Posts Tagged ‘Chachas’


By Elizabeth Crum | 5:16 pm March 6th, 2010

U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas (who I saw last night at this event along with two dozen other candidates) will know he’s faring better when southern Nevadans and/or non-politicos stop asking “Who…?” after they hear his name.

Maybe his six new radio ads will help; Ralston has three of them posted if you want to hear ‘em.  TV ads coming soon.

I talked with Chachas and his campaign manager, Ryan Erwin, last night about a number of things including criticisms that he is here campaigning while his wife and three children are still living in Manhattan.  Erwin acknowledged that it would be more politically expedient to move the Mrs. and kids to Nevada but Chachas has decided not to uproot them in the middle of the school year.

He hasn’t lived in Ely since he went off to college, so he’s not a carpetbagger by definition — but I think he’s still got quite a hill to climb on that issue.

If you want to learn more about Chachas:

– watch this 5 minute video clip (talking health care) from his appearance on Fact to Face in October

– or read the transcript from my January interview with him

– or check out a recent op-ed he penned here

– or listen to his interview on KNPR yesterday.

The first piece I ever read by Chachas (found via Google search when his name first crossed my radar) was a February 2009 opinion column on staving off the death of newspapers.

New Mason-Dixon Poll Shows Lowden Up Over Tarkanian, Reid (but Tea Party Candidate a Factor)

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:35 am February 28th, 2010

The RJ this morning has the results of a new Mason-Dixon poll.

Lowden beats Reid 52-39% in a head-to-head with Reid and is now up over Tarkanian in the primary 47-29%. (In the primary match-up, Angle got 8% and Chachas got 1%.)

Tarkanian beats Reid 51-40% in a head-to-head.

Both Lowden and Tarkanian win more than 50% of the independent vote, with Reid at 31% against Lowden and 38% against Tarkanian.

The poll shows Reid drawing 36% of voters vs. 32% for a/the GOP candidate and 18% for a/the generic Tea Party candidate.  BUT as I’ve said before, though a/the Tea Party candidate will absolutely drain some support from a Republican candidate, we can’t know how much until we get a better look at the candidate.

Chachas Gets Blurb from Cillizza in WaPo

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:24 am February 22nd, 2010

Scroll down to the “A new entry in Nevada” sub-header in the story.  Doesn’t tell us much we didn’t already know, though.  And wrongly says Chachas has been “mulling over the race for a month”.  We got the news that Chachas had hired political consultant Ryan Erwin on October 27, 2009.

U.S. Senate Candidate Chachas Good for Nevada Economy

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:07 pm February 15th, 2010

So says the RJ‘s Geoff Schumacher re: all the money Chachas is spending on advertising, travel and campaign staffers.  Then he explains why Chachas won’t win.  Calls the run “goofy” and says Chachas’ biggest problem is name recognition.

The Chachas family name is well known up in Ely, but that doesn’t mean much in terms of a statewide race.  Chachas has a ton of cash but just under 4 months get his name on the radar of Nevada’s Republican base.

We’ll see!

Chachas OpEd: A Plan for Economic Recovery for Nevada

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:39 pm February 12th, 2010

In the Elko Daily Free Press on January 28, policy proposals via op-ed from U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas.  He talked about all of them in his January interview with me, but the piece is a bit more concise if you want to take a look.

This Week’s GOP US Senate Debate (and the Conspicuous Absence of Nevada Media Coverage)

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:14 pm February 5th, 2010

Typically I’d add this as an update to my earlier post, but as it is now two days hence I’m giving it a new headline.

Ralston has today penned an analysis of the mini-debate he hosted this week between GOP U.S. Senate candidates Angle, Amodei, Chachas and Tarkanian.  If you watched the show, go see what he wrote and drop a comment either there or back here.  (If you didn’t catch the show, the link to all the video segments are at the bottom of his piece.)

As I have scanned my Google alerts and the ‘net for commentary on the debate, I have been surprised that no other Nevada press outlet has so much as mentioned it.  Ralston provided a side-by-side look at 4 out of 5 of the GOP U.S. Senate candidates – one of whom might very well take down the most powerful politician our state has ever had – yet not one TV station, radio station or newspaper (other than The Sun) deigned to give it the time of day?  Even while some in the national press took interest?

