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GOP Legislators: Dude, Where’s My Backbone?

What in the world are Republicans in the Nevada Legislature waiting for…a written invitation?

Look, our Republican governor will tonight deliver his first State of the State address in which he will affirm that the state’s budget must be balanced with existing tax revenues. NO – NEW – TAXES. Or fees.

But as Steve Sebelius of SlashPolitics noted this morning, “a budget of $5.3 billion isn’t acceptable to Democrats. So they will seek to raise some taxes, perhaps to at least keep pace with the existing budget.”

“If things go that way,” Sebelius continues, “the endgame of the 2011 session is foreshadowed tonight: A coalition of Democrats and a few Republicans – at least three in the state Senate and two in the Assembly – passing a budget that includes taxes over Sandoval’s eventual veto (and) an override vote…”

I don’t know how to make this any clearer.

While Democrats enjoy majority status in both the Senate and the Assembly, they do NOT have the 2/3 super-majority they need in either house to raise taxes without some Republican votes. And as the Republican governor prepares to deliver his SOS speech tonight, he STILL does not know if legislative Republicans are with him…or with their Democrat opponents.

Would somebody PLEASE explain to me why Republican Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness and Republican Assembly Minority Leader Pete Goicoechea haven’t issued a definitive statement on behalf of every Republican legislator that they are backing their Republican governor 100%…and that not one of them will even consider voting for higher taxes or fees unless the Democrats can persuade Gov. Sandoval to propose them?

Seriously.

Why aren’t Republican legislators publicly and forcefully joining as a bloc and supporting their Republican governor on a core GOP issue? The minute they do, they completely eliminate any chance for the end game that Mr. Sebelius foreshadows. With legislative Republicans taking tax hikes completely off the table, legislative Democrats will have no choice but to negotiate the budget on the governor’s and the GOP’s terms, not theirs.

That Republican legislative leaders can’t seem to grasp the power they actually possess if they’d only use it is all we need to know to explain why they continue to languish as the minority party in the Legislature.

If you have a moment today, why not shoot Sen. McGinness and Assemblyman Goicoechea an email and ask them why they aren’t supporting Gov. Sandoval’s no-new-taxes budget plan.

Sen. McGinness
mmcginness@sen.state.nv.us
Assemblyman Goicoechea
pgoicoechea@asm.state.nv.us