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Chuck Muth: 2009 top 10 conservatives in Nevada

Chuck Muth
For the Nevada Appeal

Ah, forget the introduction. Let’s get right to the Top 10 list of conservatives in Nevada for 2009 …

No. 10: Sen. Harry Reid

Yeah, yeah … I know. Harry Reid is no conservative under ANY definition. However, no one has done more to unite the warring factions of the conservative movement in Nevada than Harry Reid. No one.

No. 9: Wayne Allyn Root

The Libertarian Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008 published “Conscience of a Libertarian” this year, now has his own radio show, pens regular limited-government columns and might well be the next national chairman of the Libertarian Party.

No. 8: Geoffrey Lawrence

Lawrence – a fiscal analyst at the Nevada Policy Research Institute – provided a comprehensive alternate state budget in 2009 which proved that it was absolutely possible to balance Nevada’s budget and fund essential services without raising taxes.

No. 7: Bruce James

Chairman of the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission, James’ bipartisan committee came up with numerous ways to give Nevada taxpayers more bang for their buck.

No. 6: Todd “Taxpayer” Bailey

Bailey’s staunch anti-tax e-mails and podcasts to legislators during the 2009 session hit more than a few raw nerves – leading one unidentified legislator to threaten him with a lawsuit if he didn’t cease and desist.

No. 5: Assemblyman Ed Goedhart

Goedhart received the top score in Citizen Outreach’s conservative “2009 Ratings of the Legislature,” is chairman of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge Caucus and new chairman of the conservative Nevada Republican Study Committee. He also championed three of the most significant conservative bills in the ’09 session – one on school choice, one on tax restraint and another on spending caps.

No. 4: Rep. Dean Heller

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more consistently conservative and principled voting record in all of Washington, D.C.

No. 3: Talk Radio Hosts (tie)

Alan Stock (KXNT, Las Vegas), Heidi Harris (KDWN, Las Vegas), Bill Manders (KKOH, Reno) and Casey Hendrickson and Heather Kydd (KXNT, Las Vegas) serve as the daily home office for conservative news and opinion on national, state and local issues.

No. 2: Gov. Jim Gibbons

Set aside the personal problems and the revolving door staff changes for the first two and a half years of his administration – which, I know, is kinda like saying, “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how’d you like the play?” – but you still have to admit that no elected official was a stronger fiscal conservative hawk when it came to taxes and spending in 2009.

No. 1: Janine Hansen

Nobody, and I mean nobody, did a better job covering and lobbying the Legislature this year for conservatives. Nobody. Nevada conservatives were darned lucky to have this principled citizen activist fighting in their corner. Thanks, Janine!

Happy conservative new year, everyone.

• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a limited-government public policy organization.