Very puzzling.  And disappointing, because I was eager to see reactions from the left, right and middle.  It’s always so interesting to see how these things play in different camps.

Is this a mass snub of some kind (though toward whom, or for what purpose, I cannot imagine)?  Does no one (else) in the Nevada press care about covering one of the most interesting U.S. Senate primary races in the entire country?  Were all the political reporters taking a nap?  Or watching Oprah…?


Also:  I have received and/or been cc’d on all kinds of emails to/from the conservative grassroots peeps complaining that ALL the GOP candidates were not invited on Ralston’s show this week.

Look:  I am all for every man having his fair share of air time, whatever the size of his coffers or quality of his campaign, but it is just not feasible to host a 30 minute TV show with 11 candidates and expect that it’s going to work or be worthwhile for anyone.  Ralston initially invited the four candidates with the best poll numbers and biggest bank accounts.  When Sue Lowden declined, he invited next-in-line, Mark Amodei.  Seems reasonable to me.  (And, for the record, I believe he’s had candidates Chuck Kozak, Bill Parsons and Mike Wiley on his show for 1-on-1 interviews.)

There will be other debates, other opportunities.  Ralston’s show was a good start.

Outside Looking In

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:47 am February 5th, 2010

Here’s what The Fix‘s Chris Cillizza had to say about our GOP U.S. Senate primary race (ranked 4th on his list of most interesting Senate races, rated by “overall impact on the national political landscape, the amount of money involved and, of course, their sheer entertainment value”):

4. Nevada Senate (R): With polls showing Senate Majority Harry Reid (D) losing to all comers, the Republican nomination is a precious thing. And yet, the current GOP field is decidedly unimpressive. The latest example? At a debate earlier this week, former state party chairwoman Sue Lowden didn’t attend and businessman Danny Tarkanian arrived late. And, they’re the frontrunners! Throw in a wealthy businessman no one knows (John Chachas) and the state’s lieutenant governor who recently had a criminal indictment against him dropped (Brian Krolicki) and you have all the makings of a great primary. (Previous ranking: 4)

Krolicki has not announced, of course, and many think if he’s wise, he won’t. We’ll see.

Face to Face: Amodei, Angle, Chachas, Tarkanian

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:31 pm February 3rd, 2010

Well, there was way too much said to give you the whole transcript, so I’ll provide highlights and snippets from the four US Senate candidates who appeared on Face to Face with Jon Ralston today.

Note: And before I get emails from/about all the other candidates and their views, I hereby invite the other candidates (or their supporters) to drop their answers and Comments below.

Note 2: Tarkanian appeared to be a no show at the outset.  Ralston told viewers that Tarkanian was scheduled to be there but was not in the studio and that they did not know where he was.  A moment later, Ralston said he was getting word that Tarkanian had arrived.  Ralston then went straight into the segment with the other three candidates.  Tarkanian joined in after the first break.

Note 2B: Ralston just Flashed an email alert as I was working on this:  “Danny Tarkanian showed up late, said he had no idea it was live and (off camera) accused the host of taking a shot at him. And you thought the Republican race for the right to take on Harry Reid was a circus before?”

Me: How did Ralston take a shot at him?  Ralston was Live and had a missing guest and was about to do all the intro’s, so he really had no choice but to say Tarkanian was not there.  Because, you know, he wasn’t.

Anyway:  Here’s all the video if you want to watch the whole show.


On Yucca Mountain and whether Harry Reid ought to get credit for killing it:

Chachas: If the best the Senate Majority Leader can do is say he managed to defund a highly unpopular initiative, it’s a sad statement…  He needs to be figuring out how to return Nevada to stability and prosperity

Angle: I don’t give him much credit for it.  He should be looking at jobs.  Demonizing nuclear energy is not the way to do that…  And if he’s for nuclear energy, then he should be looking at the potential we have in the state. –

Amodei: It’s been worked on since Senator Bryan and before, a lot of people played a part.  I think it’s a missed opportunity.  It’s one thing to zero out funding, another to talk about probable uses that relate to jobs… Like reprocessing…  Create jobs that pay a liveable wage in southern Nevada…  We should turn those lemons into lemonade.

