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August 30, 2014

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Assemblymen claim conservative caucus doesn’t exist

Maybe conservative Assemblyman Ty Cobb now knows how Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert feels.

During Monday's special session, Cobb, R-Reno, issued a press release, announcing the Assembly Conservative Caucus. It listed seven assemblymen - half the Republicans in the Assembly - as abstaining from the usually

unanimous vote to confirm Democrat Barbara Buckley as speaker.

The Republicans split a vote in the morning, and then voted against part of the $340 million package to balance the budget in the afternoon. Since Gansert had helped negotiate the deal, it was seen as a shot at her leadership and the rise of the right.

But it turns out holding a caucus together is not so easy, Reno Gazette Journal Anjeanette Damon reports.

"Several of the assemblymen listed in Cobb's release said Wednesday they didn't consent to be quoted and were surprised to learn in the release they were suddenly part of a caucus they didn't know existed," Damon wrote.

"That group does not exist, and if it does exist, I'm not a part of it," Assemblyman Chad Christensen, R-Las Vegas, told Damon.

Damon reports that some members just thought they'd get a shout out on conservative activist Chuck Muth's blog.

Muth had dubbed the group who abstained from the Buckley vote as the "Magnificent Seven."

Muth now allows he might have to call them the "Fabulous Five."

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