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Lombardo Weighs in on Nevada GOP’s “Chaos Caucus”

(Chuck Muth) – Since my schedule is still so discombobulated and since it’s Nevada Day, I’m sending you tomorrow’s edition of Muth’s Truths this afternoon – especially because this issue is hot and our guv made news about it this morning.

Last Wednesday evening I had the privilege of speaking at the Mt. Rose Republican Women’s dinner in Reno.

The last question during the Q&A was about the Nevada Republican Party’s decision to hold a competing presidential “caucus” two days after the official state-run presidential “primary” on February 6.

I replied that during my 30 years of involvement in Nevada GOP politics I’ve seen the party do a lot of dumb things – was responsible for some of them – but nothing even close to the stupidity of this caucus.

Here’s why…

In the middle of January, your average Republican voter will receive their mail-in ballot for the presidential primary – and neither Donald Trump’s nor Ron DeSantis’ name will be on the ballot.

That’s because the Nevada GOP forced the candidates to choose one or the other – the primary ballot on February 6 or the caucus ballot on February 8. And since the candidates can only win delegates to the national convention at the caucus, neither filed for the primary.

And voters are gonna be P*SSED!

Knowing this – and party leaders have been warned about the coming disaster with this “Chaos Caucus” for months now – the Nevada Republican Central Committee foolishly officially approved it anyway at their meeting back in September.

The fact is, there’s no way on God’s green earth the party is going to be able to explain this to the average voter.  Heck, I hear from people ACTIVE in party politics and even THEY still don’t understand this fuster-cluck.

But don’t take my word for it.

Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo expressed the same concerns in an interview with Sam Shad of Nevada Newsmakers on Tuesday morning.

Shad asked Lombardo if this primary vs. caucus situation was going to cause “incredible confusion” among GOP voters.  The governor responded…

“Yeah, I believe it will.  And I think it will disenfranchise a number of voters that are interested in voting for a presidential candidate. And for us to put upon them the understanding of the process is unacceptable. And I don’t understand the need for it.  I think we can all surmise the need, you know, the reason why it was brought forward.  But I think it’s detrimental to the candidates and their inability to be part of both processes.”

Shad then followed up…

“And this is not going to help you down the road?”

Lombardo responded…

“No, no, it won’t. I think it just continues into the disarray or, or the chaos that is occurring within the Republican Party currently. … So it’s unfortunate.  I’ve had numerous conversations, both with the state party and other individuals involved, and it’s falling on deaf ears.”

Asked to respond to the governor’s biting criticism of the Nevada GOP’s caucus scheme, Chairman Michael McDonald told the Nevada Independent it was “a matter of disagreement.”

He went on to say that Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, who have opted to participate in the primary instead of the caucus, “are not serious candidates.”

That’s the CHAIRMAN of the Nevada Republican Party crapping on a pair of Republican presidential candidates – one a former governor and U.N. ambassador and the other a sitting U.S. senator – just because they wouldn’t pay the extortion price of $55,000 to get their name on his caucus ballot.

Of course, there’s only ONE REASON for the party banning candidates from participating in both the primary AND the caucus, thus causing this “incredible confusion” and “disarray.”

And we don’t have to “surmise” what it is.  Come on. We know.

The Nevada Republican Party has been actively trying to rig the nomination process in favor of Trump because the Nevada GOP is pretty much a wholly owned subsidiary of the Trump campaign.

But don’t take my word for it.

Party leaders have been denying for months that they’re in the bag for Trump and trying to tip the scales in his favor.  But that dog won’t hunt.

Here are some excerpts from an extensive New York Times exposé, published two weeks ago, on the back-room dealings…

“(T)he chairman of the Nevada Republican Party, Michael McDonald, who had served as a fake elector for Mr. Trump after the 2020 election, was among a group of state party officials who were treated to an hours-long Mar-a-Lago meal in March that ended in ice cream sundaes.

“Months later, Mr. McDonald’s party in Nevada dramatically transformed the state’s influential early contest. The party enacted new rules that distinctively disadvantage Mr. Trump’s chief rival, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, by effectively blocking the super PAC he relies upon from participating in the state’s new caucus.

