Posts Tagged ‘Romney’

Nevada Again A Focus Of Presidential Campaigns

By Sean Whaley | 5:34 pm November 1st, 2012

RENO – Proof of Nevada’s importance in the outcome of the horse race that is the presidential election continued to be on display today, with President Obama visiting Las Vegas and GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan making stops here and in Southern Nevada.

Ryan, appearing in front of a crowd estimated by local law enforcement at about 600, continued to push the Romney-Ryan ticket message calling for change, pointing to Obama’s failed efforts at job creation.

Paul Ryan speaks at a rally today in Reno. / Nevada News Bureau.

Nevada leads the country in  unemployment at 11.8 percent in September.

He also stumped for Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who is locked in a battle with Rep. Shelley Berkley in the U.S. Senate race.

With only days before the Tuesday general election, both campaigns continued to press undecided voters in battleground states including Nevada and Colorado.

“The economy is limping along,” Ryan said. “It’s growing at less than half the rate President Obama said it would if he could just pass this stimulus plan. This is not what a real recovery looks like.

“The president can’t run on this record,” he said. “He can’t say to Nevadans, ‘look at my record therefore vote for me.’ This is why he’s running this kind of a campaign of division, of distraction, of distortion. To try and win an election by default. We’re not going to let him get away with it, are we.”

Ryan criticized a recent comment by Obama that he would create a new cabinet position focused on business if he wins another term, saying such a position already exists and is called the Secretary of Commerce.

“We don’t need a new secretary of business,” he said.

What the county needs is immediate presidential executive orders putting “ObamaCare on the path to extinction,” cutting red tape and excessive federal regulation and allowing energy production on federal lands, Ryan said.

At nearly the same time in Southern Nevada, Obama took the stage with crowd chants of “four more years,” according to an account from the press pool reporter covering the event.

About 4,500 people were on hand to hear the president speak, according to North Las Vegas Director of Administration Al Nayola. Obama began by addressing the crisis wrought by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, assuring the crowd that help will come for them.

Obama then laid out the choices people have in this election, highlighting the differences between him and Romney. He talked about the growth of jobs in the country and the end of the war in Iraq. Whenever he referenced Romney’s policies the crowd “booed,” until he turned it into cheers by saying, “Don’t boo, vote.”

“We made real progress in the past four years, but Nevada, you know our work is not done,” Obama said.

Ryan also planned to visit Southern Nevada today, not to rally voters but to stop by the Romney-Ryan campaign office to thank volunteers.

Early voting ends Friday in Nevada. Election day is Tuesday.

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Audio clips:

Paul Ryan says Obama’s record on job creation is a failure:

110112Ryan1 :31 election by default.”

Ryan says the country needs to put ObamaCare on the path to extinction:

110112Ryan2 :22 our federal lands.”

 

GOP Political Consultant Predicts Obama, Heller Victories

By Sean Whaley | 2:45 pm October 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – A long-time Republican political consultant said today he sees Nevada voters supporting President Obama on Nov. 6 while at the same time giving Republican Sen. Dean Heller a victory against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley in the hard fought U.S. Senate race.

Pete Ernaut, president of government and public affairs for R&R Partners, said he believes there is an Obama-Heller voting bloc in Nevada.

“If Gov. Romney carries Nevada, without a doubt Heller will win the Senate race,” he said during an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television show. “I don’t think there is a Romney-Berkley voting bloc. But there is clearly an Obama-Heller voting bloc.

Political consultant Pete Ernaut.

“And I actually made the prediction that I think the margins of victory will be similar,” Ernaut said. “That I think Obama will carry the state somewhere, one, three points, something like that. And I think that’s about the margin of victory for Heller.”

A similar situation occurred in Nevada in 2010, when Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid won re-election while GOP governor candidate Brian Sandoval won as well.

Ernaut said the potential of a split result should make Nevadans feel good in some respects because it shows that voters are so independent that such a vote-switching scenario could occur on election day.

“I think that makes me feel good about Nevada; that that type of result is possible,” he said.

Ernaut, a former state lawmaker, also weighed in on the closely watched state Senate 15 race, where Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, faces former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno. Ernaut said Brower, appointed to fill out the term of the late Sen. Bill Raggio, has an advantage.

But Leslie’s former state Assembly seat is located entirely within the Senate district, which could make the race close, he said.

“It’s going to be a closer race that it probably should have been, given the registration and given the dynamics of that district,” Ernaut said. “I think though that Brower still has a slight advantage.”

Ernaut said he has also reconsidered Washoe County’s critical role in the statewide election contests because of the huge Democratic voter registration edge that has emerged over Republicans in Clark County.

Democrats have 390,227 active registered voters in Clark County, compared to 262,806 Republicans, for a 45.8 percent to 30.9 percent split. Another 151,490 voters, or 17.8 percent, are nonpartisans.

“But I think that this is going to be a race that is going to be very, very affected by the turnout of Democrats in Clark County,” he said. “And that, I think, will determine the relevancy of Washoe in this statewide race.”

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Audio clips:

GOP political consultant Pete Ernaut predicts an Obama and Heller victory in Nevada on election day:

102312Ernaut11 :26 victory for Heller.”

Ernaut says Greg Brower has a slight advantage in the state Senate 15 race:

102312Ernaut2 :11 a slight advantage.”

Ernaut says the strong Democratic voter edge in Clark County has potentially affected Washoe County’s influence in the statewide races:

102312Ernaut3 :16 this statewide race.”

