Posts Tagged ‘Fiore’

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%

$2,000…?! Typo or Click-thru Genius?

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:58 pm April 26th, 2010

When I saw the bolded sub-header in congressional candidate Craig Lake’s press release today, I was so amazed I had to click through to see if it was really true or perhaps a typo:

Craig Lake Only Republican With More Than $2,000 Cash On Hand to Close 1st Quarter 2010

TWO thousand…??

Nope, more like $290,016.

Not bad.  Especially considering that GOP primary oppoent Michele Fiore only has only $570 and Kenneth Wegner has $1,817.

(Hm.  I thought Fiore was the Republican party’s anointed one?  Where are all the rumored giant checks from Nevada’s Fiore-loving Republican business moguls?)

But the really impressive number is Shelley Berkley’s cash on hand:  $1,648,242.


Fiore Confirms She Does Not Live in CD-1, Points Out It Is “Not Required”

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:05 pm April 19th, 2010

From Michele Fiore:

My voter registration information is correct. After living in CD-1 for 13 years, I do now live just outside the boundary.

As I am sure you know living in a congressional district is not required.

As a congress woman for CD-1 not only will I represent our constituents, I will be representing Nevada. I invite all Nevadans to call our office anytime.

As reported to you here, Dear Readers, Fiore lives in CD-3.

But she is right:  There is no requirement that a congressional representative reside within the district she/he represents.  Constitutional citation:

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 2: Qualifications of Members

“ No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen. ”

Lake Says Fiore “Disingenuous” re: Tax Issue and “Opportunistic” re: Campaign

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:36 pm April 15th, 2010

An email from Craig Lake re: Fiore’s statement about her tax lien situation:


It seems disingenuous to me that Ms. Fiore has never brought up her ‘fight’ against the government in all her conversations about taxes in both her race for State Senate or her opportunistic move to this Congress race. She has talked time after time about taxes and her fights with our government, but until today we have not heard about her inability to pay her taxes.

Ms. Fiore continues to show she is more of the same. Not only is she the establishment’s candidate, she acts just like our same old elected officials who are not forthcoming about their tax issues until it is revealed in the press.

At a time when we need to return to accountability and responsibility in our country, Fiore is trying to blame everyone else and attack me personally. She is the one who has made our business experience an issue in our campaign, and part of being fiscally responsible is paying your taxes. I will continue to hold her accountable for her record and her experience.

I am running for Congress not to ‘find a new job,’ but rather to work to create an economic environment that will create jobs for others and put hard working Nevadans back to work. Ms. Fiore should get her personal and financial affairs in order, before trying to represent the people of southern Nevada. As she puts it, there is ‘enormous responsibility’ as a member of Congress.

Craig Lake

Not really interested in refereeing the back-and-forth between these two candidates, but I will ask this:  if Fiore was so proud of her big fight with the IRS over the status of her 2006 1040, why didn’t she just make it part of her campaign from the start? Would’ve been the smart thing to do politically, anyway, as she had to have known it would come out at some point.

Still waiting for Fiore to tell me the details of her dispute with the IRS.

Fiore Says IRS Mistaken About ’06 Taxes, Claims They Owe HER Money, Slams GOP Opponent for His Criticism

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:24 pm April 15th, 2010

From Team Fiore a short time ago, some pretty good spin on that ’06 tax lien discovered (by me) yesterday.

The sum-up?  She doesn’t owe the IRS anything (in fact they owe HER money); this is a classic case of Big Government against Little Gal; she will fight the battle to the death; and her GOP opponent Craig Lake is “careless and dangerous” bureaucrat-in-waiting:


After Four Years, Candidate Still Refuses To Back Down From IRS Dispute

Las Vegas, NV – April 15, 2010 – It’s tax day, and as millions of Americans rush to file their 2009 tax returns, Michele Fiore, Republican candidate for Congressional District 1, is still battling the IRS over a disputed personal income return from 2006.

“I am happy to pay the government what I owe, but I refuse to pay the government what I don’t owe. I can’t imagine any American blindly handing over their hard-earned money just because the government demands it,” Michele said.

