Is Sharron Angle the next Rand Paul?

posted at 9:30 am on May 27, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Nevada is one of the natural homes of Tea Party activism.  Even before the era of Hope and Change, Nevadan had a well-earned reputation for independence and a somewhat libertarian bent; Ron Paul did better in Nevada than anywhere else in last year’s presidential primaries.  The rise of a Tea Party candidate in the polls for the chance to run against Harry Reid comes as no great shock, but as Jim Geraghty notes in his extensive look at Sharron Angle, some of her positions might:

For a long while, the GOP primary looked like a two-candidate race between former state-party chair Sue Lowden and businessman Danny Tarkanian. But then one of the groups claiming to represent the national tea-party movement, Tea Party Express, endorsed former state assemblywoman Sharron Angle, and she has rocketed from 5 percent to 25 percent in the Mason-Dixon poll, just 5 percent behind frontrunner Lowden.

So what will we learn — and see spotlighted — about Sharron Angle if she wins the primary?

If the Tea Party tends towards the libertarian, and Nevada tends toward the libertarian, then there may well be some shock with Angle after all:

In a 2005 interview, while discussing the issue of legalizing marijuana, she appeared to suggest that she grudgingly tolerates the legality of alcohol: “I would tell you that I have the same feelings about legalizing marijuana, not medical marijuana, but just legalizing marijuana. I feel the same about legalizing alcohol. . . . The effect on society is so great that I’m just not a real proponent of legalizing any drug or encouraging any drug abuse. . . . I’m elected by the people to protect, and I think that law should protect.” Her spokesman vehemently denies that Angle is a prohibitionist, but one can imagine how that comment could get construed by Nevada restaurant, casino, and bar workers in a heated Senate campaign.

And if that sits well with those who espouse traditional values, then Angle’s idea of prison reform will be an eye-opener:

Angle’s past enthusiasm for a prison drug-treatment program could be interpreted as a genuine willingness to look outside the box for ways to help some of society’s most desperate members overcome addiction. Yet it’s not too hard for the program to be explained in a manner that would make most tea-party activists recoil. It was described in media accounts as “sauna and massage” treatments; the candidate characterizes it as more comparable to a sweat lodge and pain relief. It was developed in part based on concepts from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and was estimated to cost roughly $15,000 per inmate. Angle tried to organize a trip to Ensenada prison in Mexico to see the program in action; the cost of the trip was to have been covered by a Scientologist. The trip was ultimately canceled. (Angle is a Southern Baptist, not a Scientologist.)

There is nothing wrong with seeking out-of-the-box solutions to serious problems.  In fact, that’s a good reason for primaries — to discuss and debate different approaches to public policy.  However, that also carries risk, and not just in a primary.  If Angle does win the nomination, Geraghty predicts “cartwheels” by Reid, who will suddenly have plenty of ways to distract Nevadans from the fact that Reid has become a water carrier for Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, not a conservative, independent voice representing Nevadans.

If Nevada Republicans truly think Angle best represents them in a Senate race, then they should nominate her for the contest.  They should do so with their eyes wide open, however, and her record should be thoroughly vetted, as should Sue Lowden’s and Danny Tarkanian’s.  We certainly know that the winner will undergo that process in the general election, thanks to Reid’s $25 million war chest.  Geraghty gives us a sneak peek at the issues a Reid-Angle contest will raise, and be sure to read it all.


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I hope they go with Lowden. She seems to be a solid candidate and polls very well against Reid.

Doughboy on May 27, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Lowden is the best bet, imo. Thi is a race where the tea party could really hurt, as I am very much looking forward to kicking Dingy to the curb. Hope we don’t screw up what looked like a pretty good bet.

changer1701 on May 27, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Remember Hawaii…divide and conquer. Used against us.

Caper29 on May 27, 2010 at 9:37 AM

Can anyone beat Reid in nv? His polling is so low, getting a little worried now…..

cmsinaz on May 27, 2010 at 9:40 AM

How does a criminal such as Reid manage to get any votes beyond that of himself and his family? Seriously, the man is a pig of epic proportions and voters would still pull the lever for him.

Maybe the U.S. really is a lost cause at this point, it gets harder by the day to stay positive as I peruse the panoply of azzhats who are holding power in our government.

