Las Vegas Sun

July 24, 2014

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Sandoval cancels fundraising appearance for Washoe Republicans

Gov. Brian Sandoval has canceled a speech at a fundraiser for the Washoe Republican Party this month after the party chairman and other party leaders appeared to lament the transition of women to the workplace from a more traditional domestic role raising children.

Sandoval's campaign manager Jeremy Hughes confirmed today that Sandoval will not speak at the Nov. 18 fundraiser because of the comments that could be deemed offensive to women.

As Las Vegas political journalist Jon Ralston reported, Washoe GOP chairman Tom Taber and vice-chairman Tom Dickman led a radio discussion last week with local conservatives Len Semas, Sean Barnhill and Kelly Rush. During the discussion, the group discussed whether men can be as nurturing as women when it comes to raising children and blamed a host of societal ills on women leaving the home.

“There is a cultural issue. I’m of the opinion that many of – and I need to be careful how I phrase this – there are a lot of social conditions, a lot of social changes, that have occurred in the last 50 years and they parallel women leaving their home occupations as mothers and homemakers and entering the workforce," Semas said. "While I don’t deny anybody’s rights to pursue their dreams regardless of their sex…the reality is there is a special role that women take on, biologically, as the bearers of children and the nurturers of children. I don’t know that we haven’t created problems in society by ignoring that important role. (Attention Deficit Disorder) and various learning disabilities, hyperactive kids, kids building bombs in their garage.”

During the same radio program, a female party official advertised the Washoe GOP's upcoming fundraiser, pointing out that Sandoval would be the keynote speaker at the event.

In recent weeks, Sandoval has been among the first to publicly condemn gaffes and racially insensitive comments from Nevada Republicans. He and his campaign had been silent in the wake of publicity of Taber's involvement in last week's radio program.

In response to a question from the Sun on Monday, Hughes said Sandoval will "no longer be attending the fundraiser." Asked if the cancelation was because of the comments during the radio show, Hughes responded: "Yes."

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