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Latest Lowden tale worse than chickens-for-checkups?

Forget chickens-for-checkups. There's another tale unfolding around Sue Lowden that could prove to be a lot dicier -- the tale of the spiffy campaign bus she accepted from a contributor, in potential violation of campaign finance law.

And there's been a new development in the case -- one that the Harry Reid campaign insists could constitute an acknowledgment of guilt.

Let me catch you up on this story, which is all over the Nevada news. Lowden has been traveling around the state in a fancy bus that bears a giant picture of the candidate herself. Which in and of itself is par for the course.

But the trouble started when she said in a recent interview that the bus had been "donated" to her campaign. The bus is reportedly worth $100,000 -- far more than the $2,400 limit on "in kind contributions."

Dems filed a complaint with the FEC. Then Lowden subsequently said she'd "misspoke" by saying the bus was donated to her. Even though her name is on the title, she said she was merely leasing the vehicle. But that's not the end of the story.

After this, the Nevada DMV publicly said that if her name's on the title, she owns the vehicle. "You can't be on the title without being an owner," the DMV said, seemingly making this a contribution after all. Dems pounced again.

Now Lowden spokesperson Robert Uithoven sends over a statement confirming that her name has been removed from the title. Uithoven's statement details the reasons the campaign says the RV has been, and always was, in compliance with FEC rules.

But the Reid campaign argues that the fact that she removed her name from the title is an admission of guilt and an acknowledgment that she had been in violation.

The FEC will eventually sort this one out. But for now, Lowden is embroiled in another mess. And there are no signs her campaign will shut this one down anytime soon, either.

UPDATE, 3:53 p.m.: The Lowden campaign says that the bus was appraised at far less than $100,000, though they don't have an exact figure. The campaign also sends over a lease agreement to prove that the bus was always leased.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 21, 2010; 3:32 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rand Paul ducks question about minimum wage
Next: Rand Paul camp cancels Meet the Press because "he's had a long week"


As dire as things can look at times, you can always count on dishonest and kooky Republicans to step in it.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 21, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Man I wanted her to be the reelection candidate against Reid. Looks like that's not going to happen.

Posted by: calchala | May 21, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Bwawk, bwawk, bwawk! Where does the GOP find 'em?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, it's OK. It wasn't actually donated, she paid for the RV in chickens.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 21, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

The Dems may have overplayed their hand here for the reason calchala suggests.

It's hard to imagine Lowden now getting through the R primary. It's also hard to imagine an easier candidate for Reid to run against. The Dems may have been better simply letting the story play out AFTER the primary. Kind of like the Rand Paul mess.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 21, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse


*Obama orders new fuel standards for future*

President Barack Obama called for first-ever mileage and emissions standards for big rig and work trucks Friday, seeking to limit pollution from the large vehicles that contribute a big share of it.

With a presidential memorandum signed in the Rose Garden, Obama also ordered federal agencies that have already brought out new standards for cars and light trucks for the 2012-2016 model years to begin work on even stronger rules for 2017 and beyond.

"The disaster in the Gulf only underscores that even as we pursue domestic production to reduce our reliance on imported oil, our long-term security depends on the development of alternative sources of fuel and new transportation technologies," the president said.

"I believe that it's possible in the next 20 years for vehicles to use half the fuel and produce half the pollution that they do today."

The directive signed Friday also calls for the development of new technologies to promote plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles and a diversified fuel mix including more biofuels and natural gas.

YEAH. Plug-in hybrids and zero-emission electric vehicles. That's what I'm talking about!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 21, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I can see it now; the stage is lit and in file the 2012 GOP candidates for POTUS for their first live televised debate.

Onstage are: Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman, Sue Lowden, and Rand Paul.

“Hey, who brought in those damn chickens?”

Comedy gold. Let the games begin!

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 21, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Let us be fair to Sue Lowden.

After all, when you have to rush to the Doctor, to get your foot removed from your mouth, again, then you need a bus, because a car does not provide enough room to carry all those barter chickens.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 21, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Liam, that's a damn good one. thanks.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 21, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check:

How come the same Right Wing Nut Jobs who are defending Rand Paul, by claiming that the Government should never interfere in the lives of individuals, are always the ones, who keep trying to pass laws to interfere in the private lives of homosexuals, and pregnant women?!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 21, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse


Have you seen the reports about Rand Paul whining about the Media not giving him a honeymoon period, because he just won "a big victory". Does this Rand guy think that he has already being elected to office, or what?!

Posted by: Liam-still | May 21, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Ethan...this is OT but I know you're interested in Florida Politics. A new poll out today shows the Gubernatorial race in a statistical tie between McCollom (r) and Sink (d).