Danny:   We should have turned Yucca into a nuclear reprocessing facility…creating 1000s of jobs…and millions in revenue…

On whether Nevada really ought to lose its powerful senator:

Angle: Tsunamis are powerful. They are also very destructive. And that’s Harry Reid.

On Chachas’ comment in his recent Nevada News Bureau interview re: his peers:  “None of them have said an original word other than rehashing what the NRSC already publishes on this stuff” – and what ONE original idea each candidate brings to the table:

Chachas: It seems to me that everyone running has a duty in this process to put out there what they really believe, in detail.   The thing I believe most about fixing our job situation in NV is it will not be done quickly…  As I’ve written, the federal government is a steward of 78% of land in this state.  There is no reason we should not get 10 million acres back, sell it, append it with tax benefits, and entice businesses to come to Nevada…

Amodei – Protecting our water resources, maintaining control.  Right now those decision are made in DC; you have to fight the legislation passed by the last few Congresses, and give the Army Corps of Engineers more jurisdiction over water…

Angle – Begin to deregulate at the federal level, so our state can have states’ rights… We have so much regulation and taxation going on at federal level.  All of that needs to go away. There is too much government.  That is an original idea:  an original idea of the original Founders…

Tarkanian: My economic plan contains three original ideas: create jobs, at no cost to taxpayers, including at Yucca (meaning, which Ralston had to pull out of him after his statement, a reprocessing plant)…  Releasing BLM land to the state to compete to bring companies to Nevada so we an diversify the economy…  And working with federal government to work with states to reduce sales taxes 50% or more to increase consumption…using stimulus dollars to subsidize the loss of sales tax revenue in the states.

On how/why they are the “true” conservative among the candidates (Ralston specifically mentioned Tarkanian’s new ad billing himself as the Reaganesque candidate and asked Angle if she considered him more conservative than herself):

Angle: Read my record, not my lips.  Go look and see.  The press calls me a consistent conservative.  And I…did receive the Reagan Freedom Award.

Tarkanian: I am running on principles of Reagan. I’ve outlined proposals… I’ve come out and been against all pork projects. I am against the first bailout package… I have come out strongly against taxes. Sharon says she has credibility…  But we are still waiting to see what position she has w/regard to districts.

Chachas: On every issue that affects the country, I believe in small government, efficient government and empowering the consumer.  We are now driving towards a precipice.  We will have a $1.6 trillion deficit in 2010. It’s going to take more thoughtful discussion to fix that… We have to look at each piece and really make hard choices…  In Washington today, too few people want to tell the truth.

I am respectful of [Angle's, Amodei's] public service.  But I come with 25 years of business experience.  I’ve worked with successful businesses, fixed broken businesses…

Amodei – The objective for the Republicans is to win in November. I am concerned about the culture of clichés and labels. Second, look at the politicians in the Nevada legislature.  They meet only every other year for 120 days, but it does set you apart in terms of a record… Wehther it’s 2003, we voted for taxces… nobody saying about the cap proposal, or the … 2009 Nat Tax Payers Union aration, 2nd highest in state senate (I had)

Chachas – The Democrats are a tax-and-spend-party, but the Republicans have become a don’t-tax-and-spend party.  Republicans will have to come forward to radically reshape the way the government spends money.

Last question was on the AIG bonuses and the bank fees proposed by Obama.  Go watch segment 4 if you want to see those answers.

Lowden Declines to Appear with Tarkanian, Angle and Chachas on Ralston’s Face to Face

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:47 pm February 1st, 2010

Sue Lowden has declined to appear with three of her peers on Ralston’s Face to Face this week.  The story, as told in Tweets and emails (times provided):

@RalstonFlash @ 12:00: F2F having some Reid opponents on this week for a forum. Both Lowden and Tarkanian are refusing to appear, w/different, transparent excuses.

