Sandra Chereb of the Associated Press did a good job on a story this weekend using Gov. Brian Sandoval’s and Sen. Michael Roberson’s own words to indict them for felony Read My Lipping.
“Sandoval campaigned on a no-new tax stance,” Chereb notes, “though he never set his signature to it on paper.”
“I intend to stick to my pledge,” said Sandoval the day after winning election in 2010.
Again, this is a PERFECT example of why we ask candidates to SIGN the Taxpayer Protection Pledge rather than read their lips.
The Pledge is unambiguous. The candidate promises “to oppose and vote against (or veto, in the case of a gubernatorial candidate) any and all efforts to increase taxes.” It doesn’t say, “I *intend* to oppose and vote against/veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.” Indeed, any verbal pledges which include what are commonly referred to as “weasel words” are completely meaningless.
Worse, however, has been Roberson’s back-flip on extending the sunsets. As Chereb notes, Roberson DID sign the Tax Pledge “at a Tax Day tea party rally two years ago.”
“I put my promise to you in writing that I will stand with you as a consistently clear voice for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom,” Roberson said at the time he signed his Pledge, apparently in disappearing ink.
I guess it all depends on your definition of “consistently” and “clear.”
Indeed, Roberson has done a complete 180 on the sunsets, declaring in a statement last week that Sandoval’s plan to take $620 million out of the private sector and use it to give pay raises and eliminate furloughs for state workers was “prudent and fiscally responsible.”
“I am grateful for his tremendous leadership,” Roberson said of the governor’s plan to lead the GOP into championing yet another major tax hike. “I will stand with him and support him.”
Lovely. Just lovely.