State Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson last week described the 2017 legislative Democrats as “radicalized,” insisted they “threatened to put business out of business” and said they want “violent criminals back on our streets.”
Roberson, frothing as he blew his dog-whistle in a speech to the Republican Women of Las Vegas, asserted Democrats “tried on three separate occasions to turn Nevada into a sanctuary state.” And he boasted that all three of the state Senate recalls will qualify, only later to say that he needs volunteers to get signatures.
“There will be more than enough signatures to put these recalls on the ballot,” Roberson asserted, according to a tape of the meeting provided by an attendee. (The recording is posted below.) “I believe we will have three special elections in the near future.”
Roberson explained to the group why the recalls are necessary.
“This agenda was so extreme, so progressive,” he declared. “You can’t find common ground with these folks. They’ve been radicalized.”
Radicalized? I see.
“We will be back in the majority almost immediately,” crowed Roberson, who cares so much about these issues that he is giving up his seat and running for the least important elected position in the state, lieutenant governor. “And it will be nearly impossible for the Democrats (to take back control) until at least 2020, then you get into redistricting. So there’s a lot at stake in these elections”
There are the two prongs revealed here by Roberson in front of this friendly crowd. Short-term: Reverse an adverse map. Long-term: Change the matrix when redistricting lines are drawn in 2021.
(Roberson also twice talked about how he was going to do everything he could to elect Attorney General Adam Laxalt as governor, something he telegraphed during the session when he became Laxalt’s personal character assassin in attacking Gaming Control Board Chairman A.G. Burnett after it was revealed the AG tried to get the state casino authorities to help his biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson, in a civil lawsuit.)
Roberson brought his usual line about 2017 being the “most anti-business and pro-felon” session in history. He even went so far as to use O.J. Simpson as an example, saying he should still be locked up in Lovelock, and added: “If (Senate Majority Leader and attorney general hopeful) Aaron Ford had his way, OJ Simpson would be able to vote from prison.”
That’s a reference to a restoration of felon rights effort, pushed by Ford and Speaker Jason Frierson, and a version of which was signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval. Simpson, huh? Anyone hear a whistle?
Roberson also painted all the Democrats in Carson City as supporting a property tax increase, another bill he demagogued last session that was sought by a bipartisan coalition and local governments. But nuance be damned; Roberson’s goal was to create a narrative he could use later, and so….
The minority leader used that broad brush frequently during his speech, including saying all Democrats were for banning the death penalty and ending fracking, mandating taxpayer-funded abortions, passing a “pre-crime bill a la ‘Minority Report’ "(a gross exaggeration, to put it mildly, to describe a bill the NRA hated) and –wait for it – changing McCarran International Airport to Harry Reid International Airport. I kid you not.
Not all of these were consensus Democratic measures. But if you can use hyperbole to smear an entire group of lawmakers, why not?
Roberson mentioned he was chairing the effort to put a sanctuary city initiative on the ballot – something Gov. Brian Sandoval has said is not an issue in Nevada. He said the language is being drafted and it will be filed soon. He also relished it being on the ballot in 2018 and 2020, a presidential year.
“The scary part is if the Democrats are in control…we’re going to become a sanctuary state,” he whistled.
Later, Roberson fretted about the minimum wage ballot question counterpoint that “will drive Democratic turnout in the presidential race...We have to stop it.”
Roberson concluded with a plea to the audience to volunteer to help the recalls after sneering at the federal lawsuit filed by the Democrats, praising his unofficial spokesman, Victor Joecks, for bashing the suit in a column and then repeating almost verbatim the Review-Journal columnist’s ad hominem attacks on Democratic superlawyer Marc Elias. (He worked for Hillary Clinton, you know!)
“I will ask you all to help with the recalls,” Roberson said as he wrapped shortly after he bragged the “folks doing the recall are doing exceedingly well .” Oh? How would he know? (Here’s how.)
“We need your help,” he said. “This is the biggest thing we all can do to make sure our state does not become California.”
Really he said that. Right before giving out his cell number and asking the audience members to text him if they want to assist with the recalls.