Opinion: Nevada Republicans embarrass state

SUBMITTED RELEASE FROM NEVADA STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY

By Phoebe Sweet

This week was beyond bad for the Nevada GOP, as prominent Republicans were buried by a tsunami of negative news coverage for rants that demonstrated to the world just how out of touch they are.

First came BarterGate, which saw the wheels come off embattled GOP Senate candidate Sue Lowden’s campaign. After saying Nevadans should trade chickens for checkups, hens for healthcare, cluckers for chemo, Lowden was lampooned by the national media and even late-night hosts.

Not only was Lowden proven to be completely devoid of good ideas–going so far as to defend her barter plan to the media–but she was also exposed for being completely out of touch with regular Nevadans. She suggested they should sock $20,000 away in health savings accounts to pay for medical care. Of course, when you have $50 million and a mansion with eight and a half bathrooms, that’s possible. But tell that to families trying to put food on the table and pay the rent.

And Lowden’s camp so bungled the handling of the affair that even Republican allies and conservative commentators are questioning whether Lowden is “ready for prime time.”

Then Gov. Jim Gibbons–inspiration for www.AmericasWorstGovernor.com–was named one of, well, America’s worst governors by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW called Gibbons out for allegedly assaulting a cocktail waitress, breaking campaign finance law, using a state cell phone to text message his mistress and endangering the state by refusing to accept federal stimulus dollars, among other things.

And then the campaign of Brian Sandoval, GOP candidate for governor, hit the skids as Sandoval was called out for changing his mind and/or lying about his position on drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants (he likes them, but he doesn’t), tax increases (he likes them, but he doesn’t), pledges (he likes them, but he doesn’t) and domestic partnership (um, he likes them, but he doesn’t).

Not to be outdone, scandal-plagued Sen. John Ensign announced that his campaign raised a paltry $50 this quarter. As if that weren’t bad enough, the donations came in two $25 checks from a Las Vegas man who said he was supporting Ensign because, “all men are dogs.”

In case this cake needed icing, Ensign ran off at the mouth during a budget hearing about how the Old Testament treated debtors. Never mind how the Old Testament treated adulterers (hint: death).

So, while Sue Lowden was trying to take us back to the 1800s, John Ensign was trying to take us back to the days when public stonings were entertainment, Brian Sandoval was hosting a spirited argument with the Brian Sandoval of yore and Jim Gibbons was trying to take us back to the time he was relevant–and that’s a really long time ago.

While some of this may have been funny to watch unfold, the sad reality is that all this affects the lives of Nevadans. For those who are watching–and every Nevadan should be–the choices couldn’t be more clear.

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