Much like cockroaches, many politicians prefer to operate in the dark. And they go scurrying for cover when light is shined on them.
OK, fine. I apologize for the insulting comparison.
And hope the cockroaches will forgive me.
At issue is the leadership circus presently entertaining Nevada citizens, bloggers and taxpayers within the Republican Assembly Caucus. To be fair, Republicans have not found themselves in the majority since 1985 and the 25-member group generally finds itself fractured irreparably between moderate, go-along establishment Republicans and conservative, boat-rocking newcomers.
As presently constituted, the caucus has 12 establishment members being led by moderate Assemblyman Paul Anderson and 12 conservative members, mostly freshmen, being led by conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore. Republican Speaker-designate John Hambrick is the tie-breaking ringleader.
He’s called “Speaker-designate” because the election for Speaker of the 2015 Legislature won’t take place until opening day of the session Feb. 2 when the entire body, including the 17 Democrat members, will make it official.
By tradition, the Speaker-designate — chosen by the caucus of the majority party — is elected Speaker by acclamation. But this is not a traditional legislative session coming up.
As such, the rumor mill is rampant with speculation that five or more old-guard moderate Republicans — reportedly led by ousted Minority Leader Pat Hickey — are mulling what has been termed the “nuclear option,” whereupon the Democrats and the discontented Republicans would vote as a coalition for a Republican Speaker other than Hambrick, probably Hickey himself.
Fueling the rumors are the nondenial denials some members of the suspected “Collaborator Caucus” are providing to grass roots Republicans who are asking about a possible nuclear option power-play.
“I will not vote for a Democrat Speaker,” one suspected collaborator wrote to a constituent — conveniently neglecting to say if he would vote with the Democrats for a Speaker other than the Republican chosen by the Republican Assembly caucus.
Another forked tongue has stated that the nuclear option is “not on the table.” No, not now. But the election isn’t until February. So the question is whether he would sell out once the option is on the table. To that question the legislator has given no answer.
No wonder nobody trusts anything any politician says.
That nuclear option discussions have taken place, and continue to take place, is undeniable. The skullduggery is being conducted secretly — behind closed doors — in dark alleys — far away from public scrutiny — and certainly not in the light of day. And when the GOP collaborators finally unsheathe their political knives, they will stab their victim in the back, not his heart.
I’d have more respect for these Benedict Arnolds if they’d just be honest, direct and open about what they’re doing. Is that really too much to ask?
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.