OK, the first major test of Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert’s leadership and fiscal conservative bona fides is now behind us.
There isn’t a curve big enough to reach a passing grade on this one.
As events unfolded this morning, “Leader” Gansert didn’t urge her Republican caucus members to vote against IP-1…the massive job-killing, tourism-retarding room tax increase forced upon the Legislature by the teachers union.
Not only didn’t Gansert urge her troops to vote against this massive tax hike, she didn’t even vote against it herself.
And not only didn’t she urge her troops to vote against this massive tax hike, or vote against it herself, she voted FOR it.
And not only did she vote enthusiastically for this massive tax increase, I’m told she actively urged her fellow GOP caucus members to vote for it, as well.
And adding insult to injury, not only did she urge a “YEA” vote for this massive tax hike in private, she actually spoke in FAVOR of it on the Assembly floor during debate on the bill.
Despite the fact that not a single Republican vote was needed to pass this massive tax hike.
It’s as if Garn “Maybe” Mabey (the wishy-washy, rubber-stamping, go-along-to-get-along former GOP Minority Leader whom Gansert deposed after the last session of the Legislature) never left.
The more things change…
The good Assembly Republicans who voted against this massively bad massive tax hike were Ed Goedhart, Ty Cobb, James Settelmeyer, John Hambrick, Don Gustavson, Dick McArthur and Chad Christensen.
Coincidentally (not!), the same seven Republicans who refused to vote for Democrat Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley for Speaker back in December.
Coincidentally (not!), six of the seven have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
And coincidentally (not!), five of the seven are members of the newly-formed conservative Nevada Republican Study Committee.
The bad Assembly Republicans who voted with Gansert and in favor of this massive tax hike were Assistant Minority Leader Lynn “The Bug Man” Stewart,” John Carpenter, Pete Goicoechea, Tom Grady, Melissa Woodbury and Joe Hardy.
Not surprisingly, none of the bad Republicans have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. And none are members of the conservative Nevada Republican Study Committee. And every one of them voted for Democrat Barbara Buckley for Speaker last December.
And Hardy, you may recall, is also the lone remaining Assembly Republican who voted for the Mother of All Nevada Tax Hikes back in 2003.
The good Lord did not create Republicans to vote for higher taxes. That’s what he created Democrats for.
And Republican primaries!