Some folks reading those juvenile emails which GOP state Senate caucus director Joe Brezny sent me last Friday may have recognized his name but couldn’t remember why. So let’s take a trip down memory lane.
Actually, Brezny held the same position he holds now six years ago – the last time we had a major fight in Nevada over taxes. And he definitely wasn’t on the side of fiscal conservatives. In fact, immediately after the 2003 session Brezny left his caucus job in order to work for the defeat of legislators who opposed the largest tax hike in the state’s history.
“Senate Republican Caucus Director Joe Brezny proudly announced at the end of the regular session that he was quitting his position with the state party so that he could engage in political campaigns,” reported then-Las Vegas Sun columnist Erin Neff in July of that year. “The message — he was going to personally work against some of those who had worked against (then-Gov. Kenny Guinn and (then-Senate Majority Leader Bill) Raggio.”
Got that? “Personally” work against anti-tax fiscal conservatives.
And to give you an idea of just how good he was as a political svengali, Neff noted that “Brezny also said he would work to protect Senate Assistant Majority Leader Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas, from any primary election opponents.” Rawson lost in a primary that year to anti-tax fiscal conservative then-Assemblyman Bob Beers.
Then after a 4-year hiatus from politics, Brezny came back as GOP Senate caucus director this year – where he oversaw the loss of two Senate seats, as well as the GOP majority in the upper house. This while being accused, understandably so, of spending more time, attention and money defending Sen. Raggio against a conservative primary challenger than defending Republican Sens. Beers and Joe Heck against two Democrat challengers.
Heck, by the way, had taken out anti-tax fiscal conservative state Sen. Ann O’Connell in a primary back in 2004, the year Brezny vowed to defeat anti-tax fiscal conservatives. That was also the same Brezny-led election cycle where incumbent Republican state Sen. Ray Shaffer lost his seat to Democrat John Lee. And that, by the way, was two years after Brezny ran into an iceberg the GOP Senate caucus campaign of caucus-backed candidate Richard Bunker who lost to now-Sen. Dennis “The Menace” Nolan.
Bunker, Rawson, Shaffer, O’Connell, Beers, Heck. I mean, is this guy the kiss of death for Senate Republicans, or what?