Posts Tagged ‘Christensen’

U.S. Senate Debate: The Winner Will Not Win

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:13 pm May 19th, 2010

Part one of the five-candidate US Senate debate on Face to Face is here for your viewing pleasure.  Part two airs (and will be posted) tonight.

Here’s the Sun’s write-up.

And a reminder to Sue Lowden (and voters) from Steve Sebelius re: what she said about “not backing off that system,” which she yesterday denied ever saying.  Sebelius has the vid from her comments on Nevada Newsmakers just in case you have not already seen it in/on any the eight thousand ads/websites in which its been featured.

And here’s some of what Ralston said about the debate (specifically, about Chachas) in his column today:

He was clearly the most senatorial of the GOP debaters Tuesday. And he has the least chance of any of them to win. (Yes, even less than Christensen.)

The fault does not lie with voters who don’t recognize his superiority or a media that have given him short shrift. The fault lies with Chachas himself, who through a remarkable combination of arrogance and naivete has run one of the worst campaigns it has been my horror to watch. For a guy I have described as being so smart, he sure has had a dumb strategy. If, that is, you can call moving back too late, going on TV too late and spending too little and being too nice — well, there is no other way to put it — any kind of strategy at all.

Yep.  Amazing:  Both how smart and quick the never-scripted Chachas really is, and why that smartness will not translate into a win on June 8.

I said to myself, months ago, that Chachas was potentially the most dangerous (to Reid) candidate in the field.  The first few times I saw him in action, I was impressed by his grasp of the issues and ability to articulate his positions in a way that was undeniably compelling.  He was quick off-the-cuff, unflappable and had a sharp sense of humor.  He just seemed, as Ralston said last night, Senatorial.

(Yes, there was the whole been-living-in-NYC-for-two-decades thing, but I always thought that could be overcome.  Chachas was the only candidate born and raised in Nevada; all he needed to do was say so, talk about his roots and his love for the West, and then move on to issues.  I really think a sizable portion of the base would have been glad to have such a smart guy on the stump and would not have cared that he still had an address in Manhattan.)

And Chachas hired, in Ryan Erwin, one one of the best general consultants in the state.

(I still remember seeing the two of them walk into a crowded room the October night they officially teamed up.  Wow, I thought.  Game changer, I thought.  I even ended my Tweet about it with the hashtag #ruhroh.)

But ruh-roh never happened.  Even though there was money to spend.

Nevada waited for the TV ads.  Waited for the radio spots.  Waited for Chachas to say what needed to be said and start playing hardball.  Waited for him to get a clue (and get serious) after many in the grassroots declared him the clear winner of the Actions is Brewing forum on April 23.

I’d say we’re still waiting, but it’s all over now.

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.

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.

US Senate Candidate Chad Christensen’s YouTube Message to You

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:17 am April 11th, 2010

Christensen’s up with his first YouTube ad.

Two minutes, 44 seconds.

Christensen will participate in a debate with fellow candidates John Chachas, Sharron Angle, Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden at 5:00 PM on Friday, April 30, at The Orleans Showroom.  Sponsored by KDWN and moderated by local talk show host Heidi Harris.  (CD-1 and CD-3 candidates will also debate.)

Chad Christensen’s Priceless Record

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:07 pm April 1st, 2010

Just watched Ralston’s show from last night, in which he questioned US Senate candidate Chad Christensen on the following claim from his campaign website:

  • I FOUGHT AND DEFEATED the bill to create a new state income tax in Nevada

Ralston pointed out that there was no such bill and asked Christensen to come clean about the claim.  Christensen replied:

“It was called a gross receipts tax. The GRT. I’ll never forget it. And so when you talk about receipts, just swap out receipts for income.”

