Posts Tagged ‘Lowden’

Gov. Gibbons Appoints Former U.S. Senate Candidate Sue Lowden To Medical Board

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 6:16 pm December 14th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons has appointed Sue Lowden to the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners. Lowden has lived and worked in Nevada for more than 30 years. She is a former Nevada state senator who recently ran in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate.

“Sue Lowden’s outstanding public service contributions to the people of Nevada make her an excellent choice for appointment to this important position,” Gibbons said. “Sue brings a long history of achievement in the public and private sectors to the board.”

“I am proud that Gov. Gibbons has chosen me for this position,” Lowden said. “I am looking forward to working with the other board members to protect our health system in Nevada.”

Some political observers believe it was Lowden’s suggestion that people barter with their physicians to obtain medical care that derailed her GOP Senate primary campaign. Lowden said previous generations paid for care by bringing a chicken to the doctor, a remark that was widely criticized as out of touch.

Lowden was a television anchorwoman and reporter in Las Vegas before embarking on a business career. She is a Nevada gaming licensee and currently serves as a member of the board of directors and secretary-treasurer of Archon Corp., a gaming and investment company. She is the former president of the Santa Fe Hotel and Casino and former executive vice-president of the Sahara Hotel and Casino – both in Las Vegas. Lowden earned a Women of Achievement Award from the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Nevada’s largest business organization.

Lowden will take the seat of Las Vegan Van Hefner, who recently resigned from the board. Lowden’s term will expire on June 30, 2014.

GOP Senate Candidate Sue Lowden Calls Reid Interference In Republican Primary Unprecedented

By Sean Whaley | 3:55 pm June 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden said today she is “very encouraged” by the exit polling results her campaign has seen from early voting as primary election day draws near.

She said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program that the results of a poll reported over the weekend in the Las Vegas Review-Journal showing Sharron Angle taking a commanding lead in the multi-candidate primary is several days old and included people who have not yet voted. The poll was conducted June 1 through 3.

“So we’ve been tracking those who have left their homes, the comforts of their homes, and gone to early vote and we’re very, very encouraged,” she said.

Lowden did not disclose what her tracking polls are showing, saying she didn’t have the information available.

“It’s different in every part of the state that we’ve been tracking,” she said. “But I can tell you we feel really good about those who have voted already.”

Lowden said voters should not be swayed by the ads running in the Senate race from outside groups, particularly those from the Patriot Majority PAC, which she said has links to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The political action committee, run by a former Reid campaign staffer, is running an ad in Nevada attacking Lowden’s record on taxes during her term in the state Senate in the 1990s.

“I do wish outside groups had stayed out of our race,” she said. “Harry Reid has clearly decided he doesn’t want me in November to defeat him; he thinks it’s easier to defeat me in June. I’m hoping that people see through it.”

While voters may be tired of negative campaigning, Lowden said GOP primary voters need to know that outside groups are trying to influence the results, including “Harry Reid friendlies who are doing that, trying to influence our Republican primary, like I’ve never seen before in this state.”

Lowden said questions raised about several incidents during her campaign, such as her suggestion that people barter with their doctors for care, were made issues by Reid to distract voters from his failures on jobs and the economy.

“They can’t find anything about me, so they make it up,” she said. “He’s going to do anything to protect his job to make sure he has a job in November. He doesn’t care about the tens of thousands of people who don’t have jobs in Nevada. He’s not talking about that.”

Lowden made similar remarks in an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball this afternoon.


Audio Files:

Lowden on recent poll numbers:

060710Lowden1 :26 very, very encouraged.”

Lowden on Reid:

060710Lowden2 :24 in this state”

Tea Party Express Brings the Funny With Mock Poll Results

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:22 pm June 4th, 2010

A gold star goes to the Tea Party Express for putting out this clever tongue-in-cheek press release just now:




The Tea Party Express joined every other campaign above Dog Catcher in releasing our exclusive Exit Poll results from Early Voting.

