Posts Tagged ‘Searchlight’

Harry Reid Poked Fun at Palin on “I’m Not Dead Yet” Bus Tour Kickoff in Searchlight

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:24 am April 6th, 2010

Harry Reid’s “I’m Not Dead Yet” bus tour began yesterday morning in his hometown.

During his remarks to supporters, he worked in a couple of jabs at Sarah Palin.  Greta’s got the video.

And those awful poll numbers?

He feels fine.  As he said to Greta in his interview last night, “We’re doing fine. The polls are fine.”

And: “[The poll numbers] are not as bleak as a newspaper here tries to make them.”

And: “The only poll that matters is the one in November.”

And (is this a reference to “Tea Party of Nevada” candidate Scott Ashjian?):  “Even the latest polls put out by a newspaper that runs an editorial every day against me shows that with multiple candidates in the race, I win the election.”

Yes, Dear Readers, he feels fine.  He’s getting better.  He doesn’t WANT to get on the cart.

Searchlight: The (mini) Sequel? (Updated!)

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:38 am March 29th, 2010

I’m told the Nugget casino in Searchlight is hosting a rally next Monday for Harry Reid’s “coming out” re: running for another Senate term.

A Searchlight source tells me many locals opposed to Reid’s re-election are organizing and plan to picket the event.

Got a kick out of this comment from my source when I asked if there is really a sizable anti-Reid community in Searchlight:

“Well, Searchlight has two factions, much like the Hatfields and the McCoys…”

Will post updates here as I get ‘em.

Update (6:45 AM on 3/30/10): I’ve obtained a few post-rally comments from Diane Kendall, a Searchlight resident and one of the main local organizer-volunteers of Saturday’s big Tea Party event:

With the Tea Party of March 27th coming closer, people from all over the country were contacting me wanting information so they could attend. I knew there would be a large crowd, but I am still amazed at the number of patriotic Americans who chose to attend this event. I have never met such a large group of people who were so well-mannered and proud to be an American. It gave me hope that we CAN make a difference.

I have heard on the mainstream media how the Tea Party Americans cause ruckus and incite violence, but that is not the case at all. I never heard any bad language, nor were there any signs of violence anytime during the event. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department did not have to respond to any calls during our event. I am also extremely proud that everyone left the property extremely clean.


When I returned home after the Tea Party, I learned of a Harry Reid rally held next door to the Searchlight Nugget Casino. I was extremely upset to learn that at least one of the people who attended this rally threw eggs  at the passersby, the Tea Party Express Buses. They stopped traffic, and Metro was called to disperse the crowd. They also defaced a billboard in the center of town. This is what I call RUDE and an insult to my community.

I found two videos re: the egg throwing:  here (eggs being thrown and Andrew Breitbart “interacting” with Reid supporters) and here (two buses and bus drivers talking about what happened after the fact).

And here, per Diane, is the info for Monday’s Reid protest:

I would like to invite you to join me and my friends to a protest against Harry Reid on Monday, April 5th at 8:30 AM. The Searchlight Nugget Casino is having a rally to jump start his bus tour. I would like to see everyone stand tall, walk on the sidewalk, cause no disturbance and carry their signs. I believe it is important that we show the Harry Reid supporters that we are patriotic Americans who are respectful and will stand tall in our beliefs. The Tea Party Americans do not incite violence as the media portrays.

Sounds like both Reid supporters and opposers alike will be at the Nugget that morning, so if you have not had your fill of rallies and protests you can pick your side and show up.

For the record, Harry Reid was extremely gracious in his comments about the Searchlight rally on Saturday, including saying the Tea Party peeps were “welcome” and, “That is what is great about America.”  Of course, his campaign did use the event for fundraising fodder yesterday — but that is to be expected:

This weekend Sarah Palin and the Tea Party came to Searchlight and held a rally. You might have seen it on the news. I wasn’t there, but I’m told there were speeches, some signage featuring questionable assertions, and a lot of calling Democrats “socialists.” I guess it’s better not to let the facts get in the way of a good rally sign.


I double checked the definition of ‘socialism,’ and it’s defined as a political philosophy that advocates for government ownership of private industry. Absolutely needless to say, not a view I agree with in the least. My first thought was that we could hold a fundraising drive to buy dictionaries for all these folks and mail them out lickity split. But my campaign manager rightly pointed out that with the first quarter coming to an end, we should raise money for the campaign in dictionary-sized increments instead.