Bishop on May 27, 2010 at 9:40 AM

http://www.sharronangle.com/

Mark Levin interviews Sharron Angle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWnTsVf_tTM

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 9:42 AM

She’s too risky of a pick… please Nevada GOPers pick someone else…

ninjapirate on May 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Hopefully Sue Lowden has enough $ in her war chest to run ads against Angle. As for these idiot Tea Partiers – are they that stupid, or have they been infiltrated by Dems who are working with Reid to divide and conquer?

Buy Danish on May 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Nevada GOP, just get this d**n seat. Don’t screw this up. Reid needs to be put down.

BuckeyeSam on May 27, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Remember Hawaii…divide and conquer. Used against us.

It’s a primary… get over it… she needs to be vetted…

Here’s the thing… I also heard she had spelling errors on her website… she has also lost her recent elections….. do not pick this woman, pick someone else…

ninjapirate on May 27, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Sharron Angle on Fox&Friends FoxNews.com.flv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST4V58wXpA0&feature=related

=======================
=======================

01 of 13 Sharron Angle Town Hall 09-01-09

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk9dUn6fnW8&feature=related

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Maybe the U.S. really is a lost cause at this point, it gets harder by the day to stay positive as I peruse the panoply of azzhats who are holding power in our government.

Bishop on May 27, 2010 at 9:40 AM

No kidding. And it’s not just who holds power in gov’t. It’s OK’ing a mosque near Ground Zero, it’s polls that show people aren’t really all that averse to socialism, it’s all sorts of things that really make it hard to stay positive.

changer1701 on May 27, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I’m a Libertarian for Lowden.

Angle coming out against Beer is downright anti-American, and wholly anti-Libertarian. Unless she has a plausible explanation for that absurd comment, she’s toast.

ericdondero on May 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Hopefully Sue Lowden has enough $ in her war chest to run ads against Angle. As for these idiot Tea Partiers – are they that stupid, or have they been infiltrated by Dems who are working with Reid to divide and conquer?

Buy Danish on May 27, 2010 at 9:43 AM

Buy Danish: I won’t go as far as besmirching the Tea Party,
but,I do wonder if the Left are putting in pl
ants my self,the ends justify the means!!:)

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Anybody but Reid supporter Sue Lowden.

cubachi on May 27, 2010 at 9:52 AM

I hope they go with Lowden. She seems to be a solid candidate and polls very well against Reid.

Doughboy on May 27, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Chicken for checkup queen a solid candidate? She is tanking in the polls. Sorry the Repub did not field strong candidates. Dean Heller could have pulled it off but not this lot.

Tasha on May 27, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Sounds like Son Of Tark is the best candidate of the three.

teke184 on May 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Is Angle a 9-11 truther?

Dire Straits on May 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Hope those who always argue against “establishment candidates” understand the dangers of picking up someone who has not been thoroughly vetted.

With Reid’s numbers, if he escaped it will purely the fault of purists.

rightistliberal on May 27, 2010 at 10:02 AM

It’s absolute foolishness to equate alcohol with marijuana.

Alcohol has been part of European culuture for centuries, at first to protect against polluted water and to provide nutrition.

Unlike marijuana and other drugs, used ONLY to get high (nobody smokes ganja because of the great taste), alcohol can be used by responsible people as part of meal and to enjoy.

Yes, people abuse it. They also abuse paint, gasoline, lighter fluid, mouthwash and other legal substances with other uses.

“Drugs” are called “drugs” because they have only one use – to get people high and that’s why they are illegal. People who regularly get high, don’t contribute to society and they end up being a drain.

Alcohol is more like food, when used responsibly.

NoDonkey on May 27, 2010 at 10:10 AM

(nobody smokes ganja because of the great taste

I do! Bana Kush FTW bishes!!!

abobo on May 27, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Is Angle a 9-11 truther?

Dire Straits on May 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Dire Straits:)
============================================
From an interview in Liberty Watch

A New Angle on Giving Harry Reid the Boot: Sharon Angle

http://rmcpac.com/viewpoints/new-angle-giving-harry-reid-boot-sharon-angle

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Thinking that is out of the box or very close to nut job ideas? Stop jumping on candidate band wagons when you don’t really know much about them. Remember Scott Brown and how he is turning out.

Kissmygrits on May 27, 2010 at 10:18 AM

This is getting pretty depressing. Yes, all of these candidates need to be vetted and gone over with a fine tooth comb to weed out the non desirables. If Harry pulls this off, I just don’t know what to think.

