(Mark Noonan) – We noted on the 14th that Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio – alleged Republican – is now threatened with a recall initiative. Seems the good people of Raggio’s district are angry that Raggio ran on an anti-tax platform, and then proved instrumental in raising taxes over Governor Gibbon’s veto. What I found astounding – and illustrative – are Raggio’s comments about the effort:
“(Raggio) said he’s heard rumors about the potential recall, adding, ‘I don’t lose any sleep over it. Nobody thought we’d have to raise taxes,’ he said of the massive budget shortfall that loomed when lawmakers convened early this year and sales and gambling taxes dried up because of the recession. ‘I didn’t sign any pledges’ not to raise taxes, Raggio said. ‘I know what I did was right.’”
Senator, it doesn’t take a signature for a real Republican to understand that you don’t raise taxes during a recession. This isn’t some strange, new thing for the Republican party. This is core GOP principle. This is what we’ve been fighting for since Ronald Reagan’s day. Its one thing to, say, differ from the rest of the GOP on the level of State funding for education but to differ from the GOP on raising taxes calls directly in to question your Republican bona fides.
It is precisely this sort of attitude – this “I’m smarter than you and did what was right while you hicks are just fools”, attitude – which is fueling the TEA Party movement and making Republican rank-and-file members determined to purge the RINO’s (Republican In Name Only) from the ranks. Uniformity of opinion is not demanded; not even remotely desired. But there are some basic GOP beliefs – low taxes, balanced budgets, strong national defense, law-and-order, defense of the family, individual liberty – which must be adhered to if a person wishes to be Republican.
I’ll also point out that it was under Raggio’s leadership – and he’s been in the State Senate since 1973 – that the Republican party lost control of that body. A leader who loses an election and then turns against core principle is not someone who dares lecture the rest of us on how we should view his actions. Such a person is a prime candidate, however, for a bit of soul searching and, if this is not forthcoming, a recall effort.