Calling me a ‘socialist’ has as much basis in fact as calling health reform a ‘government takeover’ — none at all. I’m making light of this nonsense today, but these attacks reveal a troubling reality. These folks are standing in strong opposition to progress for our economy at a time when Nevadans are struggling to make ends meet. If you agree that passing health insurance reform was a great thing for our country, and that passing two bipartisan jobs bills in the last two months was a good start, then I’m asking you to invest in my campaign today.

I’m dedicated to fighting for the values we share in the U.S. Senate. With your help, I’ll continue doing just that in years to come. President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and I have a lot to do — and we can’t produce the change we know we need without your help. Thanks so much for your support,


Searchlight Tea Party in Pics

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:09 pm March 28th, 2010

LiveTweeting Searchlight

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:26 am March 27th, 2010

Once on site in Searchlight, I’ll mostly be walking around and Tweeting and TwitPic’ing w/the iPhone (with only occasional blog posts).  Follow me on Twitter:


and follow/search the hashag #sltp for all the Tweets.

I’ll post my best Tweets later on for those of you STILL not on Twitter.

(Maybe today’s the day?  Takes two minutes to set up an account and start following.)

IAP AG Candidate Joel Hansen to Speak at Searchlight Tea Party, Calls Out Masto on Health Care Lawsuit Delay

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:13 pm March 26th, 2010

Independent American Party (IAP) candidate for Attorney General Joel Hansen will be speaking at the Tea Party rally in Searchlight tomorrow.  We have presumably received a preview of his remarks via today’s IAP press release in which he asks why Nevada’s attorney general has not yet filed suit over the health care bill, as follows:

“Top legal officials from 14 states across the country on Tuesday filed lawsuits challenging an overhaul of the U.S.’ $2.5 trillion healthcare system, minutes after President Barack Obama signed the landmark legislation. Why didn’t Nevada’s Attorney General join? Why is Nevada’s Attorney General Mastos dragging her feet?” asked Joel Hansen, Independent American Candidate for Nevada Attorney General.

(Note:  The IAP press release incorrectly spells the Attorney General’s last name “Mastos” instead of “Masto.” I will be spelling it correctly from here forward, even when quoting the release.)

Hansen praised Governor Gibbons for directing Masto to file suit against “Obamacare” which he said is “an unconstitutional obamanation.”

(Note:  One assumes “obamanation” is an intentional misspelling of “abomination”…)

Also from the release:

“The federal government was not given the power under the Constitution to tell people that they must buy health insurance. Obamacare also violates the Tenth Amendment, in that health care is not a power delegated to Congress and thus must remain with the States or with the people. This law destroys America’s economic and personal freedoms as no other federal law has ever done before. It must be stopped, and as Attorney General, I will lead Nevada’s legal fight against this wholesale destruction of our cherished liberties,” vowed Hansen.

You can read the whole press release here and read more about Hansen here.

Update: Land Owner of Searchlight Tea Party Site Clears Up Permit and Parking Concerns

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:01 am March 26th, 2010

This will be the first of multiple updates and stories about the Searchlight Tea Party rally and related events tomorrow.

Yesterday it was reported that there might be some problems with permits (for grading and tortoises) and parking for the rally site down in Searchlight.  Here is an update from TD Barnes, the man whose company has donated the land for the rally:

On the grading permit, the inspector called me to apologize and offered any support we might need from him personally. I do have to call someone here in the Las Vegas department. (The inspector was from Laughlin). I don’t think there is a problem there.

As to the Desert Tortoise, our section of land is exempt from the Desert Tortoise rule.  We have never seen one and somewhere along the line, someone challenged -whomever- to this effect and they officially exempted the land. (I know of other instances where this has been done when land was not populated by the critter.)

On the parking, someone mentioned to the media that a small area had been set aside for the event – meaning the stage area – and it was reported that was all the parking there was for the entire event. But we have all of the front area and up over the hill set aside, so there is a lot of parking. (I think much of the front is reserved for RVs and handicap spots with the rest parking over the hill.)

I don’t think anyone has a clue as to the number planning to attend. There is no doubt that parking might be hectic. The organizers have a number of volunteer policemen lined up to direct traffic on the property. Ingress and egress are definitely going to be challenging since there is only the one road. I expect the organizers to have detailed traffic control to manage the coming and going.

I would also like to express my appreciation for Diane Kendall and all her volunteers at Searchlight for their Herculean efforts and behind the scenes coordination to prepare for this event. Diane is in the real estate business in Searchlight and I’m sure set concern for her business aside to step up to the plate for this historic event.


From what I hear about those attending, a majority are not Tea Party people. It’s true that the Tea Party organized the event, but the attendees are mostly independent people expressing their dissatisfaction with our government overall and should be labeled as simply “the People”.

