Posts Tagged ‘Chachas’

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.”

Team Chachas Gets Bonus Points for Creativity

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:17 pm June 1st, 2010

Check out The Elephant Ad.

In other Chachas-related news, we had (this morning) a corrected press release stating that only one of two previously mentioned and hardly-heard-of candidates was dropping out and endorsing him:  Gary Bernstein.

Never heard of Gary?  Here is his website featuring the one TV ad I saw him run, plus his bio.

Anyhow, the last M-D poll had Chachas polling at 2%.  He’s reportedly been courting the Undecideds as best he can, but that is only 10 to 15% of likely voters.

Even in the highly unlikely event (snowballs, anyone?) that Chachas were to win the hearts and minds of all GOP voters who have yet to make up their minds, he would still only come in at 12 to 17%.  Which would land him in fourth place.

Which, if it happened, would be fairly respectable for a man who, comparative to the three frontrunners, spent very little time and money competing against the field.

PAC Using Chachas As Fundraising Tool

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:09 pm May 12th, 2010

You may or may not know there is a small war going on in and between Nevada conservative grassroots groups over which candidate is the greatest conservative ever to walk the face of the earth and which candidate secretly works for Lucifer.

As the bombs and mortars have flown, Debbie Landis of Action is Brewing has been widely criticized for expressing her personal support of John Chachas, and there have been Words — both on and off the record — between she and the Angle-endorsing Tea Party Express as well as between she and Nevada grassroots types who do not approve of her choice.

The thing is, if you ask 10 conservative grassroots types whom they support in the U.S. Senate race, you’re quite likely to get 5 to 10 different answers.  They are all over the map, so for any grassroots or Tea Party group to lay claim to “The” preferred candidate is kinda silly.

Anyhow, from Western Representation PAC this afternoon, a missive looking for funds in order to run a newspaper ad against Chachas:

The Senate race to replace Harry Reid is critical for the Tea Party Movement in the 2010 midterm elections. It is critical that the Tea Party movement capitalize on this opportunity to elect a candidate that represents our constitutional values!

John Chachas is running in the Republican primary and has been using his vast personal fortune to buy support from conservatives. The problem is, Chachas is the worst kind of politician who embodies all that is wrong with the politicians we have in Washington right now. It would be a disaster to pass up the chance to replace Harry Reid with a true-blue conservative and instead support someone as flawed as John Chachas.

During the last presidential election John Chachas gave the MAXIMUM personal contribution to BARACK OBAMA! Chachas has all sorts of reasons he offers now as to why he gave Obama the money. Our favorite is where he says he did it to help elect the weakest candidate on the Democrat side. So Mr. Chachas is either disingenuous or dumb. But we’re sick of Republican candidates trying to curry favor with liberal Democrats by giving them campaign contributions, and then coming back years later to run for office and then explain what they really were doing when they gave the money. It all stinks, and it’s the last kind of person we need to be the Republican challenger to Harry Reid.

John Chachas has never held elected office so there is no voting record to judge him by, there is only what he says and what he has done:

Chachas says: I’m a Nevadan.

Chachas does: Chachas has lived his ENTIRE adult life in New York. He only moved back to Nevada 7 months ago to try and buy a Senate seat.

Chachas says: I’m a conservative.

Chachas does: Gave the Maximum Contribution allowed by law to Barack Obama.

Help us stop this Obama donor posing as a Republican by making a contribution —– [HERE]

The Western Representation PAC has set a goal of raising $10,000 to run newspaper ads exposing the truth about John Chachas and his support for Barack Obama. Please make a contribution of $10, $25, $100 or more to help us get the word out about the REAL John Chachas. Your donation of $50, $100 or more today will allow us to continue our fight to stop political corruption in our government.

The Western Representation PAC is a grassroots organization based in Nevada and a partner organization of Tea Party Express III. We are the sponsor of the Campaign Against Harry Reid on Facebook which has over 11,000 supporters. Join us at

A secure donation can be made by clicking the donation button.

Thank you for your support.

Dustin Stockton


Western Representation PAC

I am not an apologist for Chachas, but I will say this:

John Chachas spent $2300 on the Dem candidate he believed was weaker than Hillary and then raised nearly $70,000 for the Republican in the presidential race, so he was responsible for moneys raised 25:1 in favor of the GOP.  He never hid from the donation and has since said it was a mistake.