“My case is a perfect example of an over-reaching government using its power and bureaucracy to intimidate its citizens. They give themselves the right to apply a lien on all disputed cases, even though when this is finally resolved, the IRS will end up owing me money. The IRS has nothing to lose by dragging this out, hoping that I will eventually roll over. I will never cave. I will stand up for what I believe is right, and I will never back down.

It is unfortunate that my primary opponent doesn’t realize that if elected, an enormous responsibility of a Member of Congress is to represent your constituents and act as a liaison between them and the federal government. Is Mr. Lake suggesting that as a Congressman, when District 1 taxpayers come to their Congressman seeking help in a dispute with the IRS, he will blindly take sides with the feds over the taxpayers he represents? As your next Congresswoman, the taxpayers in District 1 will always have the benefit of the doubt when they visit me on an issue they need help with. If Mr. Lake is elected, unfortunately he will side with Washington, DC bureaucrats. It says a lot about who he is and what kind of judgment he brings to this race.

Mr. Lake is young, careless and dangerous. He did not bother to research my case before hurling wild accusations of some spooky conspiracy to rip off the government. My finances have never been in question, nor has my 2006 tax return ever been a secret,” she said.

Michele also said that, once she takes office, she plans to use her own experience fighting the IRS to push Congress to pass a simplified tax code. “Ordinary citizens shouldn’t have to spend their hard-earned money hiring lawyers and accountants just to sort out their income tax returns. It’s absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

Here is Lake’s press release about the matter (from yesterday) so you can judge it for yourself:

Fiore thinks paying taxes is for other people, not her?

Las Vegas – As “tax day” approaches it appears as though the “anointed one”, Michele Fiore, has not been properly vetted or forthcoming about her personal history.

As the Nevada News Bureau blog is reporting it appears that Ms. Fiore has a nearly $50,000 IRS tax lien. Just what America needs, another politician that does not pay their taxes. Perhaps Ms. Fiore should jump offices again and try to get a post on the Obama Cabinet.

Ms. Fiore has been trying to paint herself as the experienced candidate…well she sure seems to display a level of hypocrisy usually only shown by politicians with years of experience in Washington.

She is calling herself “a successful business woman” and someone who “signs the front of checks not the back”. Well it seems she’s got a little problem with signing the front of checks as well.

With the current economic conditions affecting southern Nevada, voters need to be assured that their elected officials are people that can be counted on and trusted. Southern Nevada voters have a reason to be concerned, because rather than pay her taxes Fiore plans to invest her own money into her campaign to “find a new job.” As she said in a recent interview, “I will contribute and invest as much as I can afford.” The fact is that if Fiore donates one penny to her campaign before paying her back taxes she is contributing to the problem with our economic situation, not the solution.

“Fiore has made the main focus of her campaign her qualifications as a business owner and fiscal responsibility,” said Craig Lake, Candidate for Congress. “Ms. Fiore has clearly not kept her personal finances in order, so how can we trust her to get our nation back on track? Nevada needs a representative who at a minimum pays their taxes and has their personal financial situation in order. They should feel assured that their representative is not looking for a better job, but rather looking out for them,” Lake continued. “I hope as this tax day approaches Ms. Fiore will join with me and the thousands of hardworking residents of CD1 and actually pay her tax bill,” Lake concluded.

If Fiore is willing to tell me more about her dispute with the IRS, I’ll post it as an update.

Fiore’s Tax Lien

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:34 pm April 14th, 2010

In my spare time (ha!) and in deference and fairness to [what has been reported about] U.S. Senate candidate Scott Ashjian, I’ve been looking for IRS liens against the property of other candidates for public office.

A tax lien does not disqualify a person from serving in office, but it is a matter of interest to voters trying to make decisions about the best person to represent them.

Found a tax lien today for $47,351.26 against a property owned by Michele Fiore, GOP candidate for Congress in CD-1.  (It may also be worth nothing that Fiore actually lives in CD-3 and not at this address in CD-1.)