The Exit Poll data showed similar results to those released by the U.S. Senate campaigns of Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden:






The margin of error on the poll was +/- 95%.

“We’ve given it our best effort, but clearly we cannot compete with the other U.S. Senate campaigns and their constantly rising internal poll results,” said Bryan J. Shroyer, Political Director of the Tea Party Express.

“We thought Sharron Angle could win this campaign by securing roughly 35% of the vote, but clearly the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns long ago passed those numbers in their own internal polling and are set for a historic election finish winning more than 100% of the vote each.

“We failed. We thought we were doing well with Angle’s initial surge until the competing camps corrected us and denied the surge. We then thought we were doing good as independent polls showed us running neck-and-neck with Sue Lowden until we were corrected by the other campaigns that no we weren’t. And with new independent polls showing Angle surging ahead to first-place, we are grateful to the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns for once again setting us straight.”


Friday U.S. Senate Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:26 pm June 4th, 2010

Here’s a hodgepodge of Senate race items, some of them in Twitter format (meaning 140 characters or less with various abbrevations and supplemented by hashtags as modifiers or snarky comments):

– Earlier this week Sue Lowden told CQ Politics the GOP would unite after primary day, but today her campaign manager told members of the press she’s the only one who can beat Harry Reid (insinuating, without so saying directly, that the general election is over if she doesn’t win).  How to reconcile the one with the other?  And will the winner, if it’s not Lowden, even want her half-hearted support?  Especially if that winner is Sharron Angle, upon whom Team Lowden has been unmercifully beating for the past few weeks?

– Manu Raju w/ Politico was also on that call with team Lowden today. Here’s the write-up.

– My sum-up of the call?  Seven parts Angle-bashing, two parts “only we can win” and one part dismissing general skepticism about Lowden’s ability to actually do so.

– The Sun’s Coolican and Schwartz had a nice snapshot of the race as of this morning. says Harry Reid has “quiet” Mormon support. (Why do they feel they have to whisper…?)

– The Defense in the Blagojevich trial subpoenaed Harry Reid, Dick Durbin & Jesse Jackson Jr. Judge (but the judge denied the request to subpoena Obama).  Hm.  That could get messy.

– A Gun Owners of America website called likes Angle and doesn’t like Tarkanian.  Includes clip to that Brady endorsement thing.

– I kicked off a fun Twitter convo about Tarkanian this morning when I shared some exit poll numbers put out by his press guy.  Here is some of it (all unlabeled Tweets are mine):

Team Tark out w/ early voting exits. Claims Tark at 44%, Angle at 29%, Lowden 26%, w/ a Clark/Rural/Washoe ratio of 58/24/17. Says MOE 8.8%.

(@presjpolk) @pinkelephantpun Wow, an MoE of 8.8. My model gives a 20% chance per that poll that Angle leads Tark.

(@pinkelephantpun) @presjpolk … I think it’s a load of crap. Personally. Nothing I’ve seen puts Tark in that range. At all. But you’re the expert.

Let’s be clear that I am not validating or endorsing Team Tark’s claims about their exit polls, just reporting them. #grainofsalt

On Team Tark: When you’ve spent $800K on a campaign, of course you’re gonna fight & hold out hope ’til the bitter end.

Tark Press Team responds to skeptical Tweets about their exit poll #s: “We heard similar #’s from another top campaign.” #nvsen

(@RalstonFlash) Just off plane & saw Tark exit polling. I believe the numbers. I think of voters he once had, he’s probably holding 44%. #alsoran

(@RalstonFlash) Only way Tark wins race is if all the other data out there is wrong. But happy to eat crow Tuesday if he wins. Well, not happy, but will.

If Team Tark wins, they will crow from rooftops, press & pollsters will eat crow, & carrion crows will descend on oppo camps.

