Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Endorsements, Endorsements, Endorsements

A lot of things are happening on the endorsements front, some of that in Nevada:

  • Hillary Clinton will formally get the endorsement of former Nevada Governor Bob Miller today (who's son, btw, is now the Secretary of State). As almost every other endorsee he also gets to co-chair something, in this case it's the "Governor's Council" - Las Vegas Sun.
  • Hillary was also endorsed by pastor Dr. Robert Fowler. Never heard of him but Obama's candidacy is apparently reason enough to round up as many African American endorsements as she can get. This was announced on a conference call by Rory Reid, on which the Las Vegas Gleaner was happy to listen in - Las Vegas Sun, Las Vegas Gleaner.
  • Neither Chris Wicker (Washoe County Dems Chair) nor Assembly member Sheila Leslie have endorsed Barack Obama (yet) but they both seem to be very enthused - Reno Gazette-Journal.
  • And if you want an overview of gubernatorial and congressional endorsements you're best served by taking a look at (Governors, pdf) and The Hill (Congress).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Speech That Made a Presidential Candidate

Three years ago hardly anyone knew Barack Obama. A couple of months later that changed with a single speech, his keynote address at the Democratic convention in Boston. Chicago Magazine takes an extensive look at how that speech came about. Here's a little excerpt:

The keynote speech that barack Obama delivered on Tuesday, July 27, 2004, galvanized the delegates who packed Boston’s FleetCenter and electrified a nationwide television audience. The 2,297 words uttered over 17 minutes changed Obama’s profile overnight and made him a household name. Before the speech, the idea of Obama running for president in 2008 would have been laughable; he was a lowly state senator from Chicago’s Hyde Park, and while he stood a good chance at winning his U.S. Senate race, he would enter that powerful body ranked 99th out of 100 in seniority. After the speech, observers from across the political world hailed the address as an instant classic, and Obama was drawing comparisons (deservedly or not) to Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy.

None of this happened by chance. Obama’s selection as keynote speaker was carefully plotted by all sides for maximum effect, and the speech itself was no outpouring of inspiration scribbled on the back of an envelope. Obama labored over it for weeks, harvesting lines that he had already tested on Illinois crowds. He is said to have been furious when one of his best remarks was cut by Kerry’s speechwriters. And even after all the preparation, the editing and vetting by aides to Obama and Kerry, and the three run-throughs at the convention, the speech almost didn’t take flight—on the dais, Obama was slow to hit his stride. But once he got going, the speech—and his career—took off: “Without that Boston speech, there’s a question whether Barack would be running [for president] today,” says his fellow senator from Illinois, Dick Durbin. “His public image changed because of that speech.” Valerie Jarrett, a veteran Chicago politico and one of Obama’s longtime friends, puts it more succinctly: “It changed his life.”


Obama’s people were no doubt pleased when Kerry invited their man to give the keynote, but the honor comes with the sort of baggage familiar to the Cubs: no Democratic keynoter of the past century has made it all the way to the presidency.


Today, the convention planners say they were looking for an attention-getting lead-in to the night’s main attraction, Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry. “There was a huge, long list that spanned all across the party,” recalls Mary Beth Cahill. “Everybody had their favorite.” The roster, insiders say, was soon narrowed down to a short list that mainly included Democratic governors from key battleground states that were likely to decide the presidential race: Jennifer Granholm of Michigan; Janet Napolitano of Arizona; Tom Vilsack of Iowa; Mark Warner of Virginia; and Bill Richardson of New Mexico.

Obama made the cut, though some planners worried about his thin political résumé and, to a lesser extent, the fact that he and Kerry were somewhat at odds over the war in Iraq. (In 2002, Kerry voted to authorize military action against Iraq; Obama opposed the war from the get-go.) Obama detractors felt that he should get a prominent speaking role but not the keynote, according to interviews with knowledgeable insiders.

