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Shhhh! Don’t Disturb the Tax Hikers

Perhaps the most outrageous thing to come out of the 2009 legislative session won’t necessarily be the ginormous tax hike we’re all going to be hit with, but the behind-closed-doors secrecy by which that plan was concocted.

Now, the average citizen would probably expect that any plans to raise taxes would be introduced, discussed and debated throughout the legislative session in the Senate and Assembly….TAXATION Committees. Duh.

Silly citizens.

Instead, the tax hike plan is being hammered out in private, secret meetings of what Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio called over the weekend an unofficial “elite group” of legislators.

This group of about a half-dozen ”elite” legislators are making the decisions on which taxes will be raised, on whom and by how much behind closed doors with no oversight by either the general public or the media. In defending this process whereby the public is completely shut out of the deliberations, Sen. Raggio “said lawmakers need some privacy to….confer without being ‘bombarded by special interest groups’.”

You know, like small businesses, voters and taxpayers. Special interests like that.

Another of the “elites,” Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie (D-Reno), said that “in an ideal world, every issue would be debated and voted on in public,” but that with 63 members, “there’s not enough time.”

Not enough time to debate tax hikes in public…..yet plenty of time to debate naming a new official state bug. Leslie, as usual, is full of flapdoodle.

Anyway, this elite group of legislative “cardinals” will eventually come to an agreement and a puff of white smoke will appear above the legislative building signaling that “We have a budget!”

The remaining 50-some legislators – who are pretty much relegated to nothing more than window dressing during this process – will then be expected to vote for whatever “done deal” the “elite” insiders have come up with.

One….big….rubber….stamp.

And they’ll do it. As they do every session. Which has to make you wonder why we bother electing 63 legislators in the first place. Why not just elect a dozen “elite” legislators and be done with it? Would save a hell of a lot of time and money.

Now some of you might be wondering how meeting in secret like this isn’t a violation of the state’s open meeting law. Good question.

Because legislators brazenly exempted themselves from being covered by the state’s open meeting law when they crafted it (probably in secret) and passed it.

Yes, they truly are the “elite.” Make sure you lower your gaze and bow respectfully should you ever pass one on the street. Offering to kiss their arse probably wouldn’t hurt either.