Posts Tagged ‘R&R Partners’

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.”


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.”




DOJ Indicts Former Ensign Staffer Doug Hampton on Seven Counts

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:42 pm March 24th, 2011

Deep sighs of relief were heard all over Nevada when Senator John Ensign announced his decision not to run for reelection. Today the indictment of former Ensign staffer Doug Hampton will once again put many of the Silver State’s political players* on edge.

As reported by the AP and others, Hampton has been charged with illegally lobbying the senator’s staff on behalf of two companies for which he was working as a consultant.

Federal law prohibits former Senate aides from lobbying the Senate for one year after termination of employment.

Roll Call reports that Hampton is scheduled to be arraigned March 31 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Doug Hampton claimed in 2009 (first in a riveting interview on Ralston’s Face to Face and then on national television) that Ensign helped him find lobbying clients after he left the Senator’s office. Ensign has denied doing so.

When Hampton went public and effectively incriminated himself, he hinted he was in possession of more (read: damaging to Ensign) information than he was sharing. Presumably, that information will now be shared with the Department of Justice (DOJ) as Hampton seeks to defend himself.

If found guilty, Hampton could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.

The Department of Justice last year served subpoenas on numerous Las Vegas businesses, seeking documentation about Ensign, Doug Hampton, and various staffers and political operatives.

That documentation showed companies being contacted by Ensign’s office about possible work opportunities for Hampton, as well as emails from Hampton explaining how he could help them.

Ensign escaped sanction by the FEC and prosecution by the DOJ, but he is still the subject of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation that started in the fall of 2009.

*Update: Ralston mentions, via Tweet, that key testimony could come from John Lopez, former Ensign chief of staff who is now with R&R Partners, and Mike Slanker, an ex-Ensign operative now heading up Dean Heller’s senate campaign.