Here’s a screen shot of the top half of the recorded lien:

Last Minute Switcheroo: State GOP Gives Rule 11 Letter to Fiore As She Jumps from SD-9 to CD-1 Primary Race

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:54 pm March 12th, 2010

Nothing like a last minute game of political musical chairs on the final day of candidate filing.  And a Rule 11 letter handed to an inexperienced primary candidate who has never run for office, to boot.

Add in a none-too-happy primary candidate who was given less than nine hours to make a decision about his candidacy in the face of state party anointment for his brand new competition and you have a real humdinger of a situation that has many GOP political insiders and grassroots types in a real twist.

(FYI:  A Rule 11 letter is basically equivalent to a party endorsement and anointment.  Among other things, it means a candidate can use state party lists to raise money.  And the RNC can give money to the candidate if it wishes.  The Rule 11 letter in this case was given to candidate Michelle Fiore and signed by state GOP chairman Chris Comfort, national RNC committeewoman Heidi Smith and former governor Bob List who sits on the executive board of the state party.)

Here’s the scoop:

Self-styled conservative and brand new political candidate Michelle Fiore today suddenly pulled out of the SD-9 primary against moderate Republican incumbent Senator Dennis Nolan and threw her hat into the CD-1 (Shelley Berkley) primary against brand new conservative political candidate Craig Lake.  And she did so with a Rule 11 letter in hand.

To fill Fiore’s shoes, Elizabeth Halseth pulled out of AD-13 and filed for SD-9 against Nolan, supported by Fiore who said, “I’ve done a lot of work in my senate district.  I would not be happy stepping away from that for just anyone.  My support for Elizabeth is based on her conservative credentials and her signing of the taxpayer protection pledge.”

(Update (9:10 AM Sunday): It should be noted that it was politically savvy of Halseth to slide into that SD-9 race.  And from the grassroots/conservative point of view, it may well be the best thing that comes of this whole mess:  Halseth takes out Nolan, who is widely unwanted for being too moderate (moderate = GOP code for being a tax raiser), in the GOP primary.)

As for Lake, the CD-1 primary favorite of many grassroots conservatives who now finds himself up against a party-anointed competitor, he is none too pleased with the situation.  Here is what he said to me about this as the clock was ticking toward 5:00 PM:

“I got a call from the state party chairman, Chris Comfort, at 8 a.m. this morning.  I guess they have been shopping for a big name to get in the CD-1 race.  And apparently some voter data came out that was somehow compelling to them.  So, I was asked to meet to discuss the situation.”

Lake said that in the meeting, Comfort explained that Fiore wanted to jump into the CD-1 race and asked Lake to withdraw and instead run for Secretary of State, promising that the party would support him in that race.

(Secretary of State candidate Rob Lauer may be surprised to hear about Comfort’s offer because in early February Lauer threw himself on the proverbial sword for Joe Heck in CD-3 on the very same promise (from the NRSC and party leaders):  withdraw from the congressional race and run for Secretary of State and there’ll be suppport.)

Lake said he is not interested in the Secretary of State race and was surprised when he learned the party’s preferred candidate was first-timer Michelle Fiore:

“I mean no disrespect, but I honestly don’t see how she is a better candidate,” he said.  “I mean, if I felt they had found a better and more qualified candidate, I would have agreed to step out.”

Lake said after he got the call this morning, he assumed the party had some “big-name heavyweight candidate” they want to run.  “I was prepared to hear who it was,” he said.  “I would have stepped aside and considered another race if I thought it was a viable person.  But I don’t, so I’m not.”

When asked about the Rule 11 letter that Fiore has been given by the state party, Lake said, “It’s just eye opening to me:  the state party getting involved like this, the politics as usual, the political opportunism.  But it just re-enforces my desire to go ahead with my plan.  I do think I am the better candidate, and so I am staying in the race.”

When I asked Fiore why she is making the jump from a state senate to congressional race in her first go-round, she said, “In the months I spent getting to know the voters in my district, as concerned as they were about issues facing our state, their biggest concern were the issues facing the nation. So when I was approached to jump into the race to address those issues, I was excited to do so.”

