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March 3, 2015

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jon ralston:

Will the past be prologue at state GOP convention?

I do so hate to see party conventions not go smoothly.

So as the state Republican Convention looms a week hence, I wonder if it’s possible for a repeat of the 2008 chaos, when state Chairman Sue Lowden and convention boss Bob Beers brought down the house because the Ron Paul folks were about to lock up national delegate slots.

‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished by some — although certainly not by me.

The Paul folks are more organized than four years ago, although the good doctor’s poor showing in the caucus (third place, 19 percent) after all the hype was somewhat surprising. But they have taken over the state party’s executive board and elected a sizable number of delegates to the Sparks confab. And now this, from state Paul Campaign Director Carl Bunce to his folks about Mitt Romney canvassing calls to delegates:

“I fear they will continue to call you until you finally submit some type of answer to them. I suggest that you say you support Mitt Romney on Question 1 and that you are attending the State Convention on Question 2. These answers will give them a false sense of strength in the process moving forward.”

And you thought the presidential race was over. Not in Nevada. Not among the Paulites. (The full text of Bunce’s missive was posted here by Ned Barnett)

As much as I would hate to see it, the Paul folks are intent on trying to do in 2012 what they almost did in 2008 — hijack the national convention delegation. Even though Republican National Committee rules mandate that the Nevada delegation votes proportionally to the caucus results — Romney received 14 delegates to Paul’s five — do the rules really apply to the Texas congressman’s acolytes?

It would seem any victory would be Pyrrhic, perhaps emphasizing Paul’s image in Establishment circles as the crazy uncle of the GOP. But the presumptive nominee also doesn’t want to alienate the legions of Paul sycophants.

Team Romney has sent a missive to every delegate to the state convention, trying to build the votes necessary to blunt the Paul surge. “It’s clear that now is the time to unite as Republicans to defeat Barack Obama in the fall! Attending the State Convention is a very important way for you to support the Republican Party’s efforts to turn Nevada red. We need your voice and your support at the convention,” Romney State Director Sarah Nelson wrote.

My guess is most of the Paul delegates immediately deleted the email. But, perhaps I am too cynical. Or conspiratorial.

Truly, I would hate to see chaos ensue at this hallowed event.

And I’m sure that won’t happen just because new GOP Chairman Michael McDonald, who will oversee the May 5 convention, is essentially an honorary Ron Paul person. His close allies — David Isbell and Jesse Law — are Paul guys. Bunce signed onto an endorsement list for McDonald. And Paulite James Smack, McDonald’s predecessor, endorsed McDonald. Oh, and the Romney campaign stayed out of the chairman’s election.

None of that can be good for Team Romney. But, I, of course, would hate to see any sparks in Sparks.

• Sanctioning legal thuggery: Kudos to the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Nevada Press Association for petitioning the state Supreme Court to file amicus briefs in the assault on decency being perpetrated by lawyers for hard-money lender Jeff Guinn, who is being sued by upset investors and tracked by the FBI. Guinn’s attorney, John Bailey, has asked the Supremes to allow him to force Dana Gentry, my “Face to Face” producer and a painfully honest person and journalist, to answer when she started being corrupted in covering the Guinn story. In doing so, using the protections of legal documents, Bailey has fabricated a pretext to question Gentry, who could easily refute all of the wispy allegations he cannot prove (because they are false). But Gentry will not allow such revolting tactics to be used against others — and the RJ and the NPA get the potential precedent that could be set if the justices don’t block Bailey from using his heinous tactics.

The issues raised, including protections embedded in Nevada’s shield law and First Amendment tenets, “raise important legal issues that implicate the public interest,” attorney Maggie McLetchie wrote in asking the court to allow the amicus briefs to be filed.

And speaking of sanctions, does anyone out there wonder how lawyers are allowed to charge a fortune for filing frivolous and destructive motions that echo Joe McCarthy, don’t advance their clients’ interests one iota and would be defamatory in any other setting except inside a courtroom?

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  1. It's hard to tell if Mr. Ralston is supporting the old guard establishment thugs or the hard working Constitutionalists in the trenches.

  2. I just love how someone reprimanded TWICE by the Nevada Ethics Commission, caught with his proverbial pants down in "G-Sting" (anyone remember that?), and constantly being bailed out by the City of Las Vegas over his real estate deals is now a "tea party" backed "hard working Constitutionalist in the trenches"! Please, Nevada Republicans, keep the comedy show going. I would have never guessed two years ago that Sue Lowden was just the "warm up act".

  3. Comment removed by moderator. ALL CAPS

  4. "RedDawn," Do you have a name? Mr. Ralston and I sign our names to everything we author. You should be brave enough to also identify yourself when you try so ineptly to shoot the messengers, and defend someone so corrupt. That said, I will guess you are either former McDonald city hall aides Rick Henry or Nathan Taylor. If so, you can correctly blame me for removing you and McDonald from the taxpayer's payroll. A public service indeed!

    Steve Miller, Former Las Vegas City Councilman

  5. SteveMiller4LV: Hope you're doing well--been a long time since I've seen you! As you will see, when I comment on articles I use my name Nathan_Taylor--I don't hide from anyone...have no reason to! Just as a point of clarification, you had nothing to do with my not being on the taxpayer rolls; let me set the record straight. In 2000 I resigned my position at City Hall to work on the George W. Bush Campaign for President. So, I would suggest that you get your facts straight before you put something on the internet. Finally, I don't hide on Twitter either--you can find me at: @nathanieltaylor

    Warmest Regards,

    Nathan Taylor

  6. Nothing ruins a story more than the other side. Everything I learned last cycle should the political incest is rife in this town. Unions run the Democrats, the children in school don't get educated. Cleaned out all the corruption the County government I think we might have a few secretaries left and that's all. If the Ron Paul people can take over the convention, more power to to them, they are bound on the first vote. After that it's a jump ball. Anybody can ride heard on this crew, Michael McDonald can. We did not pick him because he is an angel.

    As for Mr. Miller's webpages, like I said, nothing ruins a good story more than the other side.

    I don't hide either I'm here in plain sight.

  7. "RedDawn," You wrote; "You have just admitted again that you took part in an illegal campaign to oust a very decent man."

    The illegality was by the candidate who didn't disclose campaign funding. The "very decent man" was ousted for violating the public's trust. His replacement wasn't much better.

    "The sweet irony of that 'ousting' is that the woman that you helped (illegally) get elected reneged on a promise to place you on her staff. She was quickly indicted (thanks to you) and recalled. GOOD JOB!!"

    My motivation was based on her falling in with McDonald's cronies including Billy Walters.

    "You served one term and in that term you managed to annoy the entire Council with your grandstanding theatrics."

    I received the RJ's "Most Effective Public Official" award for my efforts.

    "Anyone who dared not to vote your way was accused of corruption."

    The then-mayor and city manager, i.e. the "Good Ol' Boys Land Deal."

    "You brought ethics charges against almost every elected colleague that suffered your existence for various reasons."

    Only against Jones and McDonald.

    "In 1989 you were quoted saying you 'would be the first to sign a recall petition to get me out of this lousy job.'"

    I also contributed $500 to the recall, but they could not get anyone other than myself to sign the petition.

    "In 1990 you were accused by the City Manager of being a 'pathological liar.'"

    He was removed from office for lying about his partnership in the land deal with the mayor.

    "In 1991 after a crushing defeat for a Mayoral bid you simply didn't show up for your 'job' as City Councilman to Ward 1."


    You dare to point fingers at McDonald and Goodman while you admittedly keep some pretty shady company yourself. Does Yellow Ribbon Investment ring a bell?

    Out of 125 stockholders, three had felony convictions.

    "you own/owned land under a competing adult topless club to the CH2."

    It was never competitive with the crime plagued, filthy CH2.

    "Stop patting yourself on the back trying to look like a hero in the closure of CH2, you're not. You are/were a landlord looking to better the profit of a tenant."

    Buffalo Jim Barrier closed the CH2. The club I'm landlord to since 1973 has never needed my help to profit, I do not get a percentage of their business. I helped close the CH2 to save lives.

    " Go find someone else to lie about."

    I give my opinions but mostly reference other writers. Example:

    "..the last time you lied about someone being an associate (bagman) for the MOB you got sued for libel. You lost."

    I exposed a bus company that had its franchise revoked for skimming from Strip fare boxes. Their suit was never adjudicated. My insurance paid them against my wishes. My efforts and those of Bruce Woodbury, Russ Driver, David Beamis, Peggy Petrie, Steven Dempsey, and others resulted in the CAT bus system.