Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Sandoval Skips Republican Governors Association Conference

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:34 am December 5th, 2011

Gov. Sandoval was one of the few GOP governors who did not attend last week’s Republican Governors Association (RGA) annual pow-wow in Orlando.

He cited schedule conflicts including the conference on tourism in Las Vegas and said “Nevada comes first.”

More than two dozen of the nation’s 29 Republican governors attended the event, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, vice chairman of the national organization, and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, who is serving as chairman.

McDonnell touted “historic victories in Louisiana and Mississippi” in 2011 and said the organization is raising “record sums” in remarks made at the conference.

Next year, Democrats will defend in eight of 11 states scheduled to hold governors’ races. The states with gubernatorial elections in 2012 are: WA, MT, DE, IN, MO, NC, ND, NH, UT, VT and WV.

Other members of the RGA Executive Committee include: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

In addition to naming members to the executive committee, the governors tapped Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels as Policy Chairman of the association’s Public Policy Committee.

The RGA’s choice of Orlando as a conference location was no doubt tied to Florida’s key role in the presidential primaries and general election.

The Republican National Convention will descend on Tampa and the greater central Florida area in August 2012.



Nevada GOP Opts to Follow New Hampshire and Stay Ahead of Florida

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:27 pm October 1st, 2011

As flashed by RalstonFlash and the Las Vegas Review Journal by email few moments ago, Nevada Republicans have decided to move up the state’s presidential caucus to January (so still just behind New Hampshire) in order to jump in front of Florida’s primary, which is now set for January 31.

As a result, Nevada will lose half (a projected 14) of its delegates at the national convention.

However, maintaining its early-state nominating status ensures national eyes will remain on the Silver State and candidates will pay and play in Nevada, a financial boon to both broadcasters and political operatives.




GOP Chair Leaning Toward Early February Caucuses; Dem Chair Blasts Florida for Calendar Change

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:28 pm September 30th, 2011

State GOP chair Amy Tarkanian confirmed a short while ago that although discussions are ongoing, she is leaning towards holding Nevada’s presidential caucuses the first week of February. Tarkanian said she is just not sure she’s willing to be penalized and lose half the state’s delegates by scheduling prior to February 1, which is what Republican National Committee rules would require.

@RalstonFlash first Tweeted her position earlier in the day:

.@MrsT106: “It’s not fair that a bigger state can bully us in this manner.” But w/so few delegates, she frets NV will have no voice at all.

Tarkanian said the Nevada Republican Party executive committee will tonight have a conference call in order to weigh the pros and cons of giving up Nevada’s early caucus/third-in-line place in order to send all 28 of the party’s delegates to the presidential nominating convention in Tampa.

Tarkanian said she is not happy but could be satisfied to be “first in the West” position.

If Iowa moves its primary to January and the Nevada GOP chooses a February caucus date, it will have to reverse a provision binding the Nevada caucus date to the Saturday following the New Hampshire primary.

For the time being, Nevada’s GOP presidential caucus is scheduled for Feb. 18.

In reaction to Florida’s announcement today that they will be moving their Presidential Primary date to January 31st, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement, ”Florida’s announcement today risks the integrity and intent of the presidential nominating calendar and is a blatant violation of the rules agreed upon by the national committees of both parties.”

Update (4:29 p.m.):  From a press release from Amy Tarkanian/the Nevada GOP:

“Florida has thrown the primary and caucus system into upheaval with the decision to move their primary up to January 31st. It’s a disrespectful and counter-productive move. However, I am working closely with representatives of the other early states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, for a positive resolution. The date of Nevada’s caucus might have to be moved up accordingly to a date yet to be determined. Still, even if the date changes, Nevada will remain the First in the West Presidential Caucus and our determination to achieve excellence and raise Nevada’s national profile remains unchanged.”

Update (5:01 p.m.): Here’s the GOP delegate chart for all the states.



Let’s Get Linky

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:49 pm September 23rd, 2011

Bored with my usual “In Case You Missed It” headline, so I’m mixing it up today, Dear Readers. Livin’ on the edge, that’s me. Here’s some stuff you may have missed this week in your mad rush to live your life:

Presidential/Electoral Stuff

What do Florida and Nevada have in common, besides being all sunshine-y? They are both toss-up states with high unemployment rates, which puts them in play in 2012 presidential politics. Michigan (blue) and North Carolina (red) are leaners rather than toss-ups, but that Motor City jobless rate might be a problem for Obama as well. (H/T Ralston)

Rick Santorum admits to helping out a fellow Senator and tipping off John Ensign way back when. (Doug Hampton said as much when he appeared on Face to Face.)


Here’s the state GOP complaint/request filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics Tuesday for an investigation into Rep. Berkley’s legislative actions related to her husband’s medical practice and related matters. Ralston put together a fun timeline showing what happened next.

