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The Reality of Gov. Lombardo’s Chief-of-Staff Pick

(Chuck Muth) – At Newt Gingrich’s campaign training school over 25 years ago, one of my classmates referred to a candidate’s spouse as a “problem.”  Newt responded that the spouse is never a problem, but a reality.

“So deal with it.”

That’s pretty much the situation Nevada conservatives now find themselves in with the announcement that former Nevada State Sen. Ben Kieckhefer has been tapped as Gov.-elect Joe Lombardo’s chief-of-staff.

Make no mistake.  Kieckhefer is no movement conservative – though he has taken conservative positions on certain issues.   But he’s also been “soft” on several issues of deep concern to conservatives, especially on the issue of taxes (he voted for the largest tax hike in state history in 2015).

But the decision has been made.  That’s the reality.  So we have to deal with it.  And philosophical concerns aside, Kieckhefer’s appointment makes sense in a number of important ways…

  • He’s a former legislator who knows the legislative process, whereas Gov. Lombardo has no real experience dealing with the Gang of 63 in Carson City.
  • He has a track record of “reaching across the aisle” and working with Democrats who next year will have a majority in the Senate and super-majority in the Assembly.
  • As a former member of the Senate Finance Committee, he knows and understands the state budget inside and out.
  • He has excellent relationships with Carson City’s professional lobbyists.
  • He’s a former reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal, so he understands how to deal with the press.
  • He served as Gov. Jim Gibbons’ communications director, as well as the Public Information Officer for the Department of Health & Human Services, so he has executive branch experience.
  • He’s currently a member of the Nevada Gaming Commission, so he has extensive experience and knowledge of the state’s largest and most important industry

While Kieckhefer’s appointment isn’t going to make conservative hearts flutter, it makes sense in the current political environment in our “purple” state with a brand-new governor facing his first legislative session with no real time before hitting the ground running.

The 2023 session of the Nevada Legislature is going to be ugly for conservatives thanks to the GOP blowing so many legislative races it could have and should have won.  A robust conservative agenda will be DOA (dead on arrival). The best we can hope for is to mitigate the damage Democrats intend to foist on Nevadans…again.

To that end, the Kieckhefer reality might prove beneficial.  He deserves a shot and benefit of the doubt.  But conservatives will need to keep a close eye on him.  As Ronald Reagan admonished: “Trust, but verify.”

Pastapalooza Tickets Now on Sale

Citizen Outreach’s “2023 Conservative of the Year” awards dinner will be held on Wednesday, January 4th at the Italian-American Club in Las Vegas.  Since that’s National Spaghetti Day, we’ve dubbed the event “Pastapalooza.”

The keynote address will be delivered by conservative icon Richard Viguerie, our recipient of this year’s “Reagan Legacy Award.”

Other award honorees will be announced next week after Inner Circle members have had an opportunity to nominate candidates (details on how to nominate below) for Conservative of the Year, Conservative Rising Star, Conservative Courage Under Fire and our Breitbart Award.

We’ve also invited soon-to-be Gov. Joe Lombardo to join us for this big congratulatory celebration if his schedule permits.

For Pastapalooza tickets, click here.

(Inner Circle members should log into their account to purchase up to two tickets for a discounted price of $50 off.)

Muth’s Truths PLUS+

The first edition of Muth’s Truths PLUS+ went out on Monday.  If you’re not yet an Inner Circle member (see details below), here’s some of what you missed…

  • The biggest ballot failure of the Nevada GOP in an election filled with failures
  • How greed cost the GOP all three congressional seats in southern Nevada
  • Who the Republican Assembly Caucus should have elected as its minority leader…but didn’t
  • The most impressive GOP legislative loss that gives hope for the future
  • The “turd in the punchbowl” who gave Democrats in the Assembly their super-majority
  • A critical strategic lesson Republicans need to learn from a Clark County Commission race
  • The best win and worst loss for conservatives in judicial races
  • The “cultural” reason neither Lee Zeldin nor Mike Lindell is likely to be elected to replace RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

Inner Circle Membership Information

For information on how to join the Inner Circle and get a complimentary subscription to Muth’s Truths PLUS+, click here.

Enter the promo code “member99” for $50 discount.

To log into your personal “Inner Circle” membership site, click here.

For discounted Pastapalooza tickets, members should purchase from the membership site to get up to two discounted $50-off tickets.  Just log into your membership site, click on the “Events” tab on the menu bar, and then click on the “Pastapalooza – January 2023” link.

To nominate someone for one of our Conservative of the Year awards, log into your membership site, click on the “Action Center” tab on the menu bar, and then click on the “Nominations 2023” link.

Click here or information on how to join Citizen Outreach’s Reagan Legacy Council, Steering Committee, or President’s Advisory Board.

If you have any problems, email me at


“I would vote for Trump, although for some reason, people hate Trump. I love him. I’d vote for DeSantis. I’d vote for anybody that wasn’t a Democrat. So whoever gets the nomination is who I’m voting for.” – Fran Sullivan of Toccoa, GA on the 2024 presidential election

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs 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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