(Chuck Muth) – Dear Nevada Conservatives. I hate to break it to you, but there’s another critical election coming up next week on November 13. As Joe Biden would say, here’s the deal…
Republicans in the Nevada State Assembly are currently in a super-minority with just 13 out of 42 seats. But at this point in the ballot-counting, it appears the GOP is going to pick-up a net of three seats (with a fourth, AD29, still in play).
That would give Assembly Republicans either 16 or 17 seats total – meaning it would take 9 votes to elect new leaders for the Little Caucus That Couldn’t when they meet privately in a smoke-filled (or not) room next Friday.
The problem with the current leadership team is that a handful of conservative incumbent assembly members made a deal with the devil to put three RINOs (Republican in Name Only) in charge of caucus operations: Co-Assistant Leader Jill Tolles, Co-Assistant Leader Tom Roberts and Political Director Glen Leavitt.
And I’m not throwing the RINO label around willy-nilly here. Don’t take my word for it; look at their voting records.
Here are The Three RINOs’ American Conservative Union (ACU) ratings for the 2019 session – Leavitt: 63%. Roberts: 57%. Tolles: 53%.
Pathetic. As Joe Biden would say, “Come on, man!”
Look, it’s one thing to vote like a moderate if you represent a “swing” district. But The Three RINOs represent safe, Republican-majority districts. There’s just no excuse for voting this badly – especially after three conservatives appear to have just won actual swing districts!
And the conservatives didn’t win those seats BECAUSE of the current leadership team, but DESPITE them.
Indeed, the Republican Assembly Caucus refused to endorse former Assemblywoman Jill Dickman (AD31), former Assemblyman Richard McArthur (AD4) and former NPRI president Andy Matthews (AD37) in their primary races.
The caucus also refused to endorse Assemblywoman-elect Annie Black (disclaimer: one of my clients), but that’s somewhat understandable since Annie was running against Assemblyman Chris “The Weasel” Edwards, a caucus member at the time (before being crushed in the GOP primary, 61-39%).
The big problem is The Three RINOs, using the power of their leadership positions, get to control the caucus’ purse strings, candidate recruitment and campaign management, as well as the political, legislative and policy strategies during the session.
They’re also entitled to introduce more bills than non-leadership members, and have great influence over committee assignments.
The Three RINOs also control the caucus’ communications operation – which would have to improve a hundred-fold just to get to lousy. As just one example, according to the caucus website this morning, they haven’t issued a press release since August 6!
Since that time our budget problems have gotten worse, Gov. Sisolak has continued to screw up his handling of the COVID crisis, tens of thousands of unemployment claims remain unpaid, businesses are shutting down, conventions are being cancelled, most of our kids are still locked out of their classrooms…oh, and the new mail-in general election is a complete fuster-cluck.
So it’s not like there hasn’t been plenty of grist for the mill available for the caucus’ crack (or on crack) communications operation. Instead…the sound of silence. Pathetic.
As the saying goes, personnel is policy. And RINOs Tolles, Roberts and Leavitt have been an absolute disaster. As have been the staff and consultants hired by them to (mis)manage the operation.
The entire stable needs to be mucked out.
The good news is, the caucus – with its new conservative members – have more than enough votes to oust The Three RINOs next week and usher in new, more aggressive, competent and principled leadership to guide them through the 2021 session and prepare for the 2022 election cycle.
Not counting Dr. DeLisle – since he’s currently trailing by a small margin – there will be 11 conservatives in the caucus and 5 establishment moderates.
The conservatives: Dr. Robin Titus, Jim Wheeler, John Ellison, Lisa Krasner, P.K. O’Neill (questionably), Alexis Hansen, Annie Black, Jill Dickman, Richard McArthur, Andy Matthews and Heidi Kasama (DeLisle would make 12).
The five establishment moderates: Jill Tolles, Tom Roberts, Glen Leavitt, Greg Hafen and Melissa Hardy.
So the numbers are there for conservatives oust Tolles, Roberts & Leavitt from their leadership positions, hire new, competent staff and become a true opposition party rather than a minority party, right?
As you know, Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.
Some of the conservatives appear to be, as Margaret Thatcher would say, wobbly and could side with keeping The Three RINOs in leadership positions at next week’s meeting/election. They include Dr. Titus, Krasner, O’Neill, Hansen and Kasama.
As Newt Gingrich is fond of saying, real change requires REAL change.
When it comes to the Republican Assembly Caucus, that means jettisoning Tolles, Roberts and Leavitt from their leadership positions and firing their current incompetent staff and political consultants.
And if the “wobblies” can’t screw up the nerve to do the right thing next week and clean house…well, that’s what GOP primaries are for.
And I know a little bit about that.
Just ask FORMER Assemblyman James Oscarson and FORMER Assemblyman Chris Edwards.
* If Trump loses Arizona, thank John McCain. He again screwed the GOP, this time from his grave.
* The fouled up general election in Nevada is the direct result of the unnecessary and unwise decision back in March to allow Nevada’s primary to switch to an all-mail election. That was the camel’s nose under the tent. Democrats took that precedent, held a special session, and changed the law for the general election despite Nevadans being assured such a drastic change was “only” for the primary.
* I don’t know who needs to hear this, but CLAIMING voting fraud has occurred and PROVING voting fraud has occurred are two different things. If you can’t back it up, don’t make the allegation. You’re only undermining your credibility and hurting a legitimate cause.
* If Trump loses Nevada, his campaign will have no one but itself to blame. The Trump campaign effectively took over management control of the Nevada Republican Party and foolishly installed staffers of former Sen. Dean “Never Trump” Heller to run the show – particularly Jeremy Hughes and Keith “Schipwreck” Schipper. Those two could screw up a two-car funeral.
* Sharing in the blame would be the Clark County Republican Party whose chairman, Dave Sadsack, supported the all-mail balloting and focused all his time fighting with the Nevada GOP chairman instead of building a local political operation in the county with about 2/3 of the voting population.
* BTW: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi really got spanked on Election Day. Her Democrats were expected to pick up 15 seats. Instead, as it stands right now, she lost 7.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“President Donald Trump defied most ‘expert’ expectations on Tuesday, exceeding polling numbers in virtually every battleground state, including Nevada.” – Las Vegas Review-Journal, 11/5/20
(Mr. Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.)