Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Message

Remember this? Let's take another trip to the Nevada progressive archives. First, let's stop at October 2010. Remember then State Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio's (R-Reno) huge announcement?

Let's now jump to January 2011 to note Senator Raggio's shocking exit from the Legislature.

When Senator Bill Raggio passed away in February 2012, we noted the legacy he left behind... And the legacy so many in his party wanted to ditch behind.

Seriously, this is what has me worried. Yes, Bill Raggio was conservative. Yes, Bill Raggio did use his budget votes as leverage to pass right-wing legislation. And yes, Bill Raggio liked to spend our tax dollars up north when they were really needed in Clark County.

However at the end of the day, Bill Raggio was always someone who was interested in making Nevada's government work. And not too long ago, there were other Republicans, like Kenny Guinn, who believed the same and demonstrated the ability to reach across aisles to keep Nevada functioning.

But last session, we were left wondering if a significant chunk of Legislature Republicans even wanted any kind of functioning government. And again, with Raggio gone, we had to wait for that Nevada Supreme Court ruling just to extend the tax deal that Raggio brokered in 2009. And with Raggio gone, what used to be a Nevada tradition of legislators constantly crossing aisles and party lines to get stuff done gave into California style "mortal combat governance".

Early this year, we were confronted by this again when another Nevada political legend, Former Lt. Governor Sue Wagner (R), decided to leave the Republican Party.

And she was soon followed by Neena Laxalt. Today, Neena Laxalt is following that up with a Las Vegas Sun op-ed that she signed onto, along with six other Laxalt family members.

During our journey, we have found a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that best captures the essence of a core value that has guided us throughout our lives — the value of speaking up for what is right. He wrote, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

In the spirit of King’s words, then, we can no longer be silent as we seek to maintain the integrity of our home state of Nevada.

Therefore, we collectively speak up to support Ross Miller as the most qualified candidate to be our state’s attorney general. [...]

Know that our message does not originate from a Republican, Democratic or even family affiliation. It has to do with the most basic question all voters must ask themselves when they step into the voting booth, “Who really is the best qualified candidate for attorney general for the state of Nevada?”

Wow. So it's happening again. And this time, it's Laxalt family members rebuking the very party they once led. And not only that, but they're even having to rebuke one of their own as both he and the party have lost their way.

Four years ago, the party lost the late Bill Raggio as he and others endorsed US Senator Harry Reid (D) for reelection. Earlier this year, the party lost Sue Wagner and Neena Laxalt. Today, several members of the Laxalt family can't even endorse their own family member who's running for Attorney General. And to our shock, the Nevada Republican Party still isn't getting the message. What else will it take for the message to resonate with them?

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