Sounds to me like they are as ready as they can be.  I’ll be speaking with Diane Kendall later today, I hope, so I’ll post updates at that time (if there are any).

T.D. Barnes: The Man Behind the Land in Searchlight

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:58 pm March 24th, 2010

T.D. Barnes is the president and one of the owners of Startel, Inc., the company that owns the 160 acres where Saturday’s big “Showdown in Searchlight” Tea Party rally is going to occur.

Barnes said he was approached by the Tea Party Express for the use of his land, but that he doesn’t know enough about the Tea Party movement to determine if it satisfies his political concerns.

“I have not attended any rallies, nor am I active in grassroots,” he said.  “I do, however, support anything that will expose and curtail the agenda of the current administration.”

Barnes did say the Tea Party movement appears to be “shining light on what the House, Senate, and Obama administration are doing to circumvent the wishes and needs of the voters.”

“Our citizens need jobs, not more government control, give-away programs and debt that future generators will have to pay,” he said.  “In my opinion, fault lies with both parties and with a society turned passive and willing to accept a free ride.”

Barnes plans to attend the rally and said people are welcome to come down and camp on the land the night before if they wish.  He said Tea Party Express coordinators have arranged for the provision of porta potties and trash receptacles on the land.

Barnes’ company, Startel, has a landscape rock operation operated by Vista Landscape Center of Henderson and which produces much of the crushed rock used to replace lawns and conserve water in southern Nevada. In addition to their rock operation, Startel is seeking to start up a solar renewable energy operation.

Barnes is also the Director of the Nevada Aerospace Hall of Fame and President of Roadrunners Internationale which consists of ex-CIA, Air Force and other military support personnel who built and flew the CIA U-2 and A-12 spyplanes at Groom Lake (Area-51) in the 1960s.  (FYI:  The A-12 preceded the SR-71, but remained classified until recent years.) Two years ago the CIA declassified the identity of Barnes and the others who worked on the A-12 Oxcart project.

Barnes and his wife, Doris, last week celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary.  Following is a photo taken of the two at the A-12 dedication:

And here’s a photo of the Searchlight site (taken in 2003 when Startel was providing material to the state for the widening of I-95):

Harry Reid’s Democrat Challenger to Speak at Searchlight Tea Party Showdown

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:14 pm March 24th, 2010

Well, this is an interesting development in the Searchlight Showdown saga:

Ed Hamilton, who bills himself as a conservative Democrat running against Harry Reid in the US Senate primary, is slated to speak at the candidates’ forum at the Tea Party rally in Searchlight this Saturday.

(So confirms Tea Party activist Debbie Landis who is organizing that part of event.)

Hamilton says he is the voters’ “early opportunity” to unseat Reid:  “why wait until the November general election when Nevada voters could RETIRE REID starting with early voting in May”…?

What to make of this Wonderland in which Tea Party of Nevada candidate Jon Scott Ashjian is banned from the podium, but a registered Democrat is not…?

Curiouser and curiouser!

Does That Bus Ticket Come With Anything Else?

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:21 pm March 18th, 2010

Governor Gibbons is going to Searchlight for the Tea Party, and you can be on his “beautiful campaign bus” IF you’re one of the first 10 folks to donate $250 in today’s fundraiser effort.

So says the email:  Gibbons’ bus leaves from Reno on Friday, March 26 and catches up with Governor Gibbons in Laughlin on Saturday, March 27.  $250-ers will get to spend “some” time with Gibbons on the way up to Searchlight and then hang around at the gov’s “special event” during the rally.

Gloves Off: “Tea Party of Nevada” Candidate Scott Ashjian Calls Tea Party Groups “Paranoid” and “Afraid,” Grassroots Leaders Respond

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:45 am March 18th, 2010

Don’t miss the LVRJ piece on the latest with Tea Party of Nevada/third party candidate Scott Ashjian.  He says he’ll attend the Searchlight Tea Party rally even though he is not an invited speaker.  And called Nevada’s tea party groups “paranoid” and “afraid.”  Here’s the latest:

Three sources at Tea Party Express (TPE) told me Ashjian contacted them last week to ask if he could get on the speaking agenda at the Searchlight Tea Party rally.  This attempted circumvention of Nevada’s tea party organizers occurred because Ashjian and his new political party have already been denounced by over 20 Nevada grassroots groups (which I wrote about last Wednesday).  TPE leaders told Ashjian he could not have at the podium, based primarily on opposition from the state’s grassroots activist-organizers.

