Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

May 20, 2010

THE LOWDOWN ON LOWDEN.... It's a tough call deciding which of Sue Lowden's ongoing problems is worse. The Republican Senate hopeful in Nevada, who clearly hasn't had a particularly good spring, seems to have proven herself not quite ready for prime time. The question, though, is which of her two main controversies will do more damage.

The first is the ongoing humiliation surround Lowden's chickens-for-checkups problem. This week the Republican candidate participated in a forum with her primary rivals, and Nevada journalist Jon Ralston brought up the controversy. He noted Lowden's original quote, in which she talked about bartering and concluded, "I'm not backing down from that system." Lowden responded, "No, I never said 'from that system.' I never said, 'from that system.'"

Her response was an unambiguous lie.

But at least the chicken debacle and Lowden's subsequent untruths aren't illegal. Accepting a $100,000 in-kind contribution, however, is a felony.

This week, we learned that Lowden's campaign bus, an RV worth more than $100,000, was donated to her by a former casino owner who supports her Senate bid.

"Let's talk about my RV," she told a local reporter. "It was donated. I'm really fortunate. Anyone could have had an RV if they had a supporter who wanted to donate."

And that'd be true, if the value of the RV were a few thousand dollars. But as a would-be senator (or at least her staff) should know, there are legal limits on campaign contributions.

To try to spin her way out of the mess, Lowden changed course yesterday, and said she "misspoke." The RV wasn't actually "donated" after all, the Republican candidate insisted.

But Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles came to a different conclusion, noting that Lowden's name is on the title.

Here's the part I don't get: why are Republicans in D.C. putting up with this? Lowden is their preferred candidate, and the best bet, in their opinion, to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) in November.

Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out? Shouldn't the party have prepped her on how to be a capable candidate for statewide office? At this point, Lowden seems to be embarrassing herself, and the GOP establishment must be kicking itself for not having done more to get Lowden on track.

Steve Benen 9:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (38)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

is stupidity a defense to a felony? if so, no jury in the world would convict her.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 20, 2010 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

But what would the DC pros tell her? Don't be stupid, don't lie, don't commit felonies? There's a bigger problem here than a lack of good advice.

Posted by: MattF on May 20, 2010 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

It wasn't a campaign contribution. It was a gift from an admirer. Note her name is on the title. I think it is cool that she has such generous friends.

That it is a felony violation of the campaign laws is just a reason we need to change the campaign reform laws. After all Sue has to be innocent, she has such beautiful hair and her nose is stuck up in the stratosphere.

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 20, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out? Shouldn't the party have prepped her on how to be a capable candidate for statewide office?

Maybe she's gone rogue;>

Posted by: martin on May 20, 2010 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Getting a real Marie Antoinette vibe from this woman. Health care costs are too high? "Let them trade chickens." She sounds baffled that not everyone has rich friends who will hand out RVs.

Posted by: Kreniigh on May 20, 2010 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Gives bimbos a bad name.

Posted by: fradiavolo on May 20, 2010 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Two important questions: (1) Which came first, the chicken or the RV? (2) Did the chicken cross the road in an RV?

Posted by: K in VA on May 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

She is just following the example of her role model Former Half Term Half Wit Governor Sarah Palin . Think before talking - NO NEED . Listen to advisors- NO NEED. She should put some crib notes on wer hand.

Posted by: John R on May 20, 2010 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, well when one of your guiding tenets for picking a Republican female to run for office is whether they are a MILF or not, it's not too surprising when you run into these sorts of problems.

Posted by: JCT on May 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'd say Mattf nailed it.

Posted by: psychobroad on May 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out? Shouldn't the party have prepped her on how to be a capable candidate for statewide office?

After all, the GOP did such a good job with Sarah Palin...

Posted by: Gregory on May 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

I think she is also totally clueless about tax implications of bartering, gifts over $10,000, etc. She thinks if it's not cash, there's no transaction.

Posted by: jim on May 20, 2010 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

Quote: "Here's the part I don't get: why are Republicans in D.C. putting up with this? Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out?"

Who is this 'they' who should be sending competent help, Michael Steele? This already has his clumsy paw prints all over it.

Posted by: BillFromPA on May 20, 2010 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out?

Palin sucked all the competency out of the republican staffer pool, none left.

Posted by: ScottW714 on May 20, 2010 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

Although the RV campaign donation is illegal, I think Lowden should challenge the law on constitutional grounds. For reasons that defy comprehension, the Republican Supreme Court ruled that corporations can give unlimited amounts to political campaigns. So why should individuals still be limited in what they can give?

Not that I want to see Lowden do well --- well, actually, I would like to see her ultimately claim the Republican nomination --- but it seems to me that she scores a huge win with the Tea Party movement that is the GOP base these days if she (1) Acknowledges that she's breaking the law, and (2) Fights the law as an unconstitutional limit on free speech.

Hell, the Supreme Court's ruling was wrong and idiotic, but if corporations can spend whatever they like, individuals should damn well be able to do the same thing.

Posted by: David Bailey on May 20, 2010 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

This week the Republican..... primary rival....brought up the controversy...He noted Lowden's original quote..... "I'm not backing down from that system.".

Hold the phones. Lowden looked me in the eye (I admit I saw a few starbursts) and told me that her quote was just badly taken out of context and was evidence of Washington as usual dirty tricks by Harry Reid.

The more I hear out of her, the more she reminds me of Palin.

Posted by: oh my on May 20, 2010 at 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Leave the poor woman alone!