 

 

 

New Retail Association Poll Shows Presidential Race Tied, Others Favor Obama

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:49 am September 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Retail Association of Nevada’s (RAN) latest installment of its semi-annual survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, shows the presidential race in a tie and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., opening up a lead against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. in the Senate race.

With early voting beginning in just 26 days, the race for president is tied with 46 percent of voters indicating they would reelect President Obama and 46 percent of voters indicating support for Gov. Mitt Romney. Only 2 percent of those polled said they were undecided. The survey results come just days before both Obama and Romney visit Nevada yet again this season.

Two other recent polls show much different results, however, with both favoring Obama in Nevada.

Author: David Ball, via Wikimedia Commons.

The RAN results show Heller opened a five point lead over Berkley with 44 percent of voters preferring him to Berkley’s 39 percent. Four percent of voters in that race remain undecided and nine percent opted for “none of the above.” The poll’s margin of error is 4.38 percentage points.

RAN will be releasing full poll results on Wednesday. Additional topics covered in the survey include Nevada voters’ thoughts on Gov. Brian Sandoval, the Nevada Legislature, the economy, education, taxation and more.

The poll was conducted September 19-20 and used a sample size of 500 likely voters including 100 cell phone interviews.

Results today show that more Nevadans are optimistic about the direction of the state than in previous surveys. Thirty-seven percent say Nevada is heading in the right direction, with 54 percent finding the state is on the wrong track. Only 17 percent thought Nevada was headed in the right direction in RAN’s September 2010 poll, while 76 percent said the state was on the wrong track two years ago.

RAN commissions their surveys from Public Opinion Strategies twice a year which allows trends to be identified and provides an historical context to some of the toughest challenges facing Nevada.

Public Opinion Strategies (POS) is a national political and public affairs research firm. Founded in 1991, POS has conducted more than five million interviews with voters and consumers in all fifty states and over two dozen foreign countries.

A separate poll released today for the League of Conservation Voters showed much different results, with Obama up 9 percent over Romney 52 percent to 43 percent. The survey of 501 likely voters taken Sept. 18-20 by Public Policy Polling was an automated response poll, requiring those contacted to press the telephone keypad to indicate their responses.

The results, which also show 48 percent supporting Berkley and 44 percent Heller, were first reported by political commentator Jon Ralston.

Yet another poll released by the American Research Group puts Obama at 51 percent to 44 percent for Romney with 4 percent undecided.

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted Sept. 20-23 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Nevada Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 12.1 Percent In August

By Sean Whaley | 10:57 am September 21st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point to 12.1 percent in August from July, the second month of increases in the jobless rate after hitting a three-year low in May, a state agency reported today.

The increase in the seasonally adjusted rate, coming after a jump of four-tenths of a percentage point in July, continues to make Nevada the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

The rate is still well below the 13.8 percent jobless rate reported in August of 2011, the report from the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) shows.

The Las Vegas area had an unadjusted jobless rate of 12.3 percent in August, while Reno-Sparks saw a 11.5 percent rate and Carson City stood at 11.6 percent.

Nevada’s economy is front and central in the presidential race, and will be a topic of comments in Mitt Romney’s visit to Las Vegas today. Both Romney and President Obama have made several trips to Nevada over the past few months. The frequent visits highlight Nevada’s importance as a battleground state in the race.

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson, in commenting on today’s August report, said that Nevada is mirroring the nation with its labor market having softened in recent months.

“Job growth has eased, and the unemployment rate has ticked up,” he said. “Still, year-over-year improvement is evident. Taken as a whole, labor market barometers point to the tenuous nature of the current economic environment, both nationally and here in Nevada.”

Based, at least in part, upon the results of a monthly survey of Nevada businesses, total nonfarm payrolls fell by 1,000 jobs in August, Anderson said. In every month this summer, employment fell on a month-over-month basis, resulting in a summer decline of 3,600 jobs. (The June to July change in non-farm payroll jobs was revised from a gain of 2,100 to a loss of 1,100.)

“As a result of falling job levels throughout the summer, Nevada’s over-the-year employment comparison appears less impressive,” he said. “Nonetheless, Nevada still has 5,200 more jobs than in August of last year, with a gain of 6,500 in the private sector partially offset by public sector losses.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has made economic development and job creation a centerpiece of his administration and who is currently on a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, said: “While I am disappointed that Nevada experienced another slight uptick in the unemployment rate, I am encouraged by the fact that we continue to see signs of modest economic improvement, measured on a year-over-year basis, in these numbers.”

Sandoval acknowledged, however, that the slight improvement is not enough to sustain Nevada’s economy, “which is why we must continue to work to diversify our state’s economy and bring jobs to Nevada.”

As has been the case, throughout the 2012 election season, the candidates have weighed in on the latest jobless numbers.

Mason Harrison, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, said: “Today, we received more bad news from the Obama economy – more and more Nevadans are finding themselves unemployed. Nevada has seen unemployment continue to rise, despite President Obama’s promises to stop the bleeding of jobs.

“Mitt Romney will succeed where President Obama has failed by implementing a 5-point plan that will strengthen the middle class and create 12 million jobs across our country in his first term alone,” he said.

But U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement, said: “Today’s numbers highlight the critical importance of creating jobs. The best way to do that is to strengthen Nevada’s middle class and our small business community.

“I have been working with my Democratic colleagues to provide tax relief to middle class families, and to help small business owners expand and create jobs for hard working Nevadans. However, these commonsense measures have been met with unconditional obstruction by Senate and House Republicans, regardless of their potential to spur economic growth.”

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Audio clips:

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson says the national softening of the jobs market is affecting Nevada:

092112Anderson1 :16 the Nevada numbers.”