@RalstonFlash @ 12:01 – Tarkanian just wants a one-on-one with Lowden, while Lowden is trying to hide, apparently, for as long as she can, from any to and fro.

@RalstonFlash @ 12:02 — Both frontrunners seem content to put out daily news releases attacking Reid or each other, but state of GOP field evident in avoiding ?s.

Tarkanian campaign @ 12:20 (via email) – “We just clarified with Jon.  We will appear with all candidates; that is fine.  But as long as Sue is there, too.  She appears to want everyone else to be in the fray while she tries to glide above it.  She should attend.”

Tarkanian campaign @ 1:42 (email) — “We will be there Wednesday.”

@RalstonFlash @ 1:47 – Tarkanian changes mind, says “will enthusiastically participate in this 1st televised joint candidate forum, despite Sue Lowden’s refusal.”

Lowden campaign @ 3:53 (email) – “Sue Lowden will be spending Wednesday as she spends every day on the campaign – conducting town hall meetings, giving speeches, appearing on television and radio programs, meeting with volunteers, and discussing her proven record as a job creator and conservative state senator. We have had numerous town hall meetings across Nevada already, and we plan on dozens more. The host of the show in question wanted to invite a select few Republican candidates for a ‘forum’, but it appears that many were left out. Sue Lowden has appeared on Jon’s show before and she may agree to appear again. More importantly, she is eager to debate her primary opponents once we know who officially files for office – so long as the format treats each candidate fairly. That begins by ensuring all candidates are invited so they can share information on their backgrounds, qualifications and positions on the key issues.”

Lowden’s campaign can do what they think is best, of course, but it hardly seems realistic to expect that Ralston would have all 11 candidates on his show at the same time.  I believe Ralston has had all but one or two of the U.S. Senate candidates on Face to Face over the past couple of months, so I don’t see that he has given preference to “select” candidates.

In the case of this week’s show, I’m guessing the maximum reasonable number for a TV panel discussion is four and that Ralston invited the four candidates who raised the most money in Q4, which seems as fair a way as any to decide.

I’ll post updates as I get ‘em.  Or a new headline and post, if one is warranted.

Nevada GOP Calls Massachusetts Republican Senate Victory a Sign of Trouble for Reid, Obama – Reid to Push Forward on Economy, Health Care

By Sean Whaley | 1:34 pm January 20th, 2010

(Updated at 2:26 p.m. on Jan. 20, 2010)

CARSON CITY – Nevada State Republican Party Chairman Chris Comfort said today that the upset GOP victory in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts on Tuesday is a sign of a Renaissance for Republican candidates around the country and in Nevada.

It also means bad news for U.S. Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., both for his reelection campaign this year and his efforts to get health care legislation passed through Congress, he said.

The surprise victory is also a referendum on the performance of President Obama, who won Massachusetts by a huge margin in November 2008, Comfort said.

“Now we’ve seen a complete reversal,” he said in a conference call with reporters. “We do not envision them pulling out from this fast approaching trough, if you will.”

The victory of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy means Democrats will no longer have the 60 votes needed to control debate and votes in the Senate.

Reid, in his response to the election, welcomed Brown to the Senate and said he will move to seat him as soon as the proper paperwork has been received. But even with the change in party dynamics, Senate Democrats will continue to work to strengthen the economy, create good-paying jobs and ensure Americans have access to affordable health care, he said.

“We hope that Scott Brown will join us in these efforts,” Reid said. “There is much work to do to address the problems Democrats inherited last year, and we plan to move full speed ahead.”

“Regardless of the size of their minority caucus, Senate Republicans have always had an obligation to join us in governing our nation through these difficult times,” he said. “[Tuesday’s] election doesn’t change that; in fact it is now more important than before for Republicans to work with us rather than against us if we are to find common ground that improves Americans’ lives.”

Several Nevada Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat held by Reid also weighed in on the election, urging Reid to seat Brown right away.

Concerns were this morning expressed by some Republicans that there may be a delay in seating Brown so Democrats could hold on to their 60-vote majority for as long as possible.

Candidate Sue Lowden, speaking at an event in Pahrump, said: “I call on Harry Reid to immediately seat (Brown) in the United States Senate so the people of Massachusetts have a voice and proper representation during these challenging times.”

