AB 562 was approved in the Assembly on Thursday by a vote of 34-7. The bill increases government spending by about $700 million dollars over and above what Gov. Jim Gibbons proposed last January, and more than a billion dollars over and above what the Economic Forum projects the state will take in via existing revenues…..meaning huge tax hikes will be necessary to fund this budget.
Six RINOs (Republicans in Name Only) voted for the Democrats’ steroid-enhanced budget: Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, Assistant Minority Leader Lynn Stewart, Minority Whip Pete Goicoechea, Joe Hardy, John Carpenter and Melissa Woodbury – who initially voted against the bill but quickly changed her mind, apparently after seeing the leftward direction the leaders of her herd were traveling.
Tom Grady was AWOL for the vote; the most important of the entire session so far.
Gansert laughably characterized the beefed up budget she helped negotiate as bare-bones, despite the truckloads of non-essential spending still in it. “I don’t think we could have done any different,” the Reno RINO said.
Of course they could have.
Gansert could have supported the seven conservative members of her caucus – Ed Goedhart, Ty Cobb, Don Gustavson, James Settelmeyer, John Hambrick, Dick McArthur and Chad Christensen – who voted against this liberal spending plan and backed more budget cuts of non-essential government services and overall government reforms.
It’s not that Gansert couldn’t have done anything differently; it’s that she didn’t want to.
Nevertheless, Gansert said that while she was voting for the huge spending increase, she had reservations about the tax hike being considered to pay for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is known as trying to have your cake and eat it, too. As Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie (Socialist/Democrat-Reno) put it on the Assembly floor in dressing down Gansert, “You can’t vote for the spending plan if you’re not going to vote for the revenue plan.”
Lord help me, I think this is the first time I’ve ever agreed with Sheila Leslie about anything!
But she’s absolutely correct. As was columnist Jon Ralston who noted yesterday that “any of the…Republicans who vote against the tax package are hypocrites, no matter how they rationalize it. You can’t vote for the spending and vote against the revenues.”
Nice position “Leader” Gansert has put half her caucus in: They’re gonna be either RINOs or Hypocrites. Brilliant strategery there, huh?