Anderson says Nevada’s rate of improvement is diminishing:

092112Anderson2 :30 of improvement diminish.”

Democrats Continue To Outpace Republicans In Voter Registration, Gain 100,000 Edge In Clark County

By Sean Whaley | 12:38 pm September 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats continue to out-register their Republican counterparts, with the latest data from Clark County now showing a more than 100,000 voter advantage as the deadline to participate in the Nov. 6 general election draws ever closer.

Today just before noon the Clark County website, which updates registration totals regularly, showed 346,703 Democrats registered to vote compared to 246,479 for Republicans, a 100,224 advantage.

Nonpartisans totaled 132,529 and other minor parties totaled 41,910 for a total registered population of 767,621 in Clark County.

Early voting will begin in just a little more than a month.

The consistent outpacing of Democrats over Republicans in the voter registration race could spell trouble for the GOP from the presidential race on down to state legislative races.

In addition to the presidential contest between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, an important Senate race pitting U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., is at stake.

And Republicans in the state Senate are engaged in a concerted effort to win control of the 21-member house in November. Democrats now hold an 11-10 edge.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said Democrats are doing well in the registration race because the message of the party on improving education and creating jobs is resonating with voters.

“We thought the economy was going to be the No. 1 thing, but education is and so, I think the message – better educating our children, trying to diversify our economy in different sectors, trying to do things that bring job here – I think those are all messages that are resounding with folks and they’re choosing to register Democrat,” he said.

Denis said Democrats in Nevada have a history of strong turnout for elections, which will also aid the party and its candidates. While nonpartisans will be a big factor in the races, many of those voters are expected to vote Democratic as well, he said.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said Republicans have the edge despite the registration difference.

“Well look, obviously we don’t want to see the numbers getting more divergent than they are in some of these races, and it’s unfortunate, but the reality remains that these are very winnable races for us,” he said. “We have a superior candidate, we have a superior organization, we have superior funding. So in that way, we still feel confident in each and every one of these districts that we’re fielding the better future state senator. So in that way I believe that we’re going to win every one of them.”

Contrary to Denis’ view, Kieckhefer said he believes nonpartisan voters are going to break Republican in the election.

Republican Senate candidates “are right on the messages, they are right on the issues,” he said.

“They have the position that is more in line with the majority of voters in their district,” Kieckhefer said.

The deadline to register to vote in the election is Oct. 16. The last day to register without appearing in person at an Election Department office is Oct. 6.

“I encourage everyone to visit our website to make sure they are registered to vote or to ensure their registration information is current,” Clark County Registrar of Voters Harvard Lomax said in a recent news release. “Individuals with a Nevada driver’s license will be able to take advantage of our online registration services and there is still time to register through the mail.”

Early voting for the election begins on Saturday, Oct. 20 and extends through Friday, Nov. 2.

A check of the Clark County website at noon each day for the past few days shows Democrats continue to consistently out-register Republicans.

On Thursday, the site showed 342,293 registered Democrats, 244,963 registered Republicans and 130,789 nonpartisans.

On Friday, Democrats had added 1,196 registered voters in Clark County from Thursday, Republicans added 322 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 478.

On Saturday, Democrats had added 287 voters from Friday, Republicans added 104 voters and nonpartisans rose by 98. The numbers were not updated on Sunday.

On Monday at noon, the Clark County site showed Democrats had added 1,970 voters from the weekend report, Republicans had added 610 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 674 voters.

On Tuesday at noon, the site showed Democrats had added 1,024 voters, Republicans had added 509 voters and nonpartisans increased by 520 voters.

In 2010, at the close of registration, Democrats only held a 91,633 advantage in Clark County. In 2008, at the close of registration, Democrats held a 125,218 advantage in Clark County.

Democrats have been outpacing Republicans in the statewide numbers reported monthly by the Secretary of State’s Office as well. Even nonpartisan registrations have exceeded Republican registrations in recent months.

As of the end of August, there were 463,229 Democrats registered statewide, 407,513 Republicans and 186,941 nonpartisans. The Democratic advantage stood at 55,716.

As of Saturday, Democrats had 471,585 registered voters statewide and Republicans had 411,525, giving Democrats a 60,060 edge, up by 4,344 voters since the end of August.

The push to control the state Senate is one of the bigger Nevada election stories this year. There are five seats considered competitive, and Republicans need to win four of them to take an 11-10 edge.

But Democrats keep making headway in the four Southern Nevada districts. As of last week, Democrats had a 4 percent edge over Republicans in Senate seat 5, 5.1 percent in seat 6, 6.1 percent in seat 9, and trailed Republicans by 2 percent in seat 18.

Seats 5, 6 and 9 now have larger Democratic edges than even in 2008.

In another closely watched contest, the race for the 4th Congressional District seat between state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Republican Danny Tarkanian, Democrats now have an 11 percent edge, or 30,000 more voters, than Republicans.

“This is only the latest sign that Nevadans are rejecting Mitt Romney and Dean Heller’s plan to outsource jobs and end Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies,” said Zach Hudson, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Nevadans across the state are excited about re-electing President Obama and sending Shelley Berkley to the Senate to create jobs, protect Medicare, and strengthen the middle class.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Mo Denis says the Democratic Party message is resonating with potential voters:

091812Denis1 :24 to register Democrat.”

Denis says Republicans have disenfranchised voters, which is why many are registering as nonpartisan:

091812Denis2 :16 as a Republican.”

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer says he believes Senate Republicans are still favored to win because they are the better candidates and are better funded:

091812Kieckhefer :23 one of them.”

