(Chuck Muth) – In an email last Thursday, Nevada Democrat state Senate Majority Leader Steven Hosford declared that “Sadly, extreme right-wing interests are lining up to use the budget crisis to dismantle our state.”
And although he didn’t mention any names, Senate Republicans uncharacteristically responded quickly (an early sign that the Raggio era is truly over), declaring indignantly that they were not extremists.
“Senate Republicans have been working hard to look for solutions to a budget crisis caused by over-spending State revenues,” said Senate Republican Leader Barbara Cegavske in the first GOP Senate caucus news release of the new year and new Raggio-less era. “We are working with interested leaders from all parties and ideologies, seeking better ways to improve government and save taxpayer money.”
In fact, late Thursday afternoon a letter was emailed and faxed to Sen. Horsford, as well as Speaker-elect John Oceguera, which was signed by 36 “interested leaders” and elected officials from a variety of parties, ideologies and organizations, urging the creation of a Spending Reduction Committee this upcoming session which would continue the work of the SAGE Commission and look for even more waste and inefficiencies in government.
The letter is reprinted below.
This is hardly an “extremist” suggestion. As I recall, about half of the SAGE Commission members were Democrats, including former Nevada Democratic National Committeewoman Jan Jones and former state Assemblyman David Goldwater.
But as you’ll quickly note in scanning the list of signatories, not a single Republican state senator was willing to join our effort and add their name – not even my “Conservative of the Year,” Sen. Elizabeth Halseth – who didn’t even extend us the courtesy of returning our repeated emails and phone calls on this matter.
Sadly, it appears the establishment has successfully doused the freshman’s philosophical fire, brought her into line and put her on a short leash. This is exactly what I was afraid of when I wrote that Halseth had the potential to become Nevada’s Michele Bachmann “if she gets some good direction and takes some good advice.”
Alas it appears she’s going in the same old direction of many GOP legislators before her and taking the bad advice of lobbyists and establishment leaders. Ah, what might have been. No more independent thinking or action for Sen. Halseth. The GOP Borg has struck again.
(SIDE NOTE: For you non-Star Trek fans, “When a biological individual is altered to encompass the Borg’s various cybernetic implants and hardware, they lose all sense of individuality, and become a drone, and part of the Borg commune. By way of a network of advanced subspace communications channels the individual will be absorbed into the Borg ‘Collective’ – a hive mind, or singular consciousness which incorporates all drones everywhere.”)
In any event, here’s the letter – part of a national campaign encouraging Congress to do the exact same thing – to which you can still add your name if you’re not afraid to be called a “right-wing extremist” just because you want to eliminate waste and inefficiencies in government.
Click here to add your name
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
The Honorable Steven Horsford
3450 West Cheyenne Avenue, Suite 100
North Las Vegas, NV 89032-8223
The Honorable John Oceguera
7655 Chaumont Street
Las Vegas, NV 89123-1491
VIA FAX & EMAIL
Dear Majority Leader Horsford and Speaker-Elect Oceguera,
On behalf of the thousands of Nevada taxpayers and citizens represented by our organizations and districts, we write to urge you to institute a joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Government Expenditures in the Nevada Legislature to combat and eliminate excessive government spending. This spending reduction committee should be modeled on the federal Joint Committee on Nonessential Federal Expenditures which was operational from 1941 until 1974.
Commonly referred to as the “Byrd Committee” after its creator, Senator Harry F. Byrd Sr. (D-Va.), the committee focused exclusively on cutting spending, much in the same way Nevada’s Senate Finance and Assembly Ways & Means committees today focus on sanctioning new spending. As such, the panel was able to net real savings for taxpayers, cutting over $38 billion (in 2010 dollars) in waste and inefficiencies.
Many efforts to reduce government spending have been undermined by the distraction of spending and taxes – history shows that only when the temptation of spending is removed can fiscal prudence take center stage. The success of the Byrd Committee was due to this singular nature; tasked only with cutting spending, rather than appropriating, the committee was able to propose targeted and effective rescissions.
Established in the wake of the New Deal, the Byrd Committee was able to dial back some of the unprecedented government growth of the preceding decade. We believe the creation of a similar committee here in Nevada would be the natural extension of the work begun over the last two years by the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission.
After two years of failed federal “stimulus” efforts and government bailouts which delayed the “day of reckoning” for government spending in Nevada,