More than five months before the Nov. 2 election, the Ipsos Public Affairs survey finds Attorney General McCollum backed by 34 percent and Chief Financial Officer Sink by 32 percent; McCollum's lead falls within the poll's 4 percentage-point margin of error.

What makes me ashamed of my fellow Floridians is that 22% of them now prefer the scumbag of all scumbags Rick Scott.
He's already dumped 6 million into the race and is scheduled to dump at least 25 million of his own considerable wealth.
Wealth accrued by screwing taxpayers with the largest Medicare/Medicaid fraud in history. HIS OWN BOARD OF DIRECTORS OUSTED HIM! How can so many people be so freaking stupid?

Scott founded the Columbia Hospital Corporation in 1987. With Columbia HCA Chairman Thomas J. Frist, the brother of Senator Bill Frist, the company merged Columbia with Hospital Corporation of America in 1989 to form Columbia/HCA. Ten years later, Scott was ousted by the company's board of directors in the midst of the nation's biggest health care fraud scandal in which the company ultimately plead guilty to the nation's then largest Medicaid and Medicare fraud and paid a record fine of $1.7 billion dollars

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm REALLY pleased to see some of the smarter Dems come to understand how they've been disadvantaging themselves by not previously playing the Luntzian language tricks. And it helps when the tricks reveal (as here) rather than obscure (as in Clear Skies).

"Grayson introduces ‘War Is Making You Poor Act’ to highlight cost of ongoing wars."

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House's leading candidate to replace Dennis Blair as national intelligence director is James R. Clapper, the Pentagon's top intelligence official, current and former U.S. officials said Friday"


I am not sure that this guy would be the right pick. All the terrorists would have to do is recruit some old lady to clap her hands, and shut him down immediately.

You know; clap on, clap off?!

Have a good weekend all.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 21, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Grayson, I find it hard to believe that any sane person would vote for him after this:

Posted by: sbj3 | May 21, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of Grayson Bernie, here's the names of a few of his other bills:

Business Should Mind it's Own Business Act

Corporate Propaganda Sunshine Act

End Political Kickback Act

Posted by: lmsinca | May 21, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

When I had young children, a friend of mine found herself with her own conventonal appetite, two kids who were picky eaters, and a husband who woke up one morning as a vegetarian. She was in charge of fixing all the meals and I asked her one day if it wasn't sort of exhausting and confusing. She immediately agreed and then said something I've always remembered: "And I allowed this to happen."

I've been thinking about her a lot lately as I watch what's going one in the Republican Party. They're the Ditzy Chicks, now Rand Paul, and all the fringy elected officials who seem to have no problem when their followers advocate violence or want textbooks that educate children with right wing and "Christian" talking points. And there's the whole chaotic wilderness of wars and oils spills and economic woes and you name it. Somewhere out there, there have to be old line Republicans who're lying awake at night and thinking, We allowed this to happen.

More messaging that's accurate: Republicans, the Grand Old Party of Enablers.

Posted by: AllButCertain | May 21, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

SBJ Get your head of your....NRO...I live in Florida and here's a newflash. When people were polled over the phone for the REPUBLICAN favorite in that district's primary...Alan Grayson was number ONE..that was the R poll not the Dems!!! I'd be careful about writing him off so soon...he has a commanding lead in all the fact the R's have had great difficulty searching the ENTIRE state trying to find someone who could move to his Orlando district to challenge him. Too many sissies in the R party. If he was as NRO put it auditioning for an MSNBC gig because he's sure to lose then why can't the R's find a suitable candidate. If NRO was right (not that they have ANY credibility) the R's would be coming out of the woodwork to take him on.

Grayson did not say the R's were like Al Queda...he said that having people who are against government trying to govern is like having al qaeda pilot an airplane. A strong simile for sure but nothing even remotely close to what tea baggers/limbaugh/beck have been saying about Obama.

Really SBJ sometimes you are ludicrous in your incredibly hypocritical sensibilities.

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 21, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"How come the same Right Wing Nut Jobs who are defending Rand Paul, by claiming that the Government should never interfere in the lives of individuals, are always the ones, who keep trying to pass laws to interfere in the private lives of homosexuals, and pregnant women?!"

Ha! That one's easy, Liam. Allow me:

private lives ≠ business

homosexuals ≠ rich people

and pregnant women ≠ corporations

Any other questions of a Constitutional nature?

Posted by: wbgonne | May 21, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

@ruk: You are calling me a hypocrite? Oh my, that hurts!

