Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010 | 10:09 p.m.
That's what Cleta Mitchell, a prominent GOP lawyer in Washington who has handled many campaign issues, said in voicemails I have obtained. In a couple of voicemails she left Tuesday for the chairman of the Tea Party of Nevada, Sid James, about Scott Ashjian, the party's U.S. Senate candidate, Mitchell talked about the urgency of getting Ashjian out of the race lest he cost Sharron Angle, the GOP nominee, the contest. The voicemails appear to have been left accidentally not on James' voice mail but another house's, which is how I obtained them.
But it is Mitchell's voice and she conveyed the same sentiments to me when I talked to her late Thursday. Although Mitchell concluded Ashjian was, in her words, "nuts," and did not advise the campaign to proceed, Angle still met with him Wednesday for an hour at the home of Richard Ziser, who lost to Reid six years ago. Ashjian refused to get out of the race, despite the Angle campaign's insistence that is what they had been led to believe by James and the reason for Matthews' calls to James. Mitchell also talked to Ashjian, but that did not go well -- he says she tried to bully him out of the race and she says he demanded she somehow make his legal problems go away.
The story then escalated, as my column in Friday's Sun details. Angle's campaign confirmed the meeting and that the candidate sought Ashjian's endorsement, which is not forthcoming. Indeed, he says he is Reid's main competition and that Angle is fading. Yes, he said that.
Transcription of voicemails are below -- audio at right.
Hi, Hello my name is Cleta Mitchell. C-L-E-T-A Mitchell. My number is...I am the attorney for the Sharron Angle campaign and I understand that you have spoken to one of the Republicans in the senatorial committee deal staff and he conveyed to me that you would like to talk to me about withdrawing as a candidate, ahh, the Ashjian candidacy so or something. I am not sure what that is about but if you would call me I would be more than happy to talk to you, Thank you so much. Bye bye.
Hey, um, Dr. James this is Cleta Mitchell. I don't know what happened. You just kinda faded away, and I did not hang up on you. I appreciate your effort, umm, I'm, well, look, I can settle anything, I have been practicing law a long time and let me tell you I can settle anything. But I gotta have a meeting of the minds and you got a whack job you are dealing with and he has got a lot of ego involved here and he says he is getting 18, 19 percent of the vote, well that's great, costing Sharron the election, costing us the election. It isn't about Sharron Angle. It's about Harry Reid and for our country. So... good luck to you. You know my cell number please call me. Although I am going to go to bed in the next hour, I am not staying up all night. I am really tired. I have been in Delaware for two days and feel free to call me anytime tomorrow. Thhank you for trying. Thank you, thank you for trying. This is really important. Thank you. Bye bye.