Why would Harry Reid pal Jon Huntsman, Sr., give $50,000 to the Nevada GOP?

A company owned by Jon Huntsman, Sr., gave $50,000 to the Nevada Republican Party, more than one third of what it raised this year as the GOP goes all-out to boost the underdog candidacy of lieutenant governor hopeful Sue Lowden.

Huntsman previously gave to the Nevada Democratic Party because of his friendship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which I documented three years ago. The Hunstman family has been generous to Reid's campaign.

The Huntsman company, Sun Valley Sotheby's International Realty, gave the huge donation to the state GOP in January. Idaho Secretary of State records show that the company  was set up by Tom Muir of Huntsman Financial Consulting, who is not new to political involvement, having set up a PAC to help Huntsman's son, who ran for president last cycle. Muir did not return a phone call.

Nevada Republican Party officials refused to explain the donation from the Utah businessman, which is odd, to say the least. But the party clearly has a little money because they are revving up to do a mail piece to help Lowden and have been very actively promoting her, including a billboard purchase.

The state GOP, bolstered by $20,000 from Lowden backer Bill Brady and some money from the candidate, essentially is an adjunct of the Lowden campaign. Reid also is very interested in the campaign because of his desire to see a Democratic lieutenant governor to block Gov. Brian Sandoval from any senatorial dreams.

The Democrats recently polled the GOP primary between Hutchison and Lowden to gauge whether they should put money into the contest to bolster her chances because they believe she is a weaker general election candidate. (I don't know what they found, but no credble poll shows Lowden within striking distance.)

I can't think of any legitimate reason that Huntsman would give money to a state party that has received national coverage for its ineptitude and that has been cut off by Nevada's major GOP donor, Sheldon Adelson. It makes little sense.

Indeed, Reid is the only person I know in Nevada who might want the state GOP  to have money and who is known to talk to Jon Huntsman, Sr. In the book "Double Down," Mark Halperin and John Heilemann report that Huntsman, Sr.,was Reid's source on his false allegation about Mitt Romney's tax returns.

The nexus is there. But would Reid be diabolical enough to get Huntsman, Sr., to give to the state GOP to boost Lowden?

That's crazy, right?

For the heck of it, I asked. A Reid spokeswoman denied he had made the request of Huntsman, Sr.

Oh, one more nugget of information: Huntsman aide Muir has made one donation to a Nevada candidate. That was $1,000 to Tessa Hafen, who in 2006 ran against Rep. Jon Porter, believed to be a possible Senate candidate someday. Before she ran for Congress, Hafen was Harry Reid's press secretary.