"be careful about writing him off so soon"

I'm not writing him off, rukkers. I'm just amazed that anyone would vote for him. It's "remarkable" the things he says. Sure, we all like bills with funny titles (he sure is earning his pay!) but this is that most dangerous of creatures: a very smart man willing to say anything for the sake of party. It's scary and it makes me fear for the future of humanity. If he wins then all is lost. I will pray for you.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 21, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse


Yeah, McCollum or Scott? What an insane choice the RPOF has to make for their Gov candidate.

Did you see that PolitiFact weighed in on Sink's claims about Rick Scott?

"""In its claim, the Sink campaign says Scott "was forced to resign as the head of a company that pled guilty to massive amounts of systematic fraud, including 14 felonies, leading to a historic $1.7 billion fine." Scott's former company, Columbia/HCA, did plead guilty to 14 felony charges stemming from a massive federal fraud investigation, and Scott himself admits the company wound up paying $1.7 billion in fines. Whether Scott was forced to resign or not is something of an HR employment trick, but media accounts certainly suggest the company's board of directors was under pressure from shareholders to shake things up.

That's enough to rate Sink's claim True."""

And apparently Sink and McCollum are neck and neck in a new poll:

"""What kind of governor's race do you get when you take two buttoned-down politicians and add a rookie who splashes $6 million in television ads around the state?

A neck-and-neck contest between Republican Bill McCollum and Democrat Alex Sink, a wild-card surge by Republican Rick Scott, and more than one-quarter of Florida voters on the fence, according to a new poll conducted for the St. Petersburg Times, Miami Herald, Bay News 9 and Central Florida News 13."""

Could it be that the RPOF has screwed up SO BADLY that FL ends up with 2 Dem Senators (Meek and Nelson) and a Dem Gov (Sink)?

Wouldn't that be the best?!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 21, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

You are too much sbj, such comedy and faux concern.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 21, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Oh jeez, I didn't see that you posted the McCollum/Sink article, duh. Thanks for that.

How awesome would that be for FL to stick it to BOTH Jebby/Rubio and Crist at the same time? Would be so great.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 21, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

O&O, All.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 21, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Good weekend wbgonne, I'm soon to follow...

Cheers all! Have a good one. Sunday should be a blast! :)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 21, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

@lms: I'm pretty sure that a Grayson reelection is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 21, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Here are here lies, caught on video

Posted by: neffster | May 21, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

@sbj - with the aid of the microchip we had implanted, the rest of us here all know what you were up to last night. Thought it incumbent upon me to alert you.

Posted by: bernielatham | May 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@bernie: Well if it was so "incumbent" then you could've told me BEFORE the implantation!

Am very surprised to hear that you can still hold your food down...what with all the Crisco and gerbils and such.

Posted by: sbj3 | May 21, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

the chicken lady has company

rand paul

the chicken sh*t teabagger terrorist

only three scheduled guests have canceled their appearance on Meet The Press

in the entire history of Meet The Press

rand paul in 2010, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in 1996 and Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar on May 18, 2003.

rand paul, teabagger terrorist coward chicken sh*t

perfect company for the lying chicken lady

Posted by: nada85484 | May 21, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

The Nevada Dems have a really funny mashup video for what is now being called Busgate.

Posted by: landrycarl8 | May 21, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It's a little disappointing that the Washington Post and so many others in the liberal media are perpetuation what is simply a non-story.

Anyone (Danny Tarkanian) can make accusations and anyone else (Nevada Democrats) can file FEC complaints. The only thing that matters is whether there is any actual violation, and in this case there clearly isn't one.

The campaign has done their job of setting the record straight:

The lease, registration, insurance, maintenance and use of the RV has been disclosed at every turn and continues to be in full legal compliance with the FEC.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the market value for a daily lease of a similar RV is between $50 and $200 per day, which is the range the campaign has said they are compensating the owner.

This is all an attempt by Danny Tarkanian and Harry Reid to make sure Harry doesn't have to face Sue Lowden in November. Simple as that.

Posted by: KevinFolsom | May 21, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

"This is all an attempt by Danny Tarkanian and Harry Reid to make sure Harry doesn't have to face Sue Lowden in November."

I think Ms. chickens for medical care has already taken care of that herself.

Posted by: akaoddjob | May 22, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Just Wondering:

Since Rand, Country Club Populist, Paul ran scared, and cancelled his scheduled Sunday morning National TV interview;

Can Sue Lowden now barter him?

Bawk Bawk Bawk

Posted by: Liam-still | May 22, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

This woman is is wacko even Ensign won't touch her.

Posted by: deportloudobbs | May 22, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

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