 

 

Party Officials Agree Washoe Is Critical To Battleground State Nevada In 2012 Presidential Contest

By Sean Whaley | 2:24 pm June 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Washoe County Republican and Democratic Party leaders may disagree on who the best choice is for president, but they agree on one point – Washoe is the “battleground” county in the battleground state that is Nevada.

Clark County is expected to go big for Democrats and President Obama, while Nevada’s rural counties are expected to go strong for Mitt Romney. But Washoe County, where Republicans lead in voter registration by 3,700, has gone for both parties in past elections.

Courtesy of Malwack via Wikimedia Commons.

In 2008, Washoe County helped Obama win Nevada and the presidency, giving him 55 percent of the vote.

In 2010, the county went strongly for Republican Brian Sandoval in the governor’s race, although U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., won over GOP challenger Sharron Angle. The county also went for incumbent George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

Today on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, county Democratic Party spokesman Chris Wicker and county GOP Chairman Dave Buell discussed Washoe’s influence in Nevada in the 2012 presidential contest.

Buell said the fact that Washoe County voters have gone in different directions in past elections make it the flashpoint in Nevada.

“So Washoe County is the place where Nevada is going to be decided, and there will be all types of resources, both on the Democrat and Republican side in this county to make sure that they carry the day for their candidate,” he said.

Wicker said Washoe is winnable by either side if some side “drops the ball.”

“It all boils down that either side, given the right circumstances, could win Washoe County,” he said.

President Obama is aware of Washoe’s importance, making an official visit to Reno last month to talk about a mortgage refinancing plan he wants Congress to approve. Nevada is clearly important overall, with the president scheduled to make another stop in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Romney was also in Las Vegas last week and campaigned around the state ahead of the February Republican caucus.

Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston, among others, has noted Washoe County’s importance in the 2012 general election.

Strong support for either candidate could also provide coattails either to U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., or his challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in the Senate race. Control of the U.S. Senate is also up for grabs this election year.

Buell was asked if Washoe Republicans might support Obama over Romney this year as many did for Reid over Angle in 2010. Buell downplayed any such idea, saying it was more dissatisfaction with Angle than support for the Democratic agenda that was a factor in the race. The other factor was a belief that Reid could deliver for Nevada as Senate Majority Leader, he said.

Wicker said Democrats will work to ensure a strong turnout for Obama in Washoe County by talking more about the successes of his first administration, including positive job creation numbers nationally over the past several months.

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Audio clips:

Dave Buell says either party can win Washoe in 2012:

060412Buell :23 for their candidate.”

Chris Wicker agrees that Clark County will go for Democrats and the rurals for Republicans:

060412Wicker :16 in the rurals.”

 

GOP Political Consultant Sig Rogich Says Legislature Needs To Take Serious Look At Collective Bargaining Reform

By Sean Whaley | 2:08 pm May 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Long-time Republican political consultant Sig Rogich said today the 2013 Nevada Legislature has to take a serious look at collective bargaining reforms so that situations like the impending layoff of hundreds of Clark County teachers can be avoided in the future.

“I think we’ve got to look at collective bargaining in a real way in this legislative session,” he said. “We’ve got to stop some of these nonsensical things that are going on. You can’t tell me that it’s good government or good policy to lay off 1,200 teachers down here when you’ve got to stop a pay increase to do so.

Sig Rogich.

“And I don’t think their fellow teachers agree that that’s the right thing to do as well,” Rogich said. “But this teachers union has dug its heels in to the detriment of those they represent.”

Rogich, interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, was referring to the layoffs anticipated in the Clark County School District as a result of a binding arbitration decision requiring the district to provide pay raises to teachers.

The school district lost an arbitration battle worth $63 million over teacher salary increases for education level and longevity. The district says the decision will force as many as 1,000 teacher layoffs  unless money can be found to reduce the number.

Rogich said he believes there is a disconnect between the teachers union and teachers themselves.

Rogich, who was involved in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents, also weighed in on the national and Nevada political scenes.

Of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Rogich said his campaign needs to do more to tell voters how he would run the presidency differently from President Obama in order to attract independent voters in November.

The average voter might describe Romney as a Mormon, a successful businessman, governor of Massachusetts or mention his work on the Salt Lake City Olympics, he said.

“To get independent voters to look at him seriously they are going to have to offer reasonable alternatives and differences between the way he would run the presidency as president and what President Obama is doing,” Rogich said.

Romney will do well in Nevada with a strong turnout expected from the Mormon community on his behalf, he said.

“I think that it’s going to be very competitive in Nevada,” Rogich said.

He also expressed no objections to the amount of third party money in the presidential campaign.

“Why shouldn’t people be overwhelmed by TV commercials that have messages that are important for them to know about,” Rogich asked. “What does it harm as long as you disclose it fully and you play by the rules?”

On the race between U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., for the Senate seat, Rogich said it is a tight race but that it is Heller’s to lose because Romney should run strong in Nevada.

Rogich was also asked about the state Senate race between Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, a Democrat, in Washoe County. The Senate 15 race is one of five in Nevada expected to determine which party controls the Senate in 2013.

Rogich said Leslie has to be the favorite, given her long track record of successful campaigns.

But Brower is extremely capable and cannot be counted out, he said.

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Audio clips:

GOP political consultant Sig Rogich says the Nevada Legislature needs to take up collective bargaining reform:

052412Rogich11 :09 to do so.”

Rogich says the Romney campaign needs to differentiate his positions with President Obama:

052412Rogich2 :11 Obama is doing.”

