Tea Party group tells Harry Reid challenger running on Tea Party ticket to ‘get lost’

A national Tea Party group is calling for voters in Nevada to reject the candidacy of Scott Ashjian, whose challenge of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid on the Tea Party ticket has been called a “fraud.”

“We at the Tea Party Express have a message for Scott Ashjian, whose been trying to pretend he’s in the Tea Party Movement: Get lost,” Tea Party Express spokesman Mark Williams says in the ad that’s set to be released Thursday by the group and its Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

Ashjian, who is said to be little known among Tea Party groups in Nevada, has been accused of getting in the race to split the conservative vote with the Republican candidate and actually help keep Reid in office.

“Dozens of Tea Party groups across Nevada have spoken out against your candidacy,” Williams continues. “None of us has even heard of you or seen you at a Tea Party rally. Nothing. We think you’re a fraud whose trying to split the vote and help re-elect Harry Reid.”

In an interview several weeks ago with The Daily Caller, Ashjian denied that’s the case. “There is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Harry Reid is behind my campaign,” Ashiian said then. “I’ve never met Harry Reid, don’t support Harry Reid, I run the opposite of Harry Reid.”

Asked how it’s grassroots for a group to determine who is and who isn’t a Tea Partier, Williams said in an email that, “We denounce anybody who represents themselves as a Constitutionalists and tries to glom onto the Tea Party idea for any purpose other than to fight for human rights.”

“Case in point, those people who call themselves Tea Partiers while engaging in racist or homophobic behavior,” Williams wrote. “Same goes for those who misrepresent themselves for the purposes of personal gain or in some misguided effort to confuse the general public.”

Tea Party Express sent out a press release about the video Thursday afternoon, claiming to have already spent over $350,000 in its campaign to “Defeat Harry Reid.”

A national Tea Party group going on the air and calling a self-described activist a “fraud” is sure to draw criticism by conservatives who say the movement is leaderless and does not let groups tell them who is or who isn’t a Tea Partier.

Asked if Tea Party Express has the right to deem Ashjian not a true Tea Partier, Mark Meckler, the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, wrote in an email that, “We don’t get directly involved in opposing or supporting candidates.”

“We have nothing to do with Tea Party Express,” Meckler wrote. “They will have to define themselves and comment on their own ads.   You would be best off asking them about this ad, not us.”

But pressed on whether other groups find third party candidates to be detrimental — or if he saw the video as solely part of a Tea Party Express (TPE) effort — he wrote back, “This is solely a TPE effort.”

Ashjian was not immediately available for comment.

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*Updated at 11:31 a.m. to reflect comments by Williams, at 1:51 p.m. after TPE sent out a press release and 3:15 p.m. to add Meckler’s response.

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  • sunnyr

    This guy is a Dirty Harry PLANT to split the vote. He is most likely making a few million bucks from Dirty Harry and the Porkulus Fund, which is TAXPAYER dollars, to elect dirtbag Dems. Ashjian has a tax lein against him for several hundred thousand dollars and needs money. He is NOT supported by a single Tea Party in Nevada. Throw the Bum out along with Dirty Harry Reid!

  • lollytyg

    Their group actually registered the ‘Tea Party’ in Nevada, and the guy registers for the ballot as an Independent. when he’s called on it, he re-registers ‘Tea Party’. Seems it was against their own bylaws.
    Barry Levinson, Las Vegas Attorney, known Obama supporter is listed as an officer of TPN.

  • tinteardrop

    Great! “Are too…are not….are too…are not…

    Not that politics isn’t goofy enough, now we’re going to have to deal with the trojan horse and the troll candidates.

  • nelbuts

    Tea Party Express calling anyone associated with the Tea Party movement a fraud is the pot calling the kettle black. Huff Post has reported in the past that TPE is nothing more than a front for the GOP Political Action Committee Our Country Deserves Better. This was formed by well known GOP consulting firm Russo Marsh & Assoc. who profit from the donations of hard working Americans who actually believe they are a grassroots organization. Huff Post has further proclaimed TPE to be nothing more than an astro turf group and have provided numbers from their Federal Election Commission reports to prove their accusations.

    A quick Google search of their “national spokesman” Mark Williams with the word “racist” included will bring up thousands of results. It would not surprise me in the least if this man has not thrown a few bricks in his time. His radio show certainly is a brick as he would not be whoring himself out for a few thousand dollars from TPE if he was so successful.

    As far as spending money on the Reid Campaign just look at some of their past handiwork. It always has a donate to TPE disclaimer thrown in there some place. Also, if anyone doubts the money aspect of TPE just search here on Huff Post concerning the cruise the “fearless leader” Russo wanted to put together so as to pocket $150K!

    • joeb

      “HuffPost has proclaimed”? lol, you need to learn to hide your prejudice a little better than that! You can’t expect to be taken seriously if you make it so obvious that HuffPo is your Holy Gospel.

      And your logic re: your Google search example leaves something to be desired. It makes as much sense as saying “A search of ‘Elie Wiesel nazi’ turns up 10’s of thousands of hits”, and using that as evidence that Wiesel was a Nazi.

    • rainmaker1145

      Huffington Post? Well, that is certainly the publication of record for all of America. Why just the other day I heard Rush Limbaugh saying that he was amazed at the balance, the fairness, the legitimacy of the content, character and manner in which Arianna goes about whatever it is she does…

      You can keep trying to sell it, but I don’t think you are going to get many sympathizers based upon anything put up on that site.

      Nice try though…

  • Kevin Gregory

    Ashjian isn’t even an effective fraud — he has 19 followers on Twitter.  Which about qualifies him as a non-entity.

  • sunnyr

    Old Dirty Harry probably hired this guy to split the vote. The Dirty Dems will be up to all kinds of smarmy tricks this year. They are desperate. Run this phony-baloney out and donate to Danny Tarkanian.