“Mr. McDonald has tilted the rules so significantly that some of Mr. Trump’s opponents have accused the party of manipulating the election for him — and have mostly pulled up stakes in the state entirely. …

“Mr. Trump and his political team have spent months working behind the scenes to build alliances and contingency plans with key party officials, seeking to twist the primary and delegate rules in their favor.  It amounts to a fail-safe in case Mr. DeSantis — or anyone else — scores a surprise victory in an early state. …

“’They’ve rigged it anywhere they thought they could pull it off,’ said Ken Cuccinelli, a former Trump administration official who founded Never Back Down, the pro-DeSantis super PAC that was essentially ousted from the Nevada caucus.

“…Mr. Trump is doing to Mr. DeSantis exactly what he once accused Hillary Clinton of doing to Bernie Sanders: bending the system in his favor. …

“Among those who attended the Mar-a-Lago dinner in March was Alida Benson, then the executive director of the Nevada Republican Party. Now she is Mr. Trump’s Nevada state director.

“At one point, Mr. Trump’s campaign warned state parties nationwide about the legal risks of working with super PACs. In the past, super PACs have generally been allowed to organize and advertise in both primaries and caucuses. But in Nevada, a new rule was enacted that barred super PACs from sending speakers, or even literature, to caucus sites, or getting data from the state party.

“The unstated goal: to box out Never Back Down.

“Alex Latcham, who oversees Mr. Trump’s early-state operations, called the Nevada party’s moves especially sweet. He noted that Nevada is the state where the super PAC’s largest donor, Robert Bigelow, lives and where its chairman, Adam Laxalt, just ran for Senate. …

“Just how tilted is the field in Nevada now? … (N)o serious candidate or super PAC has spent a dollar on television ads there since late June. Mr. McDonald, the state party chairman, claims neutrality but remains one of Mr. Trump’s closest allies. He and the Nevada G.O.P. did not respond to requests for comment.”

And just as a reminder, the Nevada Republican Party in 2019 voted to CANCEL the 2020 caucus completely, even though there were two legitimate candidates running against Trump in the primary.

So stacking the deck in favor of a Trump “anointment” isn’t anything new for the Nevada Trump/GOP.

I know some Trump supporters will defend this insanity.  “Whatever it takes.”  But don’t pee down my leg and tell me it’s raining.

This has nothing to do with party building and it has nothing to do with election integrity.  In fact, the end result is gonna be just the opposite.

Republicans who receive their mail-in ballots and show up to vote in the primary are gonna be screaming “election fraud!”  And when they find out it was the Republicans, not the Democrats, who pulled this boner, guess what many are gonna do next November?

They’re gonna stay home.

And what makes this whole thing even stupider is that, according to the Trump campaign, he was going to win Nevada “bigly” whether it was by primary OR by caucus.

Unless that’s just bluster and they really ARE afraid of DeSantis.

All of which proves once again that Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.

They should – as Sigal Chattah, Nevada’s deranged Republican National Committeewoman, would say – be hanging from a crane.


“Last year, over 157,000 Republicans did not vote. Some of them stayed home because of bad weather, but others stayed home because they didn’t believe the election process was fair. We even had candidates for office espousing that. If only 10,000 more Republicans had voted, Adam Laxalt would be a U.S. Senator, we likely would have won a Congressional seat, and the Democrats would not have had a super majority in the Assembly.

“We cannot let that happen again in 2024. We need Republicans to have confidence in our election system so they will vote.

“We should take advantage of the Presidential Preference Primary (PPP) on February 6th to practice ballot harvesting and encourage early votes and mail-in votes from Republicans. We should be poll watchers, poll workers, vote counters, and vote counting watchers. We should be everywhere. We should let them know we’re watching to make sure everything is done straight and according to the law. That will give our Republican voters notice that we’re on top of it and are making sure their vote COUNTS.

“The PPP is a great opportunity for our precinct captains to collect ballots and ensure that their neighbors are familiar with the election sites. We only have to go to Republican doors to collect ballots. We will meet our Republican voters across Nevada, and they will see that we’re engaged, active, and working to get Republicans elected. This will be a great way to ‘Bank Your Vote.’ We will, again, give them confidence in the election process while turning out more Republicans to vote.”

– Nevada Republican Club voicing opposition to the Nevada GOP’s presidential “caucus” in a 9/21/23 letter to county GOP chairmen

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of  You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at  His views are his own.


This blog/website is written and paid for by…me, Chuck Muth, a United States citizen. I publish my opinions under the rights afforded me by the Creator and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as adopted by our Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without registering with any government agency or filling out any freaking reports. And anyone who doesn’t like it can take it up with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams the next time you run into each other.

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