GUNNING FOR FIORE
I closed out yesterday’s Muth’s Truths column with the following…
“With support from conservatives, led by Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, (Assemblyman John) Hambrick came out on top. And thus, in two short years, will move from the doghouse to the penthouse when the 2015 Nevada Legislature convenes next year.
Understandably, many of you wrote and asked, “Unless what?”
The liberals in the Assembly GOP caucus did NOT take it very well when conservative Assemblyman John Hambrick was elected Speaker-designate at a caucus meeting Tuesday night…
And conservative Assemblyman John Ellison was elected Speaker Pro Tem…
And conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore was elected Majority Leader…
And conservative Assemblyman Ira Hansen was elected Assistant Majority Leader…
And conservative Assemblyman Jim Wheeler was elected Majority Whip…
And conservative Assemblywomen Victoria Seaman and Jill Dickman were elected Assistant Majority Whips.
Indeed, liberal Republican Assemblyman Paul Anderson – who served as Assistant Minority Leader in the last legislative session – was completely shocked by his loss.
He *thought* he had bought off the votes he needed to become Speaker-designate and *thought* he had the votes to also elect moderate establishment Republican James Oscarson as Majority Leader.
He was wrong.
And when the vote didn’t go their way, the pair reportedly had what my mom used to not-so-affectionately call a “conniption.”
Anderson’s political hack…er, consultant…Cory Christensen was reportedly heard to threaten after the meeting, “This isn’t over!”
Apparently what Christensen – who was paid a bundle as the caucus political director during the campaign season, in which he worked behind the scenes to defeat a number of conservative candidates in primaries – was talking about was the possibility of what is being referred to as the “nuclear option.”
In that scenario the 17 Democrats in the Assembly would gang up with at least five of the disgruntled moderate Republicans – including Anderson, Oscarson, Pat Hickey, Randy Kirner and Lynn Stewart – on opening day of the legislative session to deny Hambrick the Speakership.
Instead, as rumor has it, either Anderson would be elected Speaker or Democrat Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick would be elected Speaker…or the two would agree to be co-Speakers, as was the case in the 21-21 split Assembly in 1995.
That could also potentially result in power-sharing co-chairmanships for all the various committees, as well as the ouster of conservatives who are presently slated for sole chairmanships – especially Fiore who is presently set to take over the Taxation Committee.
Believe me, this is not just idle chatter. This threat to deny conservatives the leadership positions they have rightfully earned is real and deadly serious.
So much so that Hambrick is being pressured to hold yet ANOTHER caucus meeting this Sunday to conduct yet ANOTHER caucus election.
On the surface it appears that what the moderates want is simply to get rid of Fiore, who is an unabashed and unapologetic conservative, as Majority Leader.
The argument is being made to Hambrick that if he just dumps Fiore – who was largely responsible for his election in the first place – then the moderates and the Democrats will forego the “nuclear option” and let Hambrick continue as Speaker.
If Hambrick believes that, I have some oceanfront property in Pioche for him to buy.
Nevertheless, I’m hearing that Hambrick’s political adviser, Nathan Emens, is strongly urging Hambrick to call the meeting on Sunday to throw Fiore under the bus.
Hambrick’s also meeting with Gov. Brian Sandoval himself this afternoon, and you can bet R&R’s man in the mansion would like nothing better than to remove the Fiore burr from under his saddle.
Let’s hope Hambrick doesn’t cave and hangs tough with the conservatives who elected him Speaker-designate in the first place.
But after watching him “go wobbly” on his Taxpayer Protection Pledge in a televised interview Wednesday night, I have to tell you this is something for conservatives to be greatly concerned about.
When moderate Republicans win, conservatives are told to be “good team players” and go along to get along.
But when conservatives win fair and square, the moderates throw a temper-tantrum, take their ball and go home.
No, no. Actually, what they do is take their ball and…join the opposing team!
Sore losers. Reminds me of Al Gore after the 2000 presidential election.
Stay tuned, folks. This thing ain’t over. Not by a long shot.