By: Chuck Muth
Nevada News and Views
TODAY’S NN&V HEADLINES
- Jon Ralston’s “Face” to Go Statewide (Las Vegas Sun) – The Greenspun Corporation and Sunbelt Communications are proud to announce the award-winning news discussion program “Face to Face with Jon Ralston” will begin airing statewide on January 4.
- Lowden: My Views on Abortion Have Clearly Changed (Sue Lowden) – I am personally pro-life and should I be fortunate enough to defeat Harry Reid and be elected, I will legislate as a pro-life U.S. Senator. Unlike Harry Reid, I would never write or support federal legislation that includes taxpayer-subsidized abortion.
- Rory Reid Slams Gibbons, Announces Ethics Reform Plan (Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid today released an ambitious plan for ethics reform in Nevada, saying he is offering “common sense” changes to the way state government does business.
- Gibbons: Nevada Won’t Miss Race-to-Top Funding Opportunity (Stacy M. Woodbury) – Last Friday, as I was in this room listening to the presentations of speakers at the Legislative Committee on Education, I received an e-mail newsletter from the U.S. Department of Education with the following quote from Secretary of Education Duncan from a December 10, 2009 speech at the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Fall Forum:
- Unemployment Rate Drop Due to Smaller Labor Force (Sean Whaley/Nevada News Bureau) – Nevada’s unemployment rate fell for the second consecutive month in November, declining six-tenths of a percentage point to a seasonally adjusted 12.3 percent, but the drop was attributed to a decline in the state labor force.
A Forced Gesture
Assembly Republicans declared this week that they were taking a voluntary 4.6 percent pay cut to show solidarity with state employees who had their pay reduced by the 2009 Legislature. “A promise made, a promise kept,” boasted Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert in the first and only press release coming out of her shop since the last session.
Sounds all fine and dandy, except….
The Republicans only agreed to actually fulfill the promise they made after Anjeanette Damon of the Reno Gazette-Journal reported last weekend that only ONE state legislator, Assemblyman Ed Goedhart (R-Amargosa Valley) had actually put his money where his rhetoric was more than seven months after the session ended.
If not for the newspaper story, no one thinks for the minute that these Republicans would have followed-up on their commitment.
And the promise made during the legislative session was to take a 6 percent cut, as was being proposed at the time, not 4.6 percent. Goedhart returned 6 percent, not 4.6 percent.
And the cut was supposed to be on the full salary legislators earned during the session, not on the pittance they pocket after the session for participating in “interim” committee hearings and such.
Goedhart wrote a check for 6 percent of the $8,777 he earned during the session. Gansert wrote a check for 4.6 percent of the approximately $800 she has earned SINCE the session ended.
Still, at least Assembly Republicans did SOMETHING…..even if they had to be “guilted” into doing it. Democrats, supposedly the party of the working stiff, has stiffed everybody. You see, Democrats only spend OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY.
The Full Monte
Has the final nail been driven into Gov. Jim Gibbons’ political coffin?
Republican insiders always assumed that Monte Miller, an influential financial supporter, would go down with the ship alongside Gov. Gibbons. Last man standing and all.
Miller has been the governor’s staunchest and most-outspoken defender for the last three years in GOP circles. He and I have butted heads a dozen times on columns I’ve written critical of the governor. And on almost every occasion, the easy-going, highly likeable Miller has told me he believed “Gov. Jim” was the state’s last, best hope for fiscal conservatism and would go down in history as one of Nevada’s greatest governors.
But on Tuesday, Miller hosted a major fundraiser for the governor’s primary opponent, Brian Sandoval.
“Brian has the best chance of being elected,” Miller told the Las Vegas Sun. “Everybody can see that in the polling. I made a political decision to support Brian Sandoval.”
Or as the political saying goes, no permanent friends, no permanent enemies…just permanent interests. I mean, what’s next? A truce between me and Bill Raggio?
Miller says he still holds Gibbons in high regard and considers him a friend, but politically-speaking, he also now sees the writing on the wall. And when you lose someone that close in your inner circle, it’s bad. Really bad. Maybe unrecoverable bad.
OTHER NEWS & VIEWS
- One of the worst government failures in Nevada history has been the government owned-and-operated University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas. It is Exhibit A in the case against government-run health care, losing a staggering $83 million taxpayer dollars last year. Is it time for Rory Reid’s all-Democrat Clark County Commission to open their eyes and privatize?
- A banner week for the Clark County government owned-and-operated school district as one teacher was arrested for fondling a student and another got caught denying that the Holocaust ever happened. But school vouchers for parents so they could get their kids out of this system would be bad, right?
- The Las Vegas Monorail-to-Nowhere is, to no one’s surprise, on the brink of BK.
- Liberal blogger and tax addict Hugh Jackson says there’s no evidence that corporations would pass on a new corporate income tax to consumers by way of higher prices, while blogger Dullard Mush points out that Microsoft opened a facility in Reno pretty much for the sole purpose of avoiding the corporate royalty tax levied by the company’s home-office state of Washington. You have to be blind to reality to think businesses don’t value a low-tax environment over big-government services when they consider where to set up shop.
- Campaign historian Craig Shirley says Reagan ranks as one of the four greatest American presidents of all time.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
- “The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows support for the health care bill being debated on Capitol Hill falling to 32%, with 47% of voters opposed and the remainder having no opinion or undecided.” – Political Diary, 12/17/09
- “Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) told CNSNews.com that Congress has the authority to force individual Americans to buy health insurance because the U.S. Constitution ‘charges Congress with the health and well-being of the people.’ However, the words ‘health’ and ‘well-being’ do not appear anywhere in the Constitution.” – CNS News, 12/17/09
- “I would vote to have a personal income tax.” – Nevada state Controller Kim Wallin (D), CityLife, 12/17/09
- “Congrats to Jon Ralston & Co! Moving over to megalomaniac Jim Rogers should be a helluva lot of fun to watch! Show of hands here: Who doesn’t see Jim Rogers taking the chair on Face-to-Face when Jon is on vacation…or maybe pulling rank as co-interviewer about two weeks into the new arrangement?” – Blogger Mike Zahara