Nevada Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, RINO-Reno, was a disaster as leader of his caucus in the 2013 legislative session primarily because of his hostility toward anything conservative, as well as his propensity to roll over and hope the Democrats would rub his widdle tummy every time a controversial bill or issue came up. When it comes to appeasement, this guy makes Neville Chamberlain look like a Mongolian general.
Then again, running from a fight isn’t exactly something new to Hickey. Indeed, in the chapter titled “Conscientious Objector” in his autobiography, Hickey wrote: “While I thought it was cowardly to run and hide in Canada (to avoid the draft in Vietnam), I was anything but brave.”
So it should come as no surprise that Hickey has consistently ducked legislative confrontations as leader of his caucus, as well. He’s no wartime consigliere, that’s for sure.
But it’s one thing for Hickey to dodge fights with the Democrats; it’s another to be systematically undermining efforts to elect conservatives to his caucus who will stand up when he stands down. Here’s an example of just how much Hickey loathes the idea of conservatives joining “his” caucus.
Assemblyman Tom Grady of Yerington in Northern Nevada has been one of the worst Republicans in the Legislature when it comes to voting like a conservative. Thankfully, he’s term-limited out and can’t run for re-election next year.
Dr. Robin Titus, who briefly ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010, has had an interest in running for Grady’s seat, but out of respect would not run against the incumbent. But now that Grady’s finally being forcibly retired, Titus is running … and has been actively campaigning since last summer.
Titus is not only a longtime Nevadan and immensely qualified, but she’s also a staunch, unapologetic conservative.
Recently Hickey tweeted that he was in the rural district, “visiting candidates,” but word on the street is that he was really there trying to recruit candidates to run against the Smith Valley physician. Both Hickey and Grady, who are said to be part of an anybody-but-Titus recruitment effort, have reportedly told others they think Titus is just “too conservative.”
Now, that concern might be legitimate if Titus was running in a Democrat-majority district or even a “swing” district. But get this: According the voter registration numbers for November on the Nevada secretary of state’s website, there are more than twice the number of registered Republicans in that district than Democrats — 16,818 to 8,361.
Genghis Khan could get elected in this district.
So despite his assertions to the contrary, Hickey is not supporting the most conservative candidate who can win. On the other hand, Hickey himself has now drawn a GOP primary challenge from Richard Fineberg, another conservative who can win. Bring on Conservageddon!
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass-roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.