Monday, April 30, 2007

Reactions to Hillary's Reno Town Hall Meeting

One wonders whether Hug High School has ever seen anything like this. For her first town hall meeting in Nevada, Sen. Hillary Clinton drew a crowd of about 3,000, wore the school colors, and got a lot of good reactions in the Nevada blogosphere and the pleasure (?!?) to be interviewed by Reno's own Ray Hagar. Here are the reactions:

From the Blogs:

Hillary's Hug Visit (Nevada Dem):

I’ve just returned home from hearing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton present to a crowd of 3500+ at Reno’s Hug High School. It was a masterful performance. Other than the few Republican plants, I doubt anyone left the gym without thinking, “Wow! I may have just spent time with the next President of the United States!”

The event was well organized and professionally done. One local political regular commented that the briefing of the volunteers for the day was perhaps the best she’s ever experienced, and she came not as a committed Clinton supporter but a willing volunteer.


My parting thoughts were that she is a formidable candidate for any Democrat and any Republican. She knows what the job entails. She’s ready. Is there still justification to the fear she might not be electable? If today is representative of her campaign, and as people get to know her better and relieve themselves of the caricature in their minds, she’ll beat anyone.

Hillary Clinton's Reno Town Hall (Reno and Its Discontents):

If I had to choose one word to describe Clinton’s town hall in Reno this morning, I would choose “impressive”–surprisingly so. Its not that I think there is anything unimpressive about Hillary Clinton, but I was surprised by how impressed I and all the people around me were by here sheer presence. The town hall is clearly her best venue–she can show off her confident presence, her obvious intelligence, the with and breadth of her political experience, her eloquence, and her attractiveness. Yes, that’s right, Hillary looked absolutely fabulous in a green suit that just happened to match Hug High School’s colors.

Susan Nunes had her camera ready and posted the pictures on Random Thoughts from Reno. You can read her impressions above and below the post with the pictures.

The Desert Beacon sums it up best with this headline: "Nevada News Roundup: Clinton 3000, McCain 300"

From the Media:

Reno Campaign Stop: Clinton: Bush won't change (LVRJ):

The U.S. senator from New York and former first lady spoke for about 50 minutes at a campaign stop at Hug High School.

Her speech took a little less than half an hour, and she then answered questions from the audience for 25 minutes. The event was billed as a town hall-style "Conversation with Nevadans."

It was Clinton's first campaign stop in Reno since becoming an official candidate for president.

Clinton draws more than 3,000 in Reno (AP in RGJ):

When some in the gymnasium shouted “Bring them home,” she replied, “That’s what we’re trying to do.”

“We are ready to try to end this war in Iraq. I am so proud of your Senator Harry Reid,” she said about the Senate majority leader from Nevada, eliciting a 15 second-long standing ovation.

Clinton praised Reid’s efforts to pass a military spending bill with a timetable to begin redeploying troops out of Iraq but admitted she doubts Bush ever will go along with it.

Clinton draws big crowd to Hug High (RGJ):

After Clinton's speech and subsequent question-and-answer period, many left feeling fired up for Hillary.

"I absolutely would vote for her," said Norma Lessard, 60, who drove 100 miles from Schurz to see Clinton. "I'm ready for a change, how about you?"


Other Clinton supporters said Clinton's performance would have changed the minds of people who dislike her.

"One of my girlfriends for 25 years just cringes when she hears Hillary's name," said Suzy Valle, 55 and a teacher at Roger Corbett Elementary. "She is only believing the things that people tell her, what a horrible person she is, instead of finding out for herself.

"I think there is a lot of animosity for Hillary," Valle said. "But people need to open their minds and investigate for themselves and not just believe what they are being told."

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton Visits Reno (KTVN):

During our one-on-one interview, Sen. Clinton said Iraq is going through a sectarian Civil War.

"It's a no-win situation for us," Sen. Clinton said. "This war should be Iraqis' responsibility now."

She also told Channel 2, her husband and number 1 advisor, Bill Clinton, will help gain back allies.

"He will continue to play active roles around the world," Sen. Clinton said. "He's probably the most popular American in the world right now."

Clinton doubts Bush will pull troops from Iraq (AP in Sparks Tribune):

Clinton has appeared in Las Vegas, Carson City and in Fallon 60 miles east of Reno, but had not made a formal campaign appearance before in Reno. She said she was glad Nevada had moved to near the front of the Democratic caucus process, following Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses with Nevada's on Jan. 19, 2008.

