Posted by Mike Zahara on May 20, 2012
We’ve always talked whenever we saw each other and she’s a great political date to share a long meal with; I’ve loved watching her political metamorphosis and witnessing how damn well she’s done things this year compared to 2010.
It was at the Heidi Harris Orleans Hotel debate in 2010 that I knew I was watching an up and comer on the GOP side of things here despite her poor debate performance and her overall campaign being pretty bad though she garnered a 2nd place finish; she’d done one thing that rocketed her above all but perennial loser Ken Wegner that made all the difference and I told her what that was—a masterstroke of sorts that emerged as part of her ‘brand’ on the Nevada political scene.
<–Part of the GOP’s 2010 free-for-all for the thankless privilege of taking on Rochelle-y Berkley, I had much fun lambasting Fiore and the other GOP primary candidates in a bunch of widely-read pieces here but only she has grown exponentially from her experiences then and came back a far better candidate for Nevada Assembly District 4 this year.
The 2012 difference is far more than night and day too:
‘…Michele Fiore has been the most candid person with me in the entire state this cycle—she’s answered my very tough questions directly, succinctly and unapologetically. She calls me ‘Hey you’—that’s a term of very high endearment from Italian women—and has no problem getting right to the point without being obnoxious; though everyone who knows her says she is obnoxious to a fault.
That’s not at all a vice in public life (see: Shelley Berkley!) and we’ll be seeing much more of Michele Fiore—she also hates Craig Lake and he hates her right back—more on that in another piece…’
More than 18,000 hits on this piece made it one of 2010’s most viewed and readers had just as many laughs as I did!!!
No one is snickering this year; Michele Fiore is running the very best campaign in either party this time out and she’s doing it all by herself with only one paid helper to assist!
I keep forgetting to ask her if she read my piece on NLV judge Kat Ramsey and the now judge completely 180 flipping me and who ran 2010’s very best race in the state too; Judge Ramsey also did it all grassroots by herself like Fiore this year and all on her own without expensive, useless, and unnecessary bottom-feeders looking to rob her blind.
Today, she is one of Nevada’s best spokespersons on the issue of gun rights!
2012’s Michele Fiore flushed all the GOP leeches who bled her dry in 2010 and labeled her ‘all boobs and no brains’—yep, that sexist bullshit came from the GOP cannibals and everyone claiming to be her friends and advisors—not from the Dems—and though Ms Fiore has a long memory, she doesn’t obsess or even concern herself over who ‘done her wrong’ long ago; she’s learned well that life’s experiences—good and bad—are the very best teachers and few of us are as aware as Michele is of this salient fact of life.
She’s very comfortable in her own skin and enjoying this stage of her life with her daughters and grandson; she’s a survivor and a trooper and is every Italian-American woman I have ever known—our old neighborhoods back East—hers Bensonhurst Brooklyn, mine Chicago, are almost mirror image duplicates of each other; I ‘get’ Michele, she ‘gets’ me and some readers thought there was friction between us—there is none and never was any ‘friction’—if you came from the places she and I did, you’d know that when it’s as instant a connection like we had when we met in 2010, it’s for an entire lifetime of friendship that can only be born in the ethnic enclaves of the big urban areas back East. She is ‘sorrellina’—little sister to me, and I am ‘fratellone’—big bro to her in how we interact with each other since the moment we met.
You California transplants just wouldn’t understand such things.
I wasn’t sure if I was assessing her as a candidate or as friend so I asked an old friend to take an introductory meeting with her and initially they declined, but then changed their mind and met with her—they saw some of the same values in her that I have and that signals a good future for Michele Fiore in Nevada’s insane political universe.
And the life she has lead so far is one few of us could imagine—the twists and turns, triumphs, troubles, and travails haven’t left Michele Fiore broken or even bruised—she’s a resilient champ and knows how to let things roll off of her back and move on.
That’s why she’ll win her Assembly seat race this year and be a leader and a champion for her neighborhood when she gets up there!
For a guy like me, seeing people enter public life and then seeing them growing and maturing in the process despite a loss or losses is defining. None of her 7 opponents did anywhere near the work or preparation for a ‘next run’ like Fiore did for this year. She about knocked me over when she told me how often she went up to Carson City last session and that could have been fatal had she been perceived as a sore loser just hanging around—but the reason she was up there was to get to know the place, the players, and the processes and I haven’t heard an unkind word about Michele Fiore or those visits from anyone.