As to his being “dumb” or “disengenuous,” anyone who has met or seen Chachas in action knows he is anything but stupid or scripted.  He understands global finance and world markets and since graduating with honors from Columbia and Harvard has enjoyed a successful 25-year career that would easily qualify him for the Senate Banking Committee were he to be elected.

Re: the man’s “vast fortune”, if you read the filings, you’ll find he’s not really all that wealthy — although he’s matched 2 dollars for every 1 dollar invested in him by his supporters — but financial success in the Land of Opportunity should not be a disqualification in any case.

And Chachas may have been living and working in New York since college, but he is only U.S. Senate candidate actually born and raised in Nevada.  His family has deep roots in the state dating back 90 years, longer than every other person on the ballot.

Voters can make of all that what they will and then donate (or not) to Western Representation PAC for their newspaper ad.  Early voting starts next weekend.

Straw Poll Results from Friday’s KDWN-hosted GOP Debate

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:02 am May 3rd, 2010

A straw poll was taken during the KDWN GOP Debate help Friday night at the Orleans. 595 ballots were returned out of 800 distributed. The results (winners in bold text):

CD 1

Fiore 12.7 %

Lake 29.6 %

Tatner 57. 7 %

CD 3

Bridges 27.1%

Heck 72.9 %

U.S. Senate

Angle 27.1%

Chachas 21.3%

Christensen 10.6%

Lowden 16.1%

Tarkanian 24.9%

Economy, Health Care and Harry Reid Hot Topics at GOP Senate Debate

By Sean Whaley | 1:36 pm April 24th, 2010

RENO – Half a dozen candidates in the crowded GOP field seeking to take on Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate race in November debated here Friday, with responses showing more agreement than discord on issues ranging from immigration reform to the need to reduce the size of the federal government.

Businesswoman and front-runner Sue Lowden, Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian, former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, current Assemblyman Chad Christensen, investment banker John Chachas, and military veteran Bill Parson, all participated in the 90-minute exchange sponsored by Anger is Brewing, an active group in the Nevada Tea Party movement.

Polls show several of the GOP candidates defeating Reid in a head-to-head match-up.

Candidates were asked what the federal government’s role should be in rebuilding the economy.

Chachas, who grew up in Ely, said the best way for the federal government to help would be to get out of the way.

“We have an economy that is enormously dynamic, and the more the government imposes itself on it, the worse this recession will be, the longer it will last,” he said. “The government trying to decide which industries we want to invest in is a bad idea.”

Creating short-term government jobs won’t work either, Chachas said, adding that it’s important to control the “head count” of public employees which is the nation’s fastest growing employment sector.

Lowden said government needs to get out of the way, but it should cut taxes as well to spur economic growth.

Cutting the corporate tax, the payroll tax and zeroing out capital gains are all ways to help the country get back on its feet, she said.

Christensen said the first objective to restoring the economy is replacing Reid, the Senate majority leader.

“I will take the fight to make sure that the federal government stops meddling in Nevada,” he said. “We have to make sure our entrepreneurs have a home and it’s here, and that we’re able to attract industry to this business mecca and magnet called the state of Nevada.”

Angle said her economic policy is called “pay back, cut back and take back.” It stands for pay back the deficit, cut back on taxation, spending and regulation and take back by repealing the federal health care law.

“Our government shouldn’t be involved in our economy here in Nevada,” she said. “I have a record of no new taxes as your state legislator.”

Angle said her first bill would be to “unfund Obamacare.”

Tarkanian said his economic plan talks about reducing taxes, but also seeks to lessen burdensome federal regulations.

“We have to reign in the power of the EPA, OSHA, and some of these other agencies that are costing our businesses so much money where they can’t compete internationally and preventing them from expanding and increasing,” he said.

Tarkanian said he also supports turning Yucca Mountain into a site for reprocessing of nuclear waste, which would generate jobs for the Nevada economy.

All the candidates said they support tax reform with numerous references to abolishing the income tax and going to a “fair tax” or “flat tax” system.

The candidates were also asked to comment on the federal health care legislation.

Christensen said the law puts a $600 million burden on the state of Nevada that the citizens cannot afford to pay at a time of economic crisis.

“We absolutely have to repeal,” he said. “It is a crying shame that our senior senator Harry Reid called that his bill and that’s why he has got to go.”

