Here’s the thing about why it’s so important for conservatives to challenge moderates Republican incumbents even if the odds are long against them: Just the presence of a credible, viable candidate tends to change the attitude and actions of the moderate incumbent.
For example, take Nevada Sen. Dean Heller (please).
The entrance of conservative businessman Danny Tarkanian has already resulted in a “yuge” shift in Heller’s public pronouncements, including an unverifiable (and largely un-believed) claim this week – nine months after the fact – that he voted for Donald Trump last November despite repeatedly saying he was “99%” against Trump.
And while Heller has rarely missed a shot to take a shot at the president on all manner of issues and events before Tark got into his race, when asked on Monday if the president waited too long to issue a statement specifically condemning white supremacists involved in the Charlottesville riot, Heller demurred…
“I don’t want to answer that question. I’m just glad he did it.”
Let’s hope “The Tark Effect” has a similar effect on the senator the next chance he gets to vote to repeal ObamaCare!
Moderate Republican State Treasurer Dan Schwartz is expected to announce his quixotic, self-serving, ego-driven campaign for governor at the Republican Men’s Club luncheon in Las Vegas on September 5th.
Schwartz is expected to claim he’s a fiscal conservative who opposed Gov. Brian Sandoval’s tax hike in 2015. But what Schwartz is not expected to reveal is that while he opposed some of Sandoval’s tax hikes, he proposed his own alternatives – including the creation of a different business income tax.
He also supported, by the way, extending the “sunsets” – a package of more than $500 million worth of “temporary” tax hikes passed during the Great Obama Recession of 2009.
It should also be noted that Schwartz has never signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his previous three campaigns for office and is again expected to refuse to sign it in his quest for gubernatorial gold.
Why should Republicans choose Democrat Lite?
Yesterday afternoon I met with State Sen. Scott Hammond (R-Las Vegas), who is running for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd District which is currently being misrepresented by wet-behind-the-ears Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Harry Reid) – who’s already bored with the House after just five months in office and is now running for the U.S. Senate.
Interestingly, almost as soon and the senator and I sat down at the bar in the Triple George downtown (no, the senator didn’t imbibe other than ice water), out from the restaurant walked Rosen’s potential Democrat primary challenger, Rep. Dina Titus, along with North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and former “Nevada Week in Review” host Mitch Fox.
Such a small town!
Anyway, Sen. Hammond and I have some serious differences on some of his votes in the Legislature, and I’ve not exactly been kind to him here in Nevada News & Views over them. However, our conversation was, as they say, open, frank and generally productive.
It’s hard not to like the man personally. Unlike so many other politicians, he’s not boorish, overbearing and arrogant. Again, I’m not happy with some of his votes, but the man is truly a humble public servant who’s in it for the right reasons.
Unfortunately, he fell in with a bad crowd of RINOs in Carson City led by Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Anyway, it’s way too early for me to be backing any candidate in the CD3 race. But at least the lines of communication with Sen. Hammond – generally considered the front-runner in the GOP primary against two flawed candidates – have been opened. That’s a positive development.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Wait a minute. I’m not finished. I’m not finished, fake news.” – President Trump cutting off CNN’s insufferable Jim Acosta when Acosta tried to interrupt the president at Tuesday’s press conference