Kerry and his aides first began to zero in on Obama after Kerry’s two-day campaign swing through Illinois in April. Stumping together at a vocational center on Chicago’s West Side and at a downtown fundraiser at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, Kerry came away impressed with the charismatic political hot shot. Watching Obama address the donors who filled the hotel’s ballroom, Kerry’s national finance chairman, the Chicago investment banker Louis Susman, told Kerry: “This guy will be on the national ticket someday.” To which Kerry replied, according to an account in the Chicago Tribune: “Well, I have a way in mind for him to be at the national convention this year. He should be one of the faces of our party now, not years from now.”

Again, this is just an excerpt. Read the whole article at Chicago Magazine.

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Barack Obama? Then join the Nevada for Barack Obama group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mike Gravel Will Be on LV Radio Talk Show Tomorrow Morning

You can listen to Mike Gravel tomorrow morning on Basham & Cornell tomorrow morning. From their e-mailed release:

On Saturday May 26th, Senator Mike Gravel will be the guest on the Basham and Cornell Radio Show at 9 am PST on AM 1230 KLAV in Las Vegas. Mike is currently a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He is a former 2-term Senator from Alaska from 1969 to 1981.

In 1971, he waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the draft in the United States. He is most prominently known for his release of the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that revealed the lies and manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War. After the New York Times published portions of the leaked study, the Nixon administration moved to block any further publication of information and to punish any newspaper publisher who revealed the contents.

From the floor of the senate, Gravel (a junior senator at the time) insisted that his constituents had a right to know the truth behind the war and proceeded to read 4,100 pages of the 7,000 page document into the senate record. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Senator Gravel did not have the right and responsibility to share official documents with his constituents. He then published The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers, (Beacon Press 1971). This publication resulted in litigation, Gravel v. U.S., resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision relative to the Speech and Debate Clause of the United States Constitution.

One of the leading opponents of the Vietnam War, Senator Gravel was one of the first current or former elected officials to publicly oppose the planned invasion of Iraq in 2002. He appeared on MSNBC prior to the invasion insisting that intelligence showed that there were indeed no weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq posed no threat to the United States and that invading Iraq was against America’s national interests and would result in a disaster of epic proportions for both the United States and the Iraqi people.

Gravel has led an effort to get a United States Constitutional amendment to allow voter-initiated federal legislation similar to state ballot initiatives. He argues that Americans are able to legislate responsibly, and that the Act and Amendment in the National Initiative would allow American citizens to become "law makers".

I'm not sure if Sen. Gravel will take any questions, but you can find the call in numbers here.


Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Mike Gravel? Then join the Nevada for Mike Gravel group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

"Conversation With Hillary" in North Las Vegas, May 30

Here are the details for Hillary Clinton's event in North Las Vegas on May 30. From her website:


Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM


Canyon Springs High School, Gymnasium
350 East Alexander Road
North Las Vegas , NV 89032
General Area: North Las Vegas


Join Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for a conversation with Southern Nevadans. This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 11:00am. Program begins at 12:00pm. Participants are encouraged to arrive early, since seating will be limited.

According to the LVRJ tickets are available at her campaign office at 1055 E. Tropicana Ave., Suite 425 or at AFL-CIO offices, state Democratic Party headquarters and the campaign of Ricki Barlow for Las Vegas City Councilor. You can also RSVP through her website.

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Hillary Clinton? Then join the Nevada for Hillary Clinton group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Obama Rallies in Reno (May 31) and Las Vegas (June 1)

The location for the Obama rally in Reno is now set, the one for Las Vegas not yet. Click the links for tickets/details.


When: Thursday, May 31, 2007--Doors open at 12:00 PM

Where: Wingfield Park Amphitheater, First Street and Arlington Avenue, Reno, NV

How: The event is free and open to the public. Please fill out and submit the form below to receive your free ticket.

Las Vegas:

What: Be among the first to get the details about Barack Obama's upcoming rally in Las Vegas!

When: June 1, 2007, in the morning

How: To be sure that you get the latest event and ticketing information, please fill out the form below. For further information or to volunteer locally in Las Vegas, please call 702-253-2008.

I'll post the details for the Vegas rally once they become available.


