Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party Express’

Tea Party Express is Back on the Job in Nevada

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:47 pm April 24th, 2011

They’re BAAAACK…

Yes, Dear Readers, the Tea Party Express (TPX) is once again attempting to influence Nevada state politics in ways some say make little pragmatic sense and even (I would wager) contradicts what some folks on their Nevada mailing list are hoping happens in the coming weeks.

Exhibit One, a recent TPX missive suggesting that Governor Sandoval should appoint a placeholder (rather than Rep. Dean Heller) to John Ensign’s soon-to-be vacated Senate seat:

CONTACT: Levi Russell at or (509) 979-6615


Grassroots group asks Governor to avoid forcing a Special Election

The Tea Party Express ( today called on Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to appoint a distinguished Nevadan as an interim appointment to the vacant U.S. Senate seat so voters can have an unbiased final say in the elections of 2012.

Under Nevada law the Governor must appoint a successor to replace Senator John Ensign, who announced his resignation from the U.S. Senate as of May 2nd.  Speculation is that Sandoval is interested in appointing Congressman Dean Heller to the vacant Senate seat.

Such an appointment would create a House vacancy at an inopportune time as the Congress is addressing the serious debt and excessive spending of the federal government.  In addition, because Nevada has not had experience with Special Elections, it is an uncertain process to select a replacement to Heller.

Since historically around the country, appointed U.S. Senators have fared poorly in efforts to get re-elected in their own right, it makes more sense for the Governor to appoint a conservative Nevadan to fill out the remaining term of Senator Ensign, rather than put an appointed Senator in great jeopardy of not winning re-election in 2012.

The Tea Party Express suggests that distinguished Nevadans such as former Governor Bob List and former Treasurer Bob Seale would make outstanding interim appointments.  They could serve with great distinction for the next two years, and Nevada would be continuously represented in the House and Senate without the disruption of a Special Election.

Some have suggested the law be interpreted or changed so that political party caucuses would be used to select nominees.  We are opposed to any process that favors political insiders over the views and interests of the conservative voters of the state.

For further information or to schedule an interview, please contact Levi Russell at or (509) 979-6615


I hate to rain on anyone’s Tea Party Parade, but many TPX contentions regarding the possible outcomes of a party-chosen vs. primary-elected candidate are highly questionable. Where to begin…

First, assuming Governor Sandoval appoints Dean Heller to the Senate, Nevada special election rules dictate that he will then set a special election date (to occur within six months) for the open House seat. Once that date is chosen, there will be either a “free for all” primary election for all parties, or — as TPX points out — the parties will nominate candidates according to party rules (generally: via a vote of each party’s caucus or central committee). Whichever way it goes, the rules will be the same for all parties.

We do not yet know which scenario it will be, because Nevada law is a bit vague and in any case may be overridden by a federal statute. Secretary of State Ross Miller will issue an opinion on the law as soon as the governor announces his appointment, and we’ll go from there.

Second, the claim that the NV GOP caucus is made up of “political insiders” not only reveals typical TPX animosity toward all party structures, but also illustrates their (apparent) ignorance of the Republican ground game in Nevada. The executive board of the Clark County Republican Party, which accounts for a large percentage of the state’s GOP caucus (because 70% of the state lives in Clark), was last year taken over by Tea Party and Ron Paul types who are anything but party “insiders” and members of the good ol’ boy establishment. Naturally there are still some insiders on the inside, but they do not by any means run the GOP show.

What was left unsaid in the TXP presser is this:

If a GOP central committee caucus vote decides who the Republican candidate will be, their darling, Sharron Angle, probably does not stand much chance to be the chosen one. Sad for them — especially in light of the $500,000 they threw into her primary campaign last year — but the fact is, tea partiers and old-schoolers alike are concerned Angle could lose to a likable moderate or conservative Democrat. Whether fans of Angle or not — the base is divided on the Angle question, and her negatives with the base are high — many Republicans say they are just not prepared to risk a loss.

At this point, many Republicans say they believe state party chairman and former state Senator Mark Amodei, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, or pretty much any other GOP candidate has a better shot to win a general election than Angle. They know Heller’s district is by no means assured to the Republicans, and they want to nominate the most conservative candidate with the best shot at holding the seat.

