Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nevada Tea Party Chairman Quits

The head of the Nevada Tea Party resigned Tuesday after its candidate for Senate leaked a recording of Sharron Angle – the Republican running to replace Senator Harry Reid, the leader of the Democratic majority — in which she complained about Republican leaders and confessed that she does not know if she can win. Ms. Angle is, of course, considered a Tea Party candidate herself — that is, she is supported by the conservative anti-establishment movement that wants to shrink the role of the federal government. But she will appear on the ballot as a Republican. And in Nevada (as in Florida) there is an official Tea Party, with a candidate, Scott Ashjian, who will appear on the ballot with a Tea Party label. The chairman of the Tea Party — the official one — Syd James, said he set up a meeting between Mr. Ashjian and Ms. Angle to see if Mr. Ashjian could be convinced to get out of the race and endorse Ms. Angle. Mr. Ashjian secretly recorded the meeting, and released a tape of it to Jon Ralston, the state’s best-known political columnist. On the tape Ms. Angle tells Mr. Ashjian, “I’m not sure you can win and I’m not sure I can win if you’re hurting my chances, and that’s the part that scares me.” She badmouths national Republicans — who had hoped that a former state GOP chairwoman, Sue Lowden, would win the primary instead of Ms. Angle — saying they have “lost their principles.” Mr. Ashjian, in turn, complained on tape that Tea Party leaders — who began referring to themselves as “grassroots activists” to distinguish from his official party — had smeared him...more

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