Sen. Dean Heller gave his first speech. Quite the populist these days. Those of running for U.S. Senate and trying to appeal to independents, I mean.

I wonder if Heller called these guys copycats? He’s been pushing for transparency of that supercommittee with near-daily press releases since it was formed.


Speaking of copycats, someone at R&R pointed me to a Joe Trippi “Echo” ad in the California governor’s race after I Tweeted something about this Amodei ad tying Kate Marshall to various Dems.

You know its official when the door sign goes up.


Sandoval is having a couple of little fundraisers. And Secretary of State Ross J. Miller says he’s looking at the AG’s (not the governor’s) office in 2014.

Sandoval is not running for vice president. Really, Dear Readers, he’s not.

T-shirts for cheap. (Poor Jim Gibbons.)


Redistricting continues.

Random Stuff

Personal income growth in the states is (you guessed it) down. Nevada is in the lowest fifth.

Someone is encouraging people to move to Nevada, but not for the reasons you might think.

Here’s the Retail Association of Nevada poll if you want to read the whole thing.

We might get the winter Olympics. In 2022. If the world has not ended by then.

I didn’t know there was such a thing as the Chinese Miss Cosmos pageant. There is. And it’s coming to Reno.




Gov. Sandoval Praises Appeals Court Ruling on Federal Health Care Package

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:56 pm August 12th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Gov. Brian Sandoval today praised a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the so-called “individual mandate” in federal health care legislation.

“The ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals confirms what we have known all along: the federal health care law’s individual mandate was over-reaching and unconstitutional,” said Sandoval in a statement. “Nevada continues to be well-represented in this case and I expect there will be ultimate victory before the United States Supreme Court.”

A panel of the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals found fault with the requirement in the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that says Americans must carry personal health insurance or face financial penalties.

The 11th Circuit decision is a pivotal judicial event because it reviewed a sweeping ruling by a U.S. District Court in Florida.

A divided three-judge panel did not agree with the lower court on all counts but did strike down the so-called “individual mandate,” ruling in favor of 26 states that had sued to block the law on the basis that it was unconstitutional and violates individual rights.

White House adviser Stephanie Cutter said on a White House blog that the administration strongly disagreed with the ruling.

“Individuals who choose to go without health insurance are making an economic decision that affects all of us — when people without insurance obtain health care they cannot pay for, those with insurance and taxpayers are often left to pick up the tab,” wrote Cutter.

But today’s decision, written by Chief Judge Joel Dubina and Circuit Judge Frank Hull, found that “the individual mandate contained in the Act exceeds Congress’s enumerated commerce power.”

“What Congress cannot do under the Commerce Clause is mandate that individuals enter into contracts with private insurance companies for the purchase of an expensive product from the time they are born until the time they die,” the opinion said.

Circuit Judge Stanley Marcus said in his dissent that the panel majority ignored the “undeniable fact that Congress’ commerce power has grown exponentially over the past two centuries, and is now generally accepted as having afforded Congress the authority to create rules regulating large areas of our national economy.”

Marcus’ opinion agreed with that of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which in June upheld the government’s requirement that most Americans buy health insurance.

Government officials are expected to either ask for a review of today’s decision by the full court or appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


Florida: Lawsuit Over Third Party Tea Party Name

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:16 pm May 19th, 2010

This story out of the Sunshine State sounds slightly familiar.  The gist:

A guy is running for Congress as a third party candidate on the Florida Tea Party ticket, and all the grassroots Tea Party types are upset.

Some have filed suit against three men involved with the Florida Tea Party, alleging that they hijacked the movement’s name.

The founder of the Florida Tea Party is filing a counter suit.

One of the guys involved with the non-party Tea Party in Florida said the third party is a diabolical plot to confuse Tea Partiers so they do not know who to vote for or who is real.

The candidate in question switched his party affiliation from Republican to Florida Tea Party just before the candidate filing deadline.

States’ Amended Complaint in Health Care Reform Case

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:15 pm May 14th, 2010

Your bedtime reading tonight:


As Gibbons’ lead attorney M Hutchison said on Ralston’s F2F last night, in addition to seven more states there are also some private parties plus a business group – National Federation of Independent Business – now on the suit.

Governor’s Special Counsel to Travel to Florida for Oral Arguments in Health Care Reform Lawsuit

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 7:32 am May 14th, 2010

Las Vegas attorney Mark Hutchison says he will soon be going to Florida for oral arguments in the federal motion to dismiss the health care lawsuit being brought by 20 states including Nevada.

Reagan-appointed U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson will hear arguments challenging the states’ right to bring the suit on September 14, 2010 in the Northern District of Florida.

