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Joe Hardy’s RINO Protection Act

For those who may have forgotten already, liberal Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska lost her GOP primary race last year. But rather than accept the will of the GOP primary voters, Murkowski launched a write-in campaign which ultimately cost the GOP’s conservative nominee the election in the general election.

The good news is, no such post-primary write-in option is available in Nevada. The bad news is liberal Republican state Sen. Joe Hardy has introduced a bill, SB 269, that would allow him to file as a write-in candidate should he lose a future GOP primary race the way Murkowski did last year.

Yes, of course this bill applies to any candidate who loses a primary, throws a temper-tantrum and refuses to accept his or her party’s decision. But come on; we know exactly what Hardy is thinking here.

A liberal Republican like Hardy – who, in just four sessions has already voted for the largest and third largest tax hikes in Nevada history and, this session, introduced a bill to force people who raise money for charities to cough up a hefty registration fee in order to get a government license – is likely to continue facing well-deserved GOP primary challenges for the duration of his legislative career.

And eventually, Liberal Joe’s record is going to catch up with him. At which point, Sen. Hardy wants to be able to run in the general election after losing his GOP primary, hoping he’ll have earned enough Democrat support with his liberal voting record to win re-election even after being rejected by GOP primary voters. Just like Murkowski.

And for the record, this swings both ways. Indeed, if Hardy’s bill had been law last year, Democrat Assemblywoman Kathy McClain, who lost in the Democrat primary for state Senate to now-Sen. Mark Manendo, probably would have run in the general election as a write-in candidate and very well could have beaten Manendo.

This bill should be called the “Sore Loser Act.” It sucks. It deserves a stake in the heart at the next possible opportunity, and permanent entombment in Davey Jones’ locker (sorry, I watched “Pirates of the Caribbean” with the kids last night).