this is really low..to be expected. (D) donkey party gutterball.
Some Republicans dub Nevada Tea Party candidate a fakeBy Jessica Yellin, CNN National Correspondent
March 10, 2010 3:27 p.m. EST
Some are accusing Jon Scott Ashjian, a new Tea Party candidate running for U.S. Senate, of being a fake.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Some say Jon Scott Ashjian, a new Tea Party candidate running for Senate, is a fake
GOP front-runner Sue Lowden says she's never seen Ashjian at Tea Party events
Another GOP candidate alleges Harry Reid's campaign planted Ashjian to siphon GOP votes
Ashjian seems to find the fuss amusing; Reid dismisses the allegations
Tea Party Movement
(CNN) -- It's a grass-roots protest movement composed of the newly politicized and people distrustful of hierarchy. So how is it possible to be an illegitimate Tea Party member?
Ask Republicans in Nevada. Some are accusing Jon Scott Ashjian, a new Tea Party candidate running for U.S. Senate, of being a fake. The allegation? He was put in the race by agents of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to siphon votes from the GOP.
"No doubt about it," says Danny Tarkanian, one of the many Republican Senate candidates hoping to challenge Reid in November.
"Nobody in the Tea Party knows who he is. He didn't know any of the principles of the Tea Party," Tarkanian tells CNN.
Tarkanian even accuses "Harry Reid's staff, campaign, whatever" of picking Ashjian because he's Armenian, as is Tarkanian. He explains, "They know the Armenians are very close, they'll vote for each other."
As for Reid, an aide dismisses the accusations. As does Reid, who says he's never met Ashjian or "anyone in his family." Reid tells CNN, "I think there are too many conspiratorialists in the world today. This is a free country."
Sue Lowden, the Republican front-runner in the Senate primary, according to recent polls, is the former Nevada Republican Party chair and seems to be the Republicans' best hope of unseating Reid in November. Or at least she did, until Ashjian got into the race.
Lowden says she's been very active with Tea Party groups in Nevada. "I am a Tea Party voter, absolutely." Which is why she says she finds it "a little strange" that Ashjian is emerging now. "I don't know who this person is. He's never been involved with anything that I'm aware of in this state."
She doesn't know if he's a spoiler. "We'll find out for sure," she promises, adding, "I've never seen him at one of our Tea Parties, by the way."
It's clear why Lowden and Tarkanian would be concerned. A recent poll conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal indicates Lowden and Tarkanian each beating Reid in one-on-one hypothetical general election matchups. But add a Tea Party candidate to the ballot, and that siphons off enough conservative votes to give Reid a narrow victory. According to the survey, Reid would grab 36 percent of the vote, the Republican candidate 32 percent and the Tea Party candidate 18 percent in a possible three-way showdown.
So the conspiracy theories abound from Tea Party activists and worried Republicans: Ashjian's never attended Tea Party rallies; he hasn't coordinated with local organizers; the secretary of his Tea Party of Nevada, Barry Levinson, is a registered Democrat. Levinson said, "I vote the person, not the party" and calls the accusations "political garbage."
But to critics, it's all proof that Ashjian is, in the words of Nevada Tea Party activist and blogger Ned Barrett, running a "false flag operation."
Jon Scott Ashjian seems to find the fuss amusing. New to the political scene, he personally gave CNN directions to his house for an interview that his wife, daughter and bulldog attended. He said it was the first time he'd spoken with the national media. Ashjian, who helped form the Tea Party of Nevada just to run for this seat, said that he'd never take marching orders from the Democrats or Reid.
"I have never met Harry Reid, do not agree at all with any of his political values," Ashjian said, adding that he's not the kind of guy "who would follow or be told what to do."
He says he's fielded endless calls from Republicans trying to strong-arm him to leave the race, and he resents it: "I don't think Republicans own the Tea Party," Ashjian said. "In fact, I know they don't in Nevada, because I do. That's what's really got them in an uproar." He said he's been told that he's not welcome on the bus when the Tea Party rolls into Nevada.
Ashjian says he got into the race because "we are patriots that want change. We're normal people that want to make a difference."
First, he plans to make a campaign Web site.
A spokesman for Tea Party Express, a national Tea Party group that is encouraging efforts to defeat Reid at the ballot box in November, says it does not view Ashjian as a serious candidate.
They say he's not speaking at either of their two rallies in Nevada on March 27, when they kick off their third Tea Party cross-country caravan with events in Searchlight (Reid's hometown) and Las Vegas, but they say he's welcome to attend. Tea Party Express also says it is not endorsing any candidate in the Nevada GOP Senate primary.
Nevada may run a Tea Party candidate against Sen. Harry Reid in November, and Tea Party faithfuls from Washoe to Clark County are furious about it.
