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Meet Pat Hickey’s Opponent

Richard Fineberg is the Simi Valley-to-Reno transplant and ‘constitutional conservative’ who will challenge Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey in the 2014 Republican primary in District 25,” writes Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal in is blog, noting that Fineberg “appears to personify the issues that are bugging the ‘constitutionals’ in Washoe County.”

Among the issues bothering constitutional conservatives, writes Hagar, is the Kirner Tax (AB46), Gov. Brian Sandoval (R&R-Partners) breaking his word on taxes, and Republicans who talk like a conservative on the campaign trail and then vote like a Democrat once in office.

Hagar notes that conservative candidates such as Fineberg “love guns and hate Obamacare,” are not professional politicians, and sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising their constituents that they will oppose any and all efforts to increase taxes.

Fineberg told Hagar that the Kirner Tax – a recently tabled sales and property tax hike for Washoe County that Republican Assemblyman Randy Kirner (R-Kirner Tax) engineered and promoted jointly with Hickey – “was the big factor that spurred my candidacy on.”

“I was actually very angered by the way that whole thing was handled,” Fineberg said.  “By creating the Kirner-Hickey amendment to AB 46 and passing it through the Legislature – a vehicle that shifted responsibility over to the county commissioners – I thought was abhorrent at many levels.”

“No. 1 and foremost, it was an act of cowardice,” Fineberg said. “It was an act of betrayal. It was an act of a breach of trust between the legislators and the people who elected them.”

Yep.  And Fineberg has similar feelings towards Sandoval and those tax hike “sunsets.”

“The governor ran for election on a platform that said, ‘I’m not going to renew these taxes’ and he violated that promise to the people,” Fineberg said. “It’s like George Herbert Walker Bush saying, ‘Read my lips.’  It was that kind of thing. And on his (re-election) web site now, he boasts that he was able to pass a budget without raising taxes. That’s poppycock.”

Hagar notes that running against the incumbent GOP Minority Leader “won’t be easy,” but Fineberg is undeterred.

“I want to be a conservative voice for the 25th Assembly district,” Fineberg, 63, said. “I don’t think Mr. Hickey is that. I know Pat. I like Pat. I’ve been to his house. But I just see a voting record and a perspective that clashes with my own world view about these things.”

Like Mr. Fineberg, I also know Pat.  I like Pat.  But Pat is no conservative.  And he’s not a fighter (except when he’s fighting with conservatives!).

Like Tom Hagan (“The Godfather”) before him, Hickey is no “wartime consigliere.”  And a fighting wartime consigliere is what Assembly Republicans have needed and lacked for many, many years now.

Gentlemen, start your primary!