In a Dec. 16 interview with conservative talk-show host Alan Stock, Republican Majority Leader Michele Fiore discussed her situation relating to Internal Revenue Service tax liens filed against her businesses. Stock asked her to name the three individuals Fiore said were working to undermine conservatives in the Republican Assembly Caucus.
She did, naming political consultants Nathan Emens and Cory Christensen, as well as donor/mining tax-hike advocate Monte Miller.
And for that refreshing breath of candor, Assembly Republican Speaker-designee John Hambrick removed Fiore as chairwoman of the Assembly Taxation Committee, as well as her elected position of majority leader.
Fiore stated it was her opinion that certain actions by one of the named consultants constituted a serious conflict of interest, possibly criminal, for taking money from the caucus while simultaneously working for a Democrat candidate who was running against a Republican candidate supported by the caucus.
Such a conflict of interest is, indeed, potentially criminal if perpetrated by, say, a lawyer or real estate agent.
Indeed, a search of Nevada Revised Statutes for the phrase “conflicts of interest” will return more than 250 hits. So, the law in Nevada does consider such actions to be quite serious.
That said, taking money from two opposing clients probably isn’t considered criminal as it relates to political consultants, but it certainly is unethical. And subsequent to Fiore’s interview, it was revealed that the Republican political consultant caught playing both sides against the middle was Emens of Campaign Data Solutions. It turns out the Postal Service permit number for Emens’ consulting firm was used on a mailer for Democrat candidate Meghan Smith, who was running against Republican candidate Victoria Seaman.
And speaking of Emens, in a subsequent radio interview with Stock, Hambrick disclosed that one of two Republican political consultants — Christensen or Emens — blackmailed him into removing Fiore as chairwoman of the Taxation Committee. And I, for one, would like to know who it was.
Whichever one it was allegedly threatened to sue every Republican member of the caucus over Fiore’s remarks and accusations in her radio interview. The blackmailer, according to Hambrick, said he would only sue Fiore and not every caucus member if Hambrick removed Fiore from her leadership positions in the caucus.
Don’t the caucus members deserve to know which political consultant threatened them? Doesn’t the public deserve to know who blackmailed the speaker-designee?
Republicans have majority control of the Assembly for the first time since 1985. Their clownish actions since winning that majority go a long way toward explaining why they were in the political wilderness so long, and are likely to return there two years from now.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizens Outreach, a conservative grass-roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.