Hutchison: I shouldn't have said Sandoval supported religious freedom bill

I acknowledge it was a mischievous question.

But I wanted to see how both Republican candidates for lieutenant governor, sprinting to the right as fast as they can and potentially in line to succeed Brian Sandoval, would answer during a "Ralston Reports" debate: Is the governor a conservative?

His anointed choice, state Sen. Mark Hutchison, first used as evidence that Sandoval had appointed him to sue the federal government over Obamacare. Unsatisfied with that bit of resume-boasting, I pressed and Hutchison answered:

How about the fact that he fought off a billion dollars in tax increases?  He supported our efforts as part of the Nevada Preservation of Religious Freedoms Act.  I think Brian Sandoval is a conservative in the best sense of that word, and I think that he will continue to be a strong governor for Nevada.

I had not recalled that Sandoval had ever taken a position on that controversial bill, not totally dissimilar to the pendng Arizona law and described as enabling discrimination by some. So I tried to find out if that were really true.

Took me awhile, but I finally got an answer: It isn't.

I still haven't heard from Sandoval's camp, but a Hutchison spokeswoman told me today: "It should not have been one of those things he rattled off."

So why would he?

Because he remembered it having broad support, his spokeswoman said.


My guess: He didn't have an answer ready, so he defaulted to one of his own bills seen as very conservative.

I'm hoping to get an answer to what Sandoval's position is on this failed measure or the pending Arizona one. I'm not hopeful.

For more on the debate and what was said, read this.