She learned her lessons from 2010 so well and she’s let us to get to know her in 2012 whereas in 2010, we never got the chance to because of the whirlwind—hurricane wind really—way her now extinguished former advisors told her to go about it.
She’s met a lot of the state employees, LCBers, and lawyers and lobbyists big and small and the observations she shared with me sounded more from a veteran politico that a newcomer.
<–Metro SWAT Team members seem to be getting younger and younger to me and this ‘lil guy really appreciated the milk and cookies Michele Fiore served him after he finished up his team training drill at her homestead recently!
Michele did have some background in public life being a fierce supporter of Metro and Law Enforcement in general and serving on the LVMPD’s Use of Force Board and working with its vaunted SWAT Team which practice drilled at her Northwest home a number of times recently using buildings that would be torn down for some future construction on her homestead and she invited me up to her home for a homemade lunch on a recent weekend and we had a terrific time and conversation.
‘Hey you, why don’t you come up Sunday and have some lunch with me?’
Again, being addressed as ‘hey you’ is a term of very high endearment and affection from Italian-American women, something else you California transplants would never understand!
The home is a throwback to a long ago Vegas when this area of the valley was where people left their old mattresses or dead mobster bodies and it sits on a neat, angular, and aged 2.5 acre parcel where the homes aren’t stacked on top of one another. In the yard is her pool and kennel area where she raises beautiful and playful 200 lb Rosttiffs. The dogs, like her daughters Sheena and Savanah, were raised and trained well by Fiore and not so much as a flea, fur knot, or dog pile was seen—on either the dogs or her daughters!!!; this woman is a real animal lover and a very responsible and caring one too.
…and she’s a terrific Mom and ‘Nonna’ too!
We ate Albacore tuna and tomatoes—a daily ritual for health conscious Fiore—and we never stopped talking the entire time; 200 lbs of lovable in-house dog Charlie and a SWAT related little pug named Chip she’s caring for sat beside me and were as friendly and approachable as Michele is. I think that’s what surprises people most about Michele Fiore—how really well she interacts with friends, neighbors, and strangers alike; it’s real, it’s genuine, and it isn’t political play acting.
I hadn’t mentioned this to her but Michele Fiore has public qualities nearly identical to Dem Ellen Spiegel besides the big hair and even bigger boobage both possess. Both women share an Earth Mother quality about themselves and total strangers make it a point to bee-line to both women just to say ‘hello’—no one can teach or coach a candidate to possess that kind of political pheromone that instinctively draws voters and their votes and affections—you either have it or you don’t and despite being political opposites, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Fiore and Spiegel become fast friends if both make it to the 2013 session.
<–Both Ellen Spiegel and Michele Fiore are believers in ‘The Bigger the Hair, the Closer to God’ though these pics show ‘em both rather flat-haired…but both have ample boobage and share other similar traits too!
Another thing both women share is that they have lived and are living lives which are not at all dependent on politics and the fruits of privilege political life can bear—they run businesses, they’ve had successes and failures; they have lived ‘other lives’ and that always makes such persons much better elected officials and much more fun for observers like myself.
Michele Fiore has walked her entire district twice already though she no longer has a primary opponent—so she is also chatting with her Dem and Indie voters now too; she has established and reinforced that personal connection with all of her voters and which is so important to political success…and longevity.
How many candidates from either party can say that they’ve done that in this state?
She has voters over for coffee, stops and talks folks up at the store and gas station, works the Moms picking up their kids at school, and has some events coming up that I would have never thought of doing and have never seen done in over 30 years of political participation that promise to be fun and festive and 100% Michele Fiore!
<–I spoke with this local dual voter–Midge Butterface-Spinozza–at the car wash this morning and she told me that she loves Michele Fiore and Ellen Spiegel so much that she’s registered to vote in both their Districts, though she lives in Pahrump!!!
…again, all by herself and always considering and thinking about her voters in Assembly District 4. I’ve seen how they react to her, I’ve observed that connection and interaction and though she is sure to make mistakes or stumble along the way, Michele Fiore knows how to pick herself up and dust herself off and try again.
In a Nevada GOP amazingly deficient of personable people, not to mention political personalities, Michele Fiore is a refreshing desert breeze for an impotent and leaderless caucus and a GOP legislative team in both Houses who all hate each other and more resembles a Chorus of Cadavers than a viable political party.
One thing for sure is that Michele Fiore will make it much more interesting up in Carson City on the GOP side of things and she’ll be a fun subject to write about too!
Good luck and all the best la mia amica!