* Just two days to go before the 2012 Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas gets underway! Last chance to pre-register and get the discounted registration fees. Click here
* Gov. Scott Walker’s decisive victory over the public employee unions in Wisconsin yesterday should stiffen the spines of North Las Vegas officials who are facing a similarly intractable group of obstructionist Big Labor bullies. Enough is enough.
* Does everyone remember when Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced a few weeks ago that he was going to support re-imposing those tax hikes that are once again supposed to “sunset” next year? Of course you do. And you might also remember that one of the reasons given for supporting that new tax hike was to derail a threatened ballot initiative from the AFL-CIO that would impose a new corporate income tax on Nevada’s businesses.
Well, yesterday the unions announced that they were moving forward with their initiative anyway. Republicans never learn. You can’t appease these people. They ALWAYS come back for more. You have to fight them...and beat them. Just ask Gov. Walker.
* A friend I had breakfast with last Monday put this idea in my head: What if Mitt Romney were to announce that, as president, he intends to do to unproductive federal agencies what Bain Capital did to unproductive businesses? Think conservatives would feel a WHOLE lot better about him as the GOP’s nominee then? Yeah, me too.
* I also had breakfast last Wednesday with Newt Gingrich while he was in town. The former Speaker is clearly at ease, has accepted the loss and is already laying plans for the next chapter in his life. Anyone who thinks Newt is gonna just quit the conservative movement and fade off into the sunset doesn’t know Newt Gingrich.
* Steve Sebelius over at 8 News Now conducted a very interesting interview with Cindy Lake (click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2), a Ron Paul supporter and acting Chair of the Clark County Republican Party. While some are in high dudgeon over some of the things she said – including a stated intent to support primary challenges against Republicans who stray too far from the conservative/limited-government reservation – I couldn’t really find anything she said to be particularly outrageous or unacceptable.
In fact, she was impressive enough that maybe the CCRP ought to consider making her the permanent Chair.
* I received a response back from the Secretary of State related to my inquiry - on behalf of a client who wished to remain anonymous – about how many signatures it would take to successfully qualify a recall election against Nevada State Sen. Michael Roberson.
The “Reader’s Digest” version of the SoS ruling is that any recall effort before November 7 would require almost 20,000 valid signatures from the old district that Sen. Roberson was elected to in 2010. After November 7, it would be about half that number from the new district that he’ll be representing once the new districts become official. So I wouldn’t be expecting any summer recall effort.
THE NEVADA GOP’S TRAVAILS
While some want to lay the blame for the Nevada GOP’s current state of chaos at the feet of Chairman Michael McDonald, give the guy a break. He’s been in the job all of one month. Let’s face it, this has been a leaderless, dysfunctional party operation for at least the last dozen years, and that is NOT a reflection on the various party chairs over that period of time.
You see, the governor is assumed to be the titular head of the party organization of his or her respective party - just as the President of the United States is the titular head of his or her national party operation. And for the past dozen years, Republican governors have neglected to build and support the Nevada Republican Party…including LONG before the Ron Paul folks got involved.
Worse, while GOP Governors Kenny Guinn, Jim Gibbons and Brian Sandoval have ignored building the party, then-Sen. John Ensign was actively undermining it in the 2008 election cycle by raising money off the Strip and from other institutional donors, not for Nevada Republicans, but for his own operation when he was head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).
Meanwhile, with no Democrat in the governor’s office, Sen. Harry Reid has filled the titular head role for his party…with impressive success.
Yes, many are kvetching and blaming the Ron Paul people for the problems in the Nevada GOP today. But that’s just a lame excuse and a crock. As Joe Gaylord, Newt’s former senior strategist back in 1994, would say: “Those people aren’t a problem; they’re a reality. Deal with them.”
Has Gov. Sandoval sat down and met with the leaders of the Ron Paul movement to hear them out, open a dialogue and at least try to establish a working relationship? Not that I’m aware of. Heck, he didn’t even show up at the Nevada Republican Party convention in Sparks last month!
Washing your hands of a problem doesn’t make it go away. Creating a “shadow” party to compete with the main party doesn’t fix the long-term problem. And blaming the current chairman who’s been in charge for just over 30 days for problems that have been festering for over 12 years is misdirected.
TAX PLEDGE SIGNERS
The only two GOP candidates running for Nevada’s new 4th congressional district seat who, like the Democrat nominee Steven Horsford, have not signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge are: Barbara Cegavske and Dan Schwartz.
Prediction: Pledge-signer Danny Tarkanian wins the Republican primary next week despite all the TV mud being tossed his way by the deep-pocketed/thinly-qualified Schwartz.
In other competitive GOP primaries:
Congressional District 1
Charmaine Guss & Miguel Rodrigues HAVE signed the Pledge.
Chris Edwards, Brian Landsberger & Herb Peters have NOT signed the Pledge.
Senate District 9
Brent Jones HAS signed the Pledge.
Mari Nakishima St. Martin has NOT signed the Pledge
Richard McArthur HAS signed the Pledge.
Scott Hammond has NOT signed the Pledge
Hammond, by the way, voted for that $620 million tax hike last session…and will vote to extend it again next session if re-elected.
Assembly District 13
Leonard Foster HAS signed the Pledge
Paul Anderson has NOT signed the Pledge
Assembly District 21
Becky Harris (Mark Sherwood’s handpicked successor) has NOT signed the Pledge.
