Former Assemblyman Ed Goedhart served two terms in the Nevada Legislature – 2009 and 2011 – representing a sprawling rural district centered primarily in Pahrump.
During his tenure, Goedhart earned a reputation as a smart, principled, libertarian-leaning conservative who was unapologetic about his conservatism and unafraid of challenging the GOP establishment in Carson City.
Unfortunately, after retiring from politics and opting not to seek re-election in 2012, Goedhart was replaced by a Republican disgrace, James Oscarson, who in the just-concluded 2015 legislative session voted for the largest tax hike in Nevada’s history – including the creation of a new gross receipts tax just like the one 80 percent of voters rejected at the ballot last November.
Oscarson committed this act of political betrayal after assuring the voters who elected him that he was a conservative who would oppose tax hikes. And rumors are rampant that he “sold” his vote to Gov. Brian Sandoval in return for an appointment to some commission or job in state government.
In any event, the betrayal of many Republicans who broke their word and violated the GOP platform by voting for Sandoval’s $1.4 billion tax hike has brought “Mr. Ed” out of retirement – so there IS a silver lining behind this otherwise dark cloud for conservatives.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported on Tuesday that Goedhart is the new president of a conservative non-profit organization opening shop in the Silver State called “Priorities Nevada.”
Joining Goedhart on his board will also be Carson Cityite Kirk Lippold, former commander of the U.S.S Cole and a former congressional candidate here in Nevada.
The only potential trouble-spot for the fledgling organization, however, could be the hiring of Ciara Turns-Matthews as its spokesperson.
The former Hooters waitress has been a lightning rod for controversy for almost every organization and campaign she’s handled communications for, including the disastrous 2010 U.S. Senate campaign of Sharron Angle.
And Turns-Matthews stepped in macaca again right out of the gate for Priorities Nevada.
In an interview with the RJ’s Ben Botkin published on Tuesday, Turns-Matthews insulted every other conservative organization in Nevada by declaring that she and her new organization would fill an alleged “void” in the conservative movement…
“There isn’t a coalition in Nevada at this point for people to come together and say, ‘We stand for fiscally conservative values and limited government.’”
How about any of the dozen or so active tea party organizations around the state? Or Americans for Prosperity? Or Nevada Families? Or NV80 PAC?
Or all the local GOP organizations that recently passed resolutions criticizing their own off-the-reservation members for voting for Sandoval’s tax hike? Or the Independent American Party. Or the Libertarian Party?
Heck, there’s a HUGE and growing coalition of individuals, businesses and organizations coming together and standing up for fiscally conservative values and limited government by pursuing an effort to repeal the recently passed Sandoval budget and tax hike.
And what about the Center-Right COALITION meetings sponsored each month by fiscally conservative/limited-government Citizen Outreach in Las Vegas (which Turns-Matthews has attended, by the way)?
Or the weekly Center-Right COALITION meetings in Carson City during the just-concluded legislative session which was sponsored by the fiscally conservative/limited government Nevada Policy Research Institute, for which her ex-husband is El Presidente?
Seriously. A lot of us have been in the trenches fighting for fiscally conservative values and limited government long before Turns-Matthews showed up on our doorstep this week to save the day and rescue the conservative movement in Nevada.
But the Turns-Matthews’ dark cloud doesn’t overshadow the most excellent news that Ed Goedhart has re-engaged and is back in the game!
Let’s hope he’s able to bring Turns-Matthews under control and make her understand that building a coalition means cooperating with other conservatives, not co-opting their ideas, issues and activities.
In the meantime, welcome Priorities Nevada!
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“(Gov. Scott) Walker signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge when he first ran for governor. He has kept that pledge. He has cut taxes repeatedly and significantly. He has seen every challenge as an opportunity to reform government to cost less rather than as an excuse to dig deeper into the pockets of taxpayers.” – Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform, 7/13/15