Chachas said repealing the law is a simple matter of introducing legislation in Congress, but Republicans have to offer an alternative.

The way to bring health care costs down is to put consumers in charge of their purchasing decisions, he said.

Lowden said legislation to repeal won’t work if there isn’t a president who will sign such a measure. In the meantime, Congress should stop funding elements of the bill such as the hiring of 17,000 IRS agents to enforce the law, she said.

Tarkanian said he supports repeal as well and that a court challenge is the best option. One key to reducing the cost of care is tort reform, he said.

Angle said as a state legislator, she sought a repeal of the mandated coverages required in Nevada for a health care policy to lower costs. Angle said she also introduced tort reform legislation.

Parson said the states should sue to overturn the law, but must also look at a long-term strategy.

“We must say that we the people, will not tolerate this type of disrespect towards the Constitution,” he said.

Following the health care question was a discussion of state’s rights and the 10th amendment.  All the candidates said they believe the federal government has to some degree over-stepped its Constitutional authority and that the states need to fight for more sovereignty in policy making.

The candidates were also asked what their major weakness would be if they win the primary and face Reid, who is expected to have a campaign war chest of $25 million

Chachas said Reid will try to make his 25 years of experience in the private sector a liability, but said it is actually his biggest asset.

Angle said she would be painted as too conservative, but that she will lead a broad coalition of groups, from the Eagle Forum to gun owners, who all say Reid has to go.

Christensen enumerated the many reasons why he believes he has the best chance to defeat Reid, including the fact he has won every political race he has run. He got a laugh from the crowd when, asked to answer the question about his liabilities, Christensen said he didn’t know of any.

Lowden said she has already been attacked by Reid on a variety of issues, and that those attacks will intensify if she advances in the primary. But Lowden said she defeated the state Senate majority leader in 1992 and so knows how to deal with political attacks.

Lowden drew laughter and applause when she said that if Harry Reid spends $25 million in Nevada in the general election, it would give the state “the best stimulus” he’s provided yet.

Tarkanian said Reid will trot out the discredited opposition research used against him in previous races, but said he can deflect it because it has been proven in court to be false and defamatory. Tarkanian said he will focus on Reid’s poor record as a senator.

Candidates agreed that immigration reform is needed and were generally opposed to amnesty while differing slightly in their policy focus.

Chachas emphasized the need to enforce existing laws, while Tarkanian talked about removing incentives to illegal immigrants such as taxpayer funded welfare benefits, education and medical care.

Christensen congratulated Arizona on their new immigration law, and Angle agreed Arizona needs to “stop the invasion” of illegal immigrants into their state.

Lowden said she “absolutely agrees with what Arizona is doing.”

Parson suggested giving all illegal immigrants 90 days notice to leave the country or sending law enforcement to remove them forcibly.

New Poll Shows Lowden Still Leading, Angle Gaining in U.S Senate Primary

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 10:46 am April 23rd, 2010

In an automated one-question survey of likely Republican voters conducted for the Nevada News Bureau on April 22 by PMI, Inc., U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden earned 41 percent of the vote compared to 24 percent for Danny Tarkanian, 17 percent for Sharron Angle and 18 percent who prefer someone else.

The poll question read as follows:

This is a one question voter information survey being conducted by the Nevada News Bureau. If the election were held today in the Republican primary for United States senate would you vote for Sharron Angle, Sue Lowden, Danny Tarkanian or do you prefer someone else?

For Sharron Angle press 1, for Sue Lowden press 2, for Danny Tarkanian press 3, or if you would prefer someone else press 4.

2,675 individuals participated in the poll, and the survey has a + or – 5% margin of error.

According to a Mason-Dixon GOP primary survey taken in early April in which pollsters floated all the Republican candidates for U.S Senate and questioned 300 Republicans, Lowden drew 45 percent of the vote while Tarkanian earned 27 percent and Angle pulled in just 5 percent.  Chad Christensen earned 4 percent, John Chachas earned 3 percent and 16 percent were undecided.

The Mason Dixon survey had a +/- 6% margin of error.

GOP Senate Candidate John Chachas will Remain in Race through Primary Despite Low Poll Numbers

By Sean Whaley | 3:11 pm April 21st, 2010

CARSON CITY – GOP Nevada U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas will stay in the race through the June primary despite a poor showing in a recent poll, saying today those results did not fully reflect a television ad campaign he initiated only recently.