According to the dozen or so Tea Party/grassroots organizers and leaders I’ve talked to in the weeks since the “Tea Party of Nevada” (TPN) political party filed papers with the Secretary of State, the shunning of Ashjian and TPN is based on (1) the fact that nobody active in the grassroots had ever heard of him before a few weeks ago, nor have they heard from him since, and (2) concern that a third party candidate will pull votes from the GOP nominee and hand the US Senate election to Harry Reid.  As one of them put it to me this morning (name withheld because, he said, “I do not want the focus to be on me or my name.  The one and only focus here should be the cause, not the individuals and personalities”):

“If Ashjian really believes he can beat Harry Reid as a first-time, unknown third party candidate, which is what he keeps claiming in all these media appearances, he is, frankly, a fool.  That being the case, why should any of us embrace him or take him seriously?  We may well all agree on the principles, but many leaders in the grassroots are also pragmatic and want to be smart about our strategy.  We want to win elections.  We’re not out here just randomly ranting and raving.”

He added:

“What I see from Ashjian so far is a slick presentation and a bunch of unrealistic claims about what he can do.  Frankly, I don’t have time for that nonsense even if he is a conservative.  I’m interested in figuring out which conservative candidate has the right set of core principles and is most electable and then pitting that person against Harry Reid in the general election.  Ashjian can’t win the general and is a distraction, and I say the quicker we all forget about him, the better.”

Debbie Landis of Anger Is Brewing and Sheila Danish of Reject Reid, two of the signatories on last week’s big disavowal document, both agreed and said they echo and endorse the remarks.

In his comments to the RJ, Ashjian rejected suggestions that he should give up his third party candidacy and join the Tea Party groups in their effort to work within the current party system:

“By them saying I should fall in line is an insult,” Ashjian said. “I’m not asking for an invitation. I think they should get behind me, not fall in line like sheep. They’re so paranoid, it makes me think they have weak candidates and they’re afraid.

“The more they attack, the more they show their hand, and I mean that across party lines. It’s not politics as usual. We’re running a different campaign, and they’re scared to death.”

My grassroots guy had this response:

“An insult?  What is an insult is that this guy is asking for a spot on the podium, yet as far as I know he has never attended a grassroots event or picked up the phone and reached out to a single tea party or grassroots group in Nevada.  To this day, we have not heard a peep from him.  I think he should have reached out to us prior to filing his party paperwork, but at the very least, it would have been in order – and it would have been smart – to start reaching out to us right after that, to at least get some conversations going.”


“Did he really think we would get behind him when we don’t even know him?  Does that make any sense?  Any candidate with two brain cells to rub together knows you have to make some calls, send some emails, have some friendly conversations with people in a position to support you and help you reach your target voters.  You don’t just show up on Ralston’s show and Talk Radio and start tooting your own horn and think that is going to get you anywhere with the people who work in the trenches, that they will suddenly “get behind you.”  It’s ridiculous.”


“Scared to death?  No.  But we are legitimately concerned that Ashjian may gain traction with voters who are not smart about electoral politics, and that he’ll siphon off votes in the general and help get Harry Reid elected.  If Ashjian is more interested in spouting off and calling us all “paranoid” and “afraid” than he is in being smart and helping us work a viable strategy to actually beat Reid, I question his sincerity and his credibility.”

Stay tuned, Dear Readers, for there is sure to be more.  With recent Rasmussen polls showing that generic Tea Party candidates could earn as much as 17% of the vote, as long as Ashjian is in the race this story is not going away.

Searchlight Tea Party Update & Schedule

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:17 am March 14th, 2010

Quite a few of you — including media types who are trying to figure out where to be, and when, to cover the event — have said you appreciated the info in my earlier post about Searchlight Tea Party logistics, so here are some quick updates and a schedule:

9:30-10:00 AM – Apparently, the Tea Party Express (TPE) will actually be starting their day down in Laughlin.  Everyone who wishes to join the TPE tour delegation is instructed to meet up in the parking lot of Harrah’s at 9:30 AM where there will be a brief news conference/mini-rally.  The TPE buses will then pull out and lead the caravan of vehicles up to the location in Searchlight.

10:30 AM-12 PM – A candidate’s forum hosted by “Anger is Brewing” will be going on at the Searchlight rally location.  Grassroots activist Debbie Landis organized this part of the event and has asked that some folks skip going down to Laughlin first and instead show up in Searchlight early (especially if you want a good seat for the day).

