The Washington Times - October 7, 2010, 01:54PM

Despite the fact Nevada Senate candidate Scott Ashjian on Wednesday won a court battle to remain on the ballot as the Tea Party candidate, the national Tea Party refused to recognize Mr. Ashjian’s party affiliation. Given the court’s reasoning that absentee ballots were already sent in with Mr. Ashjian’s name, not only do tea party movement activists find his so-called Tea Party affiliation suspect but also his secret taping of his Republican opponent Sharron Angle showed him to be more of a sneaky political operative hack than a serious candidate running for the U.S. Senate.

Mr. Ashjian’s October espionage against Ms. Angle is a recording, where she remarks that she cannot defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat, unless Mr. Ashjian leaves the race. Mr. Ashjian’s latest scheme, though, is already being seized upon by Colorado Democratic Senate candidate Michael Bennet.

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Perhaps worried by his flagging poll numbers among potential voters, Mr. Bennet is trying to besmirch his Republican opponent Ken Buck given Buck’s name pops up in the tape.

In Mr. Ashjian’s recording of his private conversation with Ms. Angle, she expresses her desire to stir up Washington politics with Mr. Buck given their shared conservatism. Mr. Bennet has pounced on these statements, blowing them out of proportion in the hopes of keeping his seat. Mr. Buck has shown solidarity with Ms. Angle and the tea party – praising them during a September 1 Young Republican rally at the University of Colorado.

“They share many extreme positions, which has brought the two together and forged a long-distance relationship,” Mr. Bennet spokesman Trever Kincaid complained to The Denver Post Wednesday. “They want to take it to the next level and see how they can do in the same city.”

Mr. Buck’s spokesman Owen Loftus had this reply:

“We’re not focused on comments made by candidates in other states,” he said. “We’re focused on holding Sen. Bennet accountable for the $13.5 trillion debt he wants to pass on to our children.”

The Nevada/Colorado connection is the latest sign the Nevada race has national attention. The Post’s Allison Sherry covers that phenomenon here.

Over at the Las Vegas Sun, Jon Ralston has an interesting analysis of the Nevada race as seen through the lens of Tim Burton’s 2010 fantasy flick “Alice in Wonderland” Check it out here.