Second, regarding the incumbency advantage or disadvantage for Heller, there is an argument to be made either way…but Heller probably stands to lose little and gain much by already being in the Senate when he runs for the seat next year. Such as: more statewide name recognition (which he very much needs in Clark County), use of Senatorial stationery and the NRSC’s statewide mailing lists, and some sensible Senate votes to point out to Nevada’s voters when campaign season is in full swing next summer. It is foolish to claim with any confidence that Heller, if appointed to the Senate, has less of a chance at reelection than otherwise.

Third, re: redistricting, it will not in any way be decided by the outcome of the special election, but by the inner workings of the Nevada Legislature and possible the courts. Redistricting depends on numerous factors including:

– various negotiations re: the state budget (the two should not be related, but they are)

– the gumption of the governor re: vetoing Democrat-drawn redistricting maps (Sandoval so far seems unafraid to use his veto stamp, and he has stated he’ll veto as many maps as it takes to get a fair final version)

– potential compromise-driven crossover votes from either moderate Democrats or Republicans in the Nevada senate (possible), and

– whether or not the matter ends up in court, which it very well may.

In any case, there is little (if any) doubt that Governor Sandoval is going to appoint Dean Heller to the Senate…so TPX is likely wasting its energy seeking a different outcome.

Rasmussen Has First Post-Primary Angle-Reid Poll

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:00 am June 10th, 2010


Angle by 11 points.  5% for “Other.” 6% Undecided.

Poll says “Voters not affiliated with either party prefer Angle by 10 points.”

As I said last night on KTNV, let’s give it about 30 days before we get too excited about numbers.

Team Reid is going to try to crush Angle early and hard so they can call it Done and start focusing resources on all the Dem down-ticket races.

If they hope to have her weather the Category 5 winds of Hurricane Harry (a Harrycane…?) Tea Party Express and/or Club for Growth and/or the RNC better hurry up with major infusions of ad cash into the Nevada airwaves on Angle’s behalf.

Team Tark to Tea Party Express: Cut It Out!

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:07 am June 8th, 2010

A brief presser from Team Tark last night, and again this morning (they are nothing if not press release proficient, or at least, prolific):

Tarkanian reacts to reports – asks Tea Party Express to cease new attacks and “help us unite” against Harry Reid

You can read the report Tarkanian refers to here.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian issued the following statement on reports that organizers of the Tea Party Express were sending emails into Nevada personally attacking his supporters for not following their recommendation to vote for Sharron Angle.

“I am very proud of my tea party supporters here in Nevada, and I am saddened to read reports that some members of the Tea Party Express, Inc. have attacked them for supporting me.

“No single group can claim to own the Tea Party ‘brand.’ If someone wants to support me, Sue Lowden, or Sharron Angle, no outside group should criticize them for that decision. I respectfully ask the Tea Party Express, Inc. to refrain from attacking my Nevada supporters and help us unite our party behind our nominee against Harry Reid. This election is too important.”

“Good luck to all candidates tomorrow.”

No time to comment on this right now; drop a Comment if you have an opinion either way.

Last Tea Party Express Angle Ad Buy Before the Primary

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:22 am June 3rd, 2010

Here’s their 60-second yes-she-is-conservative (but-not-too-conservative in the spendy era of Obama-Pelosi-Reid) ad spot.

It will run statewide beginning this weekend .

Our Country Deserves Better PAC, aka the Tea Party Express, Tees Up Mailer & TV Ads for Angle to Clark County GOP Voters

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:46 pm May 27th, 2010

Here’s the mailer going out from OCDB PAC to Clark County GOP voters very soon:


11 days…

Update (9:40 PM): The mailer is going out to 40,000 households, says a TPE spokesperson.


They will be up with Angle ads on the following TV stations as of tomorrow:





Fox News Las Vegas Valley

Fox News Nellis AFB

Fox News Pahrump

The Weather Channel – Las Vegas

Speedway – Las Vegas

Golf Channel – Las Vegas

KPVM (Pahrump)

Team Tark Goes After Tea Party Express

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:13 pm May 20th, 2010

Interesting move.

From Team Tark:

May 20, 2010

The Tarkanian campaign issued the following statement in response to the Tea Party Express release.

“We have been respectful of the consulting firm making big money off the Tea Party Express, but this is a pure money grab by these commissioned California media buyers who are endorsing a 100 percent NARAL-rated Democrat over conservative Republicans in Idaho.

“They should stop telling tea party activists in Nevada and Idaho who should run and how to vote and mind their own ‘business’ – so to speak.

“The Tea Party Express is leading the corporatization of the Tea Party movement and it’s distasteful.”

