Adelson lobbyist seriously considering run for GOP chairman

Robert Uithoven once had to be a spokesman for Jim Gibbons, so he must think there are no worse jobs.

Why else, besides a desire by many in the GOP for the state party to be credible, would he be considering a bid to oust Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald? 

Party chairman is as thankless a job as you can imagine, perhaps more so than being a campaign spokesman for a soon-to-be governor whose first name would become "scandal-plagued." But Uithoven, now a lobbyist for Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands, confirmed he is seriously considering a bid in two weeks. I first learned of the possibility after Citizen Outreach boss Chuck Muth, a huge McDonald supporter when he first ran, tweeted the possibility.

"I do worry that too many people are turning away from investing in the Nevada GOP," Uithoven told me, showing a gift for understatement. "We have outstanding elected officials in our party.  Further, our elected leaders and party activists throughout Nevada work tirelessly to recruit and support good candidates for office.  What's clearly missing is the infrastructure to support these candidates as they set out to campaign for office.  It's not an exercise in finger-pointing, but rather a clear-eyed assessment in whether we can do better.  I'm not alone in believing we can."

Indeed he is not. Although Establishment types, especially elected officials, try to avoid the toxic stew of internal party politics, realizing it can poison them, many GOP insiders want to follow the Harry Reid model and install someone they can trust. Cynics might say someone they could control; others might say that the Reid Machine is worth emulating: Get a chairman who will work with you, so you can turn the party into a legalized money laundering operation.

So some of the same types who supported Dave McKeon for Clark County chairman might well back Uithoven. (It should be noted that Muth and others of the "Who Cares About Winning, We Just Want People To Pay Attention to (or pay) Us" caucus tried to defeat McKeon through a slime campaign and did what they do best: They lost.)

Uithoven says he hasn't talked directly to Adelson, but I'm told his people are game to have a vehicle they trust to pour money into next year. (They already are supporting a move to register voters.) So Uithoven has a green light from the powers that be -- I'd guess some major elected officials would be happy to climb on board. I also hear Uithoven is making progress with the anti-McDonald caucus.

But he has to get the votes, which is a tedious process of going through the central committee list and whipping members. Might Team Sandoval/Heller be of assistance?

I'd still make McDonald the favorite in that loony bin. But Paulite Cindy Lake was a heavy favorite, too, in Clark County until the Establishment came together for McKeon against the gang that couldn't organize straight.

One other GOP happy family note for its so called "UNITY" dinner on the 28th: The party has booked Joe Miller, the Alaska Senate candidate who became known as Sharron Angle-like up there during his 2010 campaign. He took on incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski, won the primary and then lost in the general.

When I suggested on Twitter that a guy taking on an incumbent GOP senator was a strange guest for a UNITY dinner, Muth, who is supporting primaries against several GOP legislative incumbents, issued a non sequitur tweet that showed he has a keen sense of history: "Um, Reagan ran in a primary vs. a GOP prez. That worked out quite nicely for party unity 4 years later, thank u very much."

What? Worst analogy ever? It's up there.

Yes, Reagan taking on Gerald Ford in 1976 produced some good results that year for the GOP. But don't fret: It paid off four years later! So does that mean all will be well in 2018 here?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the nonstop entertainment thrillride, with buffoons and bloodletting guiding the way: The Nevada Republican Party.