Here are the details for Obama's Las Vegas Rally:

When: Friday June 1, 2007 -- Doors open at 10:30 AM

Where: Silverado High School, 1650 Silver Hawk Ave., Las Vegas, NV

How: The event is free and open to the public. Please fill out and submit the form below to receive your free ticket. Space is first come, first served, so please arrive early. For further information or to volunteer locally in Las Vegas, please call 702-253-2008.

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Barack Obama? Then join the Nevada for Barack Obama group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Kucinich Calls for Primary Challenges Against Pro War Democrats

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is stepping up and voicing what many Democrats, Independents and quite a few Republicans feel: "The depth of anger is so deep."

What about? The continuing support of some Democrats for the war in Iraq. Consider this from MSNBC:

Will anti-war activists force Democratic incumbents to spend money to defend themselves in primaries next year — or could the party actually get stronger candidates as a result of contested primaries?


Anti-war leader Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D- Ohio said Thursday no one should assume that any Democratic incumbent who voted for war funding is immune from a primary challenge.

“The depth of anger is so deep,” Kucinich said.


Five-term veteran Shelley Berkley, who represents Las Vegas and environs, said Thursday afternoon, “My district is pretty evenly divided. I haven’t done polling, but according to other polls it’s apparent that more than 50 percent now oppose the Iraq war in my district or in Nevada.”

So her vote for the additional finding will go against the wishes of the majority of her constituents, but she explained, “I’m on record as saying I’m not going to leave the troops stranded. As angry and dismayed as I am with the Bush administration having created a debacle, I’m not going to take it out on the troops.”

She predicted, “By September, there will be enough Republicans who will have expressed their concern to the president; it will be a bipartisan effort to moderate his position.”

She also forecast that “as we get closer to election time, more and more Republicans will see that Mr. Bush is not on the ballot, they are.”

And what about the potential threat of a Democratic primary challenger against her? “I don’t foresee that happening. I’ve been very candid about my position.”

She recalled, “I was in anti-Vietnam war protests in college.” She said the U.S. exit from Iraq, when it happens, “will be much more complex than the helicopter on the roof of the embassy” – a reference to the Saigon evacuation in 1975. “This is very complex. It is so much more complex than just ‘get out tomorrow.’”

Of course, the 50% mark is not quite true and is an easy way to defend herself by saying well, it's basically 50/50. Take a look at this national poll from CBS/New York Times (pdf!):

Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?

Should 63%
Should not 34%

Even 42% of Republicans want out. Clearly, Shelley Berkley is selling out to Bush and the pro war crowd.

Shelley Berkley should seriously reconsider her stance on Iraq or she won't know what hit her come next year. Facing the netroots who brought down Lieberman in a primary challenge last year might be a real possibility. At that point Dennis Kucinich will be the last of her problems.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

If You Want Consistency...

If you want consistency on Iraq then clearly Dennis Kucinich is your man. Whether you like him or not, Dennis Kucinich has been the only candidate who has been consistenly talking and voting against the war. Watch:

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Dennis Kucinich? Then join the Nevada for Dennis Kucinich group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Kudos to Senator Dodd

It's incredibly frustrating to see Democrats giving in to Bush and the Republicans and then having the audacity to claim that it's a smart move and puts Bush & Co. in a bind. Who are they kidding?

Not one of their own. Senator Dodd's not caving in and you have to give him credit for that. Watch his explanation:

Respect, Senator!

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Chris Dodd? Then join the Nevada for Chris Dodd group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Nevada Appeal Seems to Like Richardson

I guess if the Nevada Appeal would have to endorse now, it would be Richardson. At least that's what it sounds like:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson's announcement Monday that he will be a presidential candidate hardly sent shockwaves through the nation, nor in the camps of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.

But we hope voters start paying attention to Richardson, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretary of Energy, if for no other reason than he is at the forefront of issues that affect residents of Nevada and the West.

Richardson's calm, well-reasoned demeanor during the Democratic presidential forum in Carson City earned him a measure of respect. During his speech Monday, issues of unique importance to the West weren't at the forefront. Rather, he talked about his support for bringing our troops home, dealing with global warming, health care and the disappearing middle class. Those are the issues on which the election will be won or lost, and he says it's his record of solving problems diplomatically that sets him apart.

But Richardson, as a border state governor, knows directly the impact of illegal immigration. He's supportive of a guest worker program, but says available jobs must be first posted for American citizens and legal residents. He wants to double the number of border patrol agents and says a path to legalization should include a fine, background check and payment of back taxes.

He knows the potential the West holds for developing alternative energy sources. He's seen the devastation caused by wildfires and knows the importance of local control over federal lands.

Now if he can only line up some Hollywood friends, he might be able to compete.
Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of Bill Richardson? Then join the Nevada for Bill Richardson group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hillary in Vegas, May 30; Obama in Reno, May 31

The two current frontrunners for the Democratic nomination for President will be makig their way to Nevada.

Hillary will be in Las Vegas on May 30 for a town hall meeting according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. Her last town hall meeting in Nevada was in Reno on April 29.

One day later, on May 31, Barack Obama will travel to Northern Nevada for the first time in his presidential campaign and hold a "lunchtime rally" in Reno according to RENObama.

Details for both events are yet to be announced. Stay tuned to Nevada Caucus 2008 for more.

Details for Hillary's event here and for Obama's events here.

Do you live in Nevada and are a supporter of either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? Then join the Nevada for Hillary Clinton or Nevada for Barack Obama groups at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bill Richardson Now Has The Best Campaign Website - Hands Down

Bill Richardson has the impressive resume and - with his official declaration to run for president today - he has a website to match his resume.

Looking at the websites of the all eight candidates Richardson's is the best - hands down. There are several reasons for this.

Let me go into detail:

Navigation: Richardson's website is easy to navigate, when you click through the top bar you get all the information you need, above the bar is a box to register for email updates, the action center is clearly highlighted on the left hand side and there's a welcome video on the right hand side. When you scroll further down you get a more detailed look at news, blog entries, issues, etc, all the information you could also find by clicking the top bar. The only additional information you wouldn't find in the top bar are the links to PartyBuilder, MySpace, etc. That's how it should be. You should have a clear overview of the site without having to scroll down. Only on the third look does the website seem a little crowded. But just a little.

The other websites are equally easy to navigate, especially Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and Biden, to a lesser degree Kucinich, Dodd, and Gravel.

Information: Couldn't be better. You can find it all by navigating the top bar. Say, you're looking for his stance on Iraq, you go to issues, click on Iraq and get quite a bit of information. In addition to his stance on Iraq you can download a two page flyer and find related news and press releases.

The other websites are not as good as Richardson's. Hillary has a video in addition to her stance , at Obama's site you can submit your ideas. Edwards' issues page is disappointing. He has one paragraph on "Restoring America's Moral Leadership in the World" and that's it. I only found his plan on Iraq by looking at the frontpage again. I don't understand why they can't link to it from their issues page. Dodd doesn't have an issues page. But there's a link to his Iraq stance clearly visible on the frontpage. What you get is a video with his remarks on Iraq and a transcript. On Gravel's website issues are front and center with Iraq on the top. He writes only a couple of paragraphs on it - but more than Edwards. At Kucinich's site Iraq is one of the top issues and is incorporated into the "International Cooperation" page. On the sidebar you'll find related stories and forum topics. The only one who can compete, at least on the Iraq issue - I didn't look at the other issue pages, is Joe Biden. He has a detailed plan for Iraq and a seperate website devoted to his plan.

Networking: Thus far Obama had the best networking site, and only true networking site in my opinion, of all the candidates. Hillary's action center is not the real thing as networking between supporters (like personal blogs and messaging system) is not taking place. Edwards has a community blog and his One Corps site. Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel have a forum and Dodd and Biden don't have any form of networking at all - apart from writing comments on their blog posts.

Richardson's web team seems to have taken a look at all the other websites and must have wondered "what more can we do" as I would say their networking site now beats that of Obama. Their Action Center seems to be modeled on the same platform as and the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder and the same functions. The only additional function on Richardson's network that Obama doesn't have (but PartyBuilder does) is that you can write a letter to the editor of your local paper.

External networking sites: Most campaigns are using them, so we're looking at two things here: a) are they linking to the networking sites directly from their frontpage and b) are they linking to the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder.

