Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno, is considering supporting Nevada's proposed state-issued drivers license for U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action program but is confused by State Democrat Leaders who are opposing a similar program to improve the quality of Nevada's election process.
Democrat lawmakers are currently drafting a bill that grants all residents, legal and illegal, a "Drivers Privilege Card," in hopes that it will make Nevada's roads safer for everyone.
"On one hand, Democrats are proposing photo IDs for illegal residents in Nevada in order to makes our roads safer," said Assemblyman Hickey. "If photo IDs are a good idea for illegal residents on our highways-then they should also be a good idea for legal ones in our voting booths," continued Assemblyman Hickey.
As if right on queue, Pat Hickey arrives to rain plenty of strong "TEA" on other Republicans' "No Really, We Like Latinos!" parade. Just as we had feared, the "tea party" base just won't read the memo.
And in case that was not enough, Hickey's enigmatic press release is fueling even more intrigue. Will Ross Miller's proposed election reform legislation provide enough voter ID to Pat Hickey's liking? Or is he still pursuing outright voter suppression?
The only thing that's clear at this point is that Pat Hickey is preparing to blow up the nascent effort led by Brian Sandoval and Michael Roberson to engage in Latino voter outreach... And look more "moderate" & attractive to the overall electorate while they're at it. And since Ralston is correct that Assembly Democrats won't need Republican votes there to pass a bill allowing for undocumented immigrants to access some kind of driver's license, this will probably just sting Republicans exactly when they wanted to start healing.
But again, there's another element to this story that can't be ignored. Just how much of a push will Republicans make for legislation aimed at voter suppression? Will Sandoval and Roberson really have an appetite for another "hot potatoe" issue that will likely drive more of a wedge between Republicans and minority voters? Will Ross Miller's proposed "electronic poll book" really satisfy the likes of Pat Hickey? Or will Sandoval and Roberson see Miller's proposal as a way to simultaneously save face while still seeming to demand some sort of voter ID?
Oh, and what will Democratic legislators think of all this Republican angst? And will this encourage or discourage them from playing ball with Ross Miller? All of a sudden, #NVLeg 2013 is becoming far more interesting.