Chuck Muth: Boat rockin’ Mrs. Smith goes to Carson?
As party insiders know, Nevada Republican National Committeewoman Heidi Smith and I have a love/hate relationship. We love to hate each other.
Actually, that’s way too strong; however, we have had more than our fair share of disagreements and dust-ups over the years. Nevertheless, as far as her decision to seek the Assembly District 25 seat being vacated by Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, I think Mrs. Smith might be just what the doctor ordered.
The problem with Assemblywoman Gansert is that she’s one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. Unfortunately for limited-government conservatives, that meant she had a pre-disposition to play nice with the liberal Democratic leadership in Carson City.
Which means she got rolled. Over and over and over again. Spending went up. Taxes went up. Government grew. Education remained a failure. So it wasn’t exactly a sad day for conservatives when Mrs. Gansert announced she was quitting and taking a break from politics.
But who to replace her with?
Richard Viguerie is known in Washington, D.C., circles as the conservative movement’s “Funding Father.” He pioneered the use of small dollar direct mail fundraising back in the 1970s to counter the money from unions and other special interests on the Left. I’ve known Richard for several years and he is a true believer.
Indeed, one of the things Richard believes is that to turn this country around it’s simply not enough to elect conservatives who will vote the right way when push comes to shove. Richard believes – and I agree 100 percent – that we need to elect “boat rockers” who won’t just quietly vote the right way, but will pick a fight with the opposition and get in their face.
Conservatives who won’t be comfortable in their minority.
Conservatives who won’t be happy just having a “seat at the table.”
Conservatives who won’t settle for table scraps.
Conservatives who won’t go-along-to-get-along.
Conservatives who aren’t afraid of being accused of voting “no” all the time when voting “no” is the right thing to do.
Conservatives like … Heidi Smith.
Is Heidi Smith sometimes abrasive? Yes. Is she highly opinionated? Yes. Is she ever going to win “Miss Congeniality”? Not on your life. But this isn’t a popularity contest. And Heidi Smith is exactly the kind of boat-rocking conservative Republicans desperately need more of in the state Assembly.
I know two of the other Republicans running in this primary – Pat Hickey and Orrin Johnson. I believe both to be fine individuals. I believe both to be good conservatives. However, what I don’t know is if they’re “boat rockers.” I guess that’s what primary campaigns are for.
This much I do know. If voters choose Heidi Smith to replace Heidi Gansert, you’re gonna hear “Man overboard!!” an awful lot during next year’s legislative session.
• Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy grassroots advocacy organization. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.