Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What a Fool Believes: Is "Tea Party" Showing Double Standard for McDonald?

The Nevada GOP has taken quite a few hits this week over the election of former Las Vegas City Council Member Michael McDonald as its new Chairman. And I'm not the only one talking. Ralston had this to say.

I want all of you — especially Gov. Sandoval, Sen. Heller and Rep. Joe Heck — to imagine it is October. CNN is here. Fox and MSNBC, too. You turn on your TV to hear, “Joining us now, the chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, Michael McDonald.”

Do you:

A. Pray

B. Hold your breath

C. Both

As the Nevada Policy Research Institute said in a screed Tuesday: “You just can’t make this stuff up.” The conservative think tank was referring to McDonald’s latest juice job at City Hall, with NPRI correctly pointing out that McDonald has a pattern of questionable conduct. Indeed, McDonald almost was thrown out of office 11 years ago after the state Ethics Commission found “his loyalty to his employer motivated him to assist (his private sector boss) in attempting to overcome a difficult financial situation by using access to staff and other members of the City Council (which an ordinary member of the public would not have) and lobbying them to take action which would benefit (his boss) and, therefore, himself. ... There was absolutely no evidence that the action Councilman McDonald was advocating ... was a good economic deal for the City of Las Vegas and in the public’s interest.”

Some things don’t change. The ex-councilman’s history neuters him when it comes to assailing Democrats on anything. McDonald is not just a flawed messenger; he is a fatally flawed messenger.

Maybe Michael McDonald is right in arguing that no one will pay any attention to him, that he will unify the party and that he will lead the GOP to smashing victories in November. Or maybe, as Michael McDonald also once said, that’s what a fool believes.

But perhaps the most searing indictment of the Nevada GOP for this move comes from one of its own, Orrin Johnson, who had this to say about his party's new leader.

Taken in the kindest possible light, new GOP Chair Michael McDonald’s past and current “property development” activities proves that he’s all for government-forced redistribution of wealth. A more honest assessment would be that he’s all about brazenly using positions of political power to enrich himself and/or his friends at taxpayer expense to the tune of millions of dollars.

Either way, he’s EVERYTHING the Tea Party Movement – and conservatism generally – is supposed to be against. And yet he was elected supposedly as the tea party, anti-establishment, “true conservative” option to chair the Nevada Republican Party. How did this happen?

The Nevada State GOP began hemorrhaging credibility back in October. With McDonald’s election, they’ve officially eliminated it completely. This will end badly for the state party, and for any politician stupid enough to get to close to Mr. McDonald. When it does, I just hope there are enough Republicans left untainted by this to save the conservative movement from total irrelevance for the foreseeable future.

Again, that's from a Republican! And hey, I at least have to give both Orrin Johnson and NPRI some credit in calling out their own.

However, do you remember the last time some "tea party" Republicans called out one of their own? Come on now, you must. It was only in February when none other than Chuck Muth took down Elizabeth Halseth and her political career by airing her dirty laundry. It was quite the sight to behold, since earlier that year he honored her as one of his "true conservative" stars.

Now as I said in February, Halseth made her dirty laundry into a legitimate problem by fleeing the state and her duties as a Nevada Legislator over it. And it only made things worse that she campaigned on "moral values" while failing to practice what she preached.

Back then, I gave Chuck Muth kudos for being honest about a politician he once backed. So why won't he do the same now? He's been a relentless cheerleader for Michael McDonald despite his sleazy "land deals cum bailouts" and "G-Sting" history. In fact, he's now attacking Orrin Johnson for simply pointing out the obvious! So Elizabeth Halseth was in the wrong for letting her affair with Tiger Helgelien get in the way of her public duty, but it's perfectly OK for newly elected Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald to cheat Las Vegas taxpayers and still refuse to apologize for his role in "G-Sting"?

And folks wonder why Nevada Republicans always seem to be in trouble?

Sorry, but this looks to me like a double standard. If Elizabeth Halseth had to face consequences for her ethical lapses, then so should Michael McDonald. I'm just perplexed as to why Chuck Muth can't see what all the rest of us see, especially since McDonald's line of "business" flies in the face of what the "tea party" is supposed to be about.

Oh, what a fool believes...

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