And finally, this great Tweet by Ralston, which I think pretty much sums it up for all of us (except all the candidates who are not running for U.S. Senate, of course):

Right now, feel re: GOP Senate race as Paul Newman did about case in “The Verdict.” “There are no other cases. This is the case.” #obsessed

U.S. Senate Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:11 pm June 3rd, 2010

In an effort to close out a few of my 27 open browser tabs on stories the U.S. Senate race, here is a quick round-up of U.S. Senate race items for your edification and enjoyment, Dear Readers:

– A Stephen Moore WSJ piece on Angle Anxiety within the GOP establishment.  Also mentions Norquistian (Americans for Tax Reform) issues with her vote against the 2005 property tax cap bill (but as @SteveSebelius Tweeted earlier, she voted against that because she thought it was unconstitutional).  And says liberals are cheering for Angle as Reid’s dream opponent.

A KOS poll showing Angle now in the lead and Harry beating, well, everyone.

– Mary Cheney’s new PAC (Send Harry Packing) is out with a Harry Reid hit ad.

– Talking Points Memo with a Future Looks Bright for Harry story.

– One of Scott Ashjian’s (remember him?) companies filed for bankruptcy yesterday due to an unpaid debt to Nevada National Bank for $750,000.

– A vet’s group does negative robocalls on Lowden for her (1995) “burial tax for veterans” bill authorizing non-combat veterans to pay ($100) for burial in a veterans’ cemetery.

The WaPo says Angle won’t say where she’s campaigning this week and asks if she’s doing it because she’s afraid she’ll say something to screw things up.

– David McGrath Schwartz explores Team Reid’s Bashfest.

– Tark tells ABC why he needs to be the one via criticism of Angle and Lowden.

Hat Tips to @SteveSebelius and @RalstonFlash for quite a few of these, via Twitter and/or their blogs.

GOP Senate Candidate Sharron Angle Says Attacks from Lowden a “Distraction” from Real Issues

By Sean Whaley | 2:17 pm May 26th, 2010

CARSON CITY – GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle said today the attacks on her campaign from opponent Sue Lowden trying to link her to the Church of Scientology are off base and a distraction from the real issues of concern to voters.

Angle, who is gaining momentum in the GOP primary for the chance to take on U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said she will continue to focus on the real issues as the June 8 primary approaches.

“Harry Reid has failed Nevada with high unemployment; high foreclosure rates,” she said. “He has failed America with a bailout; the stimulus; Obamacare. He needs to be fired. That is our focus.”

Angle said she has created a broad coalition of support – from the Tea Party Express to gun owners to the group Nevada Concerned Citizens – that will enable her to defeat Reid in November. Republicans will not be able to take down Reid without support from independent voters and conservative Democrats, she said.

“We know Republicans can’t fire Harry Reid all by ourselves,” Angle said. “We need some help.”

Angle was interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.

Lowden, who has been the front runner in the multi-candidate GOP primary, last week started running an ad attacking Angle for voting on pay hikes as a member of the state Assembly and for pushing legislation in 2003 aimed at reducing recidivism among female prison inmates using a program supported by the Church of Scientology.

“I am not a Scientologist, I have no connections with the Church of Scientology,” she said.

But Angle questioned why the issue is being raised in the campaign.

“When a campaign or any kind of a race disintegrates to attacks on religion you have to wonder what’s going on.  How did religion even get into this discussion?” Angle said. “We do still have the freedom of religion and our First Amendment.”

Angle said she wanted Nevada lawmakers to see the Second Chance program in operation in a prison in Mexico in 2003 because of a belief it had merit. The issue was did Nevada want to stop recidivism, she said.

The effort was abandoned after it was “demonized” and “politicized,” because of the 2003 tax debate, Angle said.

Angle also said she continues to support off-shore drilling despite the oil leak in the Gulf because the U.S. needs to end its dependence on foreign oil. Angle said the Gulf leak was an accident and a cleanup is under way.

“We need to go forward and talk about prevention, and not about whether we keep it out all together,” she said. “We have oil reserves and petroleum reserves we should tap into.”