Chachas, in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said his own internal polling numbers show him with “considerably higher numbers,” although he did not specify his level of support among Republican voters.

Despite front-runner Sue Lowden’s showing of 45 percent in a recent Las Vegas Review-Journal poll, Chachas said he will continue in his campaign to focus on substantive issues that others are not talking about. The race right now is focused more on sound bites that substance, he said.

Chachas, an investment banker raised in Ely, said he believes the view held by many that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cannot win re-election is “overplayed.”

“Harry Reid believes that with 44, 45 percent of the vote, he can win,” Chachas said. “He believes it particularly if he has the wrong Republican candidate on the other side.”

The wrong candidate is one who cannot appeal to Nevada independents, Libertarians and Ron Paul supporters, he said.

“They’re disenfranchised by the Republican brand and the Democratic brand and they are independent thinkers,” Chachas said.

Chachas said if Reid gets strong Democratic support and picks up some support from nonpartisan voters and the GOP candidate cannot draw enough support from these other voting blocs, Reid, “is playing a hand where he can win.”

“I think, when it gets right down to it, that I have a place at this table speaking to those folks about economic issues and how to turn the government around and make it responsive to the people again,” he said.

Chachas did not mention her by name, but Lowden does not have support from at least some Ron Paul supporters after they alleged she used her position as chairwoman of the Nevada State Republican Party to thwart them from being chosen as delegates to the 2008 Republican presidential convention.

Asked for a response, Lowden Campaign Manager Robert Uithoven said: “No matter how recent any candidate has moved to Nevada or has been registered to vote here, I would hope they would have a subscription of our local newspapers. In them, they will read that Sue Lowden has led Harry Reid in 17 consecutive polls, including one that was published just days ago in the Las Vegas Review-Journal – showing that Sue Lowden beats Harry Reid by double-digits, even with the full slate of general election candidates on the ballot.”

Chachas also responded to a question about whether a contribution he made to the Obama campaign will hurt him among Nevada Republican voters.

Chachas said it was a tactical move, but called it “one of my better blunders in life.” Chachas said he was raising nearly $70,000 for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney at the time and believed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was a more formidable opponent. He gave $2,300 in late 2007 to then-presidential candidate Barack Obama.

“Does it hurt me?” he said. “There are people who are dogmatic for whom that is a terrible thing to give a dollar to any Democrat. It is the only Democratic donation I’ve made in my entire life.”

GOP U.S. Senate Front-Runner Sue Lowden says Reid Will Go Negative in Re-election Bid

By Sean Whaley | 2:06 pm April 19th, 2010

(Updated at 4:51 p.m. on April 19, 2010)

CARSON CITY – Nevada GOP U.S. Senate candidate and front-runner Sue Lowden said she expects a negative campaign from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid if she wins the crowded Republican primary in June.

Recent polls have put Lowden at the front of the primary pack, which also includes Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian, former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, investment banker John Chachas and others.

Lowden said in an interview on Nevada NewsMakers today that Reid, who is shown losing to Lowden and other GOP primary contenders in recent polls, established the tone of the campaign when one of his advisers said last year that Reid would “vaporize” her or any other GOP opponent in a general election contest.

Lowden said Reid’s anticipated $25 million war chest for his re-election campaign gives him the opportunity to pursue all types of tactics, such as having individuals follow her to every event she attends in order to videotape everything she says.

“I’ve been followed everywhere, for instance, with a videocam at all of my town hall meetings,” she said. “They’ve hired a professional to go from town hall meetings to wherever I’m at with a videocam.”

“I’m not intimidated by it, but I think the public needs to know to what extent the Reid campaign is following me and is going to be negative,” Lowden said.

Lowden said she does not know whether her campaign will pursue similar tactics.

But Reid’s voting record is there for public scrutiny and is fair game in an election, she said.

Lowden said it was this use of a video camera that lead to the recent Reid attacks on her comment that people should barter with their doctors on the price of a visit or treatment.

That few seconds clip of her comment, which also led to a joke about the proposal from Jay Leno, came from a town hall meeting in Mesquite, she said.

Lowden did not back off the comment, saying people who have a personal financial stake in the cost of their health care are raising such questions about negotiating with their health care providers. This is already happening in Nevada and other states, she said.

