The Billings Outpost

‘Lightning rod’ visits Billings

By ADRIAN JAWORT - For The Outpost

Former Montana legislator Jeffery Laszloffy said 2010 Republican Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle exemplifies the sudden breakthrough of the conservative Republican-affiliated Tea Party movement. 

“She’s the perfect example of someone who just rose up basically out of nowhere. A former schoolteacher, a mother, a homemaker, that just looked at what was going on and said, ‘I can’t take what’s going on anymore,’” Laszloffy said.

“She’s somebody who had the audacity to go from the Nevada Assembly and take on arguably one of the most powerful men in the United States, Harry Reid, and almost beat him. Isn’t that amazing?”

Reid is the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, and although Angle didn’t win, Laszloffy said the Republican-aligned Tea Party had “sent a warning shot across the bow of the United States Senate that said we’re here, we’re serious, and we’re not going away.”

Since the “down and dirty” 2010 Nevada Senate campaign, Angle has devoted her time to helping endorse like-minded Tea Party affiliated candidates, including speaking on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Miller of Laurel at the Big Horn Resort in Billings Tuesday.

“I know that many of you got to see the caricature of what Harry Reid portrayed of me,” Angle said of the negative publicity that hounded her in the national media, “but I just want to talk to you about what brought me to Montana.”

Angle grew up with her family running a small motel in Reno, Nev. With her parents and brothers, she made beds, cleaned bathrooms, did laundry and all the essential tasks it took running a motel.

“And when I graduated from high school, I knew I didn’t want to be an innkeeper!” Angle said.

She became a waitress and put herself through the University of Nevada, Reno. Angle initially majored in art and hoped to visit exotic cities like Paris, but eventually changed her major to education and married Ted Angle. Instead of visiting exotic cities, she spent time in the “outback of Nevada” where she raised her two sons.

When her youngest son was 6 he failed kindergarten. Angle figured as an educator, she could help her son by home schooling him, and then send him back to a public school when he caught up. However, a judge told her that the law should say parents shouldn’t be allowed to home school unless they lived at least 50 miles from a school.

“That was when I realized I had to be more than just a voter. The government had gotten right in between me and my responsibilities,” Angle said. “We conservative women don’t get riled too easily, but to have someone assault us and our children really brings out what Sarah Palin calls ‘the mamma grizzly.’”

Not wanting to be told by the government how to raise her children, she got her own home school license, and got laws changed while serving on the school board. Thus began Angle’s political career, which landed her in the Nevada Legislature and eventually made her the Nevada Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.

After being approached by Ken Miller’s campaign staff to possibly endorse him, Angle talked to him and made sure he genuinely wanted her support. “Because we conservative women are lightning rods!” Angle said. “We have brought fire like no other. They call us extreme, they call us whacky, they call us worse than that.”

She recalled when Joy Behar of ABC’s “The View” went on a tirade against her, saying she was “a word that rhymes with itch” and she should “go to hell.” However, after the tirade, Angle received $150,000 in campaign donations. Angle sent Behar flowers thanking her for the campaign boost.

Lately, Angle has been involved in exposing potential voting fraud through a documentary called, “Election Fraud: America’s Silent Epidemic.” In her own race, she alleges the Reid campaign bused casino employees to polls, gave them free lunches, paid for their employee leave, and in some cases gave them gift cards. Expenses for such things would be a violation of Federal Election Commission laws if they weren’t reported.

Angle said the documentary‘s director, a Democrat named Beth Murphy, told her, “‘Sharron, this is not a Democrat problem, this is not a Republican problem, this is an American problem.’ She’s right, nobody wants to win this way.”

Miller and Angle both agree that stringent regulations are hampering the economy. About those implementing such policies, Miller said, “I don’t call them ‘environmentalists’ but ‘obstructionists.’ Does anybody here like dirty air and water? Of course not. We’re all environmentalists. But there are obstructionists that are shutting down us using our God-given treasures in our Treasure State that would create those jobs.”

Miller cites not just the Bakken oil as treasures, but more local coal and even timber in the western part of the state. He feels that wolves have been an economic disaster for Montana, not just for ranchers, but in paying to manage them. He wants the wolf population to go down to the 150 originally proposed by the federal government.

Angle said the Obama Administration initiatives are well-meaning, but severely wrong in that they limit risk taking when the economy needs it as most people are too timid to invest anymore after the stock market crash.

“Just trying to throw more money at it will not make our economy work,” she said. “When we look at our problems, it’s government overregulation rather than supporting economic diversification that allows individual entrepreneurship that creates a climate in which people can take risks.”

In talking about the misconceptions of the Tea Party, “I think the underlying problem here is that the press does not understand us or who we are. They’re the ones that labeled us the ‘Tea Party,’ and they didn’t mean it in a kindly way,” Angle said. “No longer are we saying, ‘What do we do?’ We’re doing it. While they’re saying this is the demise of this movement, it’s truly the awakening of things to come.”


Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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