Candidate John Chachas said of Brown’s victory: “The voters of Massachusetts have spoken in force today and their voice carries a message far beyond their own state borders. With the election victory of Scott Brown this evening all eyes now shift to Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid.”

Chachas also said Reid should seat Brown in the U.S. Senate in an expeditious manner, “so his voice and vote can be included in the national dialogue of important decisions…including healthcare.”

Candidate Danny Tarkanian said: “Tonight, the people of Massachusetts have spoken for the people of America, including the grassroots voters of Nevada right here:  ‘No more bailouts.  No more reckless spending.  No more socialized health care.  We’re taking our country back.’ ”

Jerry Stacy, speaking for candidate Sharron Angle, said the failure of President Obama and others to get the vote out for the Democratic candidate “has created a new concern for Harry Reid’s election strategy.”

Reid will keep campaigning as long as he can continue to raise huge amounts of money from lobbyists and special interests, but his leadership spells trouble for Democrats, Stacy said.

“This is certainly a clear message, and in of all states, to see this happen in the state of Massachusetts, it is certainly sending a wakeup call,” he said.

Comfort said the same traditional GOP positions used effectively by Brown are being pushed by Nevada’s many Republican candidates seeking the right to challenge Reid in the November general election.

“We have many candidates who are capable of taking the job from Harry Reid,” he said.

But the Nevada Republican Party’s number one focus will be jobs and the economy, Comfort said. The current state of the Nevada economy has created a lot of anxiety for Nevadans, many of whom will look to the Republican Party for leadership, including independents and conservative Democrats, Comfort said.

“Harry Reid is not listening,” he said. “Harry Reid has grown arrogant in his position, and therefore it is time for Harry Reid to leave and put somebody in there who understands the notion of what good governance is all about.”

Former Nevada Congresswoman Talks Bluntly About Nevada Politics

By Sean Whaley | 5:08 pm November 24th, 2009

CARSON CITY – Former Rep. Barbara Vucanovich offered some blunt assessments of Nevada’s political landscape today, praising Gov. Jim Gibbons for his stand against taxes in the 2009 legislative session and suggesting that it will be tough for any Republican to beat U.S. Sen. Harry Reid next year.

Vucanovich, who served as a Republican in Nevada’s Congressional District 2 from 1982 to 1996, was interviewed on Nevada NewsMakers.

Of Gibbons, she said: “Nobody’s perfect but I’m certainly not going to help anybody who is running against him.”

Vucanovich called GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval a very fine man, but that when he called her recently to talk about the race, “I told him where I was.”

Of Gibbons, Vucanovich said: “I think he stood up for what he believed and he took some beatings but I think he did what was right.”

As to the U.S. Senate race, Vucanovich said she may be in the minority but noted that Reid has used his position to benefit Nevada. Vucanovich said she disagrees with Reid on many issues.

“But I think that there are some prominent Republicans who are supporting him, . . . they say it’s business, that he is strong enough to help them and that’s what they are going to do.”

When asked if any of the Republican candidates vying to challenge Reid “strikes your fancy,” she replied: “Not really.”

Vucanovich said she does not believe John Chachas, a Wall Street banker originally from Ely who is in the Republican race for Senate, will be a viable candidate.

“No, I don’t think he has a chance,” she said.

The carpet bagger label will be applied to him, Vucanovich said.

For all Republicans in the race, she said: “I think it’s an uphill climb.”

Reid’s war chest is formidable, but there are other issues as well, such as candidate Sue Lowden’s handling of the Republican convention last year, she said.

Lowden has been attacked by conservative Republicans who say as state chairwoman she cheated supporters of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul out of their place at the Republican National Convention.

Vucanovich also criticized U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev, who earlier this year admitted having an extramarital affair.

“Go back and start over,” she said. “I’m very, very disappointed.”

Ensign will face a tough reelection campaign in 2012 if he remains in the Senate, Vucanovich said.

In the interview Vucanovich took aim at Democrats as well. Of President Obama’s performance, she said: “I think he’s been a disaster.”