But it is also just one element of her health care proposal that can be found on her website, she said.

In a response to Lowden’s comments, Kelly Steele, communications director for Reid, said: “This campaign will continue to communicate Sen. Reid’s record of delivering for Nevadans in these tough economic times, but we will swiftly and forcefully respond to the relentless attacks of our opponents – be they from Sharron Angle, Danny Tarkanian, or Sue Lowden.

“Ultimately, Lowden should spend less time complaining about what our campaign is doing and more time telling the people of Nevada the truth,” he said.

Lowden said her strong showing in the primary is a surprise since she has never been on a statewide ballot in Nevada. Lowden is a former state senator and former chairwoman of the Nevada State Republican Party.

Lowden said her background as a state lawmaker and years of experience as a businesswoman make her uniquely qualified to go “toe to toe” with Reid.

Mason Dixon #s on US Senate Race

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:54 pm April 11th, 2010

News Flash:  Sue Lowden is still the GOP candidate most likely to win a chance to take down the most powerful Senator in the land.  Even with the “Tea Party” candidate on the ballot.  So says the latest poll at the LVRJ.  Some snippets:

– Reid’s unfavorables are at 56% and just four out of 10 voters say they’d pull the lever for him.

– BUT:  Reid will have around $25M to spend on winning hearts and minds.

– If the GOP primary election were held today, survey says:

■ Lowden would win 45%

■ Tarkanian, 27%

■ Angle, 5%

■ Christensen, 4%

■ Chachas, 3%

– 16% were undecided and the other seven (!!) GOP hopefuls didn’t register on the radar

– In the general election match-up with three named candidates — including Scott Ashjian, Tea Party of Nevada candidate — the poll showed:

■ Lowden would win with 46%, Reid would get 38%, and Ashjian would get 5% — with 11% undecided

So…if the Undecideds were to split three ways and somewhat evenly, or split evenly between Reid and Ashjian, Lowden still has the edge.  Reid would have to win virtually all the Undecideds to pull it off.

■ Tarkanian v. Reid: each would get 39% with Ashjian picking up 11% (and that same 11% is undecided)

On Ashjian:

– 1% had a favorable opinion of him, 13% had an unfavorable opinion, 27% were neutral, and 59% didn’t recognize his name.

Sampling info:  The statewide telephone poll questioned 625 registered voters who said they vote regularly in state elections. It has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points. For the GOP primary survey, pollsters questioned 300 Republicans, and the results had a 6 percentage point margin of error.

From the RJ story:

The Reid campaign also contends the Mason-Dixon poll isn’t a true ballot test because it doesn’t include the full general election slate of eight candidates, including the Democratic senator who faces little-known primary opposition, the GOP nominee, several nonpartisan candidates and one each from the Independent American Party and the Tea Party of Nevada, and “none of these candidates.”

Also, the Reid campaign insists that once a Republican nominee is chosen, the senator will be able to make a case for why voters should send him back to Washington for a fifth Senate term instead of a freshman Republican lawmaker whose record and positions Reid is prepared to pick apart.

Yep.  If Reid can use that $25M to make gains and the vote splits enough different ways and in the right proportions on November 2nd, he could still pull it off.  He knows it; we all know it.

Also from the RJ piece:

Tarkanian’s campaign credited Lowden’s early, six-figure TV ad campaign for putting her ahead of the GOP pack, and is counting on a late surge with stepped up TV and radio ads for a comeback. He’s launching a new TV ad Monday, featuring supporters talking about the leadership style of the real estate businessman and former University of Nevada, Las Vegas basketball star, his campaign said.

“We have not gone into full campaign mode with advertising,” said Jamie Fisfis, a consultant for Tarkanian who said his internal polling shows his client doing well. “Obviously we expect things to change. Our goal is to be ahead on June 8 not April 8.”

Sure, sure.  But 18 points in 8 weeks…?

We can definitely expect to see plenty of Lowden-bashing from both the Reid and Tarkanian camps in the next two months.

More Calls for Ensign’s Resignation Trickle In

By Sean Whaley | 8:08 am April 11th, 2010

(Updated at 10:02 a.m. and again at 10:41 a.m. on April 11, 2010)

CARSON CITY – Despite being described as a “wounded” senator who has not been effective in representing Nevada in Washington, DC, state Republican officials and candidates surveyed by the Nevada News Bureau for the most part are still not calling on U.S. Senator John Ensign, R-Nev., to step down.

