both those running for office and political observers agree that many of Nevada’s races could be close, particularly the U.S. Senate race pitting Harry Reid against GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., predicted a few weeks ago the Reid-Angle race will be determined by as few as 5,000 votes.

There are also concerns about who or “what” will draw votes in some races. In statewide races in Nevada, voters can opt for “none of these candidates.” Disaffected voters could opt for this choice in the U.S. Senate race, or for governor and the other constitutional officers.

And unless a pending legal challenge is successful, Nevadans will also be able to vote for Nevada Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian.

Some Republicans have expressed concerns that both of these options could spell trouble for Angle in her bid to defeat the Senate Majority leader.

So get-out-the-vote efforts are under way in earnest with early voting set to begin in just about two weeks. Nearly 60 percent of those who voted in the 2008 general election in Nevada chose to vote early rather than on election day. Early voting runs from Oct. 16 to Oct. 29.

The Clark County Republican Party is actively recruiting more precinct captains to help walk in gated communities, as well as volunteers to help with phone banking.

“We have less than three weeks until early voting begins, and we need to reach as many of the Clark County voters as possible before October 16,” said an email from county Chairman Frank Ricotta.

Democrats are working to get out the vote as well. The Reid campaign is urging all Democrats to be sure to register to vote. Saturday was the deadline for voters to register online in Clark County or by mail statewide, but voters have until Oct. 12 to register in person.

“Time is running out, and it’s crucial to make sure our fellow Democrats are registered to vote,” the Reid campaign said.

Democrats are working the phone banks as well. On Friday, Lilly Ledbetter, the namesake of an equal pay measure signed into law by President Obama in 2009, made calls on behalf of Reid in Sparks.

While the Reid-Angle race is garnering the most attention, both parties are working hard in other races as well, particularly in state legislative contests where there is much at stake.

In the Assembly, Democrats now have a veto-proof 28-14 majority, and they are seeking to hold on to that advantage. Republicans want to pick up at least one seat to give then 15 votes, enough to block a tax increase or veto override.

In the Senate, Democrats are seeking to strengthen their majority of 12 to 14 where they too would hold a veto-proof majority. Republicans are seeking to hold on to their existing seats and pick up one more.

With a huge budget challenge and the potential for new taxes, as well as the once-a-decade process of drawing new political boundaries, major issues will confront lawmakers in the upcoming 2011 legislative session.

Turnover in the state Legislature will also be significant as term limits have kicked in for many incumbents. The Senate will see at least nine new members and the Assembly, 20.

Seats where Republicans see a chance to pick up a seat and that Democrats want to retain include: Assembly District 5, now held by freshman Democrat Marilyn Dondero Loop; District 10, now held by Democrat Joe Hogan; District 21, held by freshman Democrat Ellen Spiegel; District 29, held by freshman Democrat April Mastroluca; District 40, an open seat in Carson City; and the Clark Senate 5 seat held by freshman Democrat Joyce Woodhouse.

Seats Republicans hope to hold onto, and where Democrats see a chance for a pickup include: Assembly District 13, an open seat formerly held by Republican Chad Christensen; District 23, held by freshman Republican Melissa Woodbury; Clark Senate 8, held by Republican Barbara Cegavske; and Clark Senate 9, an open seat formerly held by Republican Dennis Nolan.

Nolan was defeated in the GOP primary in June by primary challenger Elizabeth Halseth, who now faces Democrat Benny Yerushalmi. Nolan was one of only 19 state Senate incumbents in 43 states nationwide to lose in a primary this year.

Even those favored to win continue to campaign on a daily basis, and some are picking up financial support.

Republican Jodi Stephens is seeking the open Assembly 32 seat in Sparks formerly held by Republican Don Gustavson, who is running for a state Senate seat. A number of lobbyists and businesses are holding a fundraiser for Stephens and Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, in Reno next week.

Stephens is facing fellow Republican Ira Hansen in the race. No other candidates filed. Goicoechea is facing Democrat John O’Connor.

John Wagner, the Independent American Party candidate for secretary of state, said several IAP candidates are working hard to win in November. Janine Hansen, running for the Assembly District 33 seat in Elko, and Stan Vaughan, running for the Assembly District 15 seat, are two of the party’s stronger candidates, he said.

Jeff Durbin, a candidate for Clark County Commission in District F, is also running a good campaign, Wagner said.

Former GOP Senate Candidate Chachas Says He May Run For Ensign Senate Seat In 2012

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 7:49 pm September 20th, 2010

Former Republican Senate candidate John Chachas said today he is now residing in Nevada and that he “may run” for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., in 2012.

