(Todd Taxpayer Bailey) – On a frosty, first Monday, in January 2011, change came to Carson City, with the inauguration of Brian Sandoval as Governor of Nevada. The orderly climax of an 18 month effort, Mr. Sandoval and his team of political experts, ran an amazing campaign that exceeded all others over the last 30 years in the state. After taking the oath of office, he kept moving, urging everyone to follow, with hope and promise, in our time.
Electing Brian Sandoval, a man of Hispanic heritage, was always possible legally, it’s something else politically. What our new Governor recognized in his inauguration speech was that his success was not about his race. It was about the hard work and dedication of himself and his family, those core values politicians carry around in their smart phones, except in this case it’s the real thing. Citing the maintenance of “Sheep pens in Sparks”, and a “dedication to service above self”, he recognized those who had helped him the most, his family and his friends. These are the true American ideals we all want our country to achieve, an individual and a family, working to build a better life and a better community, an example for those who’ve been here since the beginning and those just arriving. This is hope.
Becoming Governor in 2011 is to accept a challenge that no one ever has, an economic environment that will be cruel. Mr. Sandoval has promised to bring everyone “through safely” (especially education), although he was not shy about the difficult decisions that must be addressed to create a New Nevada. While not mentioning his pledge of “No New Taxes”, clearly restructuring the role of government will be the focus of his budget presentation to the Nevada Legislature. Governor Sandoval doubled down on this bet, swearing that by Nevada’s 150th Birthday, we will once again be on the road to prosperity and opportunity, “Nevada will be Nevada again”. This is the promise.
The road to the Governor’s Mansion was a long and difficult one.
Starting with his election as Student Body President at Manogue High School, in Reno, making friends with other political leaders at the time in different high schools, former Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert, former Assemblyman and Governor Guinn aide Pete Ernaut, and others. Together and individually, they worked in a variety of roles over the last 25 years to build a record and the political connections needed to eventually succeed the previous generation as Nevada’s new political leaders. The sound of confidence and victory, with a dash of modest humility, came through the Governor’s Inaugural speech stronger than any other Governor in the last 25 years. It is this internal realization that gives political leaders the power to do things, where others could not, if that power can be focused. This is the time.
Governor Sandoval has recognized “the historic moment that has unfolded around him”, and the rest of us in Nevada. He is moving forward with a purpose, and there may be many who are surprised by what they are about to see. Many are already lamenting his pledge of, “No New Taxes”, somehow expecting him to simply reverse himself like so many other politicians the day after an election. Governor Sandoval is taking us in a direction that most do not fully understand, and while he did invite all Nevadans to participate, we really will not know until his budget is released in the next few weeks, and the debate begins.
Before all that, every Nevadan should stop and just enjoy the moment.
It’s important to have hope. Everyone would like to believe in a promise of a better future for all of us if we’re willing to work for it. All of us imagine, several times in our lives, that this is “our time”.
Occasionally, all of the above is true, if we recognize the moment and take it.