Chuck Muth: And the top conservatives are

Citizen Outreach has announced the names of its conservative award recipients for 2014. They are…

Conservative of the Year: Carl Bunce

A top lieutenant in Ron Paul’s two presidential campaigns and the growing “liberty movement” in Nevada, Bunce has been an extremely active and effective leader in the conservative-libertarian wing of the Republican Party in Nevada.

He was an unsuccessful congressional candidate in 2008 and has served as precinct coordinator and vice chairman of the Clark County Republican Party.

This year Bunce stepped up and decided to challenge the extremely powerful State Senate Minority Leader “Moderate Mike” Roberson after Roberson famously broke his “no new taxes” pledge in the 2013 legislative session.

Conservative Rising Star: Leo Bletnitsky

Bletnitsky is a co-founder of the Las Vegas Jewish Cigar and Shooting Club, president of the Las Vegas Republican Jewish Coalition and an elected member of both the Clark County and Nevada Republican parties. He’s also executive director of New America PAC Nevada. Expect to see much more of Bletnitsky in the years to come.

Conservative Organization of the Year: Virgin Valley Tea Party

Under President Connie Foust’s leadership, the Virgin Valley Tea Party has been super-active in recent months, weighing in on several local, state and federal issues, as well as hosting a major debate between the two GOP candidates seeking the nomination in the 4th congressional district race. VVTP has also endorsed candidates in primaries, providing much-needed leadership for conservative “tea party” GOP voters.

Courage under Fire Award: Assemblyman Jim Wheeler

Wheeler successfully challenged and defeated a tax-hiking incumbent Republican in 2012 and went on to chalk up the second-best conservative voting record in the 2013 Legislature.

Unfortunately, in a speech last summer he used an admittedly bad analogy regarding slavery to make a point about how committed he was to representing the interests of his constituents.

Wheeler comments were largely taken out of context by liberals and used to ridicule the conservative firebrand. Under the circumstances, it would have been an easy and understandable decision for him to call it quits. Instead, Wheeler filed for re-election and is in a position to retain his seat despite the maelstrom of controversy.

Reagan Legacy Award

In 1976, conservative Reagan defied the Republican Party establishment and challenged moderate incumbent President Gerald Ford in the GOP primary, famously giving Republican voters a choice, not an echo.

In 2014, conservative Sue Lowden is defying the Republican Party establishment in the lieutenant governor race, daring to challenge the anointed moderate candidate and similarly giving Nevada GOP primary voters a real choice, not an echo.

For this, as well as over two decades of service and generous financial support to the conservative movement in Nevada, Citizen Outreach is proud to honor Lowden with this year’s Reagan Legacy Award.

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grassroots advocacy organization. He can be reached at


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