Chuck Muth: Scott Ashjian, tea party crasher |

Chuck Muth: Scott Ashjian, tea party crasher

Chuck Muth

Outsiders who aren’t part of the tea party movement can’t understand why most tea party activists are so opposed to the formation of the Tea Party of Nevada – and especially the candidacy of Scott Ashjian, TPN’s candidate for U.S. Senate.

It’s really pretty simple – and it goes well beyond that fact that Ashjian doesn’t know the secret handshake.

While he claims to support the agenda and views of the tea party movement, Ashjian’s never been actively involved in the tea party movement. He simply saw all the media coverage of the tea party movement and decided to jump out in front of the parade and say, “Follow me.”

But the real tea party activists who have been meeting, organizing and rallying for the better part of the last year know who’s who in the movement and know Ashjian isn’t one of them because, well, because Ashjian has never had anything to do with the movement.

Ashjian never bothered to even touch base with the known and active tea party leaders before filing his new third party, filching the name they’ve been rallying under for the past year. No wonder these people are ready to tar-and-feather the guy.

But it goes deeper than that. Any true tea partier knows the No. 1 electoral objective of tea party activists in Nevada is the defeat of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. And even a blithering idiot knows that placing a third-party candidate on the ballot under the “Tea Party” name has the potential of siphoning off votes from the Republican candidate who will have the only real chance to accomplish that goal.

If Scott Ashjian’s motivation in forming the TPN was truly in the interest of furthering the tea party movement and not furthering Scott Ashjian’s ego and/or business interests, he would have done so by filing as a TPN candidate for any office other than U.S. Senate. He could have run for Congress, governor, secretary of state, attorney general or even a seat in the Nevada Legislature.

But no. He filed to run against Harry Reid. Because that’s where the cameras and microphones would be despite the fact he has absolutely no chance on God’s green earth of winning that race. This is all about Scott Ashjian, not the tea party movement.

It’d almost be comical if the potential consequence of his folly – the re-election of Harry Reid – wasn’t so serious for the future of our state and our nation.

• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at chuck@