Richardson does both a) and b) - as does Obama. All the other candidates don't.

Hillary, Biden, Kucinich, and Edwards link to external networking sites, though not to PartyBuilder, Dodd and Gravel make you find their links but they don't link to PartyBuilder either. Which is a shame. As I said before it runs on the same platform as Obama's and Richardson's networking sites and is a great tool, both to enhance their own network and to build a network for Democrats in general. PartyBuilder provides an extra page for presidential candidates and links to their profiles. I did a little test to see how candidates use this tool and added them to my friends network. They added me in the following order: Kucinich, Gravel, Obama, Biden, Richardson. After more than a week still no reaction from Hillary, Edwards and Dodd which I find surprising considering their resources.

I've also set up Nevada groups for all campaigns:

Nevada for Barack Obama
Nevada for Bill Richardson
Nevada for Chris Dodd
Nevada for Dennis Kucinich
Nevada for Hillary Clinton
Nevada for Joe Biden
Nevada for John Edwards
Nevada for Mike Gravel

Nevada: Speaking of Nevada, how much do the campaigns currently care about the Silver State? I'm not gonna talk about their appearances in Nevada right now, nor about their campaign infrastructure in the state but only about their web presence.

People always say Richardson needs to win or do extremely well in Nevada to stand any chance in the primaries. Not surprisingly, Richardson's Nevada page is the best among all presidential candidates. You'll find links to the Action Center, Nevada related news, press releases, video, and photo gallery. The same applies to the other state pages (Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina).

Dennis Kucinich is the only other candidate to have a Nevada page. Unfortunately, it hasn't been updated since March. Obama, Hillary, and Edwards are still in the old New Hampshire and Iowa mode, as they currently only have state sites for these two. I couldn't find any state specific pages at Dodd's, Gravel's, and Biden's websites.

Overall, Richardson has today launched a website that's ahead of the pack and his rivals will have some catching up to do, some more, some not that much.

Please note: this is not an endorsement of Richardson on my part. This is an analysis of his website compared to those of other candidates and does not reflect my preferences for the primaries.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Voters in Iowa and New Hampshire Like Richardson's "Job Interview"

Bill Richardson has officially joined the Democratic frontrunners Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards in the double digit territory.

Recent polls in both New Hampshire and Iowa show Richardson making a jump in the polls. He's now at 10% in both states.

This comes right after an ad buy in both states, showing Richardson's "Job Interview" ads. Whether you like them or not, they seem to have done their work in New Hampshire and Iowa beautifully for the Richardson campaign. Watch the ads:

The ads have also been viewed 148,000 times on YouTube. He should seriously think about airing them in Nevada as well.

Considering the positive poll news, the timing seems perfect to make his presidential run official. Yeah, he's still been exploring. Richardson will make his announcement tomorrow morning in Los Angeles. Then, Hillary will be the only candidate still in exploratory mode.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Devil Wears Prada vs. Shrek vs. Runaway Bride

Probably, you've all heard by now, if not watch the most important event of this presidential campaign so far:

Here is a list of the potential campaign songs:

  • City of Blinding Lights - U2
  • Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall
  • I’m a Believer - Smash Mouth
  • Get Ready - The Temptations
  • Ready to Run - Dixie Chicks
  • Rock This Country! - Shania Twain
  • Beautiful Day - U2
  • Right Here, Right Now - Jesus Jones
  • I’ll Take You There - The Staple Singers

You can listen to the songs and vote here.

Now, what I've noticed right away was that a lot of these songs were already used on movie soundtracks which makes them good campaign songs, I suppose.

Most noticeably, two songs from "The Devil Wears Prada" soundtrack made the cut: U2's "City of Blinding Lights" and KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" (which is my favourite). Of course both songs have also been used on other soundtracks.

Some of the other songs might also be familiar to you from the movie theater. From "Shrek" there is the Smash Mouth's version of "I'm a Believer" and from "Runaway Bride" you'll remember the Dixie Chicks' "Ready to Run."

Finally for us Nevada Caucus goers there is the Staple Singers' "I'll Take You There" from the "Casino" soundtrack.

