It is unsurprising that Nevada's largest & most organized third party, the Independent American Party, has had its fair share of critics and even enemies, especially those that throw around inaccurate, and even simpleton-minded condemnation of the IAP and its members.
With a political group as battle-hardened, and yet as modestly successful in state and local politics as the IAP is- people in both high and low places of society, as well as being of, or not of, our state government, are always seeking to throw any kind of monkey-wrench into the works.
Dullard Mush, a blog that a run by a Nevada blogger known as 'The Anon Guy', whom in addition, runs another blog that constantly features Pro-Barack Obama campaign emails is no exception in his constant criticism of the IAP over various petty matters, such as voter registration and the Party's name, campaigning, etc.
However such smear tactics haven't gone entirely unnoticed in their ad hominem inaccuracy and factual distortion, even if they do go unnoticed by the media and public attention, nevertheless.
Examples of Anon's attack pieces would include:
* A subliminal attack on the IAP's former congressional candidate, Russell Best, suggesting that he accidentally filed for US senate when in fact the Secretary of State's office had inaccuracy reported on their website that he was running for US Senate, when Tim Fasano was yet the official IAP Senate candidate that was supposed to be listed on that website instead.
Anon did not do a follow up on the matter, which isn't surprising.
* A petty and inaccurate article that bashed the IAP voter registration gains throughout the years. Anon didn't pay attention to the fact that while the IAP has been balloted qualified since 1992, its numbers didn't start to grow until after 2001, which is quite odd because- if Anon is right that the solid majority of Nevadans only register IAP simply for the name -then why didn't the IAP explode in voter registration numbers during the 90's? Why were there only 15,462 registered IAP'ers, in Nevada as of January of 2001, which made up barely 2% of the state's voter registration total then?
It is noted that when the IAP became more active in the political scene in Nevada around 2002 with increased efforts of activism and media coverage, the Party's numbers then began to skyrocket.
Anon also failed to note that in terms of the percentages in each county's voter registration totals, the IAP is larger in the rural and more conservative parts of the state, where the voters would be more the wiser to know just what political party they are registering to, and where not only would such voters be sympathetic to the IAP's message, but even vote for IAP candidates in high percentages, as well as electing a few to office too. Another thing, the majority of the Party's voters may lie in Clark County, which is likewise for all political parties in Nevada, but in Esmeralda County alone, while IAP may only have 47 registered voters there, Esmeralda has a total of 562 registered voters, according the June 2011 totals. So over 8% of the voting population in Esmeralda is IAP, which is very good for a third party!
With this one county being just one example out of many here, yet Esmeralda has also seen high vote percentages for IAP candidates and even saw the 2010 election of one into local office there.
Once more, Anon's arguments began to break down.
Anon also tried using even more petty comparisons in the same article when it came to IAP candidates and the numbers; trying to use a long-refuted argument of how the majority of IAP voters fail to come out to vote for the Party's candidates for major offices. Yet Anon takes on his true anti-third party mentality here when he forgets that it is a common habit of the typical American voter to be more likely to stick to the status-quo on voting for majority-party candidates for such high-profile races that voters would be the most passionate about; while on the other hand, when it comes to state office, and other elected offices that aren't as extensively covered by the media or conspicuous to the general public, then will the status-quo bend, or even get broken, and third party candidates will do much better in these races in comparison to the higher offices; this fact is true for all third parties, including the LP, the IAP, the Greens, etc.
And need I say, there's also the factor of just how hard, or how little, such third party candidates for major & minor offices campaign for votes; that is another thing to consider on the vote totals.
When Anon gets down to the congressional offices, he still continues the distortion, failing to note the IAP's spike in numbers that their candidates receive; pointing instead to how the LP candidates, or rival candidates of other third parties get better percentages when compared to the number of their party's registered voters in their district or area. However, the math he uses is quite interesting and even more over-exaggerated; for example, if 'Candidate A' is a member of a party that has a total of 200 registered voters in his District and he gets 400 votes in a race, then he has gotten 100% more votes then there are registered voters of his party in that District. Then there's 'Candidate B', who is a member of a party that has a total of 1000 registered voters in the same District, and in the same race, gets 1,500 votes, or 50% more then the number of registered voters in his party.
