(Michael Chamberlain/Nevada Business Coalition) – When hundreds of students, organized by liberal activist groups, descended upon Carson City to protest budget cuts and support tax increases, their actions were celebrated in the media, liberal politicians applauded their efforts and the governor even granted student leaders an opportunity to sit down with him and discuss their concerns.
Yet those opposed to increasing taxes receive a very different response when they attempt to voice their opinions to those in power.
When a telephone campaign led people opposed to tax increases to flood the office of Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicochea (R-Eureka) with calls, the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s Marge Griffin instructed legislators and their staffs in how to avoid those annoying calls from the people they work for by routing them to the Legislature’s main switchboard voicemail.
When the UNLV College Republicans initiated a telephone operation urging people to express their displeasure with the college spending $1,800 per week to fund a radio show for former Congresswoman and current teacher of one class at the college Dina Titus, UNLV President Neal Smatresk’s office forwarded the complaints to UNLVCR President Mark Ciavola’s personal cell phone.
These two incidents illustrate the contempt that some of those who work within the government have for the people who pay their salaries. The views of people who don’t believe the state of Nevada should be given a blank check every two years are treated with disdain.
It’s quite clear that those who work in the government want the public and decisionmakers to hear only one side of this debate. To them, it is only the opinions of the tax consumers that matter. Not only do they consider the opinions of the taxpayers irrelevant but government insiders will take active steps to avoid allowing those opinions to be heard.
It is a disgusting double standard, but one that means the taxpayers must work even harder to have their side of the story heard.
(Michael Chamberlain is Executive Director of Nevada Business Coalition.)