Thursday, April 15, 2010

NV-Sen: District Judge Allows Ashjian to Stay on the Ballot, While Tea Party Express Throws Support to Angle

I'm away from home right now, so I can't get into details... But I'll just give you a quick update on the Tea Party Senate campaign drama. District Judge Todd Russell just ruled that Nevada Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian WILL stay on the ballot. He rejected the IAP argument that Ashjian improperly filed as a Tea Party candidate before he actually registered himself with the Tea Party.

It's not known yet if the IAP will appeal. If they do, the law suit will likely be fast-tracked to the state Supreme Court. I'll do more research when I get hime, and talk more about this later.

UPDATE: OK, I'm home. Here's The Sun piece explaining what happened.

District Judge Todd Russell rejected the legal challenge of the Independent American Party, which argued Ashjian lied on his declaration of candidacy.

Russell said he “did not believe that he (Ashjian) engaged in a knowing and willful attempt to avoid the election laws of the state of Nevada.”

Ashjian, a Las Vegas contractor, said the judge made the right decision and “the voters will be heard” in his first run for public office. “I’m new to politics but I have learned it’s a dirty business.” [...]

Judge Russell said Ashjian “substantially complied” with the law. At the end of the day on March 2, Ashjian was in compliance with the law.

“The best approach is to look to the end of the day on March 2, 2010, to determine if all laws have been complied with,” wrote the judge who issued the decision one day after hearing the oral arguments.

He said, “A technical sequential filing of documents should not control, but an overall good faith attempt to comply should control.”

So basically, Ashjian will continue to do his own thing in his very own "Tea Party of Nevada" while the Tea Party Express officially endorses Sharron Angle...

Former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle has won the Tea Party Express endorsement in the U.S. Senate race. The staunchly conservative candidate has been wooing the national group since they began organizing events in Nevada and running ads against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The endorsement, if it brings with it the promise of significant campaign resources, could be enough to vault Angle to the front of the crowded race. In 2006, with the help of a hefty television advertising campaign by the Club for Growth, Angle came within 425 votes of beating Dean Heller in the Republican primary for the 2nd Congressional District.

Angle is a fierce campaigner with a well-cultivated grass roots support system in the north. Outside money on a TV ad campaign would give her the name recognition she needs in Southern Nevada.

And local teabagger groups are split among Angle, Tarkanian, Lowden, other Republicans, and independent/third party candidates like Ashjian. Whatever. Let the teabaggers keep splitting their votes and fighting with each other. They have no relevant message, and they don't even know what exactly they're fighting for (more on that later, when I do my write-up on today's rally). In the end, I'm pretty hopeful we progressives will get the last laugh. :-)

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