Fiore would not say who first approached her about the switch.  When I spoke to Bob List later in the evening, he said he couldn’t speak to what had happened on Fiore’s end but that he had received a call from someone last week saying Fiore had expressed an interest in the CD-1 race and wanted to talk.

“I first learned of her interest last Friday,” said List.  “I got a call from someone who indicated she was interested in the race.  So I met with her.  I gave her some guidance on things she should do, and I helped raise some appointments for her.  After that, she went to work and had her meetings and did her due diligence.”

When I asked List why the party waited until this morning to contact Craig Lake about the matter, he said, “Michelle did not make up her mind until today.”

When I pressed List as to how the party could justify giving Lake less than a day to consider the situation and make a decision, “There has been fast some shifting around.  This one just happened to happen last minute.  But I think the right call was made.”

As for Fiore, she sounded like she was on Cloud 9.  “I have party backing with the Rule 11 letter that Bob List, Chris Comfort and Heidi Smith have signed,” she said.  “They have looked and looked for someone.  It’s about what a candidate can do.  And I am that person.”

When asked why she thinks she is a better candidate than Lake, or any kind of threat to incumbent Shelley Berkley, she said, “My life experience.  Being in the private sector, a businesswoman.  I get beat up by the government for a living.  When you are experienced with fighting with bureaucrats, that makes you a better candidate.”

Fiore went on to say she believes she can win (don’t they all?) and that “after talking with Governor List and others, I believe I will have the help and support I need.”

On that subject – “others” who might support her – I asked Fiore if there was any truth to a story I have been told by four different inside sources in the past week:  that a very prominent and wealthy Las Vegas businessman (who shall remain nameless until I can confirm it, Dear Readers) had promised substantial financial support to any viable female candidate the GOP could find to challenge Berkley.  Fiore said she knew nothing of it.

When I asked Bob List the same question, he paused and said, “I can tell you that Michelle Fiore has been vetted by some highly respected campaign advisers and that she has lined up some very significant money sources.”

“We were very impressed with her style, determination and willingness to get into this race and go toe to toe with Shelley Berkley,” List added.  “I think she fits the profile of the person it’s going to take.”

When I asked List if that “profile” includes being a woman, List answered, simply, “Yes.”

When I asked List if he seriously believes Fiore has any chance of beating Shelley Berkley, he said, “I believe she has a great shot at it.  She is perfect for it.  She is a small business owner, and she understands one of our most pressing national issues — health care — because she owns a home heath care business that employs over 150 people.”

“Look, I live in Shelley’s district,” added List.  “I think Shelley, God Bless her, is just totally out of step with reality.  She is Exhibit A of an unpopular incumbent who is vulnerable this year.”

Not everyone is so enamored with this move.  I spoke to a half-dozen insiders and GOP political operatives tonight and not one of them thought the state party did the right thing today.  Most said they understand Lake is a long shot to beat Berkley but believe he is a better candidate than Fiore and that the situation is therefore unfair to him.

Gary Rogers, grassroots and coalitions consultant for the Craig Lake campaign and the former Coalitions Director for the Clark County Republican party, was extremely displeased.

“I think the state party has no business interfering in a primary and offering a Rule 11 letter without having a superior candidate,” Rogers said.  “To just go out and find a first-time candidate like this because they’ve decided she’s what they need and then to use this Rule 11 is nonsense.”

Update (11:14 AM Sunday): Thicker and thicker.  A very reliable source just told me that over the past two weeks, gubernatorial candidate Mike Montandon and US Senate candidate Chad Christensen were both also approached by GOP state party officials about jumping into CD-1.  And that Frank Luntz, who was here doing polling late last week, was the one who came up with “the female thing.”

Still talking to folks about this off and on.  Many are saying they think the state party’s move and Rule 11 letter does not mean jack-diddly — because the RNC is going to look into Fiore and shrug.  A Rule 11 letter does not obligate them.