As you can see this choice is more important than you think as you'll be either reminded of "The Devil Wears Prada," "Shrek," "Runaway Bride," or "Casino" everytime there's a Hillary event.

Vote here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Does Obama Even Care About Nevada?

While Obama volunteers in Nevada are busy and doing one "Obama walk" after the other (even in Elko), Obama himself doesn't seem to care too much about Nevada.

At least he hasn't been to the state too much. After he missed out on the AFSCME forum in Carson City one would have thought that he'd make that up by traveling to Northern Nevada soon after. Yet, three months later, and nothing happened. Obama's been a total of two times in Nevada, both times in Las Vegas. He ranks at the bottom of the list of candidates:

Richardson: 14
Dodd: 7
Edwards: 5
Biden: 4
Clinton: 4
Kucinich: 4
Gravel: 3
Obama: 2

(numbers via MyDD, via Washington Post)

Obama was on top of the list in primary contributions in the first quarter and the two men with the least money managed to travel to Nevada more often than he did? Are you serious?

All I can decypher from this is the following: currently Senator Obama is not seriously competing in Nevada. If he wants to compete here, he needs to visit and talk to the voters. He really has to make up some ground. So it better be a real visit and not just a quick stop in Reno on the way to another California fundraiser. Otherwise he might just surrender Nevada to either Hillary or Edwards who have both been to Northern Nevada more than once.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Video of Chris Dodd in Pahrump

Chris Dodd's visit to Pahrump was a couple of weeks ago, but I only stumbled upon this video today:

If you're a Dodd supporter in Nevada, consider joining the PartyBuilder group Nevada for Chris Dodd.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Join "Nevada for" Groups at PartyBuilder!

The Democratic Party's PartyBuider social networking site has thus far not been extensively used by presidential candidates - which is surprising when you consider that it doesn't cost anything.

Anyhow, if you're a supporter of one of the eight presidential candidates you can now join the respective group on PartyBuilder:

Nevada for Barack Obama

Nevada for Bill Richardson

Nevada for Chris Dodd

Nevada for Dennis Kucinich

Nevada for Hillary Clinton

Nevada for Joe Biden

Nevada for John Edwards

Nevada for Mike Gravel

Join today and start networking!

Nevada Bloggers Unite to Take on Heller

A couple of weeks ago, I created a new blog called "Helluva Heller" with the aim of covering Rep. Dean Heller (NV-02) and making sure he'll be defeated in 2008. Since then Helluva Heller has already gained a little attention, both in the Las Vegas Sun and in a radio talk show chat between conservative Bill Manders and Dean Heller himself.

In the meantime, Helluva Heller has evolved into a group effort by Nevada bloggers. There are now a total of eight contributors. The contributors are (in alphabetical order):

cls resides in Lyon County. She regularly writes on her blog Blue Lyon.

Desert Beacon is in her 60s, retired, and lives in Humboldt County. She writes two other blogs: Desert Beacon and Blue Sage Views.

featheriver is a 73 year-old retired lawyer from Pahrump, Nye County. His main blog is Nye-Gateway to Nevada's Rurals.

Jed B. is 17 years old, a progressive activist and High School Student in Elko County.

Jesse Riehm is a 17 year old High School Student and lives in Fallon, Churchill County.

Nevada Blogger: JWH is 32 years old and works in sales. He lives in Fernley, Lyon County and mainly writes at The blog formerly known as "No Gibbons"...

Sven is a 28 year-old student at the University of Mannheim, Germany. He currently works on his Master in modern history. He was an exchange student at Battle Mountain High School, Lander County and George Whittell High School, Douglas County in the 1990s. His other blogs are Turn Tahoe Blue and Nevada Caucus 2008.

UpNorth is in his 20s, a student at UNR and resides in Reno. He also blogs at Nevada Up North.

Now, we have gone one step further by creating a group on the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site. Join the "Helluva Heller - Defeating Dean Heller in 2008" group now!

And make sure to check out Helluva Heller!

Friday, May 11, 2007

USA Today Quotes from my Interview with Elizabeth Kucinich

USA Today yesterday published an article on Michelle Obama. In a sidebar box they also took a look at other prospective first ladies. For each person they printed a quote "on her role as first lady". Elizabeth Edwards' quote came from ABC's nightline, Ann Romney's and Cindy McCain's from Larry King Live. So far, so good.