Ensign, under the cloud of an ethics investigation over whether he provided inappropriate and possibly illegal help to former administrative assistant Doug Hampton, was called upon to resign earlier this week by two former Clark County GOP officials. Ensign last year acknowledged having an affair with Hampton’s wife.

Among the few Republicans willing to call for Ensign’s resignation was Michael Roberson, candidate for Senate District 5.

“As a taxpayer and constituent, I have heard and read enough to join other Nevadans in calling for Senator Ensign to resign,” said Roberson. “His behavior shows a callous disregard for moral decency, the dignity of his office and for those of us who elected him.”

“I realize that some suggest that we should wait for the Senate Ethics Committee and U.S. Department of Justice investigations to conclude before making such a determination. However, through his own admitted actions, I do not believe Senator Ensign is worthy of the job he currently holds, and that he is in fact letting Nevadans down by continuing to fight for his job,” he said.

Roberson said that whether Senator Ensign is indicted or cleared is a legal matter and not his top concern.

“As an attorney and a member of the Nevada Bar, I certainly respect our legal system, and I believe Senator Ensign does deserve a full, fair and complete investigation,” he said. “However, the behavior he has shown and the decisions he has made make him an unsuitable representative for our state.”

“Our congressional delegation is weakened by this scandal – and therefore, so is our representation in Congress. Nevada taxpayers  deserve better. It is time for Senator Ensign to resign and allow a more suitable and effective Senator to replace him,” he said.

Ira Hansen, a Sparks resident running for Assembly District 32, also said he thinks Ensign should step down.

“I’ve been a big Ensign supporter from Day One,” he said. “I still think very highly of the guy. But I am extremely disappointed in his unfortunate personal behavior.”

“While it is true that Ensign is innocent until proven guilty,” Hansen said, “his violation of his family values positions by having an extramarital affair does justify asking him to step down.”

“Whether his resignation would be in the best interests of the state is a much bigger question,” he said. “It’s a tough call.”

Elizabeth Halseth, candidate for Senate District 9, also agrees it is time for Ensign to go.

“If you cannot lead effectively, there is limit to your success and the success of those you serve,” said Halseth.  “While I applaud Senator Ensign for the great things he has done for our state, I believe he has become ineffective and will ultimately harm our ability to grow.”

Halseth said she believes we need strong elected officials officials who can help Nevada get back on track.

“The people are our strength, and the people have lost faith in Senator Ensign’s ability to lead effectively,” said Halseth.  “For that reason, I believe it’s in the best interest of the people, the party and the state of Nevada that Senator Ensign resigns immediately.”

Calinit Atia, candidate for state Assembly District 22, said she believes elected officials must always put their constituents first and that it may be time for Ensign to consider stepping aside.

“I don’t know if what Dean Heller said is true, but if John Ensign has lost his effectiveness, then yes, I would say he should put the state’s interests before his own and step down,” said Atia.

“These are dark days for John Ensign and his family and the choices he needs to make are not easy, but they are choices that must be made,” she said.  “My heart goes out to his family.”

George Harris, a former chairman and former treasurer of the Clark County Republican party, re-iterated past statements calling for Ensign’s resignation.

“If Ensign continues to be a wasp in the GOP ointment, he will ultimately damage the prospects of those who come out of the primary election,” Harris said.  “The opposition will absolutely use this ethics scandal against all Republicans in the general election.”

“Ensign could save everyone a lot of embarrassment,” Harris said.  “The problem is, he has become the story.  The media and the Democrats are basically turning him into a clown, the longer this drags on and the more facts come to light.”

“From a strategic perspective, as the former head of the Republican Senatorial Committee, Ensign knows that if this was anyone else, he would be the first in line to tell them to resign,” said Harris. “We cannot have this kind of thing hanging over the party. Ensign should discontinue his selfish behavior and resign now.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., agreed in television interviews this week that Ensign is a “wounded” junior senator and that Nevada needs a stronger voice in Washington. But he stopped short of calling for Ensign to resign.

In a written statement to the Las Vegas Review Journal, U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian said, “After consideration of the news reports and Congressman Heller’s recent statements — which I take very seriously — I think the issue is that the people of Nevada need to know that Senator Ensign can represent them effectively.”

