(Chuck Muth) – Here’s another reason John Ensign won’t be running for re-election in 2012: He vowed not to.
That’s right. Recall in 1994, when he was running for the House of Representatives for the first time, Ensign signed the Contract with America. That document included a pledge to bring to the House floor a “first ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators.” The Citizen Legislature Act called for a constitutional amendment that “limits the number of Senate terms to two.”
Good to their word, the Republican majority in the House brought the Citizen Legislature Act to the floor for a vote on March 29, 2005. Ensign was one of 189 Republicans and 38 Democrats to vote “aye.” And since Ensign was first elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2006, he will have served his two terms by 2012 – which means he can’t run again unless he breaks his vow.
And I mean, for an honorable married man like John Ensign, what are the odds of that?
If it’s true that personnel is policy (and it is), what to make of the fact that Gov.-elect Sandoval’s first appointment was moderate, go-along-to-get-along Heidi Gansert as his chief-of-staff, as well as retaining Budget czar Andrew Clinger (largely responsible for the misleading “$3 billion” budget gap propaganda), combined with the announcement today that he’s keeping on the current heads of the departments of Transportation, HHS and DETR – not one of whom is known as a strong, limited-government fiscal conservative?
How is Sandoval ever going to be able to keep his promise not to raise taxes if the people he’s surrounding himself with all think taxes should be raised? It might be time to dust off that “Lost in Space” robot that always warned when danger was approaching.
Although most of the media ignored it at the time, a complaint filed by the Organized Labor Party of Nevada against the Nevada Democratic Caucus and its leader, Nevada state Assembly Speaker-in-Waiting John Oceguera, for serious campaign reporting violations – specifically, hiding very large contributions and expenses, as well as exceeding contribution limits – is now being investigated by the Secretary of State’s office.
In a recent letter to Oceguera and the caucus, SoS Ross Miller included a copy of the complaint filed by OLP Secretary/Treasurer Dan Burdish and directed them to “review this matter and provide a response in writing to this office no later than Friday, November 26, 2010.”
Of course, it’s too soon to judge how this will all turn out, but it could be the Democrats are about reward someone with their job who has ethical problems not completely unlike those of Charlie Rangel. Wahoo!
Speaking of Oceguera, he burped up the usual “bipartisan” crud last week in announcing the chairmen of his committees for the 2011 legislative session.
“We recognize how important it will be for all legislators, from both political parties, both houses and all regions of the state, to work together to find real solutions to the incredible challenges facing our state,” said Johnny O. “The Nevada Legislature has a rich history of working in a cooperative, bipartisan manner. Under this new leadership team, we are committed to continuing that tradition.”
Ah, yes. Bipartisanship. Meaning Democrats get whatever they want while Republicans get doodley-squat; where the D’s get the gold mine and the R’s get the shaft; where Johnny O feasts on steak and lobster while Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea gets table scraps (that he’ll promptly want to tax!). Yeah, no wonder Oceguera wants to “continue that tradition.”
And the go-along-to-get-along, hapless, hopeless, rubber-stamp, yes-sir-may-I-have-another Republicans will fall for it once again….just like Charlie Brown believing Lucy will actually hold the football THIS time. Good grief.
Oh, by the way. Assemblywoman Maggie Carlton (D-Culinary Union) is a waitress and an organized labor agitator. And this makes her qualified to Chair the Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Committee…how?
I missed a story in the LVRJ way back on October 27, but it reminded us that while Nevada’s population has declined by 2.6 percent since 2007, government spending has increased 38 percent in that same period of time. Seems to me Gov.-elect Sandoval not only has the right idea in starting with the 2007 budget number, but we should decrease it by 2.6 percent, as well.
In that same story, economist Jeremy Aguero, commenting on the shrinking population, said the remaining residents are demanding more, not fewer services, and therefore rolling back the budget to 2007 is unrealistic.
No, it’s not. It just means the Legislature is going to have to start telling all the Californians who have moved here over the last 20 years “No!” And if they don’t like it they go back home and pay the high taxes they fled in the first place to get the services they’re demanding.
Aguero’s position on this reminds me of a great Ronald Reagan quote: “One definition of an economist is somebody who sees something happen in practice and wonders if it will work in theory.”
NATIONAL NEWS & VIEWS
President Obama said of the November election results this weekend, “I am very confident that the American people were not issuing a mandate for gridlock.” True, they were issuing a mandate to change the country’s direction away from the path toward socialism Barack and the Democrats have been taking us for the last two years. As long as they get that message, there’ll be no need for gridlock. If they don’t, there will.
Things aren’t much better for B.O. internationally. “President Obama’s (overseas) trip was not quite as big a shellacking as the mid-term elections earlier this month, but it wasn’t far behind,” writes Rich Galen at Mullings.com on Monday. “The rose petals the Obama White House thought would be strewn in his path at every step have gotten brown and crinkly over the past 18 months.”
The Chosen One seems to have stepped in “number two”…if you know what I mean, and I think you do.
Obama and the Democrats continue to point to the government “stimulus” interventions during the Great Depression as the magic potion for getting us out of the current Great Recession. But as the brilliant columnist/economist Thomas Sowell points out:
“Unemployment never hit double digits in any of the 12 months following the stock market crash of 1929. But it hit double digits within six months after government intervention – and unemployment stayed in double digits for the entire remainder of the decade, as the government went in for one intervention after another.”
What’s that old saying about those who fail to learn from history?
While it is true that the true problem in Washington is overall spending, not earmarks; earmarks have become as much a symbol of what’s wrong in our nation’s capital today as the National Endowment of the Arts was back in 1995. Both, in the large scheme of things, are minor issues; however, they are huge perceptually.
“Republicans helped to create the public backlash against earmarks because of their own bad behavior the last time they ran Congress,” notes the Wall Street Journal on Monday. “The number of earmarks multiplied from nearly 1,500 in 1994 to a little under 14,000 in 2005—before voters ousted what had become the Grand Old Pork Party. It isn’t easy to spend so much money so egregiously that even Nancy Pelosi could campaign as a relative fiscal conservative, but the Tom DeLay Republicans managed the feat in 2006.”
If Republicans fail to shut down the earmarking process, just as they failed to zero out the NEA, they will be judged as failures. It’s just that simple. And they’ll have no one but themselves to blame if they’re booted from power once again in 2012.