Mirimichi on May 27, 2010 at 10:32 AM

I am entirely unclear why this post starts by going on about Nevada having a libertarian streak as to somehow suggest that’s why Angle is doing well there, especially when she appears to have very non-libertarian views.

The Tea Party Express is a national org and it appears to be their influence (plus Lowden’s stupid chickens for healthcare comment) that has pushed Angle ahead.

Firefly_76 on May 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I am amazed at how Danny Tarkanian tanked in this race.

bw222 on May 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I dont know much about Angle, I have been donating to Sue Lowden when I can b/c she has been working for the state party in NV. Reid needs to go, like a decade ago..

ginaswo on May 27, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Astroturfing at its finest. Axelgrease is smiling so hard his face is hurting.

platypus on May 27, 2010 at 10:37 AM

Buy Danish: I won’t go as far as besmirching the Tea Party,
but,I do wonder if the Left are putting in pl
ants my self,the ends justify the means!!:)
canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

I don’t mean to besmirch all tea partiers – just the idiots who are pushing horrible candidates like Angle.

Buy Danish on May 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Geeeeez…We don’t need to nominate every so-called tea party candidate in every race.

What’s wrong with Sue Lowden?

LurkerDood on May 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM

If both she and Rand Paul get elected they can start the Senate GOP Batsh*t Crazy Caucus. #WIN

It's Vintage, Duh on May 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

This is not my brand of libertarianism at all. Pass.

di butler on May 27, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Oh how I wish that Harry Reid’s, Chris Dodd’s, Barney Frank’s, Joe Biden’s, (select your favorite Dem here) worse fault was opposing alcohol and supporting weird drug treatment.

Herb on May 27, 2010 at 10:55 AM

The Democrats have already been caught trying to run a false-flag Tea Party, are we sure this “Tea Party Express” is genuine?

LarryD on May 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Why the hit piece on Angle? There are a lot of positives that could and should have been mentioned. Mark Levin has endorsed her and I think that implies she is a Constitutionalist. I hate when we attack our own.

huckleberryfriend on May 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Angle coming out against Beer is downright anti-American, and wholly anti-Libertarian. Unless she has a plausible explanation for that absurd comment, she’s toast.

ericdondero on May 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM

It’s also downright stupid in Nevada. You can call it Sin City all you want, but the economy of the state is dominated by Las Vegas, and banning alcohol there would turn it into a ghost town.

The Tea Parties started as a grass-roots revolt against wild spending and taxation, but in their zeal to endorse “non-establishment” conservatives they need to be careful not to foist whackos on the Republican Party who can’t win Independent voters, who are needed to form a majority. Lots of Independent voters are gravitating to the Republicans as a reaction against out-of-control spending and the force-fed health care law from the Democrats, but we need candidates who will embrace their concerns, not scare them back to the Democrats.

If Sharron Angle manages to win a Republican primary with 35 or 40% of the Republican vote, but can’t win any Independent voters, she will keep Harry Reid in office another 6 years, while recent polls have shown both Lowden and Tarkanian leading Reid by double digits.

Steve Z on May 27, 2010 at 11:28 AM

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM
=============================
I don’t mean to besmirch all tea partiers – just the idiots who are pushing horrible candidates like Angle.

Buy Danish on May 27, 2010 at 10:39 AM

Buy Danish:I know what you mean’t,I should of put up a sarc
tag,sorry,didn’t mean to paint you!!—–:)

canopfor on May 27, 2010 at 11:42 AM

For those of you in Nevada, please vote for Sue Lowden.

And for everyone, please donate to Sue Lowden. She’s our best chance to get rid of Harry Reid.

Conservative Samizdat on May 27, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Angle’s been a fixture in NV politics for a while. She has made some controversial comments, but they are often overplayed (I don’t think she’s really about “banning alcohol” in NV, just commented on it’s problems in society as well).

She could be a good candidate against Reid. I’d suspect Lowden is a “safer” bet, and would like to see her take on Reid. Lowden also has Romney’s backing I think- Palin is sitting this one out so far (her dad campaigned some with Tark I think).

Name the issues, point out possible complications, and let NV voters decide who they want to take on Dingy Harry.

Hopefully, he’s in retirement soon!

cs89 on May 27, 2010 at 11:56 AM

After listening to her interview with Mark Levin she sounds pretty good to me. We all have the right to vote our conscience. Since I don’t vote in Nevada my opinion doesn’t matter to much. I will leave the voting to the people that are trying to survive there.
Just the fact that a hit piece was written means she must be doing pretty well.