“I must respectfully say that as the potential Republican nominee, I do not expect to be campaigning with Senator Ensign this fall,” said Tarkanian.

Interviews with a number of other Nevada Republicans do reveal a general reluctance to call for Ensign’s resignation.  The general consensus is that Ensign has not yet been found guilty of any wrongdoing and that he will make the right decision for Nevada when the time comes.

Still, there is acknowledgment that Ensign’s troubles are creating problems for the Republican Party in Nevada because he can’t raise money for candidates or campaign on their behalf.

U.S. Senate John Chachas said, “Senator Ensign has suffered a great deal of personal and professional grief for some self-acknowledged lapses in judgment and behavior. Nevadans should not make sport of tap-dancing on someone’s misery.

“That said, elected officials need to be held to a higher standard. They have to be,” he added.  “I have served on boards of directors in business, and if a senior director had such issues, I would give him or her a nudge and suggest that moving on would be good for the company and shareholders.”

“But this is politics. The only ‘board’ is the electorate every six years. So in the interim, the only thing that matters is the good judgment of the individual,” said Chachas.  “I am confident Sen. Ensign will exercise good judgment for Nevada. His career and reputation are not the issue. The issue is Nevada, and I am confident he will do the right thing in that regard.”

Mike Montandon, gubernatorial candidate and the former mayor of North Las Vegas, said Ensign appears to be a liability for Republican candidates because they are clearly not seeking his endorsement.

But the issue of his resignation is a decision only Ensign can make, he said.

“I’m not going to call for anyone’s resignation,” Montandon said. “If someone in public office can’t make that decision for himself, then something is wrong.”

Montandon also noted that an Ensign resignation, should it occur, raises myriad political issues that could ripple across the state. Whether it would be better before or after the primary and how it might affect the re-election chances of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are just two of those issues, he said.

State Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa Valley, said Ensign’s troubles are damaging to the GOP brand, but he added that the inquiries into his actions are still in progress.

“In America we have a system where you are innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “So in the absence of any clear criminal wrongdoing, it would presumptuous of me to be the judge, jury and executioner.”

Democrats are using Ensign’s troubles to their advantage, but ethics issues aren’t unknown to Democrats, Goedhart said. He pointed to New York Rep. Charles Rangel, who is facing an ethics probe of his own.

“Is it reducing Ensign’s effectiveness? Yes,” he said. “Am I calling on him to step down? No. Not unless he has been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing.”

Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, a candidate for state Senate, said he believes Ensign will do what is best for the state.

“He has not been charged or convicted, so it is very premature for people to be calling his resignation,” he said.

Assemblyman Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, who is also running for an open state senate seat, said he has stayed out of the controversy but said a resignation could, “throw a monkey wrench into the elections.”

A resignation now would be poor timing, he said.

“We should wait and see what the investigations turn up,” Gustavson said. “Let it take its course. Until then I’m not suggesting we do anything different.”

U.S. Senate candidate Garn Mabey, a former member of the state Assembly, said he would agree with the description of Ensign as a “wounded” senator. But Mabey said he considers Ensign a friend who helped him win his first race for elective office.

“I’m not going to throw him under the bus,” he said.

Mabey said he does not believe Ensign’s troubles will affect other Nevada Republican candidates.

“I think he is a good man,” Mabey said. “It is a decision he has to make.”

U.S. Senate candidate and Assemblyman Chad Christensen said: “This has been an unfortunate situation all the way around. There are two basic issues here. If John Ensign did anything illegal he should resign, if not then voters should decide in 2012 if he should stay.”

Rob Lauer, a candidate for secretary of state, said he believes in loyalty and called Ensign “a great Republican.” It is up to Ensign to decide whether he can continue to be effective in Congress, he said.

“I like him personally,” Lauer said. “He has done a lot of good things for the state. But on a political level as a senator he has an obligation to the people of the state. If he can’t get bills through, if he is not effective for the state, he needs to do what is best for the state.”

Ensign’s troubles are an issue for Nevada Republicans because without them, he could raise money and help GOP candidates, Lauer said. Until the issues facing him are resolved, he can’t be an effective leader for Nevada Republicans, he said.

Craig Lake, candidate for Congressional District 1, declined to comment on the matter. Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge running for governor, also had no comment.

