“I noticed that you are supporting Newt Gingrich,” a longtime reader emailed me this week, “but your position puzzles me.” Others have expressed similar comments, especially those who know I am much more in line philosophically with Ron Paul. So I’ll explain. (Disclosure: I’m presently a paid adviser to Winning Our Future PAC)
Although I was involved in local GOP politics superficially in 1993, Gingrich’s efforts and stunning victory in 1994 inspired me to get much more involved. So lacking the good sense God gave me, I ran for chairman of the Clark County Republican Party in 1995. And lacking the good sense God gave the members of the party at that time, they elected me.
Frankly, they shouldn’t have. I had no idea what I was doing. But Gingrich, and his team who were running GOPAC at the time, produced a wealth of training material that helped teach me a ton of things I otherwise wouldn’t have known. And that inspired me to attend the Campaign Management College in Washington, DC that Gingrich and his top strategist, Joe Gaylord, were running in March 1996.
Which ultimately inspired me to return to Nevada and do two things.
First, I decided to run against then-Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus. I knew it was a race I wasn’t going to win unless she quit or got indicted. But I learned from Gingrich’s school how to run a credible campaign and was inspired to not let her have a free pass.
Secondly, I decided I wanted to do in Nevada what Gingrich and Gaylord were doing in Washington: teach other inexperienced conservative newcomers how to successfully run campaigns and political organizations.
So I started doing training workshops all over Nevada in places where no one else was going; places such as Ely, Elko, Winnemucca, Pahrump, Battle Mountain, Tonopah, Round Mountain, Minden, Fallon, Hawthorne and more. And that eventually led to doing such seminars and workshops all across the country for organizations such as GOPAC, the RNC and the Leadership Institute.
The simple fact is it was Gingrich’s leadership and training that got me involved in politics and public policy to the level I am today. And indeed, there are tens of thousands of grassroots conservative activists all across the nation who, just like me, came into and have stayed with the conservative movement thanks to Newt Gingrich.
Which is why Mitt Romney’s attack on the former House Speaker as a “failed leader” and a “disgrace” is so offensive and so insulting to so many of us. In reality, you’ll find that a lot of the leaders of the modern tea party movement cut their activist teeth back in the day when Gingrich led the “Republican Revolution.”
“Failed leader”? Hardly.
* Brian Calle of the Friedman Foundation, Libertarian Party official Wayne Allyn Root, KDWN’s Alan Stock and Sonia Joya from Gov. Sandoval’s office all spoke last night at a “National School Choice Week” open house at the RISE Resource Center in Las Vegas. Calle spoke about being homeschooled in high school and Root spoke about his homeschooled daughter who is now a sophomore at Harvard.
* I absolutely love this headline for a video produced by our friends over at the Nevada Policy Research Institute: “President Obama leaves event promoting clean energy in a motorcade of 22 fossil-fueled vehicles.”
* Has anyone else noticed that Barack Obama has now campaigned in Nevada twice as often since the Nevada GOP caved in to New Hampshire and the RNC over the date of its caucus than all of the GOP candidates combined?
* The Nevada GOP announced a new caucus-specific website yesterday. Check it out here
ALL THE “RIGHT” MOVES
* Joining the National School Choice open house at the RISE Resource Center last night were Assembly candidate Victoria Seaman, Senate candidate Annette Teijeiro, congressional candidate Chris Edwards, Assembly candidate Leonard Foster. No elected officials bothered to stop by.
* At an education reform forum sponsored by Brent Husson and BEACON on Wednesday, Republican CD4 candidate Dan Schwartz made a rather odd statement. This isn’t an exact quote, but he said his political consultant told him not to talk about education reform in his campaign because it’s not a hot-button issue people care about. Really?
* Sad news, conservatives. Assemblyman Lynn Stewart (RINO-Las Vegas) – who chalked up the single worst voting record in Citizen Outreach’s 2011 ratings among all assembly Republicans - has announced that he’s running for re-election - and I’ve been assured that there won’t be any last-minute hanky-panky with him dropping out to give a hand-picked successor a free ride.
* In his announcement press release, Stewart said: "We held the line during the 2011 Legislative Session. Not one single new tax was established.” That’s bull. First, several new “fees” were approved; “fee” being just another word for “tax.” And secondly, a lot of EXISTING taxes were raised – a whopping $620 million worth that Stewart voted for. Only in Alice’s Wonderland could that be considered “holding the line.”
* Republican Assembly candidate Michele Fiore announced on Thursday the endorsements of Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, Assemblyman John Hambrick, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony and conservative business leader Monte Miller.
* Swadeep Nigam announced on Thursday his candidacy as a Republican in Nevada’s 21st Assembly District. Nigam, a self-described “fiscal conservative,” is a financial analyst for the Las Vegas Valley Water District and a member of the Nevada Equal Rights Commission. He has already been endorsed by Assemblyman John Hambrick.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
"Mitt Romney's crowds look like something out of the president's suite at a University of Florida football game - prosperous, trim, Tattersall-clad and supportive but not rowdy. Newt Gingrich supporters, with their spray-painted signs, American flag tees, flip-flops and fanny packs, more closely resemble a group that would fit in nicely playing a few bucks at the dog track. . . . It's the tea party vs. the cocktail party." – columnist Jonathan Martin
“Romney intentionally takes Reagan's comments about Gingrich out of context... The simple fact is Romney is from the establishment-Rockefeller-Gerald Ford-Bush Dynasty side of the GOP, more interested in great access than great ideas. Gingrich is from the anti-establishment Goldwater-Bill Buckley-Jack Kemp -Reagan- side of the GOP, more interested in questioning the establishment than joining it...In short, Romney is on the losing side of the party and he doesn't like it one bit, yet rather than apologize for being wrong his whole life, Romney chooses to attacks conservatives." – Reagan biographer Craig Shirley
· February 3: First Friday Happy Hour from 5-7 pm at Swingers Club, Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas
· February 4: Nevada Republican presidential caucuses
· February 9-11: CPAC at the Marriott/Wardman Park in Washington, DC.
· February 11: Washoe County Lincoln Day Dinner in Reno
· February 16: Third Thursday center-right coalition Leadership Lunch (invitation only)
· February 25: Clark County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner
· March 2: First Friday Happy Hour from 5-7 pm
· March 5-16: Candidate filing in Nevada
· March 10: Clark County Republican Party Convention
· March 15: Third Thursday center-right coalition Leadership Lunch (invitation only)
· May 2: Campaign Training Seminar, Libertarian Party National Convention at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada
· May 3-6: Libertarian Party national convention at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, NV
· May 4-5: Nevada Republican Party state convention a the Nugget in Sparks, NV
· June 8-10: 2012 Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas
· June 12: Nevada Primary Election
· August 27-30: Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida
· November 6: General Election