Ralston called Christensen’s website claim “misleading” because it says “income tax.” Christensen replied that “it should have been called a gross income tax” and said he was “the key vote” and “the deciding vote” in the matter, referring to his then-freshman status and the heat he took on the issue (along with 14 other Assembly Republicans whose votes were equivalent in value to his, something he (but not Ralston) failed to mention). The upshot of Christensen’s claims were that he’d stood firm, fought hard and been the Hold Out Hero.

Ralston then cited a Reno Gazette Journal story in which it was reported that Christensen had actually tried to make a deal in return for a changed vote.  Christensen veered away from Ralston’s challenge, stuttered around a bit, and then said he wants people to look at his record (a record he called “priceless”).

Fine.  Let’s look at the record, via that news story Ralston referenced.  It’s by Ray Hagar from the Reno Gazette Journal and was published on June 30, 2003 (emphasis mine):

Assemblyman: Freshman wants business tax cut from package.

With the Legislature entering the final day of its second special session, a freshman Republican assemblyman said he would change his vote – and break the monthlong deadlock about taxes – if a controversial business tax is removed from bill.

One more vote is all that is needed to approve the largest tax package in state history, $864 million over the next two years. But Democrats said the late change of heart by Assemblyman Chad Christensen of Las Vegas is hollow and unacceptable.

If the Legislature fails to approve funding to balance the nearly $5 billion 2003-05 budget by midnight tonight, the end of the fiscal year, it will be in violation of the state constitution, Attorney General Brian Sandoval said. Gov. Kenny Guinn said he is prepared to have Sandoval take the matter to the Nevada Supreme Court on Tuesday if the tax bill fails today.

“Right now, the chances of going to court are very high,” said Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno. “I think that is the next step.”

Both chambers are scheduled to convene at 10 a.m. today. The Senate and Assembly met briefly Sunday before adjourning.

The Legislature failed to approve a tax plan during the 120-day session that ended at 1 a.m. June 3 and the two special sessions since. The $864 million tax package has failed twice by just one vote to achieve the mandatory two-thirds majority. All 23 Assembly Democrats and four Republicans favor the plan, while 15 other Republicans are blocking its approval in the lower house.

On Sunday, Christensen became the first of that bloc to say that he would support the $864 million level with changes.

The other 14 Republicans remain solid that a two-year tax hike of $704 million is as high as it will go. That was the number Guinn projected as the state budget deficit over the next two years without new or higher taxes.

Democrats spurned Christensen’s offer.

“That does not get us any place,” Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, said about Christensen’s offer. “We’ve increased the taxes on gaming. We’ve increased the taxes on banks and we still have to capture those large business that currently don’t pay a dime.”

The tax in the bill is called the franchise tax, which imposes a levy on business gross receipts, and targets major corporations with annual revenues of more than $20 million.

The tax would be applied to the annual revenue of a company, raising more than $200 million over two years. Companies with revenues of more than $20 million would pay an annual franchise tax of $14,000. Companies with $100,000 in annual revenues would pay $120.

Christensen complained of being pressured in an unprofessional manner by gaming lobbyists but declined to be specific. He said that the pressure did not enter into his decision.

Christensen said the differences of opinion he has with gaming interests center on the business tax, not the amount of the tax bill. Gaming interests donated from $15,000 to $20,000 to his $140,000 campaign, Christensen said.

“The budget number we have is excessive and could come down,” Christensen said. “But in the spirit of negotiation, I’m willing to compromise.”

The story goes on, but that’s the money quote right there:  “willing to compromise.”

Whether there was anything wrong with that willingness is for the voters to decide, but for Christensen to claim he was the unwavering hold-out on the 2003 tax hikes when the record shows otherwise is, to borrow a word from the candidate himself,

“Priceless.”

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.)

‘Nother Candidate Announces for AD-13

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:01 am March 9th, 2010

Looks like GOP candidate Elizabeth Halseth has some competition for Chad Christensen’s seat in AD-13.

Joshua Gust (via press release) says he’s raised $50,000 and is kicking off his campaign tonight with a reception for volunteers, supporters and friends.  If you’re down south and want to meet him, stop by Agave Mexican Restaurant in Las Vegas from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. (Agave is located at 10820 West Charleston Blvd.)