And according to Anon's logic; 'Candidate A' performed way better then 'Candidate B', because he got a better percentage of votes when compared to the number of registered voters of his party in his District.
-Such logic would make sense in a Leslie Nielsen movie.
Anon did his best to try making the Nevada LP look good in comparison to the IAP, yet he still fails when confronted with the facts, numbers, and logic; especially when several IAP candidates that ran for state offices in 2006, and in 2010, actually proved wrong his arguments about the percentage of IAP voters voting for, or not voting for, the IAP line; these examples are- Janine Hansen running for Secretary of State in 2006 and her brother Joel, who ran for State Attorney General in 2010; both won more votes then the number of IAP registered voters in Nevada at the time...
And if we stick to Anon's own logic, we are talking about only the Active Voters here.
Another argument that he makes, which also has been turned upside down, is the partially-accurate fact that IAP candidates do exceptionally well in races where they are running against a sole Republican, or Democratic candidate, because it is simply between two candidates only in that race. This argument may be true indeed, but he also forgets that while any kind of third party candidate can do well in two-way races, there are also several exceptions where IAP candidates have placed Second, or even won partisan office in races where the IAP candidate was up against more then one opponent. Such examples would be Jackie Berg's 2006 race for Eureka County Clerk, John Lampros's 2010 race for White Pine County Commission Board, Arthur Wehrmeister's 2010 race for Esmeralda County District Attorney, and Janine Hansen's 2010 race for State Assembly District 33, where she won Second place over her Democratic opponent.
Again, when confronted with such facts and results, Anon's arguments continue to fall flat and into the dark crevices when first seeing the real light of day.
* His attack on the IAP in this piece, which he defended Scott Ashjian, the "Tea Party of Nevada" candidate for US Senate last year. Yet Scott was exposed as a crooked businessman with serious legal and financial issues under his belt, as well as being a possible political operative that violated NRS.293.184 by lying on his candidate paperwork. Many of the Tea Party groups in Nevada also denounced Ashjian's candidacy, stating that he never was involved with them or even participated in their rallies, unlike the IAP, which has been working closely with the movement in Nevada since 2009. Ashjian basically ran as a candidate of a fake political party, whose leaders and officers were not only family and business associates of him, but included several outspoken Democrats, including Barry Levinson, who served as the Secretary for the TPN.
As Ashjian failed to garner enough votes to on election day to qualify his 'political party' for the Nevada ballot in 2012, he soon dropped out of the public eye and has been maintaining a low profile since, except for still fighting against a few legal charges that won't go away.
Yet Anon's silly calls of hypocracy on the IAP's joint-lawsuit with the Tea Party movement fall on deaf ears, as many third party activists in Nevada, including Debra Dedmon- a officer with the Clark County Libertarian Party and a online blogger who as goes by the name 'LibertarianGirl' -denounced Ashjian's candidacy as a fake third-party candidate.
Anon Guy's criticism fails, yet again.
* Anon claimed in another article that IAP'er Ike Yochum's 2010 candidacy in the State Senate, Washoe District 1 race would help out Ty Cobb in his battle against fellow Republican Ben Kieckhefer, when Ty Cobb went on to lose the GOP Primary against Kieckhefer. While this piece wasn't critical of anything Independent American, his stereotypical prediction of that race was as accurate as his facts are on the IAP itself.
As much as he has gone out of the way to bash the IAP and anything related to it, the main fact that very few Nevadans pay attention to a petty and spiteful anti-third party blogger such as him, and even those that do and also take the time to research his claims, like this writer has, rings true. Especially when taking notes of his friendly twitter correspondence with Nevada's Secretary of State, Ross Miller, whom has been hostile to political third parties in the state and even crafted legislation (A.B. 81 & A.B. 82), that would have greatly hurt Nevada third party candidates during the last session. And if not for the efforts of the citizen lobbyists of the IAP, the NVLP, and others, then such bills wouldn't have been watered down and stripped of the harmful language that was contained in them at the time.
As always, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to the conga line of anti-Independent American bleaters and screechers that yet miss the mark. 'The Anon Guy' is no exception, and neither is his ignorant and simpleton prejudice.