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Sharron Angle Offers Access to Senate Bigwigs if Third-Party Candidate Quits

3 years ago
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LAS VEGAS -- Jon Ralston, the veteran Nevada political reporter and analyst, has obtained a recording of a meeting in which Republican Senate nominee Sharron Angle asks a third-party candidate to quit the race, and promises access to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Jim DeMint if he does so. The recording also makes clear there is no love lost between Angle and the Washington establishment headed by McConnell.

Angle, who is trying to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, made her thus far unsuccessful pitch to Scott Ashjian, who is running as the Tea Party of Nevada nominee. Angle trailed Reid by 1 to 5 points in five polls last month. Ashjian drew 1 to 5 percent of the vote in three of those polls, but he told Angle his internal polling shows him with nearly 20 percent. "I believe you can do some real harm, not to Harry Reid but to me," Angle tells Ashjian on audio posted by Ralston. "I'm not sure you can win and I'm not sure I can win if you're hurting my chance, and that's the part that scares me."

The recording was made at a meeting last Wednesday among Angle, Ashjian and Sid James , the chairman of the Tea Party of Nevada, at the home of Richard Ziser, Ralston reported. Ashjian's voice is the loudest and clearest, suggesting he made the recording -- a fact he confirmed to CNN. It reveals Angle trying to beat back Ashjian's claims that she is an establishment candidate as she and Ziser assure him that he'll have access to policymakers and accomplish more for the Tea Party if he drops out to help her win.



Powered by a major infusion of cash and support from the California-based Tea Party Express, Angle won the GOP primary over Sue Lowden, the candidate favored by national party leaders. She tells Ashjian that no one was more shocked than those leaders when she won -- that they were "moaning and groaning and weeping and gnashing teeth" over Lowden's loss. "The machine in the Republican Party is fighting against me," she adds. "They have never really gone along with lower taxes and less government."

Angle, who has hammered Reid for cutting deals in Washington, goes on to say that the Tea Party movement gives her "juice," or clout, and offers to share it with Ashjian. "That's really all I can offer you, is whatever juice I have, you have as well," she says. "You want to see DeMint, I have juice with him....I go to Washington, D.C. and want to see Jim DeMint, he's right there for me. I want to see Tom Coburn, he's right there for me. I want to see Mitch McConnell, he's there."

Trying to make common cause with Ashjian, Angle tells him the two of them have tapped into Americans' anger at politics as usual and the only difference between them is that "I was pragmatic enough to know ... that third parties can't get traction .... so I said all right, I'll work with it. Just show me what the rules are and I'll work with it."

Angle tells Ashjian that national Republicans don't want her in Washington because "they know I'll shake this mess up." She adds, "I shook it up in Carson City, they hated me there." She further adds that "there may be five or six of us" new senators to shake things up, and mentions Joe Miller of Alaska, Ken Buck of Colorado and Christine O'Donnell of Delaware. "She doesn't have a chance," Ashjian says of O'Donnell. Angle replies, "Well, I think she's real." She adds, referring to the GOP nominee in Florida, "I think that possibly Marco Rubio is real. That's a stretch for me."

The Reid campaign said Angle had "engaged in an act of supreme hypocrisy ... attempting to cut a deal with Ashjian to get him off the ballot, and openly trashing the very same national Republicans that are supporting her candidacy."

Asked for a response to the audio, particularly the part about her "juice" in Washington, Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen e-mailed that "Sharron expressed what many working families in Nevada and across the country are feeling. They are angry with Harry Reid, they are angry with Washington D.C., and they want blunt , plain-spoken leaders who are willing to shake things up. Sharron represents the interests of Nevada, not the interests of Washington D.C. like Harry Reid does, and that's why she is going to win."

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Filed Under: Tea Party

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206 Comments

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Bonbon

Does anyone know what casinos and hotels in Vegas are endorsing Angle? I heard some are endorsing Reid and I don't want to stay at any of those!

October 05 2010 at 12:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
barney2022

Ms. Lawrence...what is your point?

October 05 2010 at 11:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bassn55

Angle making deals already she has no plans on keeping, a true polotician ...

October 05 2010 at 11:10 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
will122451

This story is nothing more than a smear attempt on Angle. The headline indicates she is involved in some shady deal making attempt. The meat of the story shows this to be nothing more than a common sense appeal to a fellow conservative that they need to join forces to defeat a liberal leader. I see nothing wrong with her appeal to him, which offered no more than to see to it that through her, he would have access to leaders in Washington to put forth conservative ideas. Shame on AOL for displaying this as some sort of a back room underhanded deal.

October 05 2010 at 7:12 AM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
pampaullaw

If Nevada voters choose Sharon Angle then that would be a shame. As with many of the "so called" Tea Party favorites, it is not her apparent "flakiness" that is the problem. Angle's extreme views are what concern me. What happens if she is elected and like Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, decides to take a position based on her questionable principals, like Bunning did with his blockade of unemploynment insurance extensions? Will she support the extension of expiring portions of the Voters Rights Act? Will she support any government actionn to address socio-economic proplems that only the central Federal government can adequately address like those issues addressed by Medicare and Social Security? These progranms are bedrock examples of the principles underlying the promise represented by the American experiment. A promise exemplified by a cooperative spirit that recognizes that we are our brother's keeper. We are not an isolated collection of autonomous entities united only by location on the same land mass. Angle and those who believe as she does would break the union in a misguided attempt to return to pre-independence State autonomy without turning back the clock on the progress our nation has experienced since then. Other Tea Party favorites have questioned the legality of portions of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Medicare and Social Security. A nation without those things is not America and the desire to kill those things is not American.

October 05 2010 at 3:14 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
cphil745

Where did she promise to give him anything? She said she had access to some people and she would share that access to him also. That gives him nothing but ability to be heard by these people. What a sneaky slim Ashjian is to record her hoping to catch her doing something illegal. You have nothing in this tape. Nothing!

October 04 2010 at 10:49 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
jymwrite

What's really scary about the deal Angle is proposing, is that she's offering to give access and influence to decision makers to a candidate that nobody elected! By the way Mr. Ashjian don't take the deal because Angle will forget about it immediately upon being elected.

October 04 2010 at 4:51 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
oredrag

It's only been 2 years now and this Angle is already playing games behind the scenes! I'll stick with Reid and let Obama go the distance considering how the GOP has lied to us again and again! This Sharon Angle is just not cutting it anymore! I knew there was something wrong! You Goobers can save this marxist crap! Grow a brain! There's no such thing, do your history, instead of trying to rewrite it!

October 04 2010 at 4:46 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to oredrag's comment
dagwat

you call Angles conversation "marxist crap"? Now isn't that the pot calling the kettle black. If you have no more sense than this that you can't see who the marxist is, you are in bad bad shape. There is no hope for someone who can support obama and think Sharron Angle is the marxist in the mix. And you tell those of us you HAVE a brain, to grow one? Whatever it is you are calling a brain is not something I'm willing to grow. I know what a brain is, you obviously have no clue about that or anything else.

October 05 2010 at 8:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bookstuboo

She is from the Palin school of politics. Do NOT ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS!!

October 04 2010 at 4:24 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
PrevailinWind

This is typical political posturing is it not??? Or is this just mud slinging by the media?? The headline sounds pretty biased in comparison to content.

October 04 2010 at 3:34 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PrevailinWind's comment
bookstuboo

How can you say that. The headline says exactly what Angle said. How is that biased? Or is it that anyhting against a T partier has to be not true? Mt guess is that if this had been a Dem. you would be all over it.

October 04 2010 at 4:18 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply

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