Rogich says he has no problem with the influence of third party political advertising:

052412Rogich3 :11 by the rules.”

 

 

 

More Than 500 Capital City Republicans Turn Out For Caucus As Romney Takes Big Lead

By Sean Whaley | 2:06 pm February 4th, 2012

Update: The final results for those voting in the Carson City GOP caucus were 1,738 total turnout, with Mitt Romney getting 656 votes, Newt Gingrich getting 562 votes, Ron Paul getting 268 votes and Rick Santorum getting 252 votes.

 

CARSON CITY – About 500 Republicans in the capital city participated in the First in the West GOP caucus today, hearing from candidate representatives and learning the rules as early returns suggested favorite Mitt Romney would win the contest handily.

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were battling for second place.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., the new representative for the 2nd Congressional District, urged caucus goers to support the GOP nominee whoever it might be if they truly want change in Washington, DC.

Linda Law registers to participate in the Carson GOP caucus today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

The “Red Team” needs to get behind the nominee to ensure Republicans take the White House in November, he said.

Supporters of all four candidates: Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Rick Santorum, could be seen in the crowd. Representatives of three of the candidates spoke before the participants broke into their precincts to vote. Santorum did not have a representative present.

Carson City resident Linda Law said she was leaning towards supporting Romney.

“I’m still kind of torn among the various candidates, but that’s where I’m standing currently,” she said. “I think he has the experience with the private sector to create jobs, and that’s my most pressing concern.”

Law said she was pleasantly surprised at the strong turnout.

“I think it is a wonderful thing for the people in our community to be involved critically with the process,” she said.

David Castle, who just turned 18, said he was at the caucus to support Paul.

“I like how he has a plan to balance the deficit,” he said. “And I like his isolationist, like military, bring all the troops back. We’re in a lot of countries where we don’t have any business being, I think.”

The Carson caucus site opened at 7 a.m. to allow those with work schedules to participate. A final tally of participants was not yet available.

Gov. Brian Sandoval stopped by early before visiting other caucus sites in Reno. He was then scheduled to travel to Las Vegas.

The Nevada State Republican Party was hopeful that the GOP presidential contest would not be decided before its caucus, which initially had been proposed for January. Party officials got their wish, and the state was a buzz of activity for the candidates this past week.

All four candidates made several appearances around the state trying to win a percentage of the 28 delegates up for grabs.

The march to the nomination moved on to Maine, which had its week-long caucus start today with 24 delegates at stake. On Tuesday the battle moves to Colorado and Minnesota with their caucuses.

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Audio clips:

Linda Law says she favors Romney because of his private sector experience in creating jobs:

020412Law1 :06 most pressing concern.”

Law says she is impressed with the turnout:

020412Law2 :10 with the process.”

David Castle says he likes Ron Paul’s plan to erase the federal deficit and balance the budget:

020412Castle :12 being, I think.”

Rove Predicts GOP Control Of Congress In 2012 General Election, Says Presidential Race Outcome Uncertain

By Sean Whaley | 1:56 pm February 2nd, 2012

RENO – Former Sparks resident and George W. Bush presidential adviser Karl Rove predicted today the both houses of Congress will go Republican in the November general election, but said the presidential election is up in the air even with President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings.

Rove, speaking at the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce event Directions 2012, predicted that the U.S. Senate will see Republican control with a minimum of 52 seats, but possibly as many as 54.

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks at a Reno chamber event today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Republicans could lose a handful of House seats but will maintain control, he said.

No president has won re-election with poll numbers as low as President Obama has now, but he is a tough competitor with $1 billion to spend, Rove said.

“It’s going to be difficult,” he said, predicting that the U.S. will see “the nastiest, ugliest general election campaign we’ve seen in our lifetime.”

The Obama campaign team will put the Republican candidate on trial and prosecute tough and hard, and with $1 billion in the bank, as often as they can, Rove said.

Winning 51 Senate seats is important if Republicans win the White House as well, because it will mean the immediate repeal of the federal health care law, he said. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the Senate using a process called reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes to reverse, Rove said.

In his comments to several hundred attendees at the event, Rove noted that the federal Health Care Law is the only major piece of social legislation since polling began in the 1930s that is less popular after it was passed.

“Why?” Rove asked. “Because every single promise made about it is turning out not to be true.”

He declined to pick a winner of the Republican presidential nomination, although he said, Mitt “Romney looks like he could be the guy.”

“You have a big role to play in that,” Rove said of Nevada GOP voters.

Nevada’s Republican presidential caucus, the first in the west, is Saturday. The four remaining contenders for the nomination are visiting Nevada to make their case with GOP voters. Romney is the favorite to win.

Rove, who lived in Sparks from age 9 to 15, served as senior adviser to Bush from 2000 to 2007 and deputy chief of staff from 2004 to 2007. At the White House, he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs and was deputy chief of staff for policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Rove became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states. He writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Newt Gingrich Tells Nevadans He Is Best Choice For GOP To Reverse Failed Obama Policies

By Sean Whaley | 4:42 pm February 1st, 2012

RENO – Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich told a cheering crowd here today that he is the only GOP candidate with the knowledge and experience to get the U.S. back on track after what will be four years of failed policies by President Barack Obama.

Gingrich, a former speaker of the House, is in Nevada ahead of Saturday’s First in the West Republican caucus.

Newt Gingrich signs a supporter's campaign sign before speaking in Reno today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

The other three GOP candidates still in the race, front-runner Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, are also making stops in Nevada.

