Democrats’ most ‘useful’ GOP friends in state legislature

The term “useful idiot” was popularized during the Cold War to describe Americans who seemingly unwittingly provided propaganda material the Soviet Union used to help spread the communist agenda.

Well, some of those individuals apparently spawned — and their offspring ended up serving as Republicans in the 2017 Nevada Legislature where they provided votes Democrats are using to help spread their left-wing, anti-business, socialist agenda.

Reporters Megan Messerly and Jackie Valley recently published a report analyzing how many times Republican legislators “broke with their caucus” and voted with their Democrat colleagues during the 2017 session.

Now, this research includes all votes — and not all votes are on issues in which there is a clear philosophical difference between the parties. But such a report is definitely smoke that indicates there’s a RINO (Republican in Name Only) fire lurking below the surface. Some observations…

The reporters looked at 91 bills in the Assembly in which seven or fewer of the 15 Republicans voted with the Democrats — and, wow, what a stark difference between the best and the worst.

Of those 91 votes, conservative freshman Assemblyman Jim Marchant of Las Vegas only voted with the D’s three times (3 percent). Other conservative Republicans in the Assembly who only rarely voted with the far-left Democrat majority in 2017 include Assemblyman Richard McArthur (4), John Ellison (6) and Robin Titus (9).

On the other end of the spectrum, liberal freshman Assemblywoman Jill Tolles of Reno sided with the D’s and against her GOP colleagues a staggering 70 times (77 percent).

Ladies and gentleman, I think we’ve found the RINO Queen!

Other Republicans in the Assembly who often helped give Democrats “bi-partisan” aid-and-comfort: freshman Keith Pickard (55), Minority Leader Paul Anderson (52), Chris Edwards (43), Al Kramer (43), Melissa Woodbury (36), John Hambrick (35) and James Oscarson (34).

Over in the Senate, the reporters took a look at 35 bills and tallied any bill that received four or fewer GOP votes.

Leading the GOP’s Aid-and-Comfort Caucus in the upper house was Sen. Becky Harris with 25 out of 35 votes (71 percent). Coming in second place was liberal Sen. Heidi Gansert (R-UNR) with 21. In third place was liberal Sen. Joe Hardy with 14.

By contrast, conservative Sen. Don Gustavson voted with the Democrats only ONE time out of the 35 – and we’re guessing that was just an honest mistake.

Again, for conservative ratings purposes it will be important to look at each of these individual bills to make sure there’s a philosophical component, not just a partisan one, to determine whether any of these folks who voted with the D’s so often are, indeed, liberal sell-outs.

But as they say, if it walks like a RINO and votes like a RINO…it’s probably a RINO.

Chuck Muth is publisher of You can read additional columns and/or contact him at


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