Citizen Outreach Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of this year’s Conservative Awards who will be honored at the sold-out closing dinner of the 2017 Conservative Leadership Conference on Saturday night.

Conservative of the Year: Michele Fiore

The firebrand conservative first ran for a seat in Congress in 2010 and lost.  She then won a seat in the Nevada Legislature in 2012, as well as re-election two years later.  In 2016, Fiore again ran for Congress but came up short.  Undaunted, she ran for and won a seat on the Las Vegas City Council this year.

Persistence in the face of adversity is a virtue.

Fiore doesn’t just vote “right.”  She’s a boat-rocker and leader who is consistently found at the tip of the spear in political battles, driving opponents on both sides of the aisle “fioreous.”  And unlike many conservatives, she’s not afraid to tangle with the liberal “fake news” media, and provides personal constituent service like no other elected official in the state.

For all this and more, Citizen Outreach is proud to honor Michele Fiore as this year’s Conservative of the Year.

Courage Under Fire:  Joe Arpaio

For over 50 years, “Sheriff Joe” has been serving this nation in law enforcement, including a stint in his early career in Las Vegas.

As sheriff of Maricopa County (AZ) for 24 years, Arpaio earned the reputation as “America’s Toughest Sheriff” – in part for his implementation of policies that operated his jails as jails rather than country clubs, including housing prisoners in tents, taking away their porno magazines, making them wear pink underwear and feeding them baloney sandwiches.

Arpaio’s strict enforcement of the law extended to illegal immigration, earning the wrath and scorn of the Obama administration and amnesty liberals from coast-to-coast.  He was convicted on misdemeanor “contempt” charge by a federal court, after being denied a jury trial, for defying the judge’s order to illegally legalize illegal immigration.

On August 25th, President Trump rightly pardoned Arpaio for this political witch hunt.

Throughout the adversity, the media attacks, the Obama administration’s persecution and absurd claims that he’s a “racist” and a “Nazi,” Sheriff Joe has been as solid as a rock in his determination to rigidly enforce the law and protect the citizens whose safety has always been his #1 priority.

Citizen Outreach is proud to honor Sheriff Joe Arpaio as the recipient of this year’s Courage Under Fire award.

Reagan Legacy Award: Sue Lowden

Dating back to well before her historic election to the Nevada State Senate in 1992, Sue Lowden has been an extremely generous donor to conservative organizations, causes and candidates running for office at all levels of government.

As chairman of the Senate Taxation Committee, her staunch opposition to tax hikes earned the committee nickname, “Senate NON-Taxation Committee.”

After leaving the Legislature, Lowden continued to fight for the conservative cause as chairman of the Nevada Republican Party and as a candidate for U.S. Senate and Lieutenant Governor.  She currently sits on the board of Maggie’s List, an organization that supports conservative women running for federal offices.

An accomplished businesswoman, gaming executive, and former TV anchorwoman, Lowden’s contributions to the community extend well beyond politics, including her volunteer roles over the years for Bob Hope’s USO Tours, the March of Dimes, and the Miss America Pageant.

Citizen Outreach is pleased to recognize Sue Lowden’s lifetime of service to the conservative movement with this year’s Reagan Legacy Award.

Taxpayer Hero Award:  Ron Knecht

As a conservative state assemblyman in 2003, Ron Knecht was an unwavering member of the “Lean 15” that stood up and opposed what was, at the time, the largest proposed tax hike in Nevada history.

While Nevada State Controller last year, Knecht launched an initiative to place the “Commerce Tax” – a part of 2015’s largest tax hike in Nevada history – on the 2016 ballot as a referendum.

Elements of the Carson City “swamp” sued to block the referendum.  Knecht and supporters fought against the lawsuit all the way up to the Supreme Court and won.  Alas, by the time the court ruled, it was too late to gather the required number of signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot.

Undaunted, Knecht re-filed the referendum last month for the 2018 ballot and is in the legal defense/signature-gathering process as we speak.

For his unwavering opposition to tax hikes that grow big government even bigger, Citizen Outreach is happy to recognize Ron Knecht with this year’s Taxpayer Hero Award.

Legislator of the Year:  John Ellison

Assemblyman John Ellison, a longtime small businessman from Elko, Nevada, was first elected to the Nevada Legislature in 2010.  He has served as Speaker Pro Tempore, chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and a member of the Commerce and Labor; Natural Resources, Agriculture, Transportation and Mining committees.

A Marine Corps veteran, Ellison brought his pro-business conservative ideals to the Elko City Council and County Commission before being elected to the Legislature.  As a Republican assemblyman, Ellison has fought tooth-and-nail, often against members of his own caucus leadership, for limited-government/low-taxation public policies.

A longtime member of the National Rifle Association, Ellison has been a stalwart defender of Second Amendment rights as well as unwavering supporter of law enforcement.  He introduced and passed a bill in the 2017 session to increase the penalties on anyone attacking or harming police officers.

Citizen Outreach is pleased to honor Assemblyman Ellison with the 2017 Legislator of the Year award.

Unsung Hero:  Randi Thompson

An original co-founder of the Conservative Leadership Conference, Randi Thompson has been a quiet but effective advocate for pro-business, free-market public policies.

As president of Randi Thompson Consulting, Randi has developed a highly-respected reputation as a “can do” fiscal conservative lobbyist in Carson City and local governments who has consistently fought against efforts to raise taxes on Nevada’s business community, as well as liberal efforts to strangle small businesses with government red tape.

Randi has been active in Nevada politics since 1978, is a regular guest on a variety of radio and television talk shows, a featured columnist for the Reno Gazette-Journal, and currently serves as the Nevada State Director of the National Federation of Independent Business.

It is with great pleasure that Citizen Outreach recognizes Randi Thompson’s stellar behind-the-scenes accomplishments for the conservative movement with this year’s Unsung Hero Award.

We look forward to honoring and recognizing all of this year’s recipients on Saturday night!

Chuck Muth
President, Citizen Outreach
CLC ’17 Host
Nevada’s #1 Irritator of Liberals and RINO’s
Professional Swampbuster

P.S.  Because of ongoing concerns over planned protests at the Tropicana Hotel for the dinner, we have changed the venue to a secure, undisclosed, off-Strip location that will only be revealed to attendees on Saturday afternoon.

The venue is less than a 15-minute drive from the hotel and maps will be provided.

To be clear, the dinner will NOT be held at either the Tropicana Hotel or the Bali Hai Golf Club as originally planned and announced.

Also, again because of the potential for violent protests and “hate mail” I’ve received, we are unable to confirm if Sheriff Arpaio will attend the dinner in person to accept his award or if someone else will be accepting on his behalf.

I know this is not an ideal situation and appreciate everyone’s understanding.  These decisions were made out of an abundance of caution in light of recent violent actions by the alt-left in cities around the country.