Gingrich appeared at a crowded Great Basin Brewing Co. restaurant here, speaking for 25 minutes before heading south for an event in Las Vegas later today.

If supporters get the word out about his qualifications, “we will have a remarkably good Saturday,” he said.

He started out by criticizing Romney for his comments today about not needing to concern himself about the “very poor” because they have a safety net in place to protect them.

“I am fed up with politicians in either party dividing Americans against each other,” Gingrich said. “I am running to be the president of all of the American people, and I am concerned about all of the American people.”

Gingrich also took time to criticize the president for bowing to “radical extremists” to prevent the Keystone Pipeline project from going forward at a time when jobs are needed and the Iranians are threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz.

“I’ve already said, on the very first day, I will sign an executive order authorizing the Keystone Pipeline,” he said.

Newt Gingrich makes a point during his 25-minute speech in Reno. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Gingrich also touched on two issues critical to Nevada: high unemployment and a high home foreclosure rate. To reverse these trends Republicans cannot lose U.S. Senate seats and it is important to hold the seat in Nevada, he said.

Gingrich did not mention U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., by name. He is being challenged by Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“I have a very simple proposition for the American people” Gingrich said. “Think how much better your Christmas will be when Obama is leaving and you have a new jobs oriented president.”

Gingrich said he will ask Congress, if Republicans win majorities in both the House and Senate in November, to stay in session on Jan. 3 so it can repeal the federal Health Care Law, the Dodd-Frank Act, which is “killing housing” in Nevada, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which he called “all red tape weighing down business and making us less competitive.”

As president, Gingrich said he would eliminate the capital gains tax to encourage more investment and also modernize unemployment compensation by requiring beneficiaries to get training so that “we will never again pay someone for 99 weeks for doing nothing.”

Gingrich said he would also permanently abolish the death tax and establish a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate. He would also give Americans the opportunity to use the current tax code or alternatively pay a 15 percent flat tax.

Gingrich also said he would seek to replace the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with an “Environmental Solutions Agency” that uses common sense and that “collaborates with local communities instead of dictates to them.”

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Audio clips:

Newt Gingrich says he will approve the Keystone Pipeline project on his first day in office:

020112Gingrich1 :21 the Keystone Pipeline.”

Gingrich says Americans will be better off with Obama being replaced with a jobs oriented president:

020112Gingrich2 :13 jobs oriented president.”

Gingrich says if his supporters get the word out, Saturday’s caucus will be good for his campaign:

020112Gingrich3 :32 remarkably good Saturday.”

Nevada Republican Party To Use Social Media To Report Feb. 4 Caucus Results

By Sean Whaley | 3:04 pm January 27th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada state Republican Party officials today announced they expect all the major GOP candidates will visit the state ahead of the Feb. 4 first in the West caucus.

The Nevada GOP is also introducing social media into the process, using the Google and Twitter platforms to report the caucus results beginning about 5 p.m. that day from 16 of the state’s 17 counties.

Final results won’t be known until sometime after 7 p.m. however, because of the Clark County GOP decision to hold one at-large caucus to accommodate religious concerns by some in the Jewish and 7th Day Adventist faiths who cannot participate until after sundown.

Clark County results won’t be complete until that late caucus concludes.

“I’m so excited about Feb. 4,” said Nevada GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian in a telephone conference announcing details of the event. “We are first in the West, which is vital, and as we’re watching everything take off across the country it looks like we may be the tipping point.”

Nevada State Republican Party Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian.

The Republican presidential contest is expected to remain undecided through the Florida primary on Tuesday. Nevada is the next state in the process with its caucus. As many as 60,000 Republicans could participate.

Tarkanian said Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are all expected to campaign in Nevada in coming days. Romney won the caucus in 2008.

“And I am just so thrilled that we have the top four willing and able to come and participate here in our state,” she said.

The caucus events for most participants will occur in each county from between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Clark County is the only county to have the evening at-large caucus.

Jim Anderson with CAP Public Affairs, hired by the Nevada GOP to help win Nevada for Republicans in November, said the use of Twitter and Google is a new wrinkle in presidential politics.

“One of the really cool things that we’re doing with this caucus that I believe has never been done before is utilizing both Twitter and Google to get the results out in what we think is the most efficient way to date,” he said.

The Nevada GOP Titter account, NVGOP, will be used to tweet the results, Anderson said. The Google election results map will be used as well and be available on the state GOP website, he said.

It should be the fastest results coming out of a caucus in history, Anderson said.

“We think we’ve got a tool for this caucus that could be a model tool moving forward for primaries and caucuses for states all around the country,” he said. “We’re extremely excited about launching it in Nevada.”

State GOP officials said they do not believe holding the late at-large caucus in Clark County will hamper or skew the reporting of the results. The results will be checked to make sure no one voted twice.

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Audio clips:

State GOP Chairwoman Amy Tarkanian says all four major GOP contenders will be in Nevada for the caucus:

012712Tarkanian1 :26 here in Nevada.”

Tarkanian says she is thrilled that the four candidates will be participating:

012712Tarkanian2 :14 of last December.”

Jim Anderson with CAP Public Affairs says the Nevada GOP will be using Twitter and Google to get the results out:

012712Anderson1 :15 way to date.”

Anderson says the results will be released more quickly than ever before:

012712Anderson2 :20 and efficient way.”

 

GOP Political Operative Sig Rogich Says Earlier Presidential Caucus Would Have Benefitted Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 3:54 pm December 19th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Long-time Republican political operative Sig Rogich today disagreed with comments from former Gov. Bob List that Nevada is better off with a Feb. 4 GOP presidential caucus rather than the January date that had been proposed initially.