''You're on the front lines of making that decision. I'm very pleased you've been moved into the process because I want your voices to be heard,'' she said.

Ray Hagar's interview with Hillary Clinton for the RGJ:

Said Clinton: "I do not approve of legalized prostitution or any kind of prostitution. It is something that I personally believe is demeaning to women. I have worked against it and I have certainly taken a very strong stand against what happens in many parts of the world where young girls and women are forced into prostitution against their wills.

"I understand Nevada has a regulated system and it is within the authority of the state," Clinton said. "So that is not a federal issue that we will have any role to play in when I am president. But I would obviously speak out against prostitution and try to persuade women that it is not -- even an a regulated system -- necessarily a good way to try to make a living. Let’s try to find other jobs that can be there for women who are looking for a good way to support themselves and their families."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Denny Crane Might Vote for Obama

This is hilarious. Watch:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Richardson to Tour Nevada April 29 - May 1

Gov. Bill Richardson is starting to work on his Nevada strategy. He goes on a three day tour through Northern and Southern Nevada with several events in Carson City and Las Vegas. This is the most extensive swing through Nevada by any candidate so far. Here are the details:

Sunday, April 29

7:30pm – 9:00pm
Keynote address to the Carson City Democrats Jefferson-Jackson Dinner
Note: There will be a press availability immediately following this event.
Plaza Hotel and Conference Center
211 E. Ninth St.
Carson City, NV

Monday, April 30

8:30am – 9:15am
Meet and greet with local supporters
Comma Coffee
312 S. Carson St.
Carson City, NV

9:30am – 10:30am
Meeting with AFL-CIO Leaders
Nevada AFL-CIO Headquarters
602 E. John Street, Carson City, NV
(Closed to the public and press.)

11:00am – 11:45am
Conversation on Darfur with Carson High School students and parents
Carson High School
1111 North Saliman Road
Carson City, NV
(Open to the press, but closed to the general public. Media planning to attend should contact Josh McNeil for rules regarding coverage of the students)

12:00pm – 1:00pm
Meeting with the Nevada Democratic Legislative Caucus hosted by Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus and Speaker Barbara Buckley
Nevada Legislature
401 S. Carson Street
Carson City, NV
(Closed to the public and press.)

7:30pm – 9:00pm
Community Rally
Arturo Cambeiro Senior Center
330 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV

Tuesday, May 1

7:30am – 8:30am
Breakfast with Hispanics in Politics
Dona Maria's Restaurant
910 Las Vegas Blvd. S
Las Vegas, NV

10:00am – 11:00am
Forum with Culinary Workers Local 226
Culinary Local 226 Headquarters
1630 S. Commerce Street
Las Vegas, NV 89102
(Open to press, closed to the general public.)

Richardson the First One Airing Ads - In Iowa and New Hampshire

Bill Richardson is the first Democratic presidential candidates running ads - in Iowa and New Hampshire. No word on Nevada yet. So, it's nice to have YouTube and you can just watch them here:

"Life's Work"

"The Wall"

Like the ads? Don't like the ads? Either way, you can let Bill Richardson know.

Monday, April 23, 2007

John Edwards Holds Another Town Hall Meeting in Vegas, April 30

John Edwards will hold his second town hall meeting in Las Vegas next week. Here are the details:

You're invited to join John Edwards next Monday for a town hall meeting. Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear John Edwards discuss his plans to change America!
  • WHAT: A Town Hall Meeting with John Edwards

  • WHEN: Monday, April 30, 2007 at 12:00 pm

  • WHERE: Tiberti Grand Hall
    Richard Tam Alumni Center
    University of Nevada - Las Vegas
    Harmon Ave and Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas

Please let us know if you plan to attend by clicking here.

For more information visit or call 702-439-1284

LVRJ Reports on Joe Biden's Visit to Las Vegas

Joe Biden was in Vegas over the weekend and Molly Ball wrote a report for the Las Vegas Review Journal with the main focus on Iraq.

The article closes with the reaction of one participant:

Jerry Johnson, a 58-year-old Clark County employee, said he didn't come to Saturday night's reception expecting to be impressed with Biden.

"He's very confident and he's in it to win," Johnson said after hearing Biden speak. "I didn't think he had a chance. But with his confidence and his experience, now I think it's a possibility."

Johnson said he is undecided about whom he will support.

Read the entire article here.

Sig Rogich Contributes to a Democrat

Sig Rogich donated to a Democratic presidential candidate.