Patrick McNaught, candidate for Senate District 12, and Michelle Fiore, candidate for CD-1, could not be reached for comment. U.S. Senate candidates Sharron Angle also could not be reached.

Q1 Candidate Fundraising Numbers

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:48 pm April 1st, 2010

Check back for updates as more numbers come in.  For now:

Harry Reid reports in with $1.5 million raised in this most recent quarter.

US Senate candidate Sue Lowden took in $500,000 and per her earlier promise will match those funds with her own money, so that’s $1 million for Team Lowden.  Of course, we’ll have to see what her cash on hand is in light of how much was spent on her many TV ads.

Team Tark hasn’t furnished a figure yet but says they raised “more” than last quarter ($372,000).

No word yet from the two other Senate candidates who presumably also raised substantial funds and have either a good (Angle) or long (Chachas) shot in the primary.

68 days remain between now and the June 8 primary election.

John Chachas TV Ads to Start This Week

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:23 pm March 28th, 2010

U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas will be up with two TV ads this week (per Ralston a few minutes ago).  One stresses that he’s Nevada born and bred, and one focuses on Nevada’s financial troubles and his ability to fix them due to his business (not political) experience.

A Look at GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Endorsements Thus Far

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:04 pm March 26th, 2010

Here’s what I have on endorsements of Republican hopefuls in the race-to-beat-Harry-Reid so far:

(Note:  This is not an exhaustive list for all candidates. I will post updates as I find them or as campaign staffers politely email to inform me of my oversight.)(Ha!)

– Jeri Thompson, wife of former Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson, today endorsed U.S. Senate Candidate Sue Lowden via a column in American Spectator online.

– Lowden also has a fundraiser luncheon on deck (see here: Lowden_Fundraiser_Invite) that features former Thune campaign manager Dick Wadhams and lists supporters including:  Bill and Dale Raggio, Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, Senator Randolph Townsend, former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich, former Governor Bob List and Mayor Bob Cashell, among others.

– Sarah Palin’s dad endorsed Tarkanian earlier this month (on/around March 15).

– Erick Erickson of RedState fame had endorsed Danny Tarkanian on February 28. (Lowden had expressed surprise when told about that endorsement, saying, “Well, I don’t know Erick and have never even talked to him, so I’m a little surprised by that.”)

– Former Michigan GOP chair and RNC chair candidate Saul Anuzis endorsed Lowden in a column cross-posted at both the Spectator and The Corner on National Review Online on February 5.

(Note:  I get daily calls and emails from out of state people asking “who can beat Harry Reid” and “who do you like?”  For the record, the Nevada News Bureau does not endorse candidates, and neither do I.)

The Entire World is Invited to a Conference Call with John Chachas

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:09 pm March 17th, 2010

No, no, just kidding.  “Interested Nevadans” only.  But there is room for “thousands” of you:

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Camden Hubbard — (702) 249-6200

U.S. Senate Candidate John Chachas to Host Mass Conference Call

WHAT: John Chachas, U.S. Senate Candidate for Nevada, will provide a live campaign update and take a few questions.

All interested Nevadans are invited to participate.

WHEN: Friday, March 19, 2010 at 1 p.m.

The call is expected to last 10 minutes

HOW: Southern Nevada (702) 576-0407

Northern Nevada (775) 473-9330

To enter the conference call, the caller should dial one of the numbers listed above and key in access code 642909#

Other than long distance phone fees that may apply, there is no cost to participate.

There is room for thousands of people on the call. Participants are selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Ten minutes!  Everybody talk fast.

Candidate Filings: Week Two, Day Four

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:28 am March 11th, 2010

2:00 PM:

Jim Gibbons (R) – Governor

Todd “Taxpayer” Bailey (R) – Nevada Senate District 4

Lynda Upton (R) – Assembly District #40

Gary Bernstein (R) – U.S. Senate

3:25 PM:

Cliff Ferry – State Board of Education, District 10
Non-Partisan office

Warren Markowitz (IAP) – State Controller (filed in LV)

John Chachas (R) – U.S. Senate (filed in LV)

5:00 PM:

Ed Goedhart (R) – Assembly District #36

Stephen G. Yeater (R) – State Senate Capitol District

Mark E. Hunt – State Board of Education, District 10
Non-Partisan seat