- Tarkanian consultant James Fisfis

I guess everyone loves the Tea Party Express until they endorse The Other Guy (or Gal).

(Update — 7:14 a.m. on 5/21/10): Team Tark says they shot that arrow out not because of the TPE endorsement, but because TPE suggested Tark should drop out of the race.)

But Team Tark is in good company.

Many Tea Party and grassroots types in Nevada, including Debbie Landis of Action is Brewing, have previously rejected TPE endorsements and “influence” and “manipulation.”

This has happened in part because TPE is not run by average, every-day Tea Party peeps.  It is run by “Ace” political operatives.  At least, the PAC arm of the organization is.

But in a statement of explanation put out by Joe Wierzbick of TPE a few weeks back, he/they defended their Angle-endorsement thusly (providing excerpts because it was very long):

The answer to the question of “Why did we endorse Sharron Angle?” is rather simple for us to answer. We’ve been impressed with Angle since we first worked with her during the Our Country Deserves Better Committee’s efforts in the “Defeat Harry Reid” campaign we launched early in 2009. This is from a time that pre-dates the Tea Party Express and the tea party movement.

Sharron was immediately responsive to our outreach to help build a movement against Reid in the state. Now at this time the polls were in a gradual, but steady, descent for Reid. Political pundits at the time, however, were insistent that this was just a temporary blip on the radar. They said that Reid was a master politician who would fight back, and that to suggest he would lose was nonsense. Boy what a different world we live in today!

We did extensive research on Sharron, having known of her on a cursory basis for years before we launched our “Defeat Harry Reid” campaign, and as we did more research we liked what we saw. We respected her record. We liked how she was tenacious in fighting for her beliefs, and resilient in pressing ahead even after facing defeat.

While some have said that they didn’t see Sharron as a good “team player” who could work to build coalitions and compromise, we felt differently.


We believe that at a time like this, the remedy should be someone who was proven and tested to say “NO” to the sweetly-scented allure of feel-good liberalism. We need those who are so loyal to their principles that others might view them as obstinate, to serve as an anchor for conservative principles in Congress. Another “YES” vote won’t do when the recent history shows a disturbing willingness to “sell out” for some perceived political gain or media adulation.

And unlike some people who view Angle’s past losses to Heller and Raggio as a sign of weakness, we see the issue of Sharron’s viability as a candidate differently. She won her State Assembly seat 4 times. And then she ran within a whisker of winning in her campaign for Congress (against Dean Heller and Dawn Gibbons) and State Senate (against the politically powerful Bill Raggio). The fact that a conservative insurgent candidate has twice challenged the powerful establishment of her own party and come within ½% of winning in both high-profile elections demonstrates to us an impressive ability given her anti-establishment pedigree. We feel our endorsement and Independent Expenditure campaign will give her dramatically higher name recognition with voters across the state – which is all that her campaign is really lacking at this point to be competitive.

Thus, after seeing Sharron Angle in action up close and personal, we were happy to see her first considering a run (early last year) and then entering the race later in the year. We had occasional contact with Sharron over the many months since the launch of the “Defeat Harry Reid” campaign. But then we’ve also had contact and worked somewhat closely with just about every candidate for Senate who is challenging Harry Reid.


Our Feelings Towards The Other Candidates

We’re not interested in beating up other candidates and handing Harry Reid a wounded challenger for November. So you’ll see a positive tone to our ads – at least as long as those in this race retain a similar civility with us at the Tea Party Express and Sharron Angle as an individual.

Wonder if TPE will think the Tark comments today fall under the heading of “civility”?  I’ll be curious to see whether, when and how they fire back.

Angle: Money Bomb, Scientology Stuff, Wiki Bio

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:51 pm May 17th, 2010

Angle Item One:

From the Tea Party Express (TPE) today, an email touting the “overwhelming” response to a call for donations to support Sharron Angle.  Includes a pretty long list of contributors who have given $100 or more in the past 5 days, but then says they have a “long way to go to reach our goal for this $150,000 Money Bomb by Friday evening.”

An earlier TPE email acknowledged that Angle needs to pick up % points in Clark County, so the next round of ads will run there.

Don’t count Angle out of this, Dear Readers, even if you do not believe the M-D poll that had her in second place behind Lowden.

Item Two:

An anti-Angle ad drudging up an old issue.  Curious to see how her campaign responds, if at all.

