(Chuck Muth) – So, is Gov. Jim Gibbons toast?
In a general election match-up held today….yeah.
But in a Republican primary next June? Not so fast.
Brian Sandoval will raise a boatload of money and will rack up a boatload of “establishment” endorsements. Mike Montandon probably won’t raise as much money but will be a favorite of movement and social conservatives.
But neither has signed the Tax Pledge….and this upcoming session of the Legislature will, once again, be all about raising taxes or cutting spending. And when the Horsford Democrats and Raggio Republicans sent Jim Gibbons an $800 million gorilla tax hike earlier this year, Jim Gibbons…
Vetoed the hell out of it.
Now the governor should/could do three things to position himself for the Republican nomination next June despite his in-the-cellar polling numbers today:
1.) Answer, in advance, the question on everyone’s mind: How do you plug what is reportedly going to be a $2 billion budget hole when the stimulus money runs out and the Raggio tax hikes sunset next biennium? Go on record, with specifics, and dare his opponents to come up with a better solution, with specifics, and without raising taxes. The naysayers say it can’t be done. The governor needs to establish credibility by showing he can do it.
2.) Throw the tax-hike ball in the opposition’s corner. Tell them that when it comes to tax hikes, he supports the “public option.” Tell opponents to go out and collect enough signatures to put tax hikes on the ballot and then let the public vote on it, rather let lobbyist-controlled legislators. Tell the tax-hikers to do the same thing to raise taxes that Gibbons did in the 1990s to restrain them – take it directly to the public.
3.) Adopt and promote the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative II. The original Gibbons tax restraint initiative requires a 2/3 super-majority vote of the Legislature to pass tax hikes. The loophole is in allowing special interests – such as gaming and the unions – to put tax hikes on the ballot and then getting them passed with a simple majority vote. Gibbons should champion a constitutional amendment which would also require a 2/3 super-majority vote for ballot tax hikes.
Do that…settle the divorce as quickly and as quietly as possible…don’t appoint Diane Cornwall to the Gaming Commission…and Gov. Jim Gibbons’ prospects for winning the GOP gubernatorial nomination in June will look far more promising than they do today.
Now about that general election….