“Because there are 20 states named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit now, we will likely assign one lawyer to present oral argument to the judge during oral argument on behalf of all of the states,” said Hutchison.

“The decision identifying who that lawyer will be has not yet been made,” he said.

The amended complaint adding Nevada and a number of other states to the lawsuit will be filed today.  Hutchison said a decision is expected in October or November.

Hutchison said he also plans to attend a hearing, for which the date has not been set, on the states’ motion for summary judgment.  The motion will ask the judge to declare the health care legislation unconstitutional and bar its implementation in the states.

Despite criticism that the lawsuit is a futile attempt to thwart the health care reform bill,  Hutchison said he is confident in the strength of the suit’s legal positions.

“There are many legal experts, scholars, judges and lawyers who believe that that the health care legislation will be declared unconstitutional by the courts,” he said.

“The principles at issue in this lawsuit are broader than the specific legislation in question and rise above the political maneuvering associated with its passage,” said Hutchison.

“This case is about preserving and respecting the system of constitutional government established at the founding of this country,” he said.

Hutchison contends that the health care legislation represents an unprecedented encroachment on the sovereignty of the states and on the rights of citizens by mandating, for the first time in U.S. history, that residents purchase something or be punished by the government through the imposition of a fine.

“Such a mandate exceeds the powers of the federal government under Article I of the U.S. Constitution, particularly the commerce clause, and violates the Ninth and Tenth Amendments as well as the Constitution’s principles of federalism and dual sovereignty,” said Hutchison.

Hutchison said he believes it is likely the case will end up in the nation’s highest court.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has stated publicly that he expects the case to reach the court within the next two years.

Hutchison says his office has had no communications with the Nevada Attorney General since the governor appointed him as lead special counsel for Nevada in the lawsuit challenging the health care legislation.

“Although we recognize that the Attorney General has a different view, we continue to believe that the governor has the authority under state law and by virtue of his office to appoint special counsel to represent the state given the Attorney General’s decision,” said Hutchison.

Nevada Attorneys and Candidates for Attorney General Debate Legalities of Health Care Reform Lawsuit

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:59 pm April 7th, 2010

Four attorneys with ties to the issues and parties of Nevada’s health care reform lawsuit gave their perspectives to media and political bloggers during a Nevada News Bureau-hosted conference call this afternoon.

Mark Hutchison, lead counsel for Governor Gibbons’ newly retained pro-bono team, said he plans to participate in a conference with US District Court Judge Roger Vinson next week as part of the process to join Florida and other states in an amended complaint challenging the federal government on provisions in the recently passed health care legislation.

Hutchison said Indiana, North Carolina, Mississippi and Arizona have all now announced their intention to join the Florida lawsuit.

“The suit will be based primarily on 10th amendment challenges, unapportioned tax issues and the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance,” said Hutchison.

Jacob Hafter, an attorney and Republican candidate for state Attorney General, predicted a “long process” and speculated that Nevada will face additional legal issues and public outcry when taxes and penalties for not complying with health care reform mandates are levied and fully realized by citizens.

Hafter said he believes the Attorney General has been “derelict in her duties” and that her refusal to cooperate with the Executive Branch has created a liability that may be punishable as a misdemeanor under state law.

Hafter also said he today received confirmation from a reliable source inside the Nevada State Bar that a formal ethics complaint has been filed against the Attorney General for violations of attorney-client privilege when she disclosed certain pieces of information in her publicized response and explanation letters to Governor Gibbons.

Joel Hansen, an attorney and the Independent American Party candidate for Attorney General, disagreed with his colleagues and said he believes it is a violation of state law for the Governor to go outside the Attorney General’s office in order to pursue health care reform lawsuit.  Hansen said in his opinion, the correct legal avenue for the governor to take would be to call a special session of the legislature asking them to order the Attorney General to follow his instructions, just as the governor of Arizona did last week.

Hutchison disagreed with Hansen and said his interpretation of Nevada statues is that the Executive Branch is within its rights to retain outside, pro-bono counsel in certain instances.

“The Attorney General is not necessarily the chief legal officer for this kind of lawsuit,” Hutchison said, arguing this is so in part because the suit will be prosecuted against the federal government in a court in another state.

“And if the Attorney General can appoint subordinate counsel at her own discretion,” Hutchison added, “Surely the Executive Branch retains that same right.”

Attorney and former General Counsel and Chief of Staff to the Governor, Josh Hicks, said there are good arguments on both sides of the issue and said a question like this has never before “come to a head” for the state. Hicks said that among other things, the disqualifying language in the statues must be examined.

“Is a refusal to prosecute a disqualification of the Attorney General?” he asked.

Hicks added that “the implied authority for the Governor to have his own counsel, especially if coming out of his agency and budget” is also at issue.