12:00 Noon – Tea Party Express’s “Showdown in Searchlight” rally.  Speakers (and US Senate candidates) will speak.  TPE buses will leave for Henderson after the rally is over.  Estimates are that the rally may last from 2 to 3-ish hours.  Hard to say with all those speakers…  (My advice:  Show up early.  Take folding chairs.  And plenty of water.  But don’t drink too much of it because there will only be so many porta-potties to go around and you may have to wait in line.)

4:00 PM – Grassroots Nevada event with Ann Coulter at Henderson Pavillion.  Gates will open at 3:30.  Tickets are needed (general admission is free and VIPs are not).

5:00 PM – Tea Party Express rally at Henderson Pavillion

TPE is still working to organize charter buses from a variety of places throughout Nevada and the Southwest U.S. to get people to Searchlight on March 27th. Anyone interested in trying to get a seat on a bus heading to Searchlight can email the TPE folks at:  CharterBus.tpx@gmail.comand

And:  I’m hearing there will be TV ads running soon in NV, Cali and AZ.

And:  TPE and NV grassroots leaders tell me that whoever is spreading the rumor that there will be 300,000 people at the rally in Searchlight should really stop being so silly.  Sounds like they will all be pretty happy if the head count is 5,000 to 10,000, although they think it is possible there may be (and they will be pleased with) more.

(Hey Searchlight:  Ya ready?!)

Update: Here’s a pic of what the Tea Party Express buses will look like:

Very fancy!

Grassroots Group Has Ann Coulter as Keynote in Henderson on Searchlight Tea Party Day

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:15 pm March 12th, 2010

An event is planned in Henderson at 3:15 in the afternoon as part of the Tea Party Express tour including the big Searchlight Tea Party rally at noon.  The Henderson Pavilion is “Tea Party Express Stop #2″ of the day.

You need tickets (both VIP-preferred seating and general seating are available) for the Henderson event and can get them here.  Organizers tell me they expect long lines the day of the event for those without tickets.

“Showdown in Searchlight” Tea Party Rally: Saturday, March 27

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:35 pm March 4th, 2010

My Inbox is full of requests for “more info” re: the big Tea Party rally at 12:00 noon in Searchlight on Saturday, March 27.  Here’s what I’ve got so far (and will update this post as new stuff comes in, so keep checking back):

– Location:  Intersection of Coyote Mine Rd and US-95 N in Searchlight.  Follow the signs to the Tea Party Express Buses & Stage.  (If you get to Route 164/Nipton Road/Cottonwood Cove Road, you went too far.)

– The Tea Party Express (TPX) folks are sending out event press releases galore as part of their “Defeat Harry Reid” campaign.  Their press releases all start thusly:

“Join us from March 27th to April 15th, 2010 as we tell Congress and the White House: “Enough!” Let’s stand up and stop the bailouts, cap and trade, out-of-control spending, government-run healthcare and higher taxes! We’re back and determined to take our country back!”

TPX is calling the event — the kickoff of their big road trip that ends in Boston on April 14/15 — the “Showdown in Searchlight mega rally” and list the following peeps as speakers:

Key note:  Sarah Palin

Dirk Armey

Joe the Plumber

Wayne Allyn Root, former Libertarian Party Vice-presidential candidate

Victoria Jackson, former Saturday Night Live personality

and radio talk show hosts:

Roger Hedgecock

Heidi Harris

Jerry Doyle

Mark Williams

Melanie Morgan

Apparently TPX is also organizing (1) a morning caravan from Laughlin to the noon rally in Searchlight, (2) a second caravan up to Henderson for the “grand finale rally” of the day and (3) charter buses from all over the place to Searchlight.  For info on caravans and TPX out-of-area charters, email or call Tiffany at 916 764-0708.

The Showdown in Searchlight Facebook page has complete details.  And you can view their TV ad here (they claim it is the 15th most viewed news/politics video on YouTube).

Sarah Palin to Speak at Kick Off 42-city Tea Party Express Tour in…Harry Reid’s Home Town

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:30 pm February 2nd, 2010

So reports the WaPo:

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin will headline a “tea party” rally next month in Searchlight, Nev., the home town of embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), tea party movement organizers said.

Palin, who is delivering the keynote address at the National Tea Party Convention this weekend in Nashville, is stepping up her campaign activities for conservative activist groups this spring. The March 27 Nevada event will kick off the Tea Party Express’s 42-city bus tour, which will end April 15 with what organizers are billing as a major march on Washington. In addition to the Searchlight rally, Palin will headline a tour stop in Boston on April 14, said Mark Williams, chairman of Tea Party Express.

Reid responded to Palin in a statement to The Post: “Make sure you stop by the Nugget for a ten-cent cup of coffee with free refills — and make sure to say ‘Hi’ to Verlie.”