What astounded me was that they quoted Elizabeth Kucinich from my interview with her in Heidelberg in March:

We're a joint ticket, a team. We share the same perspective.

Though, they cut it a little short as Elizabeth Kucinich said: "We share the same perspective of America and the world." Anyhow, that interview did make the rounds in the last couple of weeks. I had way more than 1,000 visits to my blog because it was linked to by the Huffington Post' BuzzFeed. Among 17 items about Elizabeth Kucinich, the Nevada Caucus 2008 interview with her ranked 2nd.

So, while Shelley Berkley doesn't deem blogs worthy of attention, it's good to know that Elizabeth Kucinich and USA Today clearly do.

Thanks, Shelley!

On April 14 I wrote a post on Las Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley apparently breaking her neutrality pledge by contributing $2,300 to Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign. So, I got in contact with the Congresswoman's staff and asked if she had any comment on this. Apparently she did not as I never got a reply either way.

Therefore, I was a little bit surprised when The Hill picked up this story 3 weeks later ('Neutral' Dems quietly give money to Clinton) and there was a statement by Nevada's own Shelley Berkley:

Said Berkley, “The one distinction with Mrs. Clinton is Mrs. Clinton’s Hill PAC has been supporting me for many years and when I was contacted by mutual friends to support her, I had no hesitation whatsoever. However, I just try to be as evenhanded as possible. I expect by Jan. 19, 2008 all the candidates will receive contributions from me.”

Berkley said Myra Greenspun, a friend whose husband roomed with Bill Clinton at Yale Law School, asked her to give.

So, what are we to make of this? That this wasn't a story worth commenting on because it came from a blogger and not the mainstream media? Or that Shelley Berkley rather answers questions by DC reporters than Nevada blogs?

Thanks, Shelley!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Future of Nevada Democrats is Female

Cross posted from Turn Tahoe Blue. Might this translate into success for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Nevada Caucus?

Women are clearly on the rise in Nevada politics. Especially so on the Democratic side. Consider the following: in the 2006 elections Democrats nominated women in all three congressional districts, four out of six candidates for statewide office were women, including Governor.

While Jill Derby (NV-02) and Tessa Hafen (NV-03) didn't win their respective races, they did come pretty close and it's quite possible that Dean Heller and Jon Porter will have to run against female candidates again in 2008.

Women have captured high offices in Nevada in the past, though they were mostly Republican: former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich (NV-02, 1983-97), former Treasurer Patty Cafferata (1983-87), former Lt. Governors Sue Wagner (1991-95) and Lorraine Hunt (1999-2007), Secretary of State Cheryl Lau (1991-95). The only Democratic women previously elected to statewide office were Superintendent of Public Instruction Mildred Bray (1937-51) and Frankie Sue Del Papa who was Secretary of State (1987-91) and Attorney General (1991-2003). There has not been a female US Senator yet, the only Democratic nominee was Mary Gojack in 1990.

Recently female Democrats were much more successful in being nominated and elected than their Republican counterparts. Currently, three out of four Democratic (six total) constitutional officers in Nevada are women: Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, State Treasurer Kate Marshall, and State Controller Kim Wallin. Las Vegas is represented in Congress by Shelley Berkley. The Nevada State Democratic Party has recently elected a woman, Jill Derby, as its chair. Among the five-person leadership are three more women: 2nd Vice Chair Teresa Benitez-Thompson, Secretary A'shanti Gholar, and Treasurer Jan Churchill.

In the State Assembly, Barbara Buckley was recently elected Speaker, the first woman in that position in Nevada's history. Majority Whip Sheila Leslie and Assistant Majority Whip Debbie Smith are among the five person Majority Leadership in the Assembly, while the Democratic leadership team in the State Senate is entirely comprised of women: Minority Floor Leader Dina Titus, Minority Whip Valerie Wiener, and Assistant Minority Floor Leader Bernice Mathews. As far as I could find out, no other legislatative body in the country has an entirely female leadership, at least on the Democratic side.

