Carson City GOP officials vote O’Neill out |

Carson City GOP officials vote O’Neill out

As he predicted they would, Carson City Republican Party executive board members voted Tuesday night to remove Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill from the Carson chapter of the party.

That vote, however, doesn’t stop O’Neill from being a registered Republican or from running for re-election as a Republican.

Carson party Chairman Roger Haynes said Wednesday the vote was based on O’Neill’s support for the $1.3 billion tax package after running on a platform opposing tax increases two years ago.

“If he doesn’t want to walk like a Republican, talk like a Republican and vote like a Republican, he isn’t one,” said Haynes.

He said O’Neill was endorsed two years ago in part because he agreed not to raise taxes.

“In the very same election which elevated you to represent our district, the voters decided by 4 to 1 not to implement the gross margins tax,” Haynes wrote in a response to O’Neill’s defense of his tax vote. He accused O’Neill of undermining the will of the people by then supporting the commerce tax opponents argue is the same thing as the margins tax. He said that vote “violated the trust placed in you and calls your integrity into question.”

O’Neill didn’t attend the Tuesday night meeting where the executive board voted saying he had other things on his schedule and the board’s action, to his mind, “is a foregone conclusion.”

He said he supported the tax package to better fund K-12 education and get more money for Nevada’s community colleges including Western Nevada College in Carson City. He said he backed the K-12 funding in part because of the numerous reforms that greatly expanded school choice for parents. He also pointed to his support for veterans programs and the first raises for state workers in more than half a decade.

Haynes rejected those claims, especially asking who if anyone is against programs for veterans.

He said the board vote wasn’t locked in, what they wanted from O’Neill was “a sensible explanation” as to why O’Neill voted for the tax.

Haynes also objected to O’Neill’s statement Sandoval is the true leader of Nevada’s Republican Party saying the governor “makes no effort to contact or associate with the Republican Party.”

“He’s the only local politician better than you at avoiding the voters he claims to lead,” Haynes wrote.