Angle Votes to Raise Legislative Pay Confirmed, Spokesperson Calls Lowden Attack Ad “Desperate”

By Sean Whaley | 1:39 pm May 21st, 2010

CARSON CITY – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden has a new ad attacking her GOP rival Sharron Angle over her past votes in the Nevada Legislature to raise lawmaker pay as the June 8 primary draws near and early voting is set to begin tomorrow.

Lowden, who is seeking the GOP nod to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in the November general election, also issued a release this week charging that Angle twice voted to raise her own pay while a member of the Nevada Assembly.

The release came after Angle on Wednesday denied in a radio interview ever voting to raise her own pay.

Lowden spokesman Robert Uithoven then responded with this statement: “For years, campaign after campaign, Sharron has run on the motto of ‘Don’t read my lips, read my record.’ It is clearly stated in the Assembly record that Sharron voted to raise her pay not once, but twice, while serving in the state Assembly. Sharron invites Nevadans to support her based on her record. Therefore, they have a right to know the truth.”

“As a fiscal conservative, Sue has never voted to increase her salary,” Uithoven said.

The legislative record shows that Angle voted to raise her own pay in 2001. Then, in 2005, she voted for Senate Joint Resolution 11, which asked voters in 2006 to amend the state constitution to allow lawmakers to be paid for every day of a legislative session rather than the 60 days limited in the constitution currently.

Since sessions now last 120 days, the resolution would have doubled lawmaker pay if voters had approved the ballot question.

Voters rejected Question 11 in 2006 by 70 percent to 30 percent.

In 2001, Angle was one of 36 members of the Assembly who voted for Assembly Bill 606, which would have raised legislative pay from $130 a day for the first 60 days of a legislative session to $175 a day for the first 60 days, a 35 percent increase.

Under the measure, lawmakers would not have received the pay increase until they stood for re-election.

The bill passed the Assembly but never saw a vote in the Senate. The bill also proposed to raise the pay of other public officials.

Lowden is week noted that as a state senator in 1995, she voted against a bill to raise her own pay.

Angle campaign spokesman Jerry Stacy said the 2001 bill was “convoluted,” containing numerous pay provisions for many different elected officials. The small section on legislative pay “just got by her,” he said. As to the 2005 vote, Stacy said Angle was already planning to run for Congress and so knew it would not affect her.

Angle voted against three other legislative pay measures, Stacy said.

“Clearly Sharron has never tried to benefit from any her votes in the Legislature,” he said.  “They’ve spent thousands of dollars doing research. If this is the best they can come up with, they are pretty desperate.”

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.

Former State GOP Chair to New State GOP Chair: Good Luck

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:57 am May 16th, 2010


I almost didn’t post this because it is so run-of-the mill for a candidate to issue congratulations to a fellow politician upon election.  The statements always include the usual catch phrases — “full support” and “outstanding public servant” and so on — but the last word of Sue Lowden’s remarks about Mark Amodei’s election as state GOP chair sort of lingered in my mind and then elicited a chuckle.

Here it is:

“As a former state senator and former chair of the Nevada Republican Party, I want to offer my congratulations and full support to Senator Mark Amodei on being elected as the new chairman of the Nevada Republican Party. Mark has been an outstanding public servant, a proud veteran of our nation’s armed services, and loyal Republican. I look forward to his continued service and wish him luck.”



Luck raising money in a year both the county organizations and state party have (so far) struggled with generating cash flow.  In part because many voters don’t trust the party orgs to spend the money wisely and are therefore opting, when they give at all, to contribute directly to campaigns or to their PAC of choice.

Luck erasing from collective memory the egomaniacal and discomforting behavior of his predecessor.  Though this one probably doesn’t require much luck.  Amodei is a calm, sensible guy who will no doubt put out sane press releases that feature vote- and money-moving issues rather than narcissistic nonsense.

Luck with registrations and getting GOP voters to the polls so party operatives don’t end up looking like fools who squandered an opportunity.  Amodei can consider himself lucky indeed to have the very savvy Jaime Siemer from the RNC’s GOTV working out of the Vegas GOP office.  If anyone can whip the state party’s database into shape by November 1, it’s her.