No, this is not a joke:

Among Richardson's contributors in the first-quarter presidential fundraising reports that were released last week was well-known Las Vegas Republican consultant Sig Rogich, who is one of the top fundraisers for McCain's campaign.

Rogich said he and Richardson are "really, really, really good friends" who like to go to boxing matches and usually have dinner when Richardson is in Las Vegas.

"I'm all for John McCain. I think he'll make a great president," Rogich said. "But I definitely think Bill Richardson is capable to lead the country."

Yeah, the former White House Senior Assistant to Bush I, the Gibbons puppet master and current National Finance Co-Chairman for the Republican Governor’s Association gave money to a really, really, really Democratic presidential candidate. And he maxed out as well, giving the maximum $2,300 for the primary.

Other, less significant party line crossers are business execs in the Casino and developer industries who apparently want to make sure they've contributed to the next President, no matter who he or she is.

All the snuggly details (and why University Chancellor Jim Rogers is hosting a fundraiser for Richardson) can be found in today's LVRJ "Political Notebook" by Molly Ball.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Reactions to Chris Dodd's Visit to Pahrump, Las Vegas

"In Pahrump Dodd was a hit" writes the Las Vegas Sun.

Nye blogger Jack Wood was also very happy to have Dodd in town:

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's appearance in Pahrump last night set an historical marker for Nye County. He is the first United States Presidential candidate to personally appear and speak to Nye County Democrats.

You can read more at Chris Dodd's blog. There you'll also find a field report on the Pahrump visit Dodd's meeting with Hispanic activists in Las Vegas.

Kudos to Dodd for discovering the rurals and being the first presidential candidate in Pahrump, now we're just waiting for candidates to show up in Winnemucca, Lovelock, Fallon and many other places.

Hillary to Hold Town Hall Meeting in Reno, April 29

Ray Hagar tells us that Hillary Clinton will hold one of her town hall meetings in Reno:

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold a town hall meeting in Reno on Sunday, April 29th.

Time and place of the meeting has not been decided yet, said her spokesperson, Hilarie Grey. The event will be free and in the morning , Grey said.

That afternoon, Sen. Clinton will speak to the Nevada State Education Association’s delegates’ assembly, also in Reno.

I'll let you know when more details are available.


Here are the details:

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton will have a town hall meeting in Reno at

11 a.m. Sunday at Hug High School.

Make a reservation by calling 303-1303 or go to

Tickets are available at Hug High from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 327-5600.

They're also available at Washoe County Democratic Party, 1465 Terminal Way, Suite 1, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, 323-8683.

Richardson to Address Carson City Dems on April 29

Gov. Bill Richardson will be in Carson City on April 29th for a fundraiser for local Democrats:

Presidential candidate Governor Bill Richardson will be the guest
speaker at the Carson City Democrats annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 29th, at The Plaza Hotel and Conference
Center, 211 E. Ninth St.

Richardson, recently re-elected to a second term as New Mexico's
Governor, has previously served 15 years in Congress and as Secretary
of Energy and Ambassador to the United Nations under President Bill
Clinton. He has been nominated four times for the Nobel Peace Prize
for negotiating the release of hostages, American servicemen and
political prisoners in North Korea, Iraq and Cuba. Governor Richardson
recently negotiated a 60-day cease fire in war-torn Darfur following direct talks with rebel leaders and the President of Sudan.

Also scheduled to speak at the dinner are Nevada State Treasurer Kate
Marshall and Jill Derby, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party.

The event is a fundraiser for the Carson City Democratic Central
Committee. The cost is $125 for a hosted cocktail reception and dinner
or $60 for no-host cocktails and dinner. To make reservations or for
more information please contact Carson City Democratic Headquarters at
775.841.3367 or visit the CCDCC website at

Meet Joe Biden in Las Vegas on April 21

Joe Biden will be in Las Vegas this Saturday:

Meet and Greet Reception with United States Senator and Presidential Candidate Joseph R. Biden

Saturday, April 21, 2007

5:00pm - 6:00pm

Miranda 7 Room in the Pavilion

Rio Hotel, Las Vegas

Please RSVP to Omar or Ronni at 702-449-4569 or

Saturday, April 14, 2007

So Much for Shelley Berkley's Neutrality

The Las Vegas Gleaner, February 6, 2007:

Asked by The Hill, "Who do you prefer, Barack or Hillary?" Rep. Shelley Berkley said, "I am co-chairman with Sen. Harry Reid of the Nevada caucus, so we have both pledged to be neutral." The Hill's question was mostly just a fun little lark of newspaper filler, and was not intended to be taken seriously or anything. Sort of like Shelley's answer.

