(Reprinted from wire reports)
The political world was stunned Saturday morning when, barely after 10:00 AM PST, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was declared the winner in the Nevada Republican Presidential Caucus, only hours after Nevada residents had begun to gather to cast their vote.
The victory itself wasn’t stunning, as Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul were alone among their GOP competitors as having any organization in the state. The alacrity with which the Governor was declared the victor turned heads, though, raising anew charges that Romney is using in billions of his own dollars–and the pull of the Mormon Church–to make up for what he lacks in substance and anything resembling a firm position on the issues in a crass attempt to buy and strong-arm his way to the Republican Presidential nomination.
These are charges Romney has answered before. He argues that his own fortune affords him greater independence than many of the other candidates who are beholden to the special interests of their wealthy donors. And, he consistently denies any collusion with the Mormon Church to in any way influence the nominating process. He has called any such charges and insinuations absurd,
Still, Nevada State Police are eager to question senior representatives of the Romney campaign after stopping a “suspicious” vehicle at the Utah-Nevada border early Saturday morning, while some 300 yards in the distance a driver was spotted unhitching his trailer and heading back across the desert into Utah jurisdiction. When the driver of the first vehicle refused to cooperate, state troopers used bolt cutters to open the trailer, where they were stunned to discover, as they would in the abandoned trailer down the road, nearly 300 “polite, well-kempt clean-shaven Utahans”, each carrying a doctored Nevada license and voter registration card.
Troopers described the human payload as in good spirits, but some visibly beginning to perspire through their dress shirts, and without teeth whitener or a change of socks. Many of the state troopers are veteran southwest U.S. law enforcement officials and have had experience in the past with these human smuggling operations. “It’s really deplorable”, said one senior officer who asked not to be named. “They smuggle these people in for their own reasons and to make a quick buck, and then just leave them here, without jobs, or money, and they’re a drain on the local resources, which makes the community resentful.”
Most of the 593 immigrants interviewed said they weren’t intending to break any Nevada laws. They were merely coming across the border to realize opportunities not immediately available to them in Utah, which doesn’t hold its Republican Caucus until February 5.