After initially joining the group of conservative members of the Republican Assembly Caucus in requesting a special meeting of the caucus on Monday in Carson City, Assemblyman Ira Hansen abruptly withdrew his support.
As it requires 13 votes out of 25 to call a special meeting, without Hansen’s vote the meeting wouldn’t have a quorum and would be unable to conduct any official business.
As the story is being told to me, Hansen went to the conservative members of the caucus on Sunday and said he had the proxy for a 13th vote to oust Assemblyman Paul Anderson as the “appointed” Majority Leader.
But with a catch…
The 13th vote could only be used to elect HIM as Majority Leader, not affirm the election from a few weeks ago of conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore as Majority Leader!
Hansen reportedly was telling people that the media fury over his past writings, which have been described in press reports as racist and homophobic, wouldn’t be so much of a public relations nightmare if he was Majority Leader rather than Assembly Speaker.
Seriously? I want some of whatever it is he’s smoking!
Anyway, when conservatives rejected this self-serving power play, Hansen then told Hambrick he would withdraw his support for the special meeting as long as Hambrick would promise to let Hansen remain as chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
Obviously, Hambrick agreed to pay the 30 pieces of silver.
Shortly after the inauguration ceremonies were wrapped up in Carson City Monday morning, Majority Whip Jim Wheeler sent out the following email…
“During today’s inauguration, I was approached by three of the original 13 members who called the caucus meeting today. They asked me to take their name off of the call to meeting list.
“It is my opinion that there no longer exists the authority to call a meeting without the Speaker Designates permission. I spoke to him and he agrees with me that the authority no longer exists. Therefore, the meeting is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.”
But remember, this is a best-of-seven series. And it’s a long way to sine die.
Oh, and per numerous requests, here’s Hansen’s email address: Ira.Hansen@asm.state.nv.us
CHAOS CAUCUS UPDATE
Eventually, there WILL be another Republican Assembly Caucus (RAC) meeting.
And in addition to the unresolved matter of Speaker-of-the-Weak John Hambrick’s authority to unilaterally remove Fiore from the Majority Leader’s position she was elected to, there’s still the matter of Hambrick’s political consultant/personal valet Nathan Emens and his blackmail threat against every member of the caucus, as well as the fact that he was paid handsomely by the caucus in this last election cycle and nevertheless worked for a Democrat candidate who was running against a GOP caucus member.
Hambrick can run, but eventually he will HAVE to face the music over Emens’ ethically-challenged behavior.
In addition, I’m told that at the caucus meeting in early December when Assemblyman Ira Hansen was elected Speaker-designee, caucus members also called for a complete, detailed audit of the RAC’s political action committee, as well as any and all affiliated PACs and other operations.
This was in response to questions raised about why certain donations caucus members *thought* had been deposited in the caucus’ bank account somehow ended up on the bank account for a PAC owned and operated solely by then-Assistant Minority Leader Paul Anderson.
Word on the street is that Hambrick has now put the kibosh on that audit.
I wonder what he’s trying to hide and who he’s trying to protect? Inquiring minds wanna know.
Reminder: I’ll be speaking at the Virgin Valley Tea Party tomorrow night (Thursday) at the Falcon Ridge Golf Course in Mesquite at 5:30 pm to brief everyone on the ever-changing situation within the Republican Assembly Caucus, and especially the group’s elected Assemblyman Chris “Let’s Make a Deal” Edwards’ embarrassing conduct in the whole mess.
LEADERSHIP BY INTIMIDATION
Now the following is truly outrageous in an already outrageous situation…
Freshman Assemblyman John Moore was a guest on KDWN 720 AM Alan Stock’s show this morning and confirmed something I’ve been hearing over the past couple of days…
So intent is the GOP establishment on shutting down and shutting up the conservative members of the Republican Assembly Caucus, that the conservatives have actually been threatened – veiled for now, to be sure, but no less effective – with having their bills killed and/or being removed them from their committee assignments if they don’t get with the program!
In a petty act of power-play/strong-arm vindictiveness, Hambrick & Company are prepared to kill bills supported by citizens throughout the state simply to silence dissent? Is this Nevada…or some kind of third-world banana republic?
This is insane. But God bless Stock for asking the question that needed to be asked at the end of his interview with Assemblyman Moore today: Where do we go from here; how do we fix this problem?
THE SIMPLE SOLUTION
The problem now really isn’t so much who the Speaker-designee is. The problem is who the Majority Leader is.
Fiore was elected. Anderson was appointed. Anderson generally controls/influences about half the caucus members. Fiore the other, more-conservative half.
So to fix this problem, NEITHER should be Majority Leader.
Instead, the caucus should elect someone else as Majority Leader.
Anderson should continue as Chairman of the powerful Assembly Ways and Means Committee – the spending committee. And Fiore should be re-instated as Chairman of the powerful Taxation Committee – the revenue committee.
As such, the two will be FORCED to work with each other during the session, because Anderson won’t be able to spend any money the revenue committee won’t approve. It would be exactly the kind of check-and-balance situation the taxpayers of Nevada have demanded and deserve.
We also now know that at the last caucus meeting either John Hambrick or John Ellison would have had the votes to become Speaker-designee. The two stepped outside and worked it out. Ellison stepped aside for Hambrick.
Fine. Then make Ellison the Majority Leader and liberal Assemblyman Lynn “The Bug Man” Stewart the Speaker Pro Tem. Then round off the coalition leadership team by picking someone from Team Anderson to be Assistant Majority Leader.
This way, everybody but Assemblyman Pat “The Appeaser” Hickey – who has been conspiring behind the scenes in secret to deploy the “nuclear option” with Democrats to make himself Speaker – wins.
Everyone else gets half a loaf…and we move forward, somewhat united.
So let it be written; so let it be done.