Well, it seems her pledge hasn't lasted that long. Shelley Berkley had a really good fundraising quarter - raising $548k, with more than $1 million cash-on-hand. Of her $155k in disbursements, she gave a relatively large sum to federal and local candidates, mostly House colleagues who either are in tough districts or freshmen. However, one candidate really stood out:

Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee received $2,300 on March 21st.

And, yeah, she's the only presidential candidate receiving money from Berkley. Now, as far as I understand neutrality you either give to all candidates or to none. My only conclusion is this:

Shelley Berkley just endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Clinton Leads in New Zogby Nevada Poll

Zogby released a poll today of 500 likely Nevada Democratic caucus-goers conducted April 11-12 with a margin of error of +/- 4.5%.

Hillary Clinton leads the crowd with 35%, followed by Obama (21%) and Edwards (19%). Richardson has 5% and Biden 2%. Dodd, Gravel, and Kucinich register below 1%. Zogby himself states the obvious:

Their leads track what is happening nationally in polling, perhaps a reflection of name identification, as candidates just begin their efforts to build campaigns in Nevada, which has moved near the front of the line in the state–by–state presidential sweepstakes and represents uncharted waters for the 2008 election process.

So, it's basically up to the candidates. If they wanna catch up to Clinton, they need to come to Nevada and meet the voters. Dodd's working on that tonight and tomorrow. This becomes rather obvious when you look at the Zogby numbers for New Hampshire and Iowa. Obama and Edwards are just 6 points behind Clinton in New Hamphire and Edwards leads Clinton and Obama in Iowa.

One thing to keep in mind: no one really knows who will go to the caucus. No one. Caucus polling is difficult enough in Iowa where Dean and Gephardt led the polls in December 2003 only to lose heavily to Kerry and Edwards one month later.

I'll continue posting all the poll results. At the same time, I'm sticking with what I've said before: they're mostly worthless.

Chris Dodd in Pahrump Tonight, in Vegas Tomorrow

Chris Dodd will be the first presidential candidate to visit Pahrump tonight:

Democratic Presidential candidate Senator Chris Dodd will be at the Pahrump Firefighter’s Conference Room, 300 N. Highway 160 in Pahrump tonight, Friday, April 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. to meet with Nye County and Pahrump Democrats. It is your opportunity to greet and meet Senator Dodd. He is the first of the Presidential candidates to appear in Nevada’s rurals, Nye County, and Pahrump.

Tomorrow, he'll meet with the Hispanic community in Las Vegas and Rep. Ruben Kihuen at 10.30am. Location details were not yet available.

Monday, April 09, 2007


Two weeks ago, on March 26th I wrote two e-mails to both Gov. Bill Richardson's communications director Pahl Shipley as well as to the Stonewall Democrats in DC about Richardson's address to the Las Vegas National Training of the Stonewall Democrats on March 24th. I really wanted to write about it. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything on either Richardson's nor on the Stonewall Democrats website about his speech.

To this date I have not received a response from either.

Therefore, much to my regret, no details on Richardson's address to the Stonewall Dems in Vegas.

Dodd Taking the Gateway to Nevada's Rurals

When I wondered who would be the first candidate to make it out to the rurals I was betting on Gov. Richardson. Well, turns out I was wrong. Chris Dodd beat him to it:

Senator Christopher Dodd, Democratic Presidential candidate, will be in Pahrump this Friday, April 13, 2007 at about 7:00 p.m. The Senator’s visit will be the first visit to Nye County by any of the presidential candidates. It will also provide you with an opportunity to personally meet Senator Dodd. You might want to bring your camera and get a picture with him. So let’s try to be on hand to extend a gracious and warm welcome to Senator Dodd and let him know we appreciate his interest in Nye County and Pahrump.

But we need to know ASAP how many of you will be able to attend the event Friday evening. Once we know how many will attend we can secure the location in Pahrump and inform you where it will be via email.

So, please email me back ASAP at letting me know your name, email address, and phone number, and how many will attend with you. Or, you can phone Nye Democrats’ Headquarters at (775) 751-9966. I will then contact you back via email, or phone if necessary, letting you know the location of the event with Senator Dodd.

