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Be A Man and Vote for Higher Taxes?

On Sunday, Assemblyman Ed Goedhart (R-Amargosa Valley) sent an email to his legislative colleagues with four fiscally responsible ideas he urged them to embrace while dealing with the budget this session, in addition to reaffirming his own position against balancing the budget with tax hikes.

“Goedhart last week posted on his blog four conditions that should be imposed if lawmakers raise taxes, though he made it clear that he wouldn’t vote to raise taxes,” reports David Schwartz of the Las Vegas Sun this morning. “The conditions include: sunsetting tax increases; making any change to the tax structure revenue-neutral; imposing a spending cap; and committing that federal stimulus money be used for one-shot expenditures.”

OK, what Republican could argue with that, right? I mean, it’s pretty straight-forward standard-issue fiscal conservatism, right? Yet on Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio (R-Reno) responded to Assemblyman Goedhart’s email – “which you directed to me” – in a perturbed, condescending and not very dignified manner.

Sen. Raggio reaffirmed his own position that tax hikes may be necessary to balance the budget and “insure delivery of ‘essential services,’” adding that Assemblyman Goedhart had removed himself “from being part of a potential solution to solving our serious budget crisis” by ruling out tax hikes.

Sen. Raggio next informed Assemblyman Goedhart that he had “some long term experience” in the legislative process and “don’t really think I benefit from the ‘advice’ that you are offering.” He continued with, “I think your comments were authored by Chuck Muth,” before explaining that “a closed mind will not help us reach compromises that…are part of the legislative process.”

“In the future,” Sen. Raggio concluded, “be a man and come see me in person.”

Wow. Where to start?

1.) The email in question was not directed at Sen. Raggio. It was sent to ALL 62 MEMBERS of the Nevada State Legislature.

2.) Assemblyman Goedhart hasn’t removed himself from being part of a potential solution by ruling out tax increases; he’s simply removed himself as a vote for any potential solution or “compromise” which includes tax increases. He’s more than open to hearing alternative proposals to balance the budget through spending cuts.

3.) I have, and will continue to help, any conservative Republican interested in advancing a limited government agenda this session, including Assemblyman Goedhart. And sometimes that means taking the message directly to the people of Nevada rather than having it suffocated or compromised away through the “legislative process” – the way former Sen. Bob Beers’ TASC/spending control proposal never even got a vote in Sen. Raggio’s Finance Committee a couple sessions ago.

4.) In addition, I pulled Sen. Raggio’s campaign finance reports yesterday afternoon and discovered that he paid tens of thousands of dollars to consultants to “author” mailers for him in his campaign. In fact, I voluntarily “authored” one of them myself after Sen. Raggio called me to his office in Reno and asked for my help and advice in his primary race last summer. People in glass houses…

5.) Lastly, as for “being a man,” Assemblyman Goedhart told me last night he wasn’t going to respond to the taunt other than to say: “As for being a man, I’m a man of my word. I told the voters who elected me that I wasn’t going to vote to raise taxes and I won’t.”

We now return you to our regular programming…