Western state Republicans in complete meltdown

Colorado. Idaho. Nevada. California. From crazy to corrupt to down in the polls, the Republican Party is imploding all over the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

Let’s start with Colorado. You already know about sexist Senate candidate Ken Buck and the gubernatorial primary between plagiarist Scott McInnis and finance cheat Dan Maes. Both stories have new developments. Buck was caught yet again making stupid comments on tape, referring to birthers as “dumbasses”. He was obviously right and I’m with him every step of the way, but it still won’t help him in a GOP primary. But it’s the governor’s race where we really get to sit back and enjoy the ride.

Former Repub Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Trancedo jumped in the race for governor this week as an independent. He he was interviewed yesterday alongside state Repub chair Dick Wadhams on Peter Boyles’ radio show. The interview quickly escalated into a public screaming match, and if you’ve got twenty minutes you really should listen. It’s  just plain fun. The interview starts about ten minutes into the clip with Tancredo being a rude jerk, but by the end Wadhams is making unreasonable demands and calling both Tancredo and Boyles liars. The two men said that Wadhams has told them he dislikes both McInnis and Maes, so not only is the public meltdown fun, it also reveals new party rifts. All of a sudden this Senate seat and this statehouse don't seem to be in nearly as much trouble for Democrats as they were.

If Colorado Repubs feel lonely, all they have to do is look northwest to my neck of the woods, Idaho. I’ve already told you about the state GOP convention, which passed a resolution stating all Repub lawmakers must sign a loyalty oath to try and repeal direct election of senators. That same post also described Sarah Palin’s birthplace in Bonner County, where Repubs are protesting the local fair’s use of the word “fiesta.” The crazy gets worse with ID-01 nominee Raul Labrador, who called for repeal of the 17th amendment before the state GOP did, says our energy policy should be “increasing the production of fossil fuels,” and, like the Colorado GOP and the man he beat in the primary, is a plagiarist. This is an +18 district where McCain won by 25 points – and yet Labrador can’t so much as win the support of the NRCC, the Tea Party Express or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Small wonder the endangered first-term Democrat Walt Minnick has a 16-1 advantage in cash-on-hand and national pundits are moving the race from “toss-up” to “leans Democratic.”

But what happens at the federal level is a symptom of what happens at the local level, and state Rep. Phil Hart of Athol, here in Kootenai County, is our own little Charlie Rangel. Hart is under investigation by the state House ethics committee for tax issues. He’s been late on paying county taxes for 8 years in a row, but the county should consider itself lucky – he owes nearly $700,000 in unpaid federal and state taxes. The man’s not just a tax cheat, either – he’s a thief. The liens include $13,014 in unpaid federal withholding taxes at his engineering firm. In other words, he took his employees’ tax money but kept it for himself rather than turning it over to the government. And the best part? He sits on the House subcommittee that affects issues like his but insists there’s no conflict of interest. Hart and the Idaho GOP are a bigger joke than the name of the town he represents – Athol. But not to worry, he says; the citizens of Idaho are better off for his crimes. “I think it makes you a better legislator, to have these life experiences.”

And of course, you already know about Nevada and the crazy that is Sharron Angle. After a series of missteps – defending BP, calling for the repeal of Medicare and Social Security – she is starting to face criticism from within her own party.

"Sharron's first six weeks have been atrocious," said Danny Tarkanian, who was defeated in Nevada's GOP Senate primary. "I think she would admit to that."…

Before endorsing Angle in her election fight, former Nevada Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich warned the Tea Party darling, "You're scaring the bejesus out of everybody."

Republican Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, who backed Angle's GOP primary opponent, Sue Lowden, settled on endorsing Reid in the state's general election match-up. "Our state [would] suffer and we would never get anything done," Cashell said of the prospect of Angle being elected.

If California Republicans were hoping that maybe the San Gabriels would insulate them from the mountain west, they’re going to be very disappointed. Despite a new ad-buy from the NRSC, a new PPP poll shows that Democrat Barbara Boxer finally has a comfortable lead over the Palin-endorsed Carly Fiorina in CA-Sen at 49-40. Boxer hasn’t been up by this much since May. (The poll also found that 19% of voters have a higher opinion of Boxer’s hair and 14% have a higher opinion of Fiorina’s hair. 67% are not sure.)

This sure is a good month to be a western Democrat. Whoa, I feel good… I knew that I would now… so good… so good…

Tags: CO-Sen, ID-01, CA-Sen, NV-Sen, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, California, Sharron Angle, Tom Tancredo, Dick Wadhams, 2010 midterms, Phil Hart, Raul Labrador, Walt Minnick, Ken Buck, Scott McInnis, Dan Maes, Barbara Boxer, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, CO-GOV (all tags)

Comments

2 Comments

Repub meltdown not just in the West

While it is nice to savor the flavor of the Western meltdown, let us not forget the rest of the country. Florida is set to elect Charlie Crist senator after he left the Republican party as it embraced Teabagger Marco Rubio. Caribou Barbie endorsed Ayotte in New Hamphire and we saw Ayotte's lead melt to only 3 points in just over a week. Maine's Republican party joined the Cuckoo Chorus with its calls to rethink the party's platform and align it more with Teabag craziness. Then, of course, how could we forget the wonder that is Rand Paul in Tennessee or the loonies in Kentucky, where Dems have excellent chances for pickups in otherwise Red states. The list goes on. Vitter in Louisiana, Mr. Nepotism, Roy Blunt in Missouri. Yes, the West is lucky to have its crazies in Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, California (and don't forget Washington State!), where the Teabaggers are coming out like dead zombies eating the brains of their more normal Republican politicians, but they don't have a lock on crazy. Everywhere the Teabaggers eat their own, the sane folk are taking a closer look and reeling in horror. November is not going to be pretty, but it is going to be a lot like watching a George Romero movie -- scarey right up to the end!

by mcarnes 2010-07-27 11:53PM | 0 recs
Root for Arizona joining the gang

The AZ GOP is every bit as wacky as the rest of the Western states. The Gov (and candidate) who is so pro SB1070 has 2 advisors (and an advisor's wife) who have lobbied or are lobbying for the prison outfit that will directly profit most from the law. The GOP Senate hopefuls are out anti-immigrant-ing each other and slinging copious amounts of mud. The legislature while it has legalized sparklers, protected incandescent bulbs and guns made in AZ and enacted the infamous SB1070, is busy attempting to dismantle the US Constitution, ginning up this year's wedge issue...fear of Hispanic people. Too bad a lot of the AZ voters are just as wacked out...at least so far fear and hate are winning against sanity and facts.

by SuznAZ 2010-07-28 01:20PM | 0 recs

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