All other candidates in that race HAVE signed the Pledge.
Assembly District 35
Tom Blanchard HAS signed the Pledge.
Adam Cegavske (Sen. Cegavske’s son) has NOT signed the Pledge.
Assembly District 39
Jim Wheeler HAS signed the Pledge.
Tax-hiker incumbent Kelly Kite has NOT signed the Pledge.
Kite, by the way, voted for that $620 million tax hike last session…and will vote to extend it again next session if re-elected.
Assembly District 40
Assemblyman Pete Livermore IS a Pledge signer (and voted AGAINST the $620 million tax hike last year).
Challenger Philip Davies has NOT signed the Pledge.
Here’s the full, updated list of candidates who have taken a firm stand in defense of taxpayers and which ones are wobbly on tax hikes:
These candidates HAVE signed the Tax Pledge
U.S. Senate: Sen. Dean Heller
U.S. Senate: Ed Hamilton
CD1: Charmaine Guss
CD1: Miguel Rodrigues
CD1: Bill Pojunis
CD 2: Rep. Mark Amodei
CD 3: Rep. Joe Heck
CD 4: Ken Wegner
CD 4: Mike Delarosa
CD 4: Kiran Hill
CD 4: Joe Silvestri
CD4: Danny Tarkanian
State Senate 1: Gregg Hughes
State Senate 7: Trish Marsh
State Senate 9: Brent Jones
State Senate 18: Assemblyman Richard McArthur
State Senate 19: Janine Hansen
State Assembly 2: Assemblyman John Hambrick
State Assembly 4: Michele Fiore
State Assembly 5: Barry Keller
State Assembly 9: Victoria Seaman
State Assembly 9: Kelly Hurst
State Assembly 10: Tim Farrell
State Assembly 13: Leonard Foster
State Assembly 14: Amy Groves
State Assembly 15: Megan Heryet
State Assembly 17: Patrick Mendez
State Assembly 21: Swadeep Nigam
State Assembly 21: Les McKay
State Assembly 21: Jeffrey Jones
State Assembly 35: Tom Blanchard
State Assembly 39: Jim Wheeler
State Assembly 40: Assemblyman Pete Livermore
State Assembly 41: Phil Regeski
State Assembly 42: Robert McEntee
Reno City Council: S. Rowan Wilson
University Regent: Ron Knecht
These candidates have NOT signed the Tax Pledge
CD1: Chris Edwards
CD1: Brian Landsberger
CD1: Herb Peters
CD4: Barbara Cegavske
CD4: Dan Schwartz
State Senate 3: Ed Gobel
State Senate 4: Linda West Myers
State Senate 5: Annette Teijeiro
State Senate 5: Steve Kirk
State Senate 6: Mark Hutchinson
State Senate 9: Mari St. Martin
State Senate 11: John Drake
State Senate 13: Kathy Martin
State Senate 15: Sen. Greg Brower
State Senate 18: Assemblyman Scott Hammond
State Senate 19: Assemblyman Pete “Tax My Meat” Goicoechea
State Assembly 3: Phyllis Moilanen
State Assembly 5: Bill Harrington
State Assembly 7: Brent Leavitt
State Assembly 8: Arthur Martinez
State Assembly 12: Bridgette Bryant
State Assembly 13: Paul Anderson
State Assembly 15: Benjamin Donlon
State Assembly 15: Mark Miller
State Assembly 16: Ben Boarman
State Assembly 17: Leonard Marciano
State Assembly 19: Assemblyman Crescent Hardy
State Assembly 20: Eric Mendoza
State Assembly 20: Daniel Stakleff
State Assembly 21: Becky Harris
State Assembly 22: Assemblyman Lynn Stewart
State Assembly 23: Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury
State Assembly 24: Heidi Waterman
State Assembly 25: Assemblyman Pat Hickey
State Assembly 26: Assemblyman Randy Kirner
State Assembly 27: Yvonne Larkin
State Assembly 29: Bob Irwin
State Assembly 30: Ken Lightfoot
State Assembly 30: Paul Maineri
State Assembly 30: Lauren Scott
State Assembly 31: David Espinosa
State Assembly 32: Assemblyman Ira Hansen
State Assembly 33: Assemblyman John Ellison
State Assembly 34: Clark Harrington
State Assembly 35: Adam Cegavske
State Assembly 36: Walt Grudzinski
State Assembly 36: Delmar Leatham
State Assembly 36: James Oscarson
State Assembly 36: Nate Schlumpf
State Assembly 37: Wes Duncan
State Assembly 38: Assemblyman Tom Grady
State Assembly 39: Assemblyman Kelly Kite
State Assembly 40: Philip Davies
State Assembly 42: Stephen Silberkraus
If you’re not sure which district you’re in, click here
To download a copy of the Pledge, go to http://www.ATR.org
To have you name listed on the Pledge signers list, please email a copy of your signed Pledge to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax it to (702) 664-0900.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“Chris Christie may have the aspect of William Howard Taft, but he has the manner of Teddy Roosevelt - tough, tenacious, tireless. But his most exceptional political skill is not confrontation but explanation - educating voters in the grim realities of state budgeting, public pensions, unfunded liabilities and teacher union obstructionism. He is both pugilist and professor - a good vice presidential combination. ... Everyone on Romney's short list of prospective running mates is impressive. But Christie has the skills of a vice president." – Michael Gerson, former speechwriter for President George W. Bush