SgtRed on May 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Forgot to say that ANY conservative is better than REID.

SgtRed on May 27, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Why the hit piece on Angle? There are a lot of positives that could and should have been mentioned. Mark Levin has endorsed her and I think that implies she is a Constitutionalist. I hate when we attack our own.

huckleberryfriend on May 27, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Exactly. Who the hell cares what she thinks about alcohol? She would be 1 Senator out of 100 with that view, as she would be a few of her other occasional Libertarian views. So Prohibition ain’t coming back.

She’s a Constitutionalist, and that’s what matters most. Her supporters are enthusiastic, and they are getting out the vote. I don’t care how much money Reid has, voters in NV are quite well fed up with him and he’ll have a hard time against whichever Republican wins there.

Edouard on May 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

I voted yesterday for Lowden. WE can hope.

AlanC on May 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM

I have known Sharron since 2006. A few FACTS:

1. Neither Lowden nor Tark has won a SINGLE GOP county straw poll. Not a single one. Sharron has won all but one (Nye county, won by Bill Parson).

2. In two recent major debates in Reno and Las Vegas, Sharron won both straw polls of the audiences after the debates.

3. Check “Angle v Guinn” at SCOTUS. In 2003, Sharron, on her own dime, hired John Eastman to sue all 3 branches of the NV state government, who were ignoring the NV state constitution.
Sharron won the Ronald Reagan Freedom Medallion for her efforts. Great lesson in Article IV, Section 4 – “Republican form of government”.

Listen to Mark Levin endorse Sharron.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Listen to Mark Levin comment on Angle versus Reid:

She will KICK HIS A$$!!

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM

What’s wrong with Sue Lowden?

LurkerDood on May 27, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I was at the GOP state convention where Sue Lowden, as chair, delayed, then shut down the voting at 6 PM because “too many” Ron Paul delegates had made it through the caucus process.

Lowden had been asleep at the switch while Paul’s followers took over the new caucus process, and she solved the problem by shutting down the voting. The national GOP chastised her for it.

So if you like Cuba-style elections, by all means vote for Sue.

Not to mention her LOOOOOONG history of donating to Reid.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Paul supporters don’t especially like anyone in this race….they do, however, really dislike Sue Lowden.

Spathi on May 27, 2010 at 3:12 PM

Sounds like Son Of Tark is the best candidate of the three.

teke184 on May 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Danny is a nice guy – I have met him several times and heard him speak several times – he is very friendly with Angle, dumps on Sue all the time.

Danny has his own problems, though. He is in foreclosure after a very bad investment decision. He is zeeo for 2 in elections so far.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM

After thoroughly reading Jim’s “article” – check Jim Geraghty’s 2011 income tax form for a payment from the Lowden campaign – nice hit piece, Sue!!!

Note there is zero balance from this so-called “conservative journalist”, who never bothered to research Angle’s side of each issue raised by Lowden’s desperate campaign manager, Robert Uithoven. BTW, Bob – great job on handling the 6 week old “chickengate”!!

It sure looks like Sue had Bob just do a dump of their op research files to Jim, and Jim failed to do ANY checking.

For instance, I hear that Sue’s FEC reports had several pages missing also, as did Bill Parson. The FEC software apparently is not perfect.

And note that Bob didn’t bother mentioning to Jim (and therefore Jim couldn’t possibly know, since he didn’t do any original research on Angle) about Angle’s signature accomplishment: taking all three branches of her own state government to SCOTUS when they all decided to ignore their own state constitution – see “Angle v Guinn“.

Nice job, Jim. All around great job – for a hack.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 4:13 PM

Lead item on Jim’s hit piece, that Angle doesn’t imbibe and Lowden trying to scare people that Angle will bring back prohibition, falls on it’s face.

HERE is where Angle has attended many events, including Roger Hedgecock’s live radio show on Searchlight eve and other political gatherings. Angle, Lowden, and Tark all appeared there, and all three looked very comfortable.

Jim – you are doing a GREAT job on YELLOW journalism for Sue. She owes you big time!!

And Ed – you are his collaborator.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Another coincidence!!! As I look at the NRO web page of Jim G’s Lowden campaign-orchestrated hit piece, I see not one, but TWO, paid-for ads by Lowden – “Did you hear what Rush said?”

Just a coincidence?? Inquiring minds want to know.

