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Making the Tough Decision not to Make the Tough Decisions

It’s been a week now since Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval took to the national stage in Tampa, Florida and actually said that “like Republican governors all across this nation, I chose to make the tough decisions.”

I’m STILL shaking my head in disbelief that our governor could make such a statement with a straight face in light of his highly-publicized tax hike on Nevada citizens and small businesses in 2011 despite his repeated promises on the campaign trail and during some 95 percent of the legislative session.

I know the governor wishes Nevadans would just forget about what can only be considered a major league betrayal of voters and taxpayers.

And unfortunately, many of our fellow Nevadans have done just that – including many Republicans who suffer from “My Guy, Right or Wrong Syndrome” and others who apparently have been hypnotized by the governor’s low-key charm, beauty and Hispanic heritage.

But Nevada conservatives shouldn’t forget. As the saying goes, those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it.

As such, I found the following blog post and letter-to-the-Nevada-Legislature from my friend Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform that was published last March, shortly after Gov. Sandoval announced that not only did he have no regrets for re-imposing that $620 million “temporary” tax hike left over from 2009, but he intended to do so AGAIN next year in order to give state workers pay raises and eliminate furloughs for government employees.

Here’s the March 14, 2012 ATR blog post, re-printed in its entirety…

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28 Suggestions for Brian Sandoval

Grover Norquist suggests 28 governors who may be able to advise Brian Sandoval on balancing budgets within the guidelines of the modern Republican Party.

In 2011, there was one Republican governor who opted for tax increases over the difficult decisions that come with governing: Nevada’s Brian Sandoval. It’s taken him no time to double down on that approach, announcing this week that he will instruct state agencies to budget a $600 million extension of a tax increase set to expire.

Sandoval should consider himself removed from the 2012 Veepstakes, as none of the current Republican candidates, all of whom have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, share his view that taxes are too low.

In a letter to Nevada legislators, Grover suggests that Sandoval might call on his Republican colleagues to share some advice on how they achieved balanced budgets in 2012 without raising taxes. We substituted Puerto Rico’s Luis Fortuño for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who is still subsisting off her multi-billion dollar sales tax increase in 2010. Grover’s letter is pasted below.

Dear Legislator,

I write to urge you to stand with Nevada taxpayers against Governor Brian Sandoval’s latest proposal to increase taxes on the citizens of Nevada.

Last year 45 state legislatures and governors refused to raise taxes. They chose to reform government and eliminate wasteful spending. Only five governors decided that they would rather raise taxes on their citizens than actually govern and make real decisions: Those governors live in New York, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut and Nevada. Nevada was alone in having a Republican governor who raised taxes rather than reform the cost of government down.

Now Gov. Sandoval is asking Nevadans to pay for his failure to manage the state’s budget as other governors of both parties have done.

Certainly one could publically announce that one should never be considered for the vice-presidency as a Republican in ways less damaging to the taxpayers of Nevada. They did nothing to deserve this.

You might suggest that Gov. Sandoval spend some taxpayer money to make a phone call to Governor John Kasich of Ohio, or Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, or Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or Rick Snyder of Michigan, or Rick Scott of Florida, or Rick Perry of Texas, or Mitch Daniels of Indiana, or Paul LePage of Maine, or Susana Martinez of New Mexico, or Chris Christie of New Jersey, or Bob McDonnell of Virginia, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, or Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Sean Parnell of Alaska, or Robert Bentley of Alabama, or Nathan Deal of Georgia, or Butch Otter of Idaho, or Terry Branstad of Iowa, or Phil Bryant of Mississippi, or Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, or Dave Heineman of Nebraska, or Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, or Luis Fortuño of Puerto Rico, or Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, or Bill Haslam of Tennessee, or Gary Herbert of Utah, or Matt Mead of Wyoming.

They could teach him how to govern rather than raise taxes on Nevadans, as each of them did in their own states last year.

Onward,

Grover Norquist
President,
Americans for Tax Reform