In 2009, Republican Nevada state legislator Sharron Angle declared her candidacy against Democrat United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - one of the most powerful men in the nation. Thus began a whirlwind year that would take Angle, a former teacher and housewife, from relative obscurity to becoming a leading voice in the surging TEA Party movement.
Reid and the political establishment spent millions of dollars telling voters about their version of “Sharron Angle.” In Right Angle, you’ll meet the real Sharron Angle…in her own words. You’ll meet the concerned mother who ran for the local school board to help change homeschooling laws. You’ll follow Sharron during her run against her own party’s big government establishment to win a seat in the Nevada Legislature and throughout her subsequent ?ghts to preserve the Constitution.
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About the Author
Born in Oregon, Sharron Angle moved to Reno, Nevada when she was three where her family owned and operated a small motel. She earned her BA from the University of Nevada Reno. Sharron married Ted Angle in 1970 and have two children and ten grandchildren.Sharron and her husband spent 25 years in the rural Nevada towns of Ely, Winnemucca and Tonopah. She substitute taught in public schools; taught community college art courses, co-founded, administrated, and taught K-12 in a one-room Christian school, home schooled, tutored juvenile offenders, and operated a family fitness gym.
First elected in 1992 to the Nye County School Board, Sharron and Ted moved back to Reno where she served from 1998 to 2006 in the Nevada State Assembly. For her fight to protect the Constitution, Sharron received the Claremont Institute Ronald Reagan Freedom Medallion in 2004. As past chairwoman of We the People Nevada PAC, Sharron sponsored the Property Tax Restraint Initiative. In 2010, Sharron gained national attention campaigning for U.S. Senate challenging Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Read an Excerpt
RIGHT ANGLEOne Woman's Journey to Reclaim the Constitution
By Sharron Angle
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Sharron Angle
All right reserved.
Chapter OneABOVE THE FOLD
I was not casting votes in the Legislature with my eye on the next election. I was voting for Will, for his generation, for my children and grandchildren, and for all those who cherish our American Dream.
IT WAS THE FIFTY-FIRST day of the 2005 Nevada Legislative session, and I felt miserable. I sat at my desk trying to focus on the list of bills for the morning's floor vote, but I could not get my mind off the Legislature's unconstitutional vote on property taxes the previous night. My arguments had failed to prevail in the face of clamorous opposition.
Just then, Will, my legislative intern, burst into the office and exclaimed, "You did it! You did it! You're my hero! You're above the fold!"
Will was nineteen years old and just beginning to grow into his genius. With youthful enthusiasm, he jumped up and down, waving a copy of the Nevada Appeal, slapping the headline. Will was a political science major at the University of Nevada, Reno, and an intern in my legislative office. He was one of three students who volunteered to do work to enrich his studies. Without knowing it, he displayed one of the traditional virtues of an effective aide: help keep your boss's name on the front page "above the fold" of the newspaper in order to build name recognition to enhance a politician's career.
I smiled, losing my self-pity to his exuberance. He fluffed the paper and began to read aloud, "Property tax plan goes to the Senate on a 41 to 1 vote," then he skipped to the body of the article.
"AB 489 was approved 41 to 1 by the Assembly Tuesday evening. Only Sharron Angle, R-Reno, voted 'no.' She announced that instead, she will push for a California-style Proposition-13 amendment slashing property taxes ..."
He continued reading on full-auto, eagerly turning pages. Then he thrust the front page toward me. "This is what every politician wants! Your picture and name on the front page, above the fold!"
I took the paper and sighed, "It is not all good news, Will. Here's the spin." I pointed out the caption below the colored legislative picture of me. It read:
"Assemblywoman Sharron Angle was the sole hold-out vote on the tax plan."
"So?" he challenged. "That's why The Club for Growth called you. This is why the people want you to be their Congresswoman," he pressed on. "Do you think you voted wrong?" His implied doubt of my convictions stung.
"No," I said, "the vote was correct. I just wish it was easier to stand alone and take the heat knowing that it may give both Democrats and Republicans the ammunition to characterize me as just a no-voter."
At that time in the Nevada Legislature, conservatism seemed alive only in my office and in the hearts of the voting public. I felt I had a target on my back by being a practicing Christian. Being both conservative and Christian made me a favorite whipping girl for my liberal opponents in the Legislature and in the media.
Will's joy drowned out my plaintive explanation, and without missing a beat, he said, "I'm going to frame this." The next day he gave me the framed article. On it, he had written "Always above the fold!" Vintage Will.
Since my priorities never included being above the fold, I knew then that I did not fit the typical "politician" profile. I was not casting votes in the Legislature with my eye on the next election. I was voting my conscience. I was voting for Will, for his generation, for my children and grandchildren, and for all those who cherish our American Dream.
I was also voting out of humble gratitude for my father who holds the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in WW II. Along with millions of others in the military, my Dad selflessly defended this nation so that we might enjoy our liberties. I voted out of a heartfelt responsibility that my mother taught me to do what is right. As a politician, I refused to vote for political expediency. Even now, I know that I must vote out of deep conviction and for the public good, not personal gain. Instead of working to enhance my career, I must strive to preserve and protect the country I love.
