The email’s verbal inexactitudes
October 20, 2016
Now for the Armageddon choice of the year in Nevada politics. The U.S. Senate race to succeed the Godfather Harry Reid has been nasty.
Prior to the campaign, I did not prefer one candidate over the other, but when Catherine Cortez Masto's handlers were not truthful with Northern Nevada's editors and tried to put blame on us for any miscommunication on her swing through the northern tier of the state, we did not appreciate the negative gesture. Nevada editors talk, and as the past president of the Nevada Press Association Board, we share stories about the direction of this race. Those of us in rural Nevada are disappointed that Masto has neglected the rurals and our concerns for the future, but she has continually spent most of her time in Reno and Las Vegas talking to the flock. She did make a quick tour around Northern Nevada in July … but her campaign staff "forgot" to contact many newspapers or if they did, it was at the last minute.
The Masto campaign also declined to have any debates between her and Heck in Northern Nevada. One was conducted in Las Vegas, but plans to have one in Elko and another in Reno have been quashed. So … do we have another 'dis' to the rurals?
Traditionally, during the election year the Nevada Press Association invites candidates to the annual convention and workshop. The NPA invited both Masto and Republican Joe Heck to speak the state's editors and publishers. We heard back from Heck, but he could not attend. The NPA's executive director left messages with the Masto camp but no one responded to him.
Over the Labor Day weekend, Masto was MIA at various rural county events. Our local Democrats had no idea where she was on that weekend. Recently, a very prominent Democrat in Churchill County said it would have been nice if she had spent more time in the rurals, something her opponent has done. May we hear the candidates speak to the issues? Just once, please?
If she is receiving guidance from Reid, she may want to reconsider. Reid's last visit to the county came during the spring of 2010, but his Washington D.C. office is quick to tell us that his generosity makes up for his absence by throwing a little pork spending our way such as grants for the airport or Naval Air Station Fallon or an increase in PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) money. Talk about conditional love. It appears she is following in his footsteps.
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As of late, though, Heck misjudged his constituents when he withdrew support for the Republican candidate for president, Donald Trump, after a raunchy video tape from 2005 surfaced. As the Republican candidate, should Heck have supported Trump? I think so. Heck didn't have to kiss Trump or take him out to lunch or comb his hair. But for Nevada's Republican voters to punish Heck now by withholding their vote, are they allowing a win for Harry Reid 2.0 to the Senate?
Yet, I agree with columnist Chuck Muth that voters need to look at Heck's previous record and what he has done for his congressional district in Clark County. Deal with him after the election when he assumes office, not before.
Muth has found how Mairéad Lynn, press secretary for the Nevada Democratic Party, likes to twist words around. In a recent radio interview in Las Vegas, the interviewer asked Muth if Heck had blown it.
This is from a transcript from the Kevin Wall program: "I wanna ask you about Dr. Joe Heck. He is in the fight of his life against Catherine Cortez Masto. Some of the polls have Masto on top and I'm curious…the fact that he disavowed Donald J. Trump, withdrew his endorsement… I have, I have at least heard anecdotally about internal polling that shows him losing something on the order of 6 points after denouncing Donald J. Trump. Is it going to hurt him? Might it be a decision that might cost him the election?
"CHUCK MUTH: Absolutely. There's no question about it. He gained absolutely nothing from the other camp. No Cortez Masto supporter was going to change their vote and vote for him by unendorsing Donald Trump. All it did was tick off a lot of Trump supporters, his base supporters. Now…and I understand it, I felt the same way at first."
This is where Lynn cut the transcript off before sending her emails out to the media. Lynn forgot to add that Muth would still support Heck, and voters could deal with Heck after he got into office.
Her omission of words infuriated Muth, and I imagine this isn't the first time Lynn has not finished a complete thought. That was a nice deceitful twist on words from Lynn, who reminds me of a junior high school student trying to get others in trouble with her verbal inexactitudes. I saw that frequently when I was a junior high school administrator. There's a difference between might and will. "Might it be a decision …" Might means may or perhaps or possibly but not definite. Muth just wrote a column, which appeared Wednesday in the LVN, asking the faithful not to turn their backs on Heck.
Pulling support for Heck may be no different than those who yanked their support for Sharron Angle in 2010 when she ran against Reid and lost in the waning hours of the election. If 15-20 percent of Republicans didn't stay home four years ago, Mitt Romney may have been elected president. Republicans have a chance to grab Nevada's U.S. Senate seat. Will they blow it again like they did six years ago?
Steve Ranson is editor of the LVN.