And luck fending off the complaints, accusations and attacks that will no doubt come — either now, at/after the state convention or after the elections, inside party baseball being what it is.

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%

It’s Hardball Time

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:21 am May 2nd, 2010

A few comments on this interesting play in the ninth inning of the Lowden-Tarkanian game (as Flashed by Ralston a few minutes ago):

It’s closing time with less than three weeks until early voting and Danny Tarkanian is putting on an ad that essentially asserts Sue Lowden’s decades-old contributions to Harry Reid helped make her a millionaire. It is by far the harshest ad of the race so far:


ANNOUNCER: Washington power was always Harry Reid’s dream. That’s why he needed to be stopped.

ANNOUNCER: Sue Lowden? She helped Harry Reid rise to power.

LOWDEN VIDEO: “I supported Harry Reid early on.”

ANNOUNCER: Sue Lowden gave Harry Reid’s campaigns a thousand dollars in five different elections, helping his Senate dreams come true.

ANNOUNCER: Today Harry Reid has got his power, and Sue Lowden’s worth millions. It’s always an insiders’ game.”

LOWDEN VIDEO: “I supported Harry Reid.”

Not surprising that the team trailing in the final moments would throw a mean fastball over the plate.

Not included in Tark’s pitch?

The fact that he, too, is a political insider who once donated to Democrat Shelley Berkley’s campaign because she sat on the Board of Regents in 1992 when they were trying to force his father out at UNLV.  As Tarkanian said in a radio debate with Lowden, “I felt I should support her because of her support for my parents.”

Also not included:  the fact that Lowden in the past supported a Democrat named Lois Tarkanian.  And that Sue and Paul Lowden have contributed over $250,000 of their personal money to Republican candidates over the years.

But these facts hardly matter in a game that matters deeply to both teams, and is nearly over.

Chickens for Checkups TV Ad & Patriot Majority PAC

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:29 pm April 30th, 2010

Was curious, so looked for info on the 527 (PAC) Patriot Majority that is up with the “Chickens for Checkups” TV ad mentioned in my earlier post on Sue Lowden.

You can glance over a summary page of the PAC on

Craig Varoga, a principal with the political consulting firm Independent Strategies and partner at Varoga & Associates, is the founder of Patriot Majority (established in October 2009). Varoga is a strategist who, among other things, managed former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack’s presidential campaign and served as national field director for retired Four Star General Wesley Clark.  During the ’90s, he served as communications director to Harry Reid and managed various campaigns including the victories of Texas Congressman Ken Bentsen (1994) and two Houston mayors.

(Sidebar:  Here is one of Patriot Majority’s web-based email campaigns titled “The Tea Party is Over” and calling on supporters to “say no to the dangerous extremism that threatens to tear our country apart.”  The page header includes a photo of an angry looking Sarah Palin.)

Here is their expenditure info as well as the list of recent (2010) donors from (with the two entities with Nevada ties in bold text):

Rank Contributor Total
1 Service Employees Intl Union Local 1199 $235,125
2 Sheet Metal Workers Union $80,000
3 Zuffa LLC $75,000
3 Newmont Mining $75,000
5 National Education Assn $40,000
6 Harrah’s Operating Co $37,500
7 Ironworkers Union $25,000
7 Teamsters Union $25,000
9 Carpenters & Joiners Union/New England $10,000
9 IBEW Local 103 $10,000
11 Eastern Massachusetts Bricklayer People’ $5,000
12 Elevator Constructors Local 4 $1,000
13 Communications Workers Of America $0

We all know who Harrah’s is.

Newmont is one of the world’s largest gold producers with active mines all over the world including here in Nevada.  They are the only gold company listed on the S&P 500. Here’s the Nevada info page on their corporate website as well as their management team.

(History:  Newmont discovered gold in Carlin, Nevada — just west of Elko — in 1962 and opened its first mill in 1965 under the name Carlin Gold Mining Company.  In 1986 they went public as Newmont with the sale of five million shares for $47.5M.  The “Carlin Trend” was the largest 20th century gold strike in North America.)