What is the relevant journalistic standard for running paying customer’s campaign material? Does NRO have any standards?

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 5:12 PM

Allow me to speak as someone who works on the ground in NV GOP politics.

Right now, Sharron Angle and Sue Lowden are in a dogfight. Lowden is up in Clark County(Las Vegas), but Angle is likely up big in Washoe (Reno) and the rurals. The Lowden campaign is in full panic mode, running vicious attack ads on Angle nearly non-stop. Angle doesn’t have Lowden’s money, but by all indications has a chunk of the Ron Paul people and other right-wing volunteers pretty well organized, and those volunteers are keeping pace with Lowden’s paid ground game.

As far as Reid goes, both of these candidates will have a tough time beating him. Reid is still fairly unpopular, but a lot of people in Clark County have, quite literally, been pulling the lever for him their entire voting life. He’s got a lot of money, and the pool is nearly bottomless. And he has built a machine of outside liberal groups here in Nevada that essentially rival most big city Democratic machines.

All that being said, if she so desired, Sue Lowden could spend enough of her own money to ensure she was not outspent by Reid. Angle will never see that type of money. And Lowden will recover from the chicken and goats thing over time. Angle’s ties to Scientology aaren’t going away.

In short, if Lowden wins, she has at least a good chance to beat Reid. If Angle wins, you’ve got a true blue conservative who is likely to lose to reid.

Is it better to lose with Goldwater than win with Rockefeller?

JohnGalt23 on May 27, 2010 at 5:23 PM

Listen to Mark Levin comment on Angle versus Reid:

She will KICK HIS A$$!!

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 2:55 PM

No. She won’t.

She might squeak by him, if all the breaks go her way. But she is the ‘dog in that matchup. In Lowden v. Reid, Sue is most likely a favorite.

JohnGalt23 on May 27, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Sounds like Son Of Tark is the best candidate of the three.

teke184 on May 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Not that it matters, but Sarah’s dad and brother have campaigned for him.

gary4205 on May 27, 2010 at 5:39 PM

just testing

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 6:45 PM

Allow me to speak as someone who works on the ground in NV GOP
politics.

Please let me respond as someone on the ground in Las Vegas, Henderson, Reno, Carson City, Winnemucca, etc., etc.

“Lowden is up in Clark County(Las Vegas)” Despite
losing the GOP Clark county straw poll to Angle? And losing the Las Vegas post-debate audience poll to Angle ? And Angle leading in early exit polls?

“but Angle is likely up big in Washoe (Reno) and the
rurals.” I agree.

“The Lowden campaign is in full panic mode, running vicious attack ads on Angle nearly non-stop.” I agree. Angle is 100% positive – so far. And likely to stay that way, with her advantage increasing daily.

“Angle doesn’t have Lowden’s (casino)
money,” I agree, but Angle will get LOTS MORE nation-wide
conservative support than Sue can dream of, since she shut down her own GOP state convention and was reprimanded by the national GOP.

“Angle will never see that type of money.” See above
comment about nation-wide support – Reid makes a WONDERFUL national bogeyman.

“And Lowden will recover from the chicken and goats thing over time.” This month-plus story is based on Sue’s own words – and her repeated words, not innuendo.

“Angle’s ties to Scientology aaren’t going away.”

Angle is a long-time Baptist, falsely painted by Democrats as a scientologist-sympathizer, a rumor perpetuated by Sue, and the truth will out.

“In short, if Lowden wins, she has at least a good chance to beat Reid. If Angle wins, you’ve got a true blue conservative who is likely to lose to reid.

Is it better to lose with Goldwater than win with Rockefeller?”
Rockefeller didn’t shut down the 1964 GOP convention.

JohnGalt23 on May 27, 2010 at 5:23 PM

We will all find out on June 8, and join in attacking Reid, agreed??

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Apparently Hot Air won’t let me submit anything but a test message. Curious.

fred5678 on May 27, 2010 at 7:05 PM

I like Sharron Angle, but the RINO establishment state GOP never has. She has stood her ground when she was a assemblywoman and would not play ball when she was expected to compromise conservative principles by the GOP leadership.

She’s a rock and she’s tough. That’s why they slander her.

The problem with Nevada is, there were a lot of republicans that thought Harry Reid was “good for Nevada”. And they have the audacity to pretend they are conservative. And unfortunately, Sue Lowden was one of them.

Saltysam on May 27, 2010 at 8:38 PM