Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Sharron Angle, Nevada Republicans, & Mining Tax

She's back! Really, how long can we go without a Sharron Angle sighting? She was spotted at the Nevada Legislature today. Here's what she told Ralston.

Caught up w/@SharronAngle. Said just visiting, not here for any bill. Might she be on the ballot in 2014? "Anything's possible." #lickschops

We've discussed before how Sharron Angle continues to influence the Nevada Republican Party. And we're seeing that on display again now.

Last week, State Senator Michael Roberson (R-New RINO?) announced his poison pill intended to kill The Education Initiative. OK, that sounds conservative enough. But there was a twist. Roberson decided to introduce an alternative to IP 1 in a new mining tax... And 5 of his Senate Republican colleagues joined him in support of the IP 1 alternative mining tax!

Of course, that led to the explosion of Chuck Muth's head. And not only that, but apparently other powerful "Tea Party, Inc." operatives are about to declare war on "The Dirty Half-dozen". As we discussed last week, Roberson is worsening Nevada Republicans' civil war with his pursuit of mining tax reform.

It's not as if prominent Nevada conservatives haven't complained about the mining industry's sweetheart deal before. Can you guess who said this?

"The mining industry has traditionally sort of been given a pass for some reason or another. I guess it goes back to the days when they were the bosses and they were the big business in the state. That was a long, long, long time ago." [...]

"The reason I am here and I have this sense of urgency in my voice, is because I have a fear, that like other things that have happened in the state of Nevada recently, this is an attempt for one sector of the economy to insulate itself against its fair share: and I know what happens when that happens up here because you fellows always look to us. And you cannot allow that to happen, if you take some time to study it. This sort of thing has got to come to a halt. You have to take an intelligent, close, careful look at how you are going to face the future."

"(What) we should have done last year and which should be done immediately, is that we should remove mining from its special consideration to be treated like the rest of the businesses, like the rest of us in the State of Nevada."

Believe it or not, that was "tea party" icon and Las Vegas Strip power player Steve Wynn back in 1989. And just last year, "Tea Party, Inc." kingmaker Monte Miller pushed a mining tax initiative! Roberson's new proposal was apparently inspired by Miller's initiative.

So it's not as if Nevada Republicans were completely opposed to mining tax reform before. But because the "tea party" demands ideological "purity", any realistic tax talk is no longer allowed. That's why Congress can't reach a budget deal. And that's why Michael Roberson and the rest of the Senate GOP "Dirty Half-dozen" are facing immense backlash from their own party.

She may have lost NV-Sen in 2010, but Sharron Angle seems to be winning the battle for the soul of the Nevada Republican Party today. We'll just have to wait and see what kind of carnage she and Muth want to see in Republican primaries next year. I have a feeling that won't be pretty (except in the eyes of certain Democratic operatives).

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