Looks like Jack Wood's blog name "Nye - Gateway to Nevada's Rurals" has finally paid off ;)

Anyhow, I'll post the exact when and where once they become available.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

LA Times Goes to Elko

Scott Martelle has a report about the Democratic presidential caucus in Nevada in today's Los Angeles Times with two focuses. One is on the decision to bring in organizers from Iowa to run the Nevada Caucus:

Wary of a repeat of the 2004 Democratic caucuses, in which unprepared organizers were overwhelmed by a record turnout, the Nevada Democratic Party is drafting veterans of Iowa's famous caucuses to direct its Jan. 19 nominating campaign — including building a new precinct-level organization and adapting a computerized tabulation system initially designed for Iowa.

The party plans to spend more than $2 million as Nevada moves to second on the 2008 Democratic primary/caucus calendar in an effort to reverse its largely irrelevant past role in determining the party's presidential front-runner. Organizers say they expect up to 100,000 of the state's 494,000 registered Democrats to take part, an exponential increase over the 8,000 who turned out in 2004 — itself a record.

"It definitely will be much bigger than last time around," said Jean M. Hessburg, the former Iowa Democratic Party executive director hired to oversee the Nevada caucus. "Being one of the first four early states does gin up turnout beyond anyone's experience in Nevada."

The other focus is on Elko. Yup, the big guys in the traditional media are taking note of the rurals, actually venturing beyond the glitz of Vegas. Here's part of his take:

But some Democrats are champing at the bit — and surprised by what they're finding. A few weeks ago, the Elko County Democratic Party announced that it would start lining up volunteers at its regular March meeting at the Red Lion casino. For local Democrats — who are outnumbered 2 to 1 by Republicans — it was like a spymaster's summons to come in from the cold.

"There were people that walked through that door who were Democrats, and that you never knew," said Duane Jones, owner of an outdoor clothing store who volunteered to chair his precinct's caucus. "It's nice to be around some people with the same feelings and who have the same views."

It is in places like Elko County where the Democrats hope to make their biggest inroads — in part because such places have been dominated by Republicans for years.

Maybe the gamble will work and Democrats will actually be able to make inroads in the rurals. One can only hope. Naturally, this won't happen if the candidates don't show up. So, it'll be interesting who'll be the first to tour the Nevada outside of Clark and Washoe Counties. I'm betting on Bill Richardson.

Read Scott Martelle's whole article here.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Official Nevada Caucus Website Online

While taking part in a conference call earlier this year I was asked whether this blog was the official Nevada Caucus website to which my reply was "this blog is as unofficial as it gets." Therefore, I'm quite glad that you can now also enjoy the official website.

The Nevada Democratic Presidential Caucus website was launched today and I must say that it is surprisingly good. Some of the features:

  • An overview of events related to the caucus on the frontpage
  • Different resources, like the caucus rules and a (still empty) discussion board
  • Contact information for the county parties and the candidates
You can also register and get e-mail updates and information on your caucus should you be a Nevada voter.

That said, I noticed that something was missing: a blog.

Which I'm not complaining about too much, as my little blog has to be good for something and better no blog than one which is not updated. However, when you click the "In the Press" button you get a feeling that they take this quite literally. They quote stories from papers from in and out of state, yet they don't quote any blogs, neither national nor local, not even the internet paper Nevada Today.

All in all, this new website is a very good resource!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's all about the Benjamins

So, the numbers have come out. It's all still a little bit sketchy, that's why I'm waiting for April 15th by which date all donations will be public. It'll be interesting to see how the candidates did in Nevada. Here's the picture so far, courtesy of Jerome Armstrong at MyDD:

          1Q(internet) General  Senate  Available  COH      Donors

Clinton $26M (4.2) $6M $10M $30M 50,000
Obama $25M (6.9) $1.5M $23.5M 100,000
Edwards $14M (3.3) $1M $13M 40,000
Dodd $4M $5M $9M $7.5M
Richardson $6M $6M $5M
Biden $3M $1M

Most interesting to note is that Obama is the clear winner here, having the biggest appeal to donors. He actually has more donors than Hillary and Edwards combined. He also raised it all by himself, without any big prior infrastructure which was available to both Hillary and Edwards and he managed to outraise Hillary in the primary money race, even though she had the aid of Bill Clinton.

In the second tier, Bill Richardson is establishing himself more and more as leading the PAC and being the only one who could break into the first tier. Both Dodd's and Biden's fundraising numbers for this quarter seem rather unimpressive.

Now that they've got the money to spend, let's see how much of that they will spend to woo Nevada voters.