Snippets from his bio page:

– Born and raised in Las Vegas.

–Family here since 1969, in the wedding chapel business.

– Gust is President of J Transportation and Associated Chapel, LLC.

Visit his campaign page (linked from his name, above) for more.

Ensign to Headline Churchill County Republicans’ Lincoln Day Dinner

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:39 pm February 18th, 2010

Lahontan Valley News reports.  Other candidates for statewide offices will attend including Brian Krolicki, Danny Tarkanian, Sharron Angle, Mark Amodei, Chad Christensen, Mike Montandon, Brian Sandoval, and Steve Martin.  Assemblymen Pete Goicoechea and Tom Grady are also expected to attend as are a number of Churchill County office holders and candidates.  The event is Saturday night at 6 p.m.

Chad Christensen Forms Exploratory Committee re: Run Against Reid

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:08 pm February 10th, 2010

From RalstonFlash about an hour ago:

Assemblyman Chad Christensen has formed an exploratory committee to run against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and is having a fundraiser tonight in Salt Lake City, he told me a few minutes ago.

“We’re exploring this very aggressively,” he said by phone. “It looks optimistic.”

Christensen said he is looking into having events in other cities and that he has been gratified by “the support I’ve seen within the state (Nevada not Utah). A lot of people are still searhcing for the candidate.”

What, LowdenTarkanianAngleAmodeiChachasKrolickiLippold aren’t enough?

How dare Ralston not mention ParsonWileyFlumeSuominen?

I don’t think Nevada can be satisfied with anything less than an even dozen in that primary.

Keystone Announces Endorsement of GOP Fiscal Conservatives in State Senate Races

By Sean Whaley | 12:07 pm November 16th, 2009
CARSON CITY – Today the Keystone Corp., which identifies itself as Nevada’s leading political voice for free market business development, private sector job creation and fiscal conservatism, announced endorsements in key Nevada state Senate races for the upcoming 2010 election cycle.

The Keystone Corp. is a statewide political action organization that recruits, supports and advocates for candidates for public office who support private sector job creation, low taxation, a responsible regulatory environment, and effective delivery of essential state services.

Endorsed candidates include: Sen. Barbara Cegavske – running for reelection in Clark County’s District 8; Ty Cobb – currently an assemblyman representing District 26, running for state Senate in Washoe County’s District 4; and Chad Christensen – currently an assemblyman representing District 13, running for state Senate in Clark County’s District 9.

Other endorsements are James Settelmeyer – currently an assemblyman representing District 39, running for state Senate in the Capital District; and Michael Roberson – an attorney from southern Nevada, running against Sen. Joyce Woodhouse in Clark County’s District 5.

Keystone’s board members offered the following comments for each of their endorsed candidates for state senate:

“Sen. Barbara Cegavske has a proven record as a fiscal watchdog on behalf of the Nevada taxpayer. Sen. Cegavske is a conservative senator Nevadans need to fight for their interests in Carson City.”

“Assemblyman Ty Cobb has been a consistent, reliable and fierce advocate on behalf of the Nevada taxpayer, and we believe his voice on fiscal discipline and accountability will be a needed asset to our state Senate.“

“(Christensen) has fought to control government spending in order to promote economic growth. Chad Christensen will be the strong advocate for private sector job creation and limited government.”

“Assemblyman James Settelmeyer understands what is needed to make Nevada fiscally strong. He is one of the hardest working legislators in Carson City and a genuine policymaker. Mr. Settelmeyer will make the right decisions to promote economic growth while protecting taxpayers.”

“In our interview process, we found Roberson to be a strong and principled advocate for private sector job creation in Nevada. He will be a welcomed addition to the state Senate, replacing a senator who supported job-killing tax hikes in the midst of one of Nevada’s worst recessions in state history.”