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Not long after his Facebook post of "Goodbye Utah, I love you" had generated dozens of comments, Nevada-bound Carl Wimmer may find he's leaving Las Vegas much sooner than he ever could've bet on.
The former Utah lawmaker announced Monday he'd been hired as political director for the Nevada Republican Party and was on the road to Sin City on Tuesday when an alarming headline in the Las Vegas Review-Journal sent him and his spokeswoman into a tizzy: "Nevada GOP Boss says ex-Utah lawmaker isn't new political director."
A flummoxed Cindie Quintana, Wimmer's spokeswoman, tried to reach him on the road.
"Carl is a man of truth and character. He would not announce he accepted a position unless he indeed believed he had a position," she said.
But several Nevada Republicans who would've been directly involved in the hiring of Wimmer said they were supposed to gather Tuesday night at a personnel committee meeting to discuss and make a recommendation to the GOP State Executive Board. That board would then meet Wednesday when members would've voted on the personnel committee's recommendation.
David Buell, Washoe County Republican Party chairman who is on the personnel committee, said he'd never heard of Wimmer and that Tuesday's committee meeting had been canceled.
He also said in conversations with other members of the committee that they weren't aware of Wimmer's bid to be the state political director.
"None whatsoever," Buell told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Michael McDonald, Nevada Republican Party chairman, told the Review-Journal, "He's not coming on as political director" and said "We have several people in Nevada capable of doing the job." He also said he took full responsibility for the gaffe, calling it a "breakdown in communications."
Buell said the state party is so financially strapped that he wasn't sure how it could pay for the new position. He said there was credence to a theory that Utah political consultant Chuck Warren and the Nevada-based Silver Bullet LLC were to hire a fundraiser who would also be chosen as the GOP state political director with a salary paid through private business arrangements.
"That very well could be the case," Buell said.
Neither Warren nor McDonald returned Tribune calls for comment.
Buell said since a cadre of Ron Paul supporters took over the state party in Nevada, "people have been reluctant to give to the party" and have left it cash-strapped. The party is in such tumult that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney established a shadow party to help with operations on the ground.
Wimmer, who resigned his state representative seat earlier this year in a failed attempt to secure the GOP nomination in the new 4th Congressional District, was not available for comment. But Quintana said he was still planning to continue on to Las Vegas anyway.
"[He] has been in communication with officials from the Nevada Republican Party," Quintana said.
Mike Montandon, the Nevada GOP finance chairman who also sits on the executive board, said don't count Wimmer out yet.
"It sounds to me as if the cart was put before the horse," he said. "If we just hold our breath for 48 hours, this might all pan out."
Wimmer said earlier Tuesday he was planning on "meeting and talking with people throughout the state" in his new job and trumpeted his hiring in a press release Monday morning.
"The Nevada State Republican Party was searching for someone who has the ability to bring people together, lead strong willed individuals and has the talent as a voracious fundraiser," the release said. "The Nevada Republican Party is in an aggressive restructure and wanted a new perspective to assist them with the process. That someone is Carl Wimmer."
Chuck Muth, a political consultant in Nevada, said the whole debacle is embarrassing for Wimmer and the party.
"It's definitely more embarrassing for Mr. Wimmer," Muth said. "For the party, they'd have to improve 100-fold just to get to the point of disarray. It's unbelievable. I don't know how this sort of thing even happens."
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