A Few Lowden Updates

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:24 am April 30th, 2010

Item #1, a funny comment and hot tip about the latest rage in chicken games from Sebelius:

Wait, what? Senate hopeful Sue Lowden is still talking about bartering for health care? You know, the Chinese have a saying, “When you’re in a hole, stop digging before you hit a huge pocket of hot liquid magma and incinerate any hope you ever had of becoming a U.S. senator!” That’s how that goes, right?

And, inevitably, the Harry Reid campaign has launched a chickens for checkups Facebook game.

Item #2, as Flashed by Ralston this morning:

Patriot Majority ad uses regular folks deriding Bartergate

Here’s the script:

“(Sue Lowden) In the olden days our grandparents they would bring a chicken to the doctor. (Man#1) I don’t know how the docs would feel about me bringing a chicken into the doctor’s office, right. (Woman #1) Can this doctor take this chicken to a gas station? To a grocery store? (Woman #2) I think it’s a little out of touch. (Man#2) Totally fantasy land. (Man #3) Sounds like a joke. (Woman #1) Can he pay his mortgage with it? (Man#2) She is divorced from the reality that most people live. [Chyron-‘Sue Lowden’s Chicken for Checkups?’] (Man#1) No I don’t think so.”

Here’s the ad:

And Lowden goes on the attack against Harry Reid w/op-ed in Politico defending Bartergate but using the majority leader as a foil:

It’s a pretty good op-ed qua campaign missive.  If you are a Lowden fan, you will wish she had written it weeks ago.

Item #3, a WaPo op-ed.  About which I have a question, the same one Tweeted by Ralston yesterday. When did Team Lowden send out a statement suggesting she had meant to say “haggle” instead of “barter” and explaining that the idea was to offer to pay in cash if medical providers would agree to lower the price…?  The author of the WaPo piece says that happened — but if so, I guess I (and every journalist in Nevada) missed it.

Item #4, from TPM, a story about how Cornyn and the NRSC are confident of scooping up a number of Senate seats this fall.  I find the story notable because Lowden is one of five likely challengers pictured on a U.S. map graphic in the left side bar, but she is not included in the text.  Why does Cornyn fail to mention her?  Or the reporter fail to ask?

Item #5, from The Plumline, a post about Team Tark circulating an email including the first chicken-related slam from a primary opponent.  It comes in the form of a video (provided in the post if you haven’t yet seen it) and is wrapped in an email posing a question voters have every right to ask and have answered:  “…is Sue Lowden prepared to run against Harry Reid?” This question is the reason “Bartergate” is a lot more than a seemingly endless opportunity for clever headlines featuring chicken puns.  Those who are rabid to defeat Harry Reid are desperate to do so under any circumstances and most of them are going to pull the lever for the candidate they believe can run the most solid campaign and has the best chance to send him sailing back to Searchlight.  Lowden’s messaging problem is also a voter confidence problem, and that’s why it matters.

Face to Face: Brandon Hall and Bob List Talk Health Care, Harry Reid and Sue Lowden

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:28 pm April 29th, 2010

(This post was updated at 6:51 AM on 4/30/10)

A few quick notes from F2F tonight:

Harry Reid campaign boss Brandon Hall explained their new campaign ads:  three stories that show how health care reform helps “hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.”

When challenged on the bill’s unpopularity in Nevada, Hall named individual pieces of the bill that are actually well-liked and cited a Research 2000 poll that shows disapproval at less than the Rasmussen numbers.

List referred to the three ads as “trying to put a mask on this pig.”  (I thought the usual saying included lipstick? But maybe more cover-up is needed than a few swipes to the snout of Revlon Fire Engine Red.)

Ralston challenged List (and, by association, the Republican establishment) on the common characterization of health care reform as a “government takeover” and observed that the Democrats lost the health care “messaging war” in part because the GOP insisted on constantly enlisting it even though it isn’t true.

List said “it is true” and defended the label on the basis that the bill forces people to purchase insurance via congressional mandates and takes away the choice of the individual.

