Cashell: GOP rightists are RINOs

Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, a former Republican state chair and Nevada lieutenant governor, said last week that the rightists in the Nevada Senate are not representative of the party. Cashell was reacting to the way far-right senators mustered enough votes in the Senate GOP caucus to force Washoe Sen. William Raggio out as Republican floor leader after Raggio grudgingly supported Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s reelection.

“I think it was very petty,” Cashell said. “I think it was very vindictive. These people claim to be Ronald Reagan conservatives, and they’re not. I knew Ronald Reagan. He asked me to join the Republican Party when I was a conservative Democrat, and I’m still a conservative Republican. … Ronald Reagan felt there was room for all of us in the tent to agree to disagree and not say vile things about each other. But when you come out and you’ve got people, they want to get their pound of flesh, I think it’s terrible. I think it’s very, very disturbing to the whole organization. It’s splitting the organization.”

Cashell, who switched from the Democratic to Republican Party on Aug. 12, 1983, said it was Raggio who succeeded in putting a time limit on a tax increase in the Democratic-majority Senate at the last legislature when the rightists were refusing to be involved.

“And I think that Sen. Raggio has been a very strong leader in the Republican Party all these years. If it hadn’t been for him there would’ve been no sunset on the last tax increase. Sure, he’s gone for tax increases. ‘No’ is not the answer to politics, and the RINOs are not Raggio and I. The RINOs [Republicans in name only] are the other people to the far, far right.”