(Assemblyman Ed Goedhart) – Although I’m an elected Republican state legislator who you would expect to endorse John Ellison, the Republican candidate in the District 33 state assembly race in the Elko area, I’m supporting the independent candidate in that race. Here’s why….
During the 2009 session of the Legislature I sat in utter disbelief and watched every Democrat and way too many Republicans boost government spending over and above the governor’s proposed budget by some $800 million dollars in the middle of the worst recession this state has ever seen.
Adding salt to the wound, a majority of legislators – including fellow Republican Assemblyman John Carpenter – also voted to raise taxes on vehicle registrations and sales, as well as double the tax penalty business owners are forced to pay if they hire somebody. This as Nevada was suffering the highest unemployment rate in the nation.
And the groundwork is being laid to do it all over again next year.
Indeed, media reports and liberal propaganda have been telling us for months that there’s a $3 billion budget deficit that the Legislature will have to deal with next year. But what they aren’t telling you is that the figure is based on increasing government spending by an additional $1.5 billion over and above what we’re currently spending.
Making matters worse, Nevada’s taxpayers were told the tax hikes approved last year were only “temporary;” that they would “sunset” next June 30. But we’re already being told those tax hikes will need to be extended, or even made permanent, to close a $3 billion budget hole that doesn’t even exist.
And I can tell you from first-hand experience that the pressure and arm-twisting to “cave in” and vote to extend these tax hikes and boost s pending will be excruciating in the 2011 session.
Which is why, as a sitting Republican legislator, I’m taking the highly unusual step of endorsing a third-party legislative candidate, Janine Hansen, over my party’s official nominee. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we are, indeed, in desperate times.
Unless tax hikes are taken off the table, tax hikes will once again be the default position of the 2011 Legislature. And not just an extension of the “temporary” tax hikes from last year, but a whole rash of new ones. Which is why, as Chairman of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge Caucus, I am only endorsing candidates this year who have signed the Pledge. Janine has; John hasn’t.
In addition, Janine is, frankly, the more experienced and better qualified candidate in this race. She has served as a “citizen lobbyist” in Carson City for the better part of 40 years now. She knows the people, she knows the system, she knows the drill and she won’t require any on-the-job training whatsoever.
Janine also knows the issues. While she and I may not agree 100 percent of the time, I found myself agreeing with her on more issues last session than with some of my fellow Republicans, especially on limited-government and individual liberty issues. And she has a unique ability to read through the hundreds of bills that come before the Legislature and find the “hidden” provisions the Left regularly slips in, hoping no one will notice.
As for supporting someone who doesn’t belong to the same party I belong to, let me just say that I’m a Nevadan and a conservative first; a Republican second. And as the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted in a recent editorial, “Two parties are simply not enough to represent all the principles, values and interests of the citizens of this country. We need more parties – especially viable ones – not fewer. Voters should have real choices each election cycle.”
Janine Hansen is a uniquely exceptional and viable third-party candidate in the Assembly District 33 race. I have every confidence that she will vote consistently and firmly with me against bigger government, higher taxes and diminished individual liberty. If the only argument against her is that she isn’t a registered Republican, well, I have to say that’s a pretty weak argument.
Voters should and do have real choices in this particular race. I encourage you to join me in choosing Janine Hansen.
(Assemblyman Goedhart represents Assembly District 36, a rural district generally covering southern and middle Nevada.)