A painful political lesson was relearned by Nevada conservatives during the 2015 legislative session, which produced the biggest blown opportunity by Republicans in state history.
As you’ll recall, following the Republican takeover of the U.S. House in 1994, the conservative Contract with America was stopped cold in its tracks by moderate Gumby Republicans in the Senate, reminding everyone that it’s not enough to simply elect more Republicans; you have to elect better ones as well.
With complete and total control of state government this session, GOP legislators enacted the largest tax hike in Nevada’s history — including the creation of a new gross receipts tax just like the one almost 80 percent of voters rejected at the ballot box last November — failed to even have a hearing on campus carry (Amanda’s Law) in the Senate and blocked private school parents and homeschoolers from participating in the state’s new education savings accounts unless they first force their kids into a public school for 100 days.
And other failures too long to list here.
Now for the good news.
At least eight viable, credible conservative challengers have already stepped forward to run against tax-hiking State Assembly Republicans in primaries next year. And more are on the way. In fact, it’s almost a slam dunk that every one of the 13 Assembly Republicans who voted for Gov. Brian Sandoval’s obscene $1.4 billion tax hike will draw a serious primary opponent next year.
Yes, it will be tough to dislodge incumbents, but some will clearly fall, and all will feel political pain.
And the challengers will be aided by having a ready-made platform upon which to build their campaigns: A Contract with Nevada.
Developed by conservative Assemblyman Brent Jones and others, the 10-point proposal promises voters that if they elect a conservative majority in the Assembly next year, a series of real conservative reforms will be enacted, as opposed to the tinkering around the edges this year’s crop of weak-kneed, jelly-spined Republicans pushed through.
Right out of the gate, point No. 1 calls for legislative repeal of Sandoval’s giga-tax hike. And point No. 2 calls for removing “all barriers to a parent’s right to have the dollars follow the student, including those students already enrolled in private school or are homeschooled.”
The Contract with Nevada also includes stopping Common Core (standards in schools), equipping police officers with body cameras, photo identification for voting, elimination of Nevada’s Obamacare exchange, keeping boys’ rooms for boys and girls’ rooms for girls in public schools, parental or court notification before an underage girl has an abortion, ending government “no bid” contracts, and yes, passing Amanda’s Law.
You can read the details for yourself at ContractWithNevada.com.
Nevada GOP primary voters next June will have clear choices between Democrat-lite incumbents and true Reagan Republican challengers. May the better Republicans win!
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.