Nevada Republican Party Chairman Paul Adams says he's not apologizing for his criticism of impeached state Controller Kathy Augustine, who's now running for state treasurer.
"While I may have spoken at an inappropriate forum, I do not
apologize for the content and conviction of my comments," said
Adams, who proposed a state party rule to withhold GOP support for
impeached politicians during a recent party gathering in Battle
The Battle Mountain comments followed a party "Lincoln Day"
dinner in Elko, and Adams said, "I thought that making a statement
on party ethics at an event honoring Honest Abe would be
In Battle Mountain, Adams said the GOP needs "to stand for
something" and Augustine's presence on the 2006 ballot would
"taint our ticket" and feed into Democratic attempts to portray
the GOP as fostering a "culture of corruption."
"If there are no consequences to unethical behavior, there is
no point in having ethical standards," Adams said in a statement
circulated Tuesday, adding that he wanted to "set a minimum
standard" for a GOP candidate to get party backing.
Adams also said he has been asked whether he violated former
President Reagan's "11th commandment" to not speak ill of another
Republican, but that rule "is not a shield to avoid discussing
issues relevant to a campaign."
"I fail to comprehend how setting standards for Republican
candidates would be inappropriate or a topic that should not be
seriously discussed," he said.
The proposed party rule will be discussed at the GOP state
convention scheduled for May 19-21 in Mesquite.
Augustine, who was present when Adams attacked her, pledged to
file and run as a Republican.
"This is a free country," said Augustine, the first
constitutional officer in Nevada history to be impeached and
convicted. "You're entitled to run for anything you want to
anytime you want to."
Augustine pleaded guilty to three ethics violations in 2004 and
was fined $15,000 by the state Ethics Commission for using her
state employees and equipment in her 2002 re-election campaign.
The state Assembly then unanimously impeached her. The state
Senate convicted her of one charge and censured her.