How the Assembly Republicans "elected" a speaker

Assembly Republicans named a speaker Tuesday evening, but there was no election.

Here’s what happened, according to several sources:

Ira Hansen, he of the racist, homophobic and misogynistic columns, ran the meeting, which in the unkindest cut of all, took place at the office of Paul Anderson, the presumptive speaker before Tuesday’s machinations. Hansen immediately announced he had in hand 12 signed proxies plus his vote, giving him a majority of the caucus of 25.

As John Hambrick sat nearby, Hansen named him as the incoming speaker and Michele Fiore as the majority leader. As one GOP insider described it: "Looking like Vladimir Lenin, Ira stood up in the beginning of the meeting clutching 12 signed proxies, plus his, and proceeded to announce the new caucus speaker-designate and majority leader. No vote, no discussion, just a decree from Ira Hansen. Looked like a scene out the Russian Revolution with radicals taking over the Winter Palace. The Revolutionary Guards  who made their pact with Hansen and Fiore, were then announced in new leadership positions. Again--no discussion, no votes. Truly a bizarre scene."

That account was confirmed by others.

I have already reported how Hambrick’s candidacy arose to help elevate the Fiore/Hansen wing. Despite his withdrawal as speaker-designate, Hansen clearly was in control Tuesday, with Fiore lobbying outsiders and insiders to kill Anderson’s candidacy.

The results, which include Hansen as No. 3 and Jim “I’d vote for slavery” as whip, were met with horror by many, including renewed talk of a so-called “nuclear option.” That would involve an unholy pact with 17 Democrats and at least five Republicans on Feb. 2 to elect a new speaker.

People are horrified by the prospect of Fiore, who is universally distrusted outside of her core backers and who shamefully supported Cliven "Let me tell you about the history of the Negro" Bundy (see below) and once said she and her new colleague, Victoria Seaman, should go packing to the Culinary picket line (among other gems).

But such a move could cast an even more toxic cloud over the Assembly and, as one Republican put it, harden the Hansen/Fiore wing and make it more difficult to count to 28 for any tax package to plug a budget hole and fund education. It seems unlikely, but the chatter goes on.

At 10:33 PM, about three hours after the vote, Gov. Brian Sandoval, who already is looking to get supermajorities in both houses for a tax reform/funding package, tweeted, “Congratulations to Speaker-elect @hambrick4assemb & Majority Leader @VoteFiore as #NV Assembly Leadership. Let's get to work.”

I don’t think he was sincere.