“I may run,” he said in an interview with Jon Ralston on the Face To Face television program.

Chachas, a Wall Street investment banker originally from Ely, was one of several Republicans running in the crowded primary earlier this year for the right to challenge incumbent Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Sharron Angle won the primary and Chachas said he will vote for Angle on Nov. 2.

Chachas said he is concerned that some Nevada voters might opt for “none of the above” when voting in the race between Reid and Angle. He said a vote for none of these candidates, an option available to Nevada voters in statewide races, is a vote for Harry Reid.

Chachas said he believes Angle can defeat Reid, but that turnout is the key.

“A vote for none of the above or a vote for some other third party candidate is a vote for status quoism, for basically returning Senate Majority Leader Reid back to his post,” Chachas said. “And I think if you look at what is happening in this state, and look at what has happened for the last three or four years while he has been on watch, I want change.”

If too many voters, “out of disgust” opt for none of the above on the ballot then Reid will benefit, Chachas said.

Audio clips:

John Chachas tells Jon Ralston he might run for Ensign’s seat in 2012:

092010Chachas1 :07 it here first.”

Chachas says a vote for none of the above in the Senate race on Nov. 2 is a vote for Reid:

092010Chachas2 :19 I want change.”

Rep. Dean Heller Says Reid-Angle Race Likely To Be Determined By 5,000 Votes

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:09 pm August 25th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said today he believes the race between U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP challenger Sharron Angle will come down to 5,000 votes.

Heller said he believes most voters have already made up their minds about which candidate they will support in November, “I just don’t know which way it’s going to end up.”

But Heller, in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said also that both Reid and Angle have time to “change their message” or “invent themselves” if necessary.

Heller said Angle can win but she has an uphill climb against Reid, who has a well run campaign machine that is in full gear.

“Sharron has her work cut out for her but I think there is plenty of time for her to be successful,” he said.

Heller also sidestepped a question about his political ambitions in 2012, saying he is focused on getting re-elected to another term in Congressional District 2. Heller said he does not know if embattled incumbent Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., intends to seek re-election.

Both Heller and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., are considered potential candidates for the seat.

“This is not a safe time to take your election for granted,” Heller said. “So we’re going to work on this election and worry about some senate race down the road at a future time.”


Audio clips:

Heller says Sharron Angle can beat Reid but she has work cut out for her:

082510Heller1 :15 to be successful.”

Heller says Reid-Angle will come down to 5,000 votes:

082510Heller2 :11 to 5,000 votes.

Angle Criticizes Reid For Making Her Religion An Issue, Says Mosque Supporters Have a ‘Right to Build’ But Need to be ‘Sensitive’

By Sean Whaley | 4:35 am August 24th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle said in an interview last week that her opponent is trying to make her Christian religion an issue to divert voters from the real problems facing the U.S. and Nevada, including the economy and jobs.

Angle, appearing on the Nevada NewsMakers television program on Wednesday, said U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is distorting her Southern Baptist religious views and trying to make a campaign issue out of her faith.

“This has never been an issue in any other campaign until now,” she said.

Her comments came in response to a question from NewsMakers host Sam Shad, who read an email from a Republican voter and self-described atheist who said he is inclined to vote for Angle if she can clarify that she respects secular opinion and the secular nature of the Republic.

Angle said she would welcome such support.

“I’m very Reaganist in all of this,” she said. “If we agree 80 percent of the time we are friends. My message has always been the same: our economy, our jobs and our homes.”

The Reid campaign is attempting to paint Angle as having extreme views on a number of issues, including refusing to accept the separation of church and state.

Angle was also asked in the interview to respond to a comment by former Republican Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian in a New York Times story saying Reid had no chance to win before but is now favored to win.

Angle said Tarkanian is supporting her campaign and questioned whether he was quoted accurately.

Asked about the debate about whether a mosque should be built near Ground Zero in New York City, Angle said those supporting the project have a right to build where they own property, but that they should be take the concerns of many Americans into account.

“They need to be sensitive to the culture, they need to be sensitive to what happened on 9-11 and understand that this is one of those moments in American history that is very, very heartfelt,” she said.

Angle said her plan to get the $13.3 trillion federal deficit under control is to cut back spending by 5 percent per year for the next five years, prioritizing spending first for those programs and services the federal government should and must provide. Other programs are better performed by the states, and others should be done away with completely because they aren’t within the government’s purview, she said.

The services provided by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Education would be better provided by the states, Angle said.

Border security is an example of where the federal government should be prioritizing spending, she said.

