Muth: Conservageddon ’16: Legislative tax hikers are dropping like flies


Despite all the money and all the endorsements from Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval which have been bestowed upon Republican state legislators who voted for his $1.4 billion tax hike last session, the tax-hikers are paying a heavy price.

Of the 13 Republican turncoats in the Assembly, four opted to quit rather than run for re-election and face the GOP voters they betrayed. And two more have now been summarily dispatched in primaries: Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill of Carson City and Assemblyman Glenn Trowbridge of Clark County.

So almost half of the Assembly tax-hikers are now gone and won’t be coming back next session. But the reckoning isn’t over yet.

While Pahrump Assemblyman James Oscarson may have won his GOP primary – barely - against two severely underfunded opponents, he now goes head-to-head against well-funded brothel owner/reality show celebrity Dennis Hof, who is running as a Libertarian, in the general election.

Oscarson outraised his second-place primary finisher by a staggering factor of 14-1, yet only managed to squeeze out a 153-vote victory and losing his home county! He’s toast in the general. Stick a fork in him.

Three other tax-hiking assemblymen in Clark County - Derek Armstrong, Stephen Silberkraus and David Gardner, each of whom barely won their primaries and only by lying to their voters – now have to run in the general election against solid Democrat candidates in Democrat-majority districts.

And do so without the support of many conservative Republican voters, including me, who are taking #NeverTaxHiker positions this election cycle.

So when the Legislature reconvenes next year, there’s a very good possibility that only three of Sandoval’s dirty-dozen tax hikers will be back.

In other great Conservageddon ’16 news …

Clark County Assemblyman Erv Nelson – who gave that sanctimonious, holier-than-thou speech on the floor of the Assembly last year claiming to be so noble for stabbing his constituents in the back by voting for the largest tax hike in state history – got slaughtered 63-37 percent in the primary race for a state Senate he had to move into to escape the voters he betrayed.

But the coup de grace was watching conservative Danny Tarkanian beat the living snot out of Senate Majority Leader Tax Hike Mike Roberson – the tax-hiking King of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) - in a 7-way GOP primary for Nevada’s 3rd congressional district.

Roberson had the full backing of the governor and pretty much every special interest in the state. He also raised over a million dollars for his own campaign and got another two million-plus in independent expenditure attack ads.

But the stench of his betrayal by not just voting for, but jamming through, the Sandoval tax hike could not be scrubbed away no matter how hard he lied about it. And in the end, Tax Hike Mike got just over 24 percent of the primary vote.

How embarrassing for him. How sweet for conservatives and taxpayers. Payback’s a witch.

Let the reckoning continue!

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. You can reach Chuck at ChuckMuth.com