By Chuck Muth
On Friday, members of the Republican Assembly Caucus — which picked up three seats in the 2020 election — cloistered themselves behind closed doors and re-installed the same failed “leadership” team that’s been at the helm for the last year and a half — and expanded it.
Here’s the low-down (you won’t read about this anywhere else)… Contrary to the claim made in the caucus’ press release Friday night, Minority Leader Robin Titus was NOT “unanimously re-elected.” There was no election.
A couple of wishy-washy conservatives in the sharply divided caucus sided with Team RINO (Republican in Name Only) and the votes simply weren’t there. So no one challenged her.
But make no mistake, Titus’ support within the Train-Wreck Caucus was anything but “unanimous.” Had there been an actual election, Titus and Team RINO were probably looking at an 8-8 tie if Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner had sided with the conservatives. But she didn’t.
Give Dr. Titus credit. She successfully played the political let’s-make-a-deal game by creating out of whole cloth two new, previously non-existent “Assistant Whip” leadership positions and gave one to Krasner in return for Krasner’s support.
That move gave Titus a likely 9-7 advantage — which is why no one challenged her for the Minority Leader position.
Shame on Ms. Krasner. This is exactly the kind of unprincipled you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scrat
Conservatives need to remember this in the 2022 PRIMARY when Ms. Krasner either runs for re-election or tries to move up to the state Senate.
The really sad thing is, had Dr. Titus acknowledged the decidedly rightward post-election shift of her caucus membership, she would have gotten far bigger majority support… likely 11 to 5 or maybe even 13 to 3…to bring in new, stronger, more-principled conservative leadership to her caucus.
Indeed, to his credit, Assemblyman Jim Wheeler offered to support Titus and not run against her in the 2022 GOP primary for termed-out State Sen. James Settelmeyer’s seat if she would make changes to her
Wheeler and Assemblyman John Ellison — the longest-serving member of the caucus — could have and should have gotten the Assistant Leadership positions.
And the Whip position could have and should have gone to any number of conservatives — including, possibly, either of the two returning conservative members: Jill Dickman or Richard McArthur.
Or maybe even incoming freshman Andy Matthews.
Matthews is (a) from the south, if you want some regional balance in the leadership positions, (b) has the biggest, deepest conservative policy chops of any member in the caucus, and (c) when all is said and done will likely report at the end of the year raising almost $400,000 for his race.
How do you NOT put someone like that in a leadership position of some kind? Unfortunately, Dr. Titus rejected Assemblyman Wheeler’s selfless offer and decided to stick with the RINO’s instead of bringing in new, conservative blood.
Worse, she expanded the size of her train-wreck leadership team from three RINOs to five; not one movement conservative among them.
Which brings up another BS “spin” claim made in Friday’s press release and subsequent media reports. Consider this from the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Sunday…
“For Republicans, the gains in the Assembly were a payoff from a more narrow and focused approach than in years past, an effort spearheaded in large part by Assemblyman Tom Roberts, R-Las Vegas, and Assemblywoman Jill Tolles, R-Reno. They focused on only the seats that had voter registration margins within 5 percentage points, which were Districts 2, 4, 29, 31 and 37. Republicans won all but one of those races…”
Oh, puh-lease. The caucus ALWAYS narrows and focuses its efforts on potentially winnable seats in swing districts. That’s nothing new. The idea that Roberts and Tolles deployed some genius new strategy in this election is absurd.
But the claim of brilliant “strategery” is even more preposterous than that…
Assembly Republicans picked up three seats: Former Assemblywoman Jill Dickman (AD31), former Assemblyman Richard McArthur (AD4) and Andy Matthews (AD37). But guess what? The caucus did NOT support any of those three conservatives in their GOP primaries!
In fact, the three conservatives won DESPITE Team RINO, not because of them. The Republican Assembly Caucus had virtually NOTHING to do with their victories in the general election. The conservatives prevailed all on their own.
And while Republicans may now be out of the super-minority, don’t let that fool you. Republicans had the MAJORITY in 2015 — and proceeded to pass the largest tax hike in state history.
When tax hikes come up in the 2021 session, Democrats will need two GOP votes in the Assembly to meet the 2/3 majority required, as well as the illusion of “bi-partisan” support. Don’t be surprised when the RINOs sell us out again and give it to them.
Combine that with the fact that the same incompetent caucus staff will be at their desks in Carson City for the 2021 session, and conservatives can expect yet ANOTHER session disaster that could easily put Republicans back in the super-minority in 2022. We’re doomed.
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Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.