According to the Las Vegas Sun, an unknown group calling themselves “Tea Party of Nevada”(TPN), has just filed documents to become an official political party in Nevada, with the intent of posting a candidate to run against 4-time incumbent Harry Reid and his Republican challenger.
Western Representation PAC, an active coalition of Tea Party activists in Nevada, expressed shock over the new Tea Party group. “We have no idea who these people are … the patriots who have built the Tea Party movement aren’t the people behind the [Tea Party of Nevada.]”
WRPAC asked a broad coalition of Tea Party organizers, activists and conservatives from Nevada and across the country, “Do you know who these people are?” referring to the people listed on TPN’s official paperwork filed with the Secretary of State.
“Absolutely not,” replied Debbie Landis from Anger is Brewing, the primary organizer of the northern Nevada and Reno Tea Party groups. “If the people who officially created the Tea Party [of] Nevada are tea party activists, then I’m a Tunisian princess,” Landis quipped.
Joe Wierzbicki from Our Country Deserves Better PAC reported, “We know nothing….” Our Country created and runs the nationwide Tea Party Express and has already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nevada advertising to defeat Harry Reid.
“If the people behind the [Tea Party of Nevada] were serious about winning elections, they would have tried to bring groups like ours on board,” explained WRPAC. “Many people in our broad coalition are interested in creating a third party… if [it had] the best qualified candidates and a realistic chance to win, we would support a third party.”
Most Tea Party faithful in Nevada are comfortable with the Republican party’s large field of diverse Senate candidates, with well-known names, pedigrees, voting records and commitment to conservative principles. The Nevada Republican primaryt to choose Reid’s challenger includes conservatives Sue Lowden, Danny Tarkanian, Mark Amodei, Sharron Angle and Bill Parson, as well as four other lesser-known Republicans. The Republican primary will be decided June 8th; the winner will run against Reid and any other party candidates who satisfy the Secretary of State’s filing criteria.
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Western PAC expressed serious concern and suspicion regarding TPN’s motives. “By not at least consulting with our group or the other Tea Party groups, the people behind the [Tea Party of Nevada] [have] already shown that they are either a liberal front organized by liberals to divert our resources… or a conservative faction that threatens to fracture the movement by alienating the other factions who have worked to make the Tea Party movement as great as it is.”
Nevada’s Tea party establishment is in a tizzy, for sure, but it may be much ado about nothing. To become an official political party recognized by Nevada, TPN must do more than just file a list of officers and bylaws with the Secretary of State. It must also file a petition signed by 250 registered voters to place their Senate candidate on the November general ballot.
If TPN’s candidate receives at least 1 percent of the November votes, Tea Party of Nevada will then be a qualified party for 2012, becoming the Silver State’s eighth party, joining Democrats, Republicans, Independent Americans, Libertarians, Greens, Reformers and the Natural Law Party.
TPN’s candidate, Mr. Jon Ashjian, is virtually unknown in Nevada’s Tea Party movement as well as in Nevada. The only thing known about Ashjian is that he is a Nevada businessman whose company is TNT Energy Projects.
It seems doubtful that TPN will have much impact on Nevada’s Senate race, but the mere existence of the group has Nevada conservatives wondering if this is yet another attempt by the opposition to undermine, discredit or sabotage the Tea Party movement
Published: March 14, 2010 Send to a friend
Tea Party Too Reactionary? Join The Coffee Party!
By Robert Paul Reyes
"Tea Partiers, make room. The Coffee Party is about to steal some of your media thunder. Around for only a few weeks, it officially launches March 13th, having already attracted 109,000 Facebook fans, slightly more than the Tea Party, around about a year. The Coffee Party expects about 300 gatherings in 44 states to participate on Saturday.
On the surface, the two 'parties' seem radically different. Tea Partiers are known for their shout-downs, but Coffee Partiers feature a 'civility pledge' on their homepage. Coffee Partiers, don't call for a drastically shrunken government, ala the Tea Party, but for 'cooperation in government.'"
Tea partiers conjure images of Mad White Men Gone Wild; and tea parties are exploding with histrionics, vitriol, and an undercurrent of racism.
There are many Republicans who are displeased with the direction that President Obama is taking this country, but they want no part of the divisiveness stirred up by the tea party movement.
Now there is a movement for conservatives who don't think Obama is an illegitimate president, and who don't think Sarah Palin is the answer.
The Coffee Party is a kinder and gentler version of the tea party movement, they prefer constructive dialogue to belligerent chants.
As a staunch liberal and a proud Hispanic, I wouldn't be caught dead at a meeting of the anti-immigrant tea party. But I wouldn't mind exchanging views over a cup of Java with members of the Coffee Party.
Pour yourself a steaming cup of coffee, and check out the Coffee Party's Web site
Follow Robert Paul Reyes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/robertpaulreyes
Robert Paul Reyes is a NewsBlaze writer on Politics, Pop Culture and Pointless Pontificating. Contact him by writing to NewsBlaze.
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