Long-Term Incumbency: Not What the Founders Intended
The longer I serve, the more I see a nation in trouble because professional career politicians populate the legislative branches of state and national governments. This was never the intent of our Founding Fathers. The interests of career politicians seldom align with the interests of the average citizen. Typically, to sustain a career in politics with job security, the career politician must first bow and submit to party leadership in order to collect funds, favors from individuals, and interests that get him or her re-elected. Sadly for the nation, goal one is job security for too many politicians. The first priority of the career politician is to protect his "seat," his incumbency.
The original notion of engaging political service for a few years and sharing the burden of representation on behalf of one's community has long been widely abandoned. Few elected officials intend to serve for a time and then return to their hometowns and non-government jobs. The desire for full-time, lifetime, government employment with the power, influence, and perks associated with holding office too often replaces the call to civic duty.
Additionally, many professional politicians now desire to change our culture and governance along the Leftist Progressive lines that have long been prevalent in our educational institutions. Since the 1960s, schools have widely taught that government is too complex for amateurs, that we should trust the self-appointed "professionals," many of whom adopted the faddish liberalism that permeated Ivy League schools.
Another driving force is incumbency. Protecting incumbency requires constant fund-raising, complicated political alliances, slick image-makers, and spin doctors. None of this is fundamentally about representing the genuine interests of the folks back home. Inevitably, payback to a coalition of special interests requires selling out the interests of citizens in favor of lobbyists and power brokers.
Disgracefully, politicians at the federal level have rigged a self-serving system of enormous rewards and benefits involving travel (both foreign and domestic), gold-plated health care coverage, generous salaries and allowances for themselves, for their staff, and sometimes even for their family members. They enjoy pensions representing full salaries for life after their service, plus power and prestige that rival royalty. It all adds up to a package of privileged benefits that motivates incumbents to hold on to their careers at any cost. They even have the gall to propose that taxpayers should finance elections by implementing rules that always favor the incumbent.
The acrimony, even hatred, felt by citizens against today's legislative system comes from the entrenched lust of both major political parties, Democrats and Republicans, to protect their power at any cost. It is a desired end that justifies their means.
A legislature, refreshed at reasonable intervals with people who have the interests of the voters uppermost in their minds, would have no need to resort to the vitriolic language used to cling to their seats that we witness today in the political arena. Self-service has widely prevailed over national service. That puts our nation in peril.
The siren call to re-elect incumbents because they will use their seniority to "bring home the bacon" is a deception that keeps this dysfunctional system in place. In practice, the professional politician pays little heed to the things that matter most to the hard-working taxpayer. Ask yourself this: Would stopping illegal immigration, balancing budgets, electing good judges, and minimizing bureaucratic hurdles to businesses be difficult tasks for a truly civic-minded citizen legislature rather than career politicians? No, it would not.
Our system of government will only function properly again when the voters understand the simple concept that career politicians, those hungry to appear "above the fold," are a clear and present danger to our Republic, to our State, and to our freedoms.
I am jumping into the deep water of politics with the courage of my convictions and my faith in Nevada's citizens to carry me.
Why I Decided to Run for U.S. Senate against Harry Reid
Harry Reid was born in Searchlight, Nevada, but educated in Las Vegas and Utah. Harry Reid has enjoyed a lifelong political career, steadily moving up in Democrat politics from an attorney to state legislator to Lieutenant Governor to Gaming Commission to U.S. Congress to the U.S. Senate, where he has been entrenched since 1986. After South Dakota voters ousted Tom Daschle, Harry Reid became Minority Leader and then Majority Leader of the United States Senate. Reid is an orator who convinces with words and ideas, but he has a reputation for making deals and holding the Democrat Party's caucus together to pass or block legislation.
By 2010, and after numerous outrageous deals to pass the Obama agenda, people across the country rejected these policies. Under the new regime of Reid, Pelosi, and Obama, Nevada led the nation in unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. Nevada citizens felt a national mandate to send U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid back home to Searchlight. (I do not mean to besmirch Searchlight, but many know the truth that Harry really lives in a posh Ritz Carlton condominium in Washington, D.C.). This modest volume answers, in my own words, "why" I decided to run against Harry Reid.
In our civics class we learned, or should have learned, the lessons of the Founding documents that pertain to the rules of representative government. As we observe real political life today, few seem to be following the rules. The disconnect between principles and reality has caused a deep schism of cynicism in many Americans. So great is the disgust and frustration with what can only be termed corruption, that fifty percent, or less, of those eligible to vote even register: only fifty percent or less of those registered even cast a vote. I interpret the large number of absent ballots as a vote of no confidence in the way our representative government functions today.
I believe that America's Founders meant to vest the greatest range of authority within the respective states. It is within the individual states where the people's representatives live closest to those affected by their actions. I invite you to get involved. Register to vote. Attend a precinct meeting. Be a precinct captain. Get active in your local party organization. Become a candidate for an office of public trust, at some level.
