last night at the First Friday Happy Hour event at Stoney’s… and
there’s some real ammunition in them that conservative challengers to
some incumbent legislators will be able to use in the upcoming primary
There is one bill still in question that Citizen Outreach CEO Dan
Burdish and I are debating, but Dan will likely get his way — as he
usually does, because he’s the level-headed one in the outfit!
Which means the unofficial ratings are likely to become the official
ratings in a few days — at which time we’ll also release the complete
list of some 50 bills used for the ratings along with an explanation
as to why they were included.
Some interesting notes…
Not surprisingly, freshman Assemblywoman Michele Fiore came out on
top, landing the No. 1 conservative rating with a score of 84.62.
Conservative Assemblyman Jim Wheeler came in at No. 2 with a rating of
75.47, and Assemblyman John Ellison landed the No. 2 slot with a
rating of 71.15.
At the bottom of the heap for Republicans in the Assembly, to no one’s
surprise, was liberal Assemblyman Lynn Stewart — a career
big-government tax-hiker — with a putrid rating of 38.46. You can bet
his GOP primary opponent, Richard Bunce, is going to use that rating
to maximum effect in their race.
But shockingly, Stewart was not the worst-voting Republican in the
Assembly. That distinction fell to freshman Assemblyman Paul Anderson
(30.00 rating), who many believe is angling to wrest the GOP caucus
leadership position from Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey.
Anderson is beloved by that liberal “political guru who runs a
website,” (oh, how the mighty have fallen) Jon Ralston. Now we know
Hickey’s score, by the way, isn’t much better. With a rating of just
46.15, you can bet his conservative GOP primary opponent, Rick
Fineberg, is going to be loaded for bear.
But at least Hickey beat out his second banana, moderate Assistant
Minority Leader Cresent Hardy, whose 40.38 rating is going to be grist
for conservative Niger Innis’ mill in the 4th congressional district
GOP primary next June.
And Assemblyman Randy “Kirner Tax” Kirner (RINO-Kirner Tax) is gonna
have fun explaining his 50.00 rating in his own Republican primary
race against conservative Tax Pledge signers Lisa Krasner and Robb
The top-rated Assembly Democrat was Elliot Anderson, with a score of
15.69. The lowest-rated Assembly Democrats were Heidi Swank and Andy
Eisen, tied with scores of 1.92.
Over on the Senate side, conservative state Sen. Don Gustavson was the
No. 1 rated Republican in the senate with a rating of 66.04, while
conservative Sen. James Settelmeyer landed the No. 2 slot with a
rating of 59.62, and Sen. Barbara Cegavske — GOP candidate for
Secretary of State — chalked up the No. 3 position with a score of
These are not exactly stellar scores, and likely a result of really
lousy left-leaning leadership by Tax Pledge-breaking Senate Minority
Leader Michael Roberson, whose embarrassingly low rating of 35.85 will
surely be used against him by his GOP primary opponent Carl Bunce.
And… hooo-weeee… is Sen. Mark Hutchison ever in a heap of trouble!
The man who made his political career out of suing to block ObamaCare
— only to vote repeatedly to implement the program once elected to the
Legislature — came in dead last among Republican senators with a
rating of just 32.69, tied with freshman moderate government employee
Sen. Scott Hammond.
By the way, the real problem for Hutchison isn’t just his Citizen
Outreach rating — which folks like Ralston, noting that Burdish and I
are political allies of Hutch’s opponent, Sue Lowden, will try to
claim was “fixed” to hurt Hutch.
No, no. His score is absolutely legitimate… and consistent with the
ratings of two other conservative organizations — the Nevada Policy
Research Institute and the American Conservative Union — both of which
also rated Hutchison as the worst-voting Republican in the state
The top Democrat in the Senate is my favorite liberal — even though he
voted wrong almost 90 percent of the time last session — Sen. Tick
Segerblom with a score of 11.76. At the bottom of the barrel for
Senate Democrats is David Parks, another personal friend but no friend
of taxpayers and limited government, with a score of 7.69.
And then there’s Gov. Brian “BS” Sandoval (R&R Partners)…
With a score of 29.79, he is the absolute worst Republican in all of
Carson City, even worse than Paul Anderson!
And the fact that the Man with No Agenda who has broken his promises
on tax hikes multiple times and is now running one of the most
dishonest re-election campaigns in Nevada history as the “titular
head” of the GOP is another reason why so many Republican legislators
chalked up such low scores in 2013.
While many in the media… well, actually just Ralston — but he’s not
really in “the media” any longer; he’s just a blogger… will ridicule
and pooh-pooh the Citizen Outreach ratings, the fact is they expose
elected representatives for what they really are based on their VOTING
RECORD, not their campaign rhetoric.
And unlike some liberal groups that cherry-pick just a handful of
votes, the Citizen Outreach’s ratings are based on over 50 recorded
votes (with one bonus point awarded to legislators who signed the
Taxpayer Protection Pledge).
Voters — especially GOP primary voters — can now weigh what an
incumbent says on the campaign trail vs. how he or she actually voted
in Carson City. These folks might try to run from their record, but
thanks to the Citizen Outreach ratings — along with those of NPRI and
ACU — they can’t hide.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public
policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at