Topic category: Government/Politics
Nevada politics: Clark County GOP, slingshotting, and Dr. Joe Heck
If there is one thing that is for certain, politics is a bloodsport - especially Las Vegas politics. When it comes to Las Vegas politics, the words of Oscar Wilde come to mind: "A true friend stabs you in the front."
As one who decided to come out and endorse Dr. Joe Heck, I thought I would share a few of my observations about the infighting within the Clark County GOP and the Review Journal's coverage. If there is one thing I am not, it is a Republican Party apologist. So I would count my observations to be objective.
I served in the Marine Corps and I know Steve Sanson served in the Marine Corps. This is a peripheral issue, but I never juxtaposed myself with Sanson because I thought of him as rather eccentric. Semper Fi, Steve, but to nickname yourself "Devil Dog" how many years after getting out of the Marine Corps?
Steve Sanson has been slingshotting the Clark County GOP over some accounting issues. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there were serious accounting issues with the Clark County GOP, but, to me, this is a misplaced attack by Sanson. Let me make clear here that I am not playing defense for the Clark County GOP. I learned long ago never to donate to a political party - Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian. Instead, you should be donating to the candidate.
As a hockey player, I shall put this in hockey terms.
What we have here is Sanson criticizing the Clark County GOP over an elbow thrown at the blue line. The media is now running goaltender interference by embellishing Sanson's criticism. So we had an elbow thrown at the blue line by Clark County GOP officials, and now goaltender interference by the media.
Meanwhile, the real problem with the Clark County GOP is that the team's general manager isn't really interested in the team. The goal-scorers are being demoted to the minors. Everybody has lost sight of the puck (i.e., real issues), and the referees - i.e., the government - work for the other team.
I was at the Clark County meeting when Bernie Zadrowski was elected chairman, and that is when I realized that the party was going to self-destruct. As one who supported Ron Paul, I do believe there has to be a limit on principles that one is willing surrender. It does no good to win elections but lose the country. That said, I also don't make the good the enemy of the perfect. The Clark County GOP, however, makes the perfect the enemy of the good (or maybe it is the evil in some instances).
I would like to share with you what I saw go wrong with the Clark County GOP when Zadrowski was elected chairman. There were three candidates for Clark County GOP Chairman: Zadrowski, Comfort, and Holloday. When we signed in, we were given one ballot. While Holloday was not a direct proxy of the Ron Paul movement, he was at least neutral and unbiased. He wasn't going to be the general manager that would undermine his own team.
The Ron Paul faction decided to support Holloday, and this faction clearly outnumbered the supporters of both Zadrowski and Comfort. After the ballots were cast, Holloday had won. Many people went home, believing that the voting was done with. Evidently, Holloday wasn't the guy the party apparatus wanted. So they made the ad hoc decision to do a run-off election between the top two vote-getters. Kind of funny, being that we were given only one ballot, and had to cast our votes in the run-off on our credentials. The Comfort and Zadrowski supporters were then able to consolidate their votes and Holloday was denied his chairmanship.
What that move represented was the Clark County GOP's decision to excise a big group of enthusiastic, energetic, dedicated, and organized activists from its ranks. So much for coalition building.
After Zadrowski won, various party members and individuals got up and spoke. I seem to recollect Zadrowski making an implicit verbal attack on Ron Paul supporters during his speech. After listening to the speeches, I realized right then and there that we could write the obituary for the Clark County GOP.
One speaker wasted no time attacking Hillary Clinton's personality - that personality contest that politics has been reduced down to. I'm no fan of Hillary, but conservatism is about more than Clinton-bashing. What sense does it make to attack Hillary's personality, but then ape her policies?
In fact, just recently there was a de facto increase in the national debt by $6 trillion due to the Treasury giving Fannie and Freddie an unlimited guarantee. But let's not forget here that the ball really started to roll under President Bush, who did a de jure nationalization (conservatorship was the euphemism) of Fannie and Freddie.
Another speaker spoke about how he was going to grow the party, which would then enable them to get candidates elected. I hate to break the news to the Clark County GOP, but that is putting the cart before the horse.
Now I write as one who went door-knocking on behalf of Ron Paul at the doors of registered Republicans. I noticed that rank-and-file Republicans were very upset with the direction the party had moved in, and it wasn't because Republicans have been advocating limited government; it was over the fact that Republicans had become almost indistinguishable from Democrats.
In short, the problem with the Clark County GOP - and this applies to the state level as well - is that it hasn't been interested in promoting small government, liberty, and genuine conservatism. At times, party officials might have paid lip service to these things. The mindset of the Clark County GOP seemed to be that if they just got the right technocrats to run things, then they would be able to build the party. The problem here is that it misses the fact that it isn't about a method, but a message.
If the Republican Party wants to rebuild, it has to get back to core conservative principles and deliver the right message. But who is going to deliver this message? It's the candidates! That is why I say that trying to build the party and then get candidates elected is putting the cart before the horse. That inverts the order of things. It is about getting the right candidates to carry the banner which will grow the party.
Yesterday, I called the Clark County GOP. The person I spoke with was a volunteer. I shared some of these thoughts about how the party was too focused on methods, rather than delivering a message. (On a peripheral note, I also mentioned that it probably isn't helping the Clark County GOP too much to be promoting Jim Gibbons on its home page.) His advice to me? I should get involved with the Clark County GOP and run for a leadership position. My response? No thanks.
I told him that it is the candidates that are going to rebuild the party, not the party that is going to get candidates elected. My advice to him? Rather than volunteering for the Clark County GOP, he should get out and support Dr. Joe Heck. His response? "Who's that?" That's right. The people volunteering at the Clark County GOP don't even know who Dr. Heck is - that's what's wrong with the party.
As far as the Review Journal is concerned, the Sanson-Clark County GOP-rift is being embellished and there is nothing here that is injurious to the chances of Dr. Joe Heck. The story also misleads one to believe that the problem here is procedural - not tactical - in nature (i.e., accounting issues instead of the message). A procedural problem isn't going to strangle a candidate. The only message that I take away from the story is that Republicans need to get involved in Dr. Heck's campaign, and it is going to be the candidates like Dr. Heck who will rebuild the party.
The best thing Dr. Heck can do is run an issues-oriented campaign and not be afraid to distance himself from the transgressions of past Republicans. Dr. Joe Heck is not Jim Gibbons. Dr. Joe Heck is not John Ensign. Dr. Joe Heck is not Jon Porter. Dr. Joe Heck is not anybody at the Clark County GOP. Dr. Joe Heck is Dr. Joe Heck. CD3 is a winnable race here, and if Dr. Heck can get your help, he can win.
Biography - Mark Anderson
Mark served honorably for four years on active duty in the Marine Corps infantry, and was a Libertarian endorsed candidate for a municipal office in 2002. He re-enlisted in the ARNG in 2006 because he was depressed/at times SI without the military. He has held the NFA Series 3 license (futures and futures options broker) which he did a voluntary withdrawal on because he couldn't in good conscience sell managed futures since firms would do better to hire an in-house trader to trade a proprietary account with a discount broker, which he outlined in his well-written withdrawal request. Since the year 2000, he has spent much of his free time reading the great minds of the Austrian School of economics, such as Murray Rothbard, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, et al.