“Why in the world would you want to step back, and we’re not going to be rewarded for such a thing, all things being equal,” Rogich said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program. “I just don’t think that it makes any sense to be that far back when you have an opportunity to be up in play.”

Sig Rogich.

Rogich was responding to a question from host Sam Shad about List’s remarks in an interview on the show last week when he said Nevada is better off with the Feb. 4 GOP caucus.

List, a Nevada State Republican Party national committeeman, said the primary contest won’t be over before Feb. 4, making Nevada a key battleground for Republican candidates.

Nevada was embroiled in a controversy earlier this year over when to hold its caucus because of Florida’s decision to move up its primary date. Nevada Republican Party officials ultimately agreed to the Feb. 4 date for the “First in the West” GOP caucus.

During the NewsMakers interview, Rogich predicted that Romney will win Nevada’s caucus. He won handily here in 2008.

But he also said the Romney campaign has failed to clearly define the former Massachusetts governor.

“And I think that’s their big problem in this campaign,” Rogich said. “He’s articulate, eloquent, certainly a good looking guy, he’s got a great accomplished history of a lot of things. But if you ask the average person what do you think about Mitt Romney and what he stands for, you’d probably get mixed reviews. People just don’t know where to categorize him.”

Rogich, who worked with Newt Gingrich during his time at the White House, said the candidate is on message and has momentum, but he has the ability to “create chaos from order.”

But Rogich predicted Gingrich will win in Iowa, is tightening up the race in New Hampshire and will win in South Carolina.

Rogich also said he still believes President Obama is the favorite to win, if the election was held today.

“All things being equal, if you count the electoral map, he may win very narrowly,” Rogich said. “But if he carries some of those states that he is likely to carry, at this juncture today, then I still think he is still a favorite to win.”

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Audio clips:

Sig Rogich says Nevada would have been better off with an earlier caucus:

121911Rogich1 :14 up in play.”

Rogich says the Romney campaign has failed to define their candidate:

121911Rogich2 :19 to categorize him.”

Rogich says President Obama is the favorite to win if the election was held today:

121911Rogich3 :20 favorite to win.”

Former Gov. Bob List Says Later Nevada GOP Caucus Date Will Help, Not Hurt, Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 3:09 pm December 12th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Former Nevada Republican Gov. Bob List said today that he believes the state will have a critical role to play in the selection of the party’s nominee for president despite seeing the caucus date pushed back to Feb. 4.

“No, I think that being fifth actually has turned out to be better than being third,” said List, who is a Nevada State Republican Party national committeeman. “This race is certainly not going to be decided by the time Florida has its primary.

Former Nevada Gov. Bob List.

“We’re going to have the Iowa caucuses, which are non-binding on the delegates, then you’ve got New Hampshire, then Florida, then South Carolina,” he said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program. “It’s not going to be over by then. Then comes Nevada. We’re going to be the first in the West and we’re going to get a lot of activity out here and the eyes of the nation are going to be on the Silver State.”

“I think the race will become more critical by that time,” List said. “I don’t think it hurt us one bit to slip back.”

Nevada was embroiled in a controversy earlier this year over when to hold its caucus because of Florida’s decision to move up its primary date. Nevada Republican Party officials ultimately agreed to the Feb. 4 date for the “First in the West” GOP caucus. The caucus had previously been set for Jan. 14.

List said Nevada played by the rules in setting its caucus date, which will benefit the state in future years. Florida will be penalized for setting its GOP primary so early, he said.

List said the Republican debates are generating a lot more attention than in past years, and the ultimate candidate will be “widely known and well tested.”

List also criticized former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s offer to bet Texas Gov. Rick Perry $10,0000 over Romney’s position on the individual health care mandate. The exchange came in an Iowa debate on Saturday and Romney has been criticized for being out of touch with average Americans for proposing to make such a large bet.

“I didn’t think that was well thought through,” List said. “I think it was a bad mistake.”

Even so, List praised Romney as the potential Republican presidential nominee.

List said Romney is a good manager, has high ethical standards and is respected for his integrity.

There has been some concerned expressed by Southern Evangelicals over Romney’s religion, but List said Nevadans know that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are good Christians, and “it’s nothing to be feared.”

Romney won the Nevada caucus in 2008.

List also praised Newt Gingrich for his command in the debates, which has pushed him into front-runner status.

“He is so smart, and he has such a sense of history, and he really has an enormously good grasp of the issues,” List said.

Both Romney and Gingrich could beat President Obama, he said.

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Audio clips:

Former Nevada Gov. Bob List says Nevada’s later GOP caucus date will help the state:

121211List1 :29 the Silver State.”

List says the GOP presidential primary will be more critical by Feb. 4:

121211List2 :08 to slip back.”

List says Mitt Romney made a mistake in offering to bet Rick Perry $10,000:

121211List3 :13 a bad mistake.”

 

 

Amodei Will Run For Re-Election, Touts Accomplishments In First 55 Days In Congress

By Sean Whaley | 11:38 am November 7th, 2011

RENO – Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., made it official today, saying he will run for a full-term in District 2 in the 2012 election.

Amodei, on a tour of his district with his Washington, DC staff in tow, made the unsurprising announcement at an open house in his new Reno office in the Bruce Thompson federal building here. Amodei will also visit Elko and Winnemucca on his trip and return to Washington on Sunday.

“First of all it’s Day 55 of the Amodei tenure in congress,” he said in a briefing with the media. “But I think in terms of delivering on the ‘I think I can hit the ground running’ (campaign promise) –  (I) introduced two pieces of legislation already, co-sponsored several, first day I was sworn in voted on the right to work deal with NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and South Carolina – so it’s been a pretty busy time.”

