(Chuck Muth) – Late Sunday afternoon the Tarkanian campaign decided to stop campaigning against fellow Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden and shift its disinformation campaign against yours truly by issuing the following “news” release to various Nevada media sources:
TO: Press, interested folks
FR: Tarkanian campaign
RE: Smear alert
DA: January 17, 2010
The newest member of the “Bailout Backer Apologist Club,” Chuck Muth is hinting today that he’s going to launch another yet smear campaign against Danny Tarkanian on behalf of bailout backer Sue Lowden, (who’s apparently not tough enough to speak for herself).
Remember his own words: First, let me disclose that I am far from objective when it comes to Sue Lowden and her husband, Paul.”
That’s fine to admit, but notice he is quite OK to publish false information about Danny Tarkanian. As the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports;
“A Web site operated by Nevada political consultant Chuck Muth posted an item on Nov. 29 that linked Danny Tarkanian’s coaching career to allegations related to his father’s time at UNLV, though the younger Tarkanian was never an assistant coach at UNLV, as the article incorrectly stated.”
He didn’t even call Danny Tarkanian before publishing that smear, and we’re still waiting for the retraction….but not holding our breath.
Those are Chuck Muth’s journalistic standards. Compare them to your own.
Where to begin?
First, if Danny doesn’t think Sue Lowden is tough enough to speak for herself, boy is he in for a surprise. Indeed, he better wear a cup.
Secondly, “Bailout Backer Apologist Club”? Are these guys running a campaign for United States Senate or high school class president? I mean, that’s like me calling them members of the “He Man Woman Haters Club.”
Thirdly, I haven’t even come close to “smearing” Danny. All I’ve done was counter and correct the record after his campaign has attempted to smear Sue Lowden. I’ll make you a deal, guys. I’ll stop telling the truth about your candidate if you’ll stop telling lies about your opponents.
Fourthly, I’ve never pretended to be objective, though I have endeavored to be fair. Anyone who’s been in this state for more than six months knows I’ve been writing and saying for over a year now that I think Sue Lowden would make the strongest candidate against Harry Reid in November.
Then again, Danny’s California/Florida campaign team hasn’t been in Nevada for six months yet. Some of our tourists have been here longer. So it’s not exactly a surprise that they’re still a bit in the dark about the political landscape here.
And while I continue to think Sue Lowden would make the better general election opponent to Harry Reid than Danny Tarkanian, I’ve also gone out of my way to publish numerous columns and op/eds written by Danny’s ghost-writers in Nevada News & Views. You could look it up.
As for publishing false information about Danny and not issuing a retraction, the fact is the column in question wasn’t written by me, but by Las Vegas Tribune publisher Rolando Larraz. Here’s what Mr. Larraz wrote:
“Candidate Danny Tarkanian is a two-time loser in state races with no experience holding an office, and was a UNLV assistant coach when his famous father, Jerry Tarkanian, was involved in a major scandal when three UNLV players were photographed with a well-known reputable college handicapper. Tarkanian, a Republican, was in the middle of the scandal, but the Review-Journal insisted on keeping its readers ignorant and blindfolded as well as holding back the fact that he donated money to the campaign of Democrat Shelly Berkley.”
To the extent that Mr. Larraz’s column has inaccuracies in it, Danny’s camp needs to take it up with the author of the column. That said, now that it HAS been brought to my attention, for the first time, I’ve deleted the inaccurate information from Mr. Larraz’s piece from Nevada News & Views.
Now, with that little molehill out of the way, back to the Tarkanian disinformation campaign.
In what Team Tark characterizes as a “defining moment,” Danny wrote on Monday in a memo to his supporters that “Sue Lowden defended and said that she would have voted for the bailouts that Senator Harry Reid negotiated.”
Now, I know a lot of you are supporters of Danny and like the guy….I like him, too….but that’s just a flat out lie.
Here’s the exact Lowden quote from the Nevada Appeal:
“It’s easy to say, no, I wouldn’t have voted for it. But people were panicked, we were facing collapse – that’s what they were saying. It’s easy to say from a distance I would have voted no, but I can’t do that.”
So Lowden didn’t say she wouldn’t have voted for the initial bank bailout, but nor did she say she would. As conservative Pahrump activist Pat Kerby – certainly no fan of or apologist for Sue Lowden by any stretch of the imagination – wrote about this matter on Monday:
“Careful, she didn’t really say she would have voted for it, she more or less said it was a difficult environment to make a decision. Remember, Ensign and a lot of supposed conservatives voted for it as well. This was a trap to get Tarkanian or whoever to show that they are willing to twist a quote, and it totally worked.”
Yep. Out-of-state Team Tark fell for it hook, line and sinker.
And here’s the official response put out by the Lowden campaign yesterday afternoon:
“Danny Tarkanian is once again attacking me with a false and misleading allegation that I would have voted for the TARP bailout vote under President Bush in 2008. Fortunately, many Nevada conservatives are now questioning Danny’s desperate tactics as he tries to mislead Nevada Republican primary voters.”
And this pattern of deception is beginning to resemble the pattern of saying stupid things we’ve become accustomed to from Harry Reid. Indeed, Tarkanian campaign staffers (you know who you are, Todd) continue to claim that Lowden voted for ten tax hikes while in the state Senate and supported removing the pro-life plank from the Republican Party platform at the 1996 GOP national convention in San Diego.
Both claims are demonstrably false and it’s nothing short of cheap, political hackery to keep saying otherwise, as if repeating a lie often enough will make it the truth.
Now, I know a lot of you readers like Danny Tarkanian and support Danny Tarkanian. I like him, too. But come on, folks. It’s going to take a lot more than a likeable personality, false and misleading attacks and a famous last name to beat Harry Reid.
You’re gonna need to bring an A-team and your A-game, not this kind of bush-league word-twisting. If this is the best you guys got, it ain’t much….and Harry Reid is gonna have you for lunch. You better step it up, or you’re gonna get stepped on.
With that, let’s hope Team Tarkanian sees the light soon, elevates its primary campaign tactics, and gets back to explaining to us why they think Danny would make a stronger general election opponent than Sue Lowden.
I’ll close with this quote by Mark Anderson, a decidedly and quite vocally anti-Lowden antagonist, from his blog this morning:
“(A)t the end of the day I am with the candidate who will be least invasive to life and liberty. If it’s Lowden who wins the primary, then I will say: YOU GO, GIRL! . . . I believe it would be healthy for everybody – myself included – to pledge that no matter who wins the primary, we support him/her.”
All I can say is, ditto.