The cure for the rotted core of incumbency is for citizens—we the people—to the take back the reins of government. The 2010 election was a good start. Although Nevada was unable to break the yoke of Harry Reid, we kept him busy. He was unable to spend his millions meddling in other races across the nation. We matched him dollar for dollar. We exposed the voter pressure and the voting anomalies. The people spoke in one loud voice for the Constitution, and Congress heard. On opening day, Republican Congressmen stood to read that wonderful founding document that begins "We the people ..."
Chapter TwoREAGAN REMAINS RELEVANT
The Reagan revolution was one of common sense. It revived the constitutional principles of limited government. I embrace those principles of limited government, lower taxation and more freedom.
RONALD REAGAN CAME to prominence the year my son Vince was born. I was twenty-six years old. I registered as a Republican at twenty-one, the earliest age to vote at that time. My parents and grandparents were Republicans. It was the natural thing for me to do, even though Nevada was mostly Democrat. I voted for Nixon in 1972 on the day my daughter Joye was born. My parents said he was the best choice. I voted for Ford in 1976, and later wondered if I should have voted for Carter because, like me, he was a Southern Baptist. I was not politically tuned-in, but I did take my duty to vote seriously.
When my son failed kindergarten, I was denied the right to home school him, even though I had a Bachelor's degree and had been teaching for years. I fought back, as every mother does when her child is threatened. I appealed to my Legislature to change the home school law. For me, this was a turning point. Since that first appeal, I have been determined to bring about change in the law, for every parent and family that feel threatened by their government.
They Just Could Not Hold Their Noses
I was not following Reagan closely when he spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in March 1975. Not until 2008, did I appreciate the prophetic value of his words. The opening of his 1975 speech entitled Let Them Go Their Way could have referred to the 2010 election and the first two years of the Obama Administration.
Since our last meeting, we have been through a disastrous election. It is easy for us to be discouraged, as pundits hail that election as a repudiation of our philosophy and even as a mandate of some kind or other. But the significance of the election was not registered by those who voted, but by those who stayed home. If there was anything like a mandate, it will be found among almost two-thirds of the citizens who refused to participate.
In December 2008, I examined the voting results in Nevada. Obama defeated McCain by 120,000 votes. I looked at the election abstracts for Reno and the rural counties. I compared the results to the Bush-Kerry race in 2004. I found that about 24,000 people who voted for Bush in 2004 left their presidential ballot blank in 2008. (I confirmed anecdotal evidence of this "off voting.") People, especially those who had voted for Congressman Ron Paul and yellow dog conservatives, would rather vote for a yellow dog than a liberal, or for a so-called moderate Republican or Democrat. Some of these voters told me they just could not hold their nose and vote for McCain, not even with Sarah Palin on the G.O.P. ticket. They left the presidential category blank. Doing anything other would have meant abandoning their principles and political philosophy.
Running Right, Voting Left
Reagan continues in his March 1975 speech:
Bitter as it is to accept the results of the November election, we should have reason for some optimism. For many years now, we have preached "the gospel," in opposition to the philosophy of so-called liberalism, which was, in truth, a call to collectivism. Now, it is possible we have been persuasive to a greater degree than we had ever realized. Few, if any, Democratic Party candidates in the last election ran as liberals. Listening to them I had the eerie feeling we were hearing reruns of Goldwater speeches. I even thought I heard a few of my own.
When I read this paragraph, I remembered that Obama invoked Reagan's name to appear more moderate during an interview with the Reno Gazette Journal in 2008. He was in Reagan country. Obama had the right spin using Reagan's name along with such words as clarity, optimism, and entrepreneurship. After a first term of historically socialist liberalism, Obama once again courted conservatives with Reagan values rhetoric.
It is clear now that the disingenuous compliment to Reagan helped with Obama's election. For the loony Left, any means is justified by their end. On October 14, 2010, Harry Reid used the same tactics in the debate with me, citing conservative Anton Scalia as his favorite judge, and patting his breast pocket where he claimed to have a copy of the Constitution. After voting to seat Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, his claim was laughable to the educated; as it was clearly an attempt to score points with those naïve enough to believe that Reid embraced their values.
Reagan knew how the Left plays this game, and he warned us. Unfortunately, we forgot his words.
But let's not be so naive as to think we are witnessing a mass conversion to the principles of conservatism. Once sworn into office, the victors reverted to type. In their view, apparently, the ends justified the means.
Excerpted from RIGHT ANGLE by Sharron Angle Copyright © 2011 by Sharron Angle. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction Mark Levin v
Introduction Lee D. Cary vii
Chapter 1 Above The Fold 1
Chapter 2 Reagan Remains Relevant 7
Chapter 3 Pay Bucks For Power-The Politics Of Corruption 21
Chapter 4 Small Business-The Life Blood Of America 39
Chapter 5 Who Is Really Ruining The Economy? 53
Chapter 6 Universal Healthcare For Everyone But Harry, Barry And Nancy 71
Chapter 7 Science Fiction Is Not Science 91
Chapter 8 Over The Fence Of The Constitution 107
Chapter 9 Character Is Not Politically Correct 139
Chapter 10 Education: The Government Option 153
Chapter 11 Clinging To Our Guns And Religion 175
Chapter 12 The Right Angle For A New Conservative Movement 197
Epilogue: What's Next? 209
End Notes 221