10 out 27 Democratic Assembly members are women (37%) and 5 out of 10 Democratic State Senators are women, making up 50%.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that in a recent poll at Helluva Heller, asking who should run against Heller on the Democratic side, out of the seven mentioned possibilities five were women: Kate Marshall, Debbie Smith, Jill Derby, Sheila Leslie, and Teresa Benitez Thompson and the female candidates were in the lead at last count.

When you consider all this, it is only a matter of time when Nevada will send another woman to the House, the first woman to the US Senate and elect its first Governor.

You can read more about the history of women in Nevada politics here.

Go to Turn Tahoe Blue to see photos of the women mentioned.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Hey Candidates, Want Some Support in the Rurals?

Do you? Well, first you'd probably need to travel there, like Sen. Chris Dodd did recently when he went to Pahrump in Nye County. Another thing that might help is the fact that there are actually elected Democratic officials in the rurals. Yeah, who'd have thunk it. Not the Nevada Democratic State Party as they only feature elected officials from Washoe and Clark counties on their website.

Anyhow, here's the list:

Churchill County:

Vicky Tripp, County Recorder
John Serpa, County Public Administrator

Elko County:

Mike Nannini, County Commissioner

Esmeralda County:

Nancy Boland, County Commissioner
R.J. Gillum, County Commissioner
Karen Scott, County Auditor/Recorder

Eureka County:

Michael Rebaleati, County Recorder/Auditor

Lander County:

Gladys Burris, County Clerk

Lincoln County:

Bill Lloyd, County Commissioner
Leslie Boucher, County Recorder/Auditor
Kathy Hiatt, County Treasurer
Tommy Rowe, County Commissioner

Mineral County:

Ed Fowler, County Commissioner
Richard Bryant, County Commissioner
Cheri Emm-Smith, District Attorney

Nye County:

Gary Budahl, County Treasurer
Sandra Musselman, County Assessor

Pershing County:

Roger Mancebo, County Commissioner
Celeste Hamilton, County Assessor
Donna Giles, County Clerk/Treasurer
Darlene Moura, Recorder/Auditor
Dave Ayoob, County Commissioner

Storey County:

Harold Swafford, District Attorney

White Pine County:

Robert Bishop, County Assessor
RaLeene Makley, County Commissioner
Martha Rivera Sindelar, County Recorder

I don't lay any claim to the accuracy of this list, as I actually had to research it since Nevada Dems apparently don't like to advertise the fact that they have elected officials in the rurals. Still, maybe you'd like to contact a couple of them and try to score a nice endorsement?

Monday, May 07, 2007

How the Fox News Debate Was Cancelled

Brave New Films made a video recapping the story of how the planned Fox News debate was brought down. Nevada Caucus 2008 was happy to play its little part. Watch:

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Another Worthless Poll

So, the Las Vegas Review Journal decided to waste some money on another presidential poll. Alas, it is worthless. Why? They asked 300 registered Democrats. 300 is not a decent sample for a poll which is evident by the given margin of error, which is ridiculously high at +/- 6%. The poll also includes Al Gore, who's not even running. Therefore, the numbers mean nothing and I won't even bother to post them here.

Wait a second, I just looked at their method page and things don't quite add up. While they claim to have asked 300 registered Dems, the method page states that only 259 Democrats were interviewed, a similar number of Reps for the Republican poll and more than 100 Independents. This poll is absurd. Worthless, worthless, worthless.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Reactions to Richardson's Nevada Tour

Just a quick post to point out the stories on Gov. Bill Richardson's Nevada tour.

The blog Nevada Up North tagged along with Richardson during his time in Carson City. He writes extensively on the events in Carson and also has a Q&A.

From the mainstream media:

  • Richardson plays to union, Hispanics in Nevada push (Las Vegas Sun)
  • Richardson focuses on Western issues during Carson City stop (AP via Nevada Appeal)
  • Gov. Bill Richardson visits Carson City (KTVN)
  • Democrat has different Iraq plan (LVRJ)
Bill Richardson will be on the Nevada Newsmakers show this Thursday.