“Congress is part of government, last time I checked,” said List.

As for whether Reid’s pro-health care form ads are a good idea, Hall says he thinks so.  And says it puts the Republicans at a disadvantage to have to run on a platform of repeal against specific measures that are popular (like help with prescription drugs (I utterly refuse to say “closing the doughnut hole”) and policy-drop loopholes).

List agreed it will be tough to repeal the bill while bemoaning the $500M that will be pulled from Medicare and the run-up of our national debt.

As for the elephant, er, giant chicken in the room, List had the following things to say about Sue Lowden (following a quote from The Hill saying she has been a victim of national ridicule to the point that her rivals may have a chance to seize the nomination) and whether or not he (List) has heard from concerned Republicans inside the beltway:

“I have had such calls.”

“The fact is that people have always been able to negotiate in this country; it is part of our free enterprise system.  That’s what she was talking about.”

“The reality is it is much ado about very little.”

“When you compare this to some of the statements, the outrageous statements, like “the war is lost,” that are substantive and important…”

“The whole thing is a distraction from the real campaign issues.”

“It’s being played up.”

“People are having fun with it.”

“It’s gonna blow over.”

My three cents:

It’s not gonna blow over.  They are going to pound on this and ridicule Lowden from now ’til Kingdom Come. And it’s too late for her to “walk it back” (which, as Brandon Hall helpfully pointed out, she had numerous chances to do) so she just has to sit there and take it like a man.

The anticipated pounding was/is confirmed by this post-show Flash from Ralston:

Sources confirm that the Patriot Majority, one of the most active independent advocacy groups in the nation, begins a substantial, statewide buy Friday against GOP U.S. Senate frontrunner Sue Lowden.

Anyone want to guess the line of attack? Cluck three times if you think you know.

Bartergate is about to get a lot of play on the airwaves. My guess of the approach: Ridicule

Just a guess. No wonder national and local GOP folks are so worried.

Remember I told you about this group, fronted by a former Reid spokesman:

They have a lot of money and my guess is this is not a dipping-our-toes-in-the-water campaign but a cannonball that will cause a serious splash in the race. If the Democrats can try to defeat (or at least rough up) Brian Sandoval in the gubernatorial primary, I suppose they can try to do the same to Lowden in the Senate race.

Hold on to your butt feathers, Dear Readers…

In his closing segment, Ralston revisited the issue of the health care messaging war.

“How many times have you heard the obnoxious phrase — I mentioned this earlier — “government takeover”?  So Reid knows he has to pierce the misinformation and try to sell the law,” said Ralston.

“Many of the individual parts of the legislation are popular…  By using regular folks to sell these aspects, Reid hopes he can turn some heads.  No, the ads are not likely to move his poll numbers right away, but I doubt he expects they will.  It may, however, energize the Democratic base he badly needs to get out in November to have any chance of survival.”

Latest Rasmussen #s on US Senate

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:38 am April 29th, 2010

Here’s the poll.

Snippets and comments:

– Harry Reid’s support still at around 40%

With TV ads hitting this week, we’ll see if Reid can gain some points.

–Reid unfavorables at 47% with favorables at 23%

– Lowden v. Reid match-up = 52-39%

– Lowden is viewed very favorably by 15% of Nevada voters and very unfavorably by 19%

Hm!  Unfavorables there are up a bit.  Due to Bartergate and the media’s obsession with chicken puns, no doubt.

– Tarkanian v. Reid = 51-41%

– 19% have a very favorable opinion of Tarkanian, while 15% regard him very unfavorably

– Angle v. Reid = 48-40%

– Angles very favorables are at 9% with very unfavorables at 11%

Tea Party Express is raising money and now up with ads for her, so we’ll see what happens.

– 53% of Nevadans favor health care reform repeal (national #s are at 58%) while 44% oppose

– 57% of Nevada voters favor immigration legislation like AZ’s while 31% oppose

– 60% of voters in the state say America is overtaxed, compared to 66% of voters nationwide