Tea Party leaders in Nevada rethink strategy

by LAURA MYERS, LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL  |  published on December 2, 2012

Art Gisi likes to joke that he and Cathie Lynn Profant, a co-leader of the Grass Roots Tea Party of Nevada, are “so conservative we make most tea partyers look like left-wing liberals.”

Which makes it all the more remarkable that Gisi and Profant are leading a campaign to shift conservative Republicans away from fighting abortion and battling illegal immigrants on every front.

A woman’s right to choose abortion is the law of the land and should be accepted, they said Tuesday at the group’s first post-election meeting following a year in which Republicans were accused of waging a “war on women.”

The tea party leaders also proposed pushing for a new Nevada law to let undocumented immigrants get “driver privilege cards” so they can legally hit the roads and buy auto insurance.

The idea, modeled on a program in Utah, is to make Nevada roads safer and perhaps lower insurance premiums for all drivers. But the impetus is a post-November realization that Republicans have lately been on the losing side of immigration, costing them the decisive Latino vote and the White House.

“Nevada’s changing and we as Republicans are going to need to step up or we’re not going to win any more elections,” Profant said. “By staying back here, the rest of the country is leaving us.”

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