(Chuck Muth) – Scoff if you like, but this is exactly the sort of thing which might, just might, put Gov. Jim Gibbons back in the running for the Republican nomination and re-election next fall.
Jon Ralston is reporting that Gov. Gibbons will announce an education reform plan today which would:
• Abolish collective bargaining – which is 100% responsible for the outrageously high salary and benefit packages enjoyed by so many local “public servants” which are driving local governments down the road to bankruptcy
• Abolishing the class-size reduction program – which has gone from about a $30 million boondoggle to a $300 million boondoggle without improving education one iota
• Abolishing taxpayer-funded full-day kindergarten which, like the class-size reduction program, is all about helping the teachers union, not the kids.
In addition, Ralston reports the governor will also propose a school “voucher” program, most likely along the lines of the Excellence In Education and Increased Opportunities Act (EIEIO) introduced by Assemblyman Ed Goedhart during the last legislative session which the Democrats never even held a hearing on.
All of these measures will save taxpayers various amounts of money – some significant, others not so much.
But all are serious, substantive efforts to roll back government and the power or organized labor. And each challenges in a major way the notion that “government knows best.” These are exactly the kinds of significant issues limited-government conservatives have been champing at the bit to fight for many, many years.
They’re also going to separate the men from the boys in the Republican Party; the true conservatives from the posers. Make no mistake; these aren’t battles likely to be won against a Democrat-majority Legislature, though they are absolutely worth fighting, discussing and debating, especially on the campaign trail.
No, these issues will ultimately be fought within the GOP for the party’s soul. At this moment, I can count on one hand the number of elected GOP legislators who might embrace all four of these reforms – and that includes Goedhart.
I hope I’m wrong. I hope all Republicans embrace these proposals and take the fight directly to the Democrats over them. Heck, if they do, I and many other independents would probably consider rejoining the party.
But knowing Nevada Republicans as I do, I wouldn’t be grabbing that voter registration form just yet.
Final note: The conventional wisdom is that even if Gov. Gibbons wins the GOP primary next June, that he’d be toast in the November general election. I’m no longer so sure of that. Indeed, considering all the ginormous problems in Clark County under the “leadership” of Chairman Rory Reid, combined with the additional negatives he accrues by birth to his increasingly unpopular dad, Rory might just be the ONLY Democrat candidate that Jim Gibbons COULD beat.
Now, about Oscar…..