Warning:  Very annoying voice-over.

Item Three (related to Item Two):

Blogger Dullard Mush noted today that Angle’s Wikipedia entry has been beefed up with Scientology references (he’s got the text on his page there).

(I see someone commented after the post that Muth is doing good work for Sue Lowden.  I hate to burst their bubble, but Muth couldn’t edit a Wiki entry if his life depended on it.  Trust me.)

(But nearly anyone who knows how to edit a Wiki entry can get a Wikipedia login and do so.  Which is a great reason not to take Wikipedia biographies too literally.  Especially those of political figures during campaign seasons.  There are “Wiki editing wars” that go on all the time.)

PAC Using Chachas As Fundraising Tool

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:09 pm May 12th, 2010

You may or may not know there is a small war going on in and between Nevada conservative grassroots groups over which candidate is the greatest conservative ever to walk the face of the earth and which candidate secretly works for Lucifer.

As the bombs and mortars have flown, Debbie Landis of Action is Brewing has been widely criticized for expressing her personal support of John Chachas, and there have been Words — both on and off the record — between she and the Angle-endorsing Tea Party Express as well as between she and Nevada grassroots types who do not approve of her choice.

The thing is, if you ask 10 conservative grassroots types whom they support in the U.S. Senate race, you’re quite likely to get 5 to 10 different answers.  They are all over the map, so for any grassroots or Tea Party group to lay claim to “The” preferred candidate is kinda silly.

Anyhow, from Western Representation PAC this afternoon, a missive looking for funds in order to run a newspaper ad against Chachas:

The Senate race to replace Harry Reid is critical for the Tea Party Movement in the 2010 midterm elections. It is critical that the Tea Party movement capitalize on this opportunity to elect a candidate that represents our constitutional values!

John Chachas is running in the Republican primary and has been using his vast personal fortune to buy support from conservatives. The problem is, Chachas is the worst kind of politician who embodies all that is wrong with the politicians we have in Washington right now. It would be a disaster to pass up the chance to replace Harry Reid with a true-blue conservative and instead support someone as flawed as John Chachas.

During the last presidential election John Chachas gave the MAXIMUM personal contribution to BARACK OBAMA! Chachas has all sorts of reasons he offers now as to why he gave Obama the money. Our favorite is where he says he did it to help elect the weakest candidate on the Democrat side. So Mr. Chachas is either disingenuous or dumb. But we’re sick of Republican candidates trying to curry favor with liberal Democrats by giving them campaign contributions, and then coming back years later to run for office and then explain what they really were doing when they gave the money. It all stinks, and it’s the last kind of person we need to be the Republican challenger to Harry Reid.

John Chachas has never held elected office so there is no voting record to judge him by, there is only what he says and what he has done:

Chachas says: I’m a Nevadan.

Chachas does: Chachas has lived his ENTIRE adult life in New York. He only moved back to Nevada 7 months ago to try and buy a Senate seat.

Chachas says: I’m a conservative.

Chachas does: Gave the Maximum Contribution allowed by law to Barack Obama.

Help us stop this Obama donor posing as a Republican by making a contribution —– [HERE]

The Western Representation PAC has set a goal of raising $10,000 to run newspaper ads exposing the truth about John Chachas and his support for Barack Obama. Please make a contribution of $10, $25, $100 or more to help us get the word out about the REAL John Chachas. Your donation of $50, $100 or more today will allow us to continue our fight to stop political corruption in our government.

The Western Representation PAC is a grassroots organization based in Nevada and a partner organization of Tea Party Express III. We are the sponsor of the Campaign Against Harry Reid on Facebook which has over 11,000 supporters. Join us at

A secure donation can be made by clicking the donation button.

Thank you for your support.

Dustin Stockton


Western Representation PAC

I am not an apologist for Chachas, but I will say this:

John Chachas spent $2300 on the Dem candidate he believed was weaker than Hillary and then raised nearly $70,000 for the Republican in the presidential race, so he was responsible for moneys raised 25:1 in favor of the GOP.  He never hid from the donation and has since said it was a mistake.

As to his being “dumb” or “disengenuous,” anyone who has met or seen Chachas in action knows he is anything but stupid or scripted.  He understands global finance and world markets and since graduating with honors from Columbia and Harvard has enjoyed a successful 25-year career that would easily qualify him for the Senate Banking Committee were he to be elected.