“We need to keep our priorities straight which is first of all the common defense,” Angle said.


Audio clips:

Senate candidate Sharron Angle says Reid has made religion an issue in campaign:

081810Angle1 :12 talk about this.”

Angle says NYC mosque supporters should be sensitive to the 9-11 tragedy:

081810Angle2 :21 very, very heartfelt.”

Angle says cutting federal deficit would boost economy:

081810Angle3 :12 the rules are.”

Nevada Jobless Rate Actually Above 20 Percent Based On U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics Data

By Sean Whaley | 11:33 am August 21st, 2010

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s worst in the nation 14.3 percent unemployment rate for July does not even begin to tell the real story of the state’s dismal job situation, a state agency reported today.

The actual unemployment rate in Nevada through the second quarter of 2010 is 21.5 percent, according to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The announced jobless rate reported over the same time frame was 13.1 percent, an 8.4 percentage point difference.

“The actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy,” says the news release from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

The agency said the difference in the two numbers is due to the fact that the monthly jobless report underestimates the number of unemployed. The monthly report only estimates unemployed workers who are actively seeking employment. It does not include workers who are too discouraged to seek employment and have given up searching, or workers employed part time for economic reasons.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics measures the actual unemployment rate by state as a four quarter moving average. That average through June 30 is 21.5 percent.

“Use of the alternative measure of unemployment for research purposes is limited since the information is only available for the past five years, so comparisons to past recessions is not possible,” DETR reported. “But, from a policy perspective, the actual unemployment rate presents a more complete picture of what is currently occurring in the economy.

“Despite the historic run up in the unemployment rate, the reality of the recession’s impacts on Nevada’s workforce is much worse than presented,” the report said.

The July monthly report released today shows a one-tenth of a percentage point increase in the jobless rate to 14.3 percent, a new state record and the 16th consecutive new high for the state. Nearly 200,000 people are looking for work.

The report shows that Nevada saw the loss of 9,600 jobs in July, with 5,600 of those coming from the public sector. But for the first time since March, private employers reported fewer jobs as well, according to the report.

The report also notes that in June the Las Vegas metropolitan area had the highest jobless rate of all metro areas with one million or more population, surpassing even Detroit, Mich.

With an increase of an additional two-tenths to 14.8 percent in July, Las Vegas will likely maintain the highest rate for yet another month, the agency reported.

The state’s record high unemployment rate, combined with Congressional approval last year of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is aimed at reducing the national jobless rate, have become major campaign issues in the Nevada Senate race between Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP challenger Sharron Angle.

Many Republicans are calling the stimulus act a failure at creating jobs and full of wasteful spending.

Reid has defended the program, which a spokesman said today will bring over $3 billion in federal funding to create jobs and spur economic growth in Nevada.

Nevada State Controller Kim Wallin has added a weekly stimulus funds report to her website detailing the most current ARRA activity in Nevada.

The summary is intended to compliment the quarterly ARRA reports also provided by the controller’s office summarizing the financial activity as of the end of the quarter and specific information about on-going stimulus projects.

As of June 30, the state had been awarded just under $2.5 billion in stimulus funds, with nearly $2 billion actually received by the state and just under that amount spent, according to the quarterly report.

The report says that during the period from April 1 through June 30, 6,597 jobs were funded by the recovery act. State stabilization funding account­ed for 5,050 jobs within the Nevada System of Higher Education. In addition K-12 Education accounted for 521, transportation accounted for 296, and health and human services accounted for 265 added jobs.

The National Senatorial Republican Committee (NRSC) weighed in today on Nevada’s unemployment rate, saying it is proof that the stimulus program signed into law in February 2009 has failed.

The funding bill has been criticized as well for including spending on questionable projects, such as a tree planting program in Clark County, among others.

“If you’re a monkey with a cocaine addiction or a smoker who needs a cell phone, this stimulus boondoggle has been a great success,” said NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh. “Unfortunately, if you’re a Nevada family struggling to make a mortgage payment, a worker trying to find a job or a young person who will ultimately be responsible for paying back the billions that Harry Reid has borrowed on the government credit card, the stimulus has been a stunning failure.”

Reid spokesman Kelly Steele said the stimulus dollars have prevented “Great Depression” levels of unemployment.

“Our economic times are still extremely tough and recovery certainly won’t happen overnight, but the very last thing Nevadans need is someone like Sharron Angle, who believes it’s not her job to get Nevadans back to work, would shred the safety net that puts food on their tables, and opposes Sen. Reid’s Wall Street reform that would ensure our current housing and foreclosure crisis will never happen again,” Steele said.