(Chuck Muth) – I received a fundraising letter in the mail yesterday from Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval. In it he notes that Nevada is in a “critical hour” facing “uncharted economic waters.” He states that as governor, “my decisions will be shaped by the strength of my core conservative principles and steadfast convictions.”
Judge Sandoval also declares, “Raising taxes is NOT the answer.” (Hmm, but what about “fees”?)
And later in the letter, he again asserts, “Raising taxes is NOT an option: More taxes would restrict job growth, increase unemployment and deter new companies from coming to Nevada.”
But we’ve heard these kinds of verbal assurances before. Anyone remember “Read my lips”?
So in light of what appears to be two pretty solid written assurances that Judge Sandoval wouldn’t raise taxes if elected governor, then why not sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge which reads, “I, Brian Sandoval, pledge to the taxpayers of the state of Nevada, that I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes”?
Well, according to a Las Vegas Sun story this morning, Judge Sandoval said yesterday, when he officially filed for office, that it just “was not a good idea.”
With all due respect, that excuse for not signing the Pledge just isn’t good enough.
After all, we’ve unfortunately witnessed Olympic-level verbal gymnastics by Gov. Jim Gibbons over the last three years in finding loopholes to the Tax Pledge he signed which aren’t there; how much easier to wriggle out of campaign statements which are far less binding and open to parsing?
For example, Judge Sandoval says raising taxes is NOT the answer and NOT an option, but he doesn’t say he wouldn’t sign tax increases if passed by the Legislature should IT decide that raising taxes is the answer and an option.
And as for the inevitable argument that the candidate doesn’t believe in taking pledges; that his word should be good enough, I have to ask….
Did the judge take a marriage vow, or did Kathleen just take his word for it?
Did the judge require witnesses in his court to take an oath before testifying, or did he just take their word for it that they’d tell the truth?
Did the judge sign loan papers for the mortgage on his house and his new car, or did the bank just take his word for it?
When he shops at Costco or WalMart, does he sign the credit card slip promising to pay for his purchases, or do stores just take his word for it that he’ll do so?
If Brian Sandoval really, really, really and truly believes that raising taxes is not the answer and not an option, then he should have no problem committing to that position on paper by making the same promise to voters as signed by Gov. Jim Gibbons, Sen. John Ensign, Rep. Dean Heller, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Sens. Barbara Cegavske and Mark Amodei, Assemblymen Ed Goedhart, Dick McArthur, Don Gustavson, James Settelmeyer, Ty Cobb, Chad Christensen and fellow GOP candidates Sue Lowden, Sharron Angle, Joe Heck and Danny Tarkanian.
If raising taxes is, indeed, anathema, to his “core conservative principles and steadfast convictions,” then he should have no problem signing the same Pledge as 172 members of Congress, 33 United States Senators, 1107 Legislators, 7 Governors, 5 Lieutenant Governors, 3 Attorneys General, 2 Secretaries of State, 4 Treasurers, 1 Comptroller, and 2 Board of Equalization members around the country have already signed (as of February 22, 2010).
Failure join all of those steadfast conservative Pledge signers should raise concerns and red flags in the minds of conservative Republican primary voters.
P.S. Fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Montandon and Republican U.S. Senate candidate John Chachas have not yet signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge either.