Re: the man’s “vast fortune”, if you read the filings, you’ll find he’s not really all that wealthy — although he’s matched 2 dollars for every 1 dollar invested in him by his supporters — but financial success in the Land of Opportunity should not be a disqualification in any case.

And Chachas may have been living and working in New York since college, but he is only U.S. Senate candidate actually born and raised in Nevada.  His family has deep roots in the state dating back 90 years, longer than every other person on the ballot.

Voters can make of all that what they will and then donate (or not) to Western Representation PAC for their newspaper ad.  Early voting starts next weekend.

Angle Ads, In Case You Missed ‘Em

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:14 pm April 28th, 2010

Forgot to post this link to the page where you can check out the two TV and one radio ad(s) for Sharron Angle, to be paid for by the Tea Party Express (TPE) political arm/PAC.

TPE has been doing an Independent Expenditure fundraising drive for Angle’s campaign all week.  Been getting updates re: their effort to find 100 supporters to contribute $500.  At last count, I think they had 33 “great patriots” who had responded(!)

Title: If You Thought Anger Was Brewing Before, Or Activist Debbie Landis Skewers Tea Party Express for “Disgusting Manipulation”

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:03 pm April 28th, 2010


Debbie Landis, a Tea Party uber activist-organizer — she is the founder of a 501(c)4 and website called and the organizer of last Friday’s debate in Reno — is rather displeased with the Angle-endorsing Tea Party Express (TPE) peeps right now.

Seems TPE sent out a press release “defending” Anger is Brewing from a “whisper campaign” without bothering to name their source, verify their facts or get a comment from Landis.  And it seems Landis thinks the press release is more of a smear than any kind of support.  First, the TPE missive:

Tea Party Express Statement Defending Anger Is Brewing from Whisper Campaign

“Over the past few days we here at the Tea Party Express have heard several different rumors seeking to discredit the Anger Is Brewing organization, which has been active in the Nevada tea party movement.

“These rumors allege that the Anger Is Brewing organization has decided to sell out its endorsement for U.S. Senate to candidate John Chachas after Chachas made a $3,500 contribution to the Anger Is Brewing organization.

“This is obviously a false and malicious attempt by some people to smear and defame Anger is Brewing leader, Debbie Landis, and the organization as a whole.

“Obviously Ms. Landis would not sell her endorsement for a candidate in exchange for $3,500. We’ve worked with her and know that she has higher ethical standards than this.

“Furthermore, John Chachas is obviously not a candidate that would earn tea party movement support. In the last presidential election, Chachas was a contributor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign (contributing $2,300 of his personal funds to Obama). And Chachas made no friends in the conservative-aligned tea party movement when he smeared Sharron Angle by calling her too conservative.

“Anyone who thinks that a candidate who follows the constitution is ‘too conservative’ is obviously not going to be taken seriously by the tea party movement.

“In the race for Senate there are many important issues that should be discussed by the candidates who have asked for our votes. We should focus on these issues and reject any attempts by various camps to smear those involved in the tea party movement who have sacrificed their time, energy and personal money to fight for this country.”

Landis says Chachas gave Anger Is Brewing $3,000 to help pay for insurance costs associated with the Carson City Tax Day Tea Party, but that he donated nothing to the candidate debate in Reno. Chachas and numerous other candidates spoke at the Tea Party on April 15th, and Landis says he received no special benefit for his donation.

“How dare anyone insinuate that I am for sale?” Landis fumed.

Landis says she believes the TPE press release was, at best, a thinly veiled attempt to perpetuate a rumor and smear both she and Chachas under the guise of “defending” her.

“Why aren’t these accusations against me quoted or sourced?” asked Landis.  “I am outraged that they would send out a press release with false, unsourced information and not even come to me for a comment.”

Landis admits she likes and supports Chachas personally, but says Anger Is Brewing has not and will not endorse any candidate and that she merely wants Nevada voters to make up their own minds without outside interference from out-of-state groups like TPE.

“The arrogance of this Tea Party Express press release surely demonstrates the impotence they feel in trying to influence Nevada politics from the outside,” says Landis. “It’s desperate, it’s disgusting, and it’s politics as usual.”

Joe Wierzbicki, a spokesperson for the Tea Party Express, had the following to say (these are excerpts from an email he sent me in response to my inquiry):

Our release today came in response to several calls we’ve received from local tea party activists (starting yesterday) who were furious that they claimed that Anger Is Brewing was trying to organize a group endorsement of John Chachas.  And we were sent the TV clip where Chachas said he gave $3,500 to Anger Is Brewing as part of the proof.  The accusation made to us was that the endorsement was sold out for money.  Of course a lot of this is he-said, she-said rumor stuff which frequently happens in political campaigns like this.

