Author’s note: This post has been altered from its original version to correct an error.
CARSON CITY — Conservative critics, including my friend Chuck Muth, were quick to lambaste Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, back in January when he removed Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, R-Las Vegas, from her twin posts as majority leader and chairwoman of the Assembly Taxation Committee.
Muth charged at the time that Hambrick’s action was motivated not by the revelation that Fiore had a sizable number of outstanding IRS tax liens, or her explanation of them on a Las Vegas radio show, but by the fact that he didn’t want her to stand in the way of a proposed tax increase.
On Tuesday, here in Carson City, a tax bill was heard in the Assembly that would, among other things, boost the state’s business license fee and increase the rate of the payroll tax and reduce the standard payroll tax exemption. Although the bill was officially sponsored by the Taxation Committee, it was presented by two of the Assembly’s top leaders:
Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, R-Henderson, the chairman of the Taxation Committee.
And Assemblyman Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, the majority leader.
That’s right: The Assembly’s biggest tax bill was introduced by the men who now hold the jobs that Fiore, an ardent tax opponent, once held.
Oh, sweet irony.
I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that an angry Fiore is walking out of Republican caucus meetings after reportedly telling off Hambrick.