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Conservatives file paperwork to seek recall of GOP Assembly speaker

Legislature Opening Day

AP Photo/Lance Iversen

Republican John Hambrick conducts business during the opening session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015.

Updated Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 | 2:18 p.m.

Far-right Republicans filed formal paperwork today in a campaign to recall Nevada GOP Assembly Speaker John Hambrick, continuing months of party infighting over tax increases.

Clark County Registrar Joe Gloria said a notice of intent to recall was filed today.

The recall effort, dovetailing with an extortion case involving Hambrick’s election to the Assembly’s top spot, centers on Gov. Brian Sandoval’s calls for raising taxes to fund a wave of education programs designed to lift Nevada’s bottom-tier education system.

Centrist Republicans — Hambrick among them — and Democrats are supporting the governor’s plan and weighing other options for revenue increases.

The far right is intransigent on taxes.

Hambrick said the recall effort isn’t distracting him from legislative business. “My constituents deserve better. Nevadans deserve better,” he said.

Fiscal conservatives hope that booting Hambrick from office would bring a no-new-tax Republican to power in the Assembly.

Hambrick has signaled that he will be in lockstep with Sandoval this session. Far-right conservatives in his district say Hambrick hoodwinked them.

A.J. Maimbourg, director of the Recall Hambrick PAC, is running the recall effort with the backing of conservative activist Chuck Muth, a consultant who runs the political firm Citizens Outreach.

Maimbourg said voters don’t have to settle on candidates once they are in office.

Maimbourg, a constituent in Hambrick’s Las Vegas district, said Hambrick signed a no-new-tax pledge two months before his re-election and is now pushing for the “mother of all tax increases.”

“Nobody was more disappointed than me when he flip-flopped,” she said.

Maimbourg has 90 days to collect 4,100 signatures in Hambrick’s district to force a recall election. She would then have to collect signatures to show approval for a potential candidate to run against Hambrick in a recall election.

If voters in the district didn’t approve of the candidate on the petition, the Clark County Commission would choose a candidate.

There’s yet to be a vote on any tax plan in the Assembly, leaving lots of speculation about how the chamber will vote.

There are 25 members in the Assembly GOP caucus. If 17 vote against the governor’s plan, that would give the state’s no-new-tax faction enough votes to prevent the two-thirds majority necessary to pass revenue hikes.

Assembly conservatives are convinced they can secure at least 12 votes.

The extortion investigation launched by Las Vegas Metro Police Department also involves Hambrick.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Edwards says he was offered money to change his vote for Assembly speaker.

Police searched the Virginia home of Republican operative Tony Dane in regards to the allegations. Last month, a PAC operated by Dane sent out mailers panning Hambrick and Edwards as tax raisers.

Metro’s investigation is ongoing.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct Chuck Muth's job title. | (February 13, 2015)

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