-Harry Reid needs all the help he can get. . .

Posted by: DAY on May 20, 2010 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Those who defend Lowden remind me of Hruska defending the rights of mediocre people to be represented on our Supreme Court.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 20, 2010 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Dumb blond" is no longer a myth.

Posted by: Ted76 on May 20, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see what the GOP can do at this point if she did accept that $100,000 vehicle and her name's on the title.
Seems to me the GOP needs to find a different preferred candidate. But I doubt they're listening to me, which is good.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on May 20, 2010 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out? Shouldn't the party have prepped her on how to be a capable candidate for statewide office? At this point, Lowden seems to be embarrassing herself, and the GOP establishment must be kicking itself for not having done more to get Lowden on track."

That would only work if Lowden at least *listened* to those competant people, and she sounds like somebody who doesn't.

Posted by: Barry on May 20, 2010 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

These competent staff members of the RNC?? Who should have been doing the "vetting".....

Competent-staff members-RNC

Oxymoron or non-sequitor

Didn't take Latin, but that sounds about right.

Posted by: mike reilly on May 20, 2010 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah! Advice from Michael Steele and the RNC office in the Beverly Hills Lesbian Joint would have definitely helped her avoid putting her foot in her mouth.

Posted by: gregor on May 20, 2010 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with psychobroad - MattF reduces it to its simplest form like a surgeon. Republican success rides completely on the stupidity of voters, or their disengagement from the political scene beyond blind ideology, which amounts to the same thing.

Amazingly, things have reached a nadir of common sense to the point that, when somebody politically shits their pants in front of God and the world, you have to be careful not to be too scornful, lest you make the voters start to feel sorry for them. Yes, friends, in this day and age you can ride a wave of pity all the way to a Senate seat, where you will have power over the lives of the poor fools who put you there.

Posted by: Mark on May 20, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

But she's so pretty! Republicans vet their candidates with lots of hand lotion.

Posted by: walt on May 20, 2010 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Is it a bus or an RV?

I can understand why a political candidate would take a bus as a gift, but a recreational vehicle?

In other news, DC Wonkette is blogging on the truly hilarious water/electricity war now going on between
California and Arizona.

Posted by: wobbly on May 20, 2010 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, the real problem with the chickens remark is not that it was a dumb statement, but that she's such a bad campaigner that she herself refuses to let the issue die. It continues to make news because she seems incapable of just admitting it was a mistake and pivoting to talk about something positive, which is a really basic skill for any politician.

Posted by: Redshift on May 20, 2010 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the inept, incompetent staffers who used to work for Demi-Gov Sarah Palin?

You know, the ones who couldn't reliably confirm her appearances or maintain message control?

There you go.

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 20, 2010 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Remember the inept, incompetent staffers who used to work for Demi-Gov Sarah Palin?

You know, the ones who couldn't reliably confirm her appearances or maintain message control?

There you go.

Posted by: Winkandanod on May 20, 2010 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Is this secretly all a plot to keep Reid in office after all? Some liberal Democrats would suspect Republicans of wanting that. But they guy has finally begun to display some backbone in the last few months.

Posted by: T-Rex on May 20, 2010 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

"why are Republicans in D.C. putting up with this? ...

Haven't they sent out competent staffers to help her out?"

Their competent staffers are all in lesbian bondage themed night clubs.

To be serious, the awesome Republican election winning machine does seem to be a bit short on competence. I think the competent staffers all went to K street to cash in.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on May 20, 2010 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

No matter how competent the fictional "competent staffer" may be, it is pretty hard to cure stupid. The Republican establishment seems hell bent on continuing to be stupid. I think the 2008 election should tell those people that the electorate is tired of the shallow,especially in a state like Nevada, no matter how their pundits want to spin the facts. I for one do not believe in the mythological Republican landslide coming in November. Many people in Nevada have lost everything; jobs, houses, bank accounts, etc. They may not want to vote for some bimbo who drives around in a gifted $100,000.00 RV.

If the Republicans are smart, which they don't seem to be, they would dump this woman and look for a more thoughtful person to carry water for the corporations.

Posted by: Gracious on May 20, 2010 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

What amazes me is that people are still worried about the "lies" of Richard Blumenthal that are 2 yrs. old, and this woman is still considered a viable candidate for national office.

Posted by: st john on May 20, 2010 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

After all the house cleaning the Republican's did during the Bush years I would say the chickens have come home to roost - Bwahhhh hahaha!

Oh, was that already used a hundred times?

Posted by: Beffie on May 20, 2010 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

more youtube fun with Lowden's latest clucking mad performance:

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

Posted by: CCinLV on May 20, 2010 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Chicken Sue's problems are manifold....but there's always room for one more. Check this one out, in which she claimed to have been "the lone vote that stood in the way of the state’s powerful labor unions’ attempt to overturn Nevada’s voter-approved right-to-work status in a tense legislative battle in 1995".

When was that vote, again? That's right, never. Because there was no such bill. See it here

http://www.nyegateway.com/2010/03/sue-lowdens-history-with-labor-unions-a-major-issue.html

Posted by: Mark on May 20, 2010 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Nevada politics are weird anyway. The electorate is wildly misinformed. Young people in northern Nevada are strangly conservative. Even the tea baggers here have their facts wrong about the state they claim to fight for the right's of.

Posted by: Jabberwocky on May 20, 2010 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's ugly to watch, but . . . give 'em enough rope.

Posted by: Jon on May 21, 2010 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly