(Todd Taxpayer Bailey) – Today marks the end of an era in Nevada politics, and the beginning of another. Nevadans across the state should thank Jim Gibbons for his long service to our state, as few have seen the political success this individual has achieved. Hard for many to accept, his record stands on it’s own, in the Nevada Air Guard, in his professional and pubic service, and in his Constitutional amendments to protect the Nevada Taxpayer.
If you are someone who believes members of the Nevada Legislature should have a two-thirds majority before raising taxes, then thank Jim Gibbons.
After returning from the first Gulf War as a member of the Nevada Air Guard, then Governor candidate Gibbons proposed the Gibbons Tax Restraint Initiative that requires the two-thirds vote in response the Payroll Tax and other fee increases. He achieved two successful state wide votes to make this a part of the Nevada Constitution that gives fits to every tax increaser in the state.
If you are someone who believes the Nevada Legislature should fund Education fist, instead of holding it hostage for a tax increase at the end of ever session, then thank Jim Gibbons. After the Constitutional crisis of 2003, then Congressman Jim Gibbons proposed Education First, and again achieved two successful state wide votes to make this a part of the Nevada Constitution on his way to the Governor’s mansion.
If you are someone who wants politicians to keep their promises, then thank Jim Gibbons. While the common narrative claims that Jim Gibbons “painted himself into a corner” with a “No New Taxes pledge” in 2006, it is the exact opposite that is true. This position, combined with the two Constitutional amendments, forced the Nevada Legislature to a new level of accountability, and exposed those representatives that promise one thing in a campaign, and do another at the Nevada Legislature. This angered so many in the tax beneficiary establishment that every political force was brought in to defeat the man, on both sides of the political spectrum. A few personal issues didn’t help.
If you are someone who believes our representatives in Carson City should compromise to get the job done, then thank Jim Gibbons. Yes, it’s true, Governor Jim Gibbons did compromise, on room taxes, on gas taxes in Washoe County, flood taxes, and a few others. He’s not perfect, he’s not the best communicator, he’s not easy to work for, and he mostly didn’t try to get re-elected (few helped).
After over 20 years of amazing work and success, Jim Gibbons has put more than enough skin in the game of Nevada politics, and if the people of Nevada want someone else as Governor, he’s O.K. with that. Jim Gibbons knows it is the economics of Nevada that will force most of the coming difficult decisions, not Governors and not slogans. While Governor Jim Gibbons will ride into the sunset tonight of Arrow Creek Parkway, his constitutional amendments will be staying in the Nevada Constitution, and his “No New Taxes” pledge will be staying in the Governor’s mansion, at least for now.
It is the end of an era that Jim Gibbons led in the State of Nevada for 20 years, and the beginning of another era that every Nevadan should be hopeful about. The creation of a New Nevada will require a Nevada solution. Deep into the future, 20 years from now, Nevada will still have the work of Jim Gibbons to rely on. So next time you’re in South Reno, and you see a familiar face dining out or doing some shopping, take a moment to thank Jim Gibbons.
None of this was easy.
(Todd Taxpayer Bailey is a media publisher and chairman of the Jobs For Nevada PAC)