We said to those who have contacted us that this had to be a joke just to smear Debbie and Anger Is Brewing by various campaigns.

We get rumors here all the time, including smears of us…


I have to say that Debbie’s response to our press release surprised me.

She’s always been very down on Sue Lowden, but surely she’s not serious about backing John Chachas?  A Wall Street millionaire who didn’t even live in Nevada before deciding to run for Senate, gave money to Obama and now attacks Angle for being too “right wing” when clearly the candidates who emerged from the tea party movement were Sharron Angle and Bill Parson.

So I’m a bit confused at Debbie’s comments, but she should know we are fans of the work she has done in the tea party movement in Nevada.

And I’m quite sure no one in the tea party movement could possibly be serious about doing a push for Chachas.

Landis says that last statement is an example of the type of outsider arrogance that irritates her.

“I think John Chachas is an excellent option for Nevada, maybe even our new Scott Brown,” says Landis.

TPE Max’s Out PAC Contribution to Angle, Says More A-Comin’ Via IE Campaign

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:25 am April 21st, 2010

From the Inbox this morning:

Tea Party Express Sends Maximum Contribution to Sharron Angle for U.S. Senate

The political action arm of the Tea Party Express (Our Country Deserves Better has today made the maximum contribution allowed by law to Sharron Angle’s campaign for U.S. Senate.

The Tea Party Express (website: made a contribution of $5,000 and is now preparing an Independent Expenditure campaign in support of Angle’s bid for U.S. Senate that will reach well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The response from our membership at the Tea Party Express in support of Sharron Angle’s campaign has been tremendous,” said Bryan Shroyer, Political Director of the Tea Party Express.

Jut how tremendous we will soon see.

“While the Tea Party Express is just one group within the greater tea party movement, we have a significant following, with a membership in excess of 350,000 people, thousands of them Nevadans.

If everyone on their list gives just $5, that’d be $1,750,000.  And that’s a lot of TV time at Nevada rates.

“These individuals are excited about the opportunity of being able to vote for an outstanding conservative to replace Harry Reid, and they are putting their money where there mouth is in support of Sharron Angle,” Shroyer concluded.

Tea Party Express Donation Solicitation for Sharron Angle: Negative Hits On the Competition a Hint of Things to Come?

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:21 am April 18th, 2010

“We are just 8 days away from the launch of our campaign supporting constitutionalist conservative, Sharron Angle, in her campaign to Defeat Harry Reid.”

So opens a Tea Party Express (TPE) missive this morning, followed by this sentence:

“To understand why this race is so important to us at the Tea Party Express, consider this:  Conservative Republican Sharron Angle faces one Republican challenger who gave money to Barack Obama, and another who gave money to Harry Reid.”

I guess the “Will the Tea Party Express go negative on the other GOP candidates in order to help Angle gain traction?” question is answered:


(Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, the candidate who gave money to Obama was Danny Tarkanian and the candidate who gave money to Harry Reid (30 years ago) was Sue Lowden.  In fairness, it should be noted that Sue and Paul Lowden have given over $250,000 to Republican candidates in the years since, and Tarkanian has donated to Republicans as well. But naturally the competition is not going to point That out.)

(Update/Correction at 9:43 AM: Danny Tarkanian did not give to the Obama campaign; it was John Chachas who donated to the POTUS.  Tarkanian gave to Shelley Berkley’s campaign.  My bad.  Comes of blogging before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee…)

TPE provides a link to their donation page and says they are looking for donations of between $5 and $5,000 or a total of $100,000 to begin their TV and radio ad campaign in support of Angle.  If they raise the money, we’ll see ads by the last week of April or early May.

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).

“Major” Tea Party Express Announcement re: Tea Party of Nevada Candidate Scott Ashjian

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:57 pm March 24th, 2010

A source at the Tea Party Express (TPE) tells me the “major announcement” regarding Tea Party of Nevada candidate Jon Scott Ashjian is…

…that TPE is releasing a video ad – tomorrow morning on their YouTube and Facebook page (for starters) – which will serve as TPE’s official statement of position re: Ashjian’s candidacy.


I’ll be getting a sneak peek at the video at some point.  Will report.

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!