(Chuck Muth) – In a Nevada Newsmakers interview this week, Sen. Bill Raggio (R-Reno) said: “I think divisive primaries are hurting the Republican Party. We ought to be encouraging unity in the party instead of extremism trying to rip it apart.”
By now, we all know how Sen. Raggio has a tendency to talk out of both sides of his mouth; guaranteeing in the 2008 GOP primary campaign that he wouldn’t support raising taxes in the 2009 legislative session only to then engineer behind the scenes more than a billion dollars worth of tax hikes on Nevada’s families and small businesses.
So it will come as no surprise that Sen. Raggio is actually guilty of doing exactly what he accuses the “extremists” of doing as far as Republican primaries are concerned.
You see, early during the last legislative session, conservative Assemblyman Ty Cobb – who signed and honored the Taxpayer Protection Pledge by opposing and voting against any and all efforts to increase taxes – let it be known that he was going to run for the state Senate seat being vacated in 2010 by moderate, tax-hiking Sen. Randolph Townsend (R-Reno) who is term-limited.
So what did Sen. Raggio do?
He recruited a government employee, Ben Kieckhefer – who has no prior electoral experience and has said he won’t sign the Taxpayer Protection Plege – to run against Cobb in the Republican primary next year.
According to Sen. Raggio, an “extremist” is apparently any Republican who doesn’t believe in raising taxes in the middle of this recession. In reality, fiscal conservatives are in the mainsteam or public opinion. The extremists who are ripping the GOP apart are liberal Republicans such as Sen. Raggio who are working feverishly to keep conservative Republicans out of office.
If Sen. Raggio really desires party unity, as he claims, he’d resign immediately and turn his seat over to Sharron Angle who he defeated last year under false pretenses, while simultaneously encouraging young Mr. Kieckhefer not to quit his day job at Government, Inc. and drop out of this divisive senate race.
That would allow the party to get back to its roots and coalesce around fiscally conservative principles and candidates.
Don’t hold your breath.