“It will be very interesting to see what the Attorney General does next,” he said.

Hansen reiterated that in his opinion the language in the statues is clear and the Attorney General is within her rights to say the Governor has wrongfully “employed” counsel outside her office.

“However, if I were the governor, I would also look at statute 228.210 which says the Attorney General is obligated to pursue this matter because he has directed her to do so,” said Hansen.  “If she fails to perform that duty, she is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Hafter agreed but added that, in his view, “There is a perhaps an ability for the Attorney General to commit malfeasance with no way of being called to task other than to be voted out in November.”

“Which at least two of us on this call are hoping happens,” he joked.

“I do think it would be appropriate for the legislature to address this matter of the Attorney General’s obligation to the Executive Branch,” Hafter said.

Hicks referred to a case in Georgia in which there has been some talk of impeachment of the Attorney General for refusing to follow the governor’s order.

“But that is all unchartered territory here in Nevada,” Hicks said. “And I think it’s an unlikely scenario.”

Hutchison said if the Attorney General brings a complaint and seeks injunctive relief and the governor pushes forward, the matter could “quickly” end up in the state Supreme Court.

Gibbons Says Nevada Will Piggyback on Florida Health Care Lawsuit

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:57 am April 2nd, 2010

As Flashed by Ralston just now:

Gov. Jim Gibbons will say NV statute prohibiting him from acting does not apply if join lawsuit lawsuit filed in Florida on health care reform, source confirms.

He plans to find attorneys working on pro bono basis to join existing suits — attorneys group is “work in progress.”

KLAS-TV reported this morning that Gibbons will sue the feds, but I understand plan is to join existing lawsuit.

Either way, big announcement supposed to be made Tuesday, but loquacious governor spilled beans to Channel 8.

Did anyone doubt he would move forward?


Too good politically, if not legally (and that remains to be seen).

PPP Advice to Tea Party Candidates: You Need Money (and to avoid the “kook” label)

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:23 pm March 2nd, 2010

Public Policy Polling has a blog post on a floundering Tea Party candidate in Texas, followed by general comments (emphasis mine):

Unless there’s been a big shift in the final week of the campaign in Texas it appears that Debra Medina will fall well short of making a Republican runoff.

A 20% performance for Medina would still be impressive, given the two political titans she’s facing off against. But her lack of sustained momentum after peaking at 24% in our polling three weeks ago will also show several limitations of the ‘Tea Party’ movement:

1) Just as we saw with Patrick Hughes in Illinois, if you can’t compete with the big boys financially, you can’t compete with the big boys, period. Perry and Hutchison have had the funds to saturate the airwaves and Medina hasn’t, and that’s why her name recognition was still under 50% on our final poll of the Texas race. These Republican insurgents may not need a ton of money to make some noise, but they do need a ton of money to actually win anything. Without the interference of the Club for Growth or some similarly deep pocketed group Medina never had a chance.

2) Republican voters may be more open to candidates from outside the mainstream of their party this year but there’s a limitation to how far outside the mainstream you can be and still hope to get some traction. 79% of Texas Republicans have a favorable opinion of George W. Bush. So Medina made a big mistake by allowing the perception to be created that Bush’s administration may have had something to do with 9/11. Tea Party candidates need to be able to avoid the ‘kook’ label if they’re going to be successful - it will be interesting in Kentucky to see if some of Rand Paul’s past statements end up really hurting him the way Medina’s did her.

For all the hype about the Tea Party movement I think it’s entirely possible Marco Rubio will end up being the only candidate associated with it to win a major primary this year – that will certainly be the case if its folks don’t start raising more money.

I think PPP is mostly right, with this exception/addition:  Tea Party candidates can raise gobs of money online if they run in the “right” races and energize the conservative blogosphere and Twittersphere as now-Senator Scott Brown did.  By establishing himself as a Tea Party guy (who has since turned out to be a Massachusetts moderate – oops!) Brown raised $12 million online in the last two weeks of his campaign, much of it via “money bombs” (i.e., fundraising links sent out en masse via Twitter and conservative/Tea Party blogs and mailing lists).  This influx of funds was less about Brown and his little tan pick-up truck than the conservatives/Tea Partiers salivating at the thought of taking Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, but the point is:  Brown established himself as the Man of the Hour and the online donations poured in from around the country.

Come October, I think the Harry Reid race could be another Money Bomb Central.  Harry is despised by the conservative/Tea Party peeps even more than Teddy was.  They will be rabid to defeat him.  Whether they will split asunder (Lowden? Tarkanian? Angle?) or line up behind one candidate in the primary and then in the general (Republican or Tea Party candidate?) will be very interesting to see.

Which reminds me:

Tea Party of Nevada candidate Jon Scott Ashjian…  When are you going to file, sir?!