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., talks to the media today in a Reno open house. / Nevada News Bureau.

Amodei was elected to replace Dean Heller in a special election Sept. 13, 55 days ago today. Heller was appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to the U.S. Senate to replace John Ensign, who resigned. Amodei was on his way to Washington the next day and was sworn into office on Sept. 15, casting his first vote the same day.

Amodei said he still feels like the new guy after nearly two months in office, and still has to figure out a way to buy a television and get it back to his apartment on the DC metro.

Amodei said he is grateful for Republican leadership and Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., for making room for his appointment to the Natural Resources Committee. Nevada representation on the panel is critical given that 85 percent of the state is under the control of the federal government, he said.

“There was not an opening, and so one of my colleagues was nice enough to say, ‘I’ll step aside to create an opening’, so that was a big deal,” Amodei said.

Amodei’s fledgling legislative efforts include a measure asking the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to go through Congress and not use executive authority to create wilderness areas in the west, and a proposal just introduced to create the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area north of Winnemucca. The proposal has been endorsed by Humboldt County officials and other stakeholders.

“I firmly believe it’s possible to use resources responsibly in an environmental sense but maintain multiple use concepts, so we’re going to be going forward with that,” Amodei said.

Amodei said he has had good discussions with BLM officials about ways to speed up the permitting process to let mining projects go forward to create jobs in Nevada.

“I can tell you that the complaint I’ve heard the most is the amount of time it takes,” he said.

Amodei said he endorsed Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential race because he is “the most vetted and most electable” of the candidates. Romney is also the only candidate who asked for an endorsement, he said.

“I just think Mitt Romney is the strongest general election candidate in the field right now,” he said.

Amodei also defended his hiring decisions, responding to a Reno Gazette-Journal report that no Nevadans are on his Washington, DC, staff.

The Nevada Democratic Party wasted no time in trying to capitalize on the story: “In case we needed further evidence that Republicans aren’t focused on getting Nevadans back to work, the RGJ reports that career politician and lobbyist Mark Amodei doesn’t have any Nevadans employed in his Washington office. Apparently in the state with the highest unemployment in the country, Amodei could not find one Nevadan to work in his DC office,” spokesman Zach Hudson said in a statement today.

Amodei said he did not turn down any Nevadans for the DC staff jobs, and noted that he and his staff were on the job responding to constituents in record time.

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Audio clips:

Rep. Mark Amodei says it has been a busy 55 days:

110711Amodei1 :18 pretty busy time.”

Amodei says getting a seat on the Natural Resources Committee is a big deal:

110711Amodei2 :16 a big deal.”

Amodei says environmental concerns and resource development can go hand-in-hand:

110711Amodei3 :10 forward with that.”

Amodei defends his Washington, DC staff hiring:

110711Amodei4 :19 closed in Nevada.”

 

Obama to Talk Home Refinancing in Las Vegas Following Romney’s Controversial Foreclosure Remarks

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:46 am October 24th, 2011

LAS VEGAS – President Obama will today announce he is expanding a federal aid program to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates, said White House officials this morning.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement on changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) includes enabling borrowers who are current on payments to refinance their mortgages regardless of the value of their homes, said  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Director of the National Economic Council Gene B. Sperling on a White House conference call.

Under the previous program’s guidelines mortgage restructuring was available only to homeowners owing no more than 125 percent of their property’s present appraised value, a restriction that prevented homeowners in hard hit states such as Nevada and California from getting relief.

The revised federal program would also reduce the number of homeowner-paid appraisals during the refinance process, reduce the cost of title insurance and lien processing, and even possibly reduce closing costs in states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, including Nevada.

The economic and political impact of the new housing initiative is iffy in light of the high foreclosure rate and 13.4 percent unemployment rate in Nevada.

The state continues to lead the country in distressed property rates, according to RealtyTrac’s most recent U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Additionally, Las Vegas has five times the foreclosure rate of the national average in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 200,000.

The housing issue will likely be an oft-used political football in Nevada between now and the November elections.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney caused a stir last week when he suggested home foreclosures should be allowed to “hit the bottom” to help the housing industry recover.

In an interview published Tuesday ahead of the CNN presidential debate, Romney told Las Vegas Review Journal‘s editorial board he thinks the foreclosure crisis can best be ended by allowing banks to proceed against homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages. New investors could then buy and rent out those homes until the market adjusted, he said.

“As to what to do for the housing industry specifically and are there things that you can do to encourage housing: One is, don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” Romney said.

Democrats are criticizing Romney as being callous and out of touch with middle class Americans.

“Mitt Romney’s message to Nevada homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills is simple: You’re on your own, so step aside,” President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said in a statement last week.

Sen. Harry Reid also chimed in. “Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in America, and it has for almost three years. And here’s what Mitt Romney said: He would just let them hit rock bottom,” Reid said during a press conference in Washington D.C. “I don’t know what’s more graphic than that, in how we have different views of what the world should be like than our Republican friends.”

Obama is also expected to talk about his jobs initiatives when he speaks to a struggling East Las Vegas neighborhood this afternoon.

The president has been urging Congress to pass portions of the American Jobs Act, a $477 billion package of tax cuts and new federal spending aimed primarily at creating or saving public sector jobs.

Obama is also today holding a campaign fundraiser at Bellagio.

White House officials said Obama this week will be announcing a number of executive actions on the economy during a Western states tour that includes southern California and Colorado.