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Revenge of the Raggio Republicans

Here’s something most folks probably don’t know about how our Legislature operates….other than how the government doesn’t crash under its own weight thanks to all the boobs we’ve elected to “represent” us.

By the way, tell me again the names of all the candidates who ran last year promising to raise taxes by more than a billion dollars? But I digress….

The secretaries/office managers – they’re called “attachés” in The Building – are NOT hired by the individual legislators. They are hired by the LCB (Legislative Council Bureau) and are then assigned to legislators. This practice means a liberal attaché could be assigned to a conservative legislator – necessitating a lot of closed-door meetings even in the legislator’s own office.

It’s an absurd practice. Nevertheless, it is what it is.

Anyway, Assemblyman Ty Cobb (R-Reno) got lucky this session. He was assigned an attaché, Diane “Dee” O’Connor – who happens to be a solid fiscal conservative, as well as an active Republican woman. I met Diane on a number of occasions during the session and I can only say she was always an absolute delight to talk to and professional to a fault. The GOP and the Legislature could use more like her. A lot more.

So naturally, she got fired on Monday.

Not by Assemblyman Cobb; by the LCB. Remember, LCB hires and assigns attachés, not the individual legislator.

Now wait’ll you get a load of why she was told to pack up her stuff, get out of the legislative building and never come back….

Last Friday, after the Legislature overrode Gov. Jim Gibbons’ veto of the $781 million tax hike, Dee sent the following private email to a private list of some Republican women from her private, not legislative, email account:

“Subject: Governor’s Veto overturned by these legislators.

“The following Legislators who were elected as REPUBLICANS have consistently voted with the Democrats on budget issues, and have JUST NOW overridden the Governor’s veto on the main part of the budget. It is imperative that everyone remember this not only in upcoming elections, but in any efforts made for fundraising, campaigning or honoring them:

John Carpenter – District 33 (Elko & Part Humboldt)
Warren Hardy – Clark #12
Dennis Nolan – Clark #9
William Raggio – Washoe #3
Randolph Townsend – Washoe #4

“The following Assemblymen/women voted to uphold the Governor’s veto, HOWEVER, have consistently voted WITH the Democrats on many bills, including many that increased fees and taxes, this session:
Heidi Gansert – Washoe #25
Pete Goicoechea – District 35 (Parts Churchill, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Washoe; Eureka, Pershing an d White Pine)
Tom Grady – District 38 (Parts Carson, Churchill, Lyon; Storey)

“Thank you to the following Republican legislators who listened to their constituents and voted for US: Senator Amodei, Senator Cegavske, Senator McGinness, Senator Washington, Assemblyman Cobb, Assemblyman Christensen, Assemblyman Goedhart, Assemblyman Gustavson, Assemblyman Hambrick, Assemblyman McArthur, Assemblyman Settelmeyer, Assemblywoman Woodbury.”

That was it. Hardly the kind of fire and brimstone message you’re used to reading on Muth’s Truths. Simple, objective statements of facts from her personal point of view to a private list of Republican women sent from her private, not legislative, email account.

What exactly happened next isn’t exactly clear….but the end result certainly is. And it’s infuriating.

As rumor has it – and I want to be clear here: I have no solid proof that this is what happened; I’m only reporting what others are speculating and telling me – one of the individuals who received Dee’s email is a Nevada Republican Party official who sent it to Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio’s wife, who promptly brought it to the attention of Sen. Raggio himself, who then sent it to Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert who contacted the Chief Clerk of the Assembly and requested the head of Dee O’Connor be delivered to her on a platter.

Can you imagine how differently this session might have been had Ms. Gansert been as tough, brutal and ruthless with Democrat opposition leaders as she reportedly was with this poor conservative legislative staffer?

Now, some are speculating that it was Sen. Raggio himself, and not Assemblywoman Gansert, who gave the order to give Dee O’Connor her walking papers on Monday. Either way, this is yet another example of liberal establishment Republican leaders doing everything in their power to shut up and marginalize conservatives who disagree with their big-government Republicanism.

Dee O’Connor is a casualty in the ongoing war for the heart and soul of the Republican Party. Conservatives ought not take this latest slap in the face lying down. It’s time to start taking out some of the players on the other side, as well. To paraphrase Sean Connery’s character in “The Untouchables”….

“They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue (metaphorically speaking, of course). THAT’S the Conservative way! And that’s how you get the Republican Party back. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that?”



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