Thursday, January 3, 2013

Do Nevada Republicans Have Another "Woman Problem"?

Ever since the election, State Senate Republican Leader Michael Roberson (R-Henderson) has gone out of his way to look "moderate" and "different" from the "tea party" era Republican stereotype. He's even been schmoozing Democrats & progressives around town to show how "bipartisan" he is!

Yet while all of this is happening, Roberson may yet be engaging in some very Joe Heck style "War on Women" behavior. And believe it or not, this story involves a Nevada "tea party" icon taking an unfamiliar role as "feminist icon"(??!!). No really, read for yourself.

n the letter to Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson dated Tuesday, the group of Republican women complained that Sen. Barbara Cegavske, the longest serving state senator, lost her plum seat on the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive a position in caucus leadership.

The Republican Party “has a gender gap problem,” said the letter, signed by 12 leaders of GOP women’s groups and Sue Lowden, a former state senator and candidate for U.S. Senate.

“For some odd reason the Nevada Republican Senate Caucus does not realize this; and, in fact, seems to want to relegate women to the sidelines of politics,” the letter said. [...]

The letter said the Senate GOP caucus “seems to have turned their back on Republican women.”

Of the 10 Republicans in the state Senate, Cegavske is the only woman.

There are just two Assembly Republican women out of 15.

The letter also serves as a reminder that Republicans in the Nevada Legislature are a homogenous group: All are white.

Strangely enough, Nevada "tea party" celebrities (like Chuck Muth) have been complaining about this because they sense it's a slight to "true conservatives". But now, we have a twist. And twist hurts Roberson right in the "soft underbelly" of the entire Republican Party. Basically, Michael Roberson is under fire for bringing the "War on Women" to Carson City.

Did Roberson not see this coming? Whatever the reason for the Cegavske snub, it's a PR problem arriving at Roberson's doorstep at the worst possible time. Just when Roberson wants to enhance his "moderate" persona, Cegavske and her allies are reminding him of the very "tea party" PR nightmare that cost Republicans dearly among women voters.

So what will Roberson do? And really, what can he do?

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