From the “Department of Paranoia Will Destroy Ya” comes this update on Senate Higher-Taxation Committee Chairman Bob Coffin.
As reported here on Monday, the Nevada GOP has been sending out automated phone messages to Clark County voters over the last two days advising them of Sen. Coffin’s statements last week that every and any tax that could be raised would be raised, or at least considered, as long as he’s in charge of the Higher-Taxation Committee.
Voters were advised to “Press 1” if they wanted to be connected directly to Sen. Coffin’s office to let him know how they felt about having their taxes raised in the middle of a recession. And over the past two days more than 700 calls were connected to Sen. Coffin’s office (the call firm is able to track the number of “Press 1” connections and the length of time folks stay on the line).
In addition, many of you emailed Sen. Coffin to voice your opposition to his tax hikes. And if you did, you probably got this auto-response…
“THINGS HAVE BEEN PRETTY BUSY UP HERE SINCE A REPUBLICAN CASINO OPERATOR PAID FOR A COMPUTER MASS TELEPHONE CAMPAIGN TO DISTORT MY POSITION ON TAXES. I WILL NOT HOLD THE RECKLESS, PARTISAN ACTION OF ONE GAMBLER AGAINST THE REST OF THE INDUSTRY BUT, APPARENTLY, THE POT ON THE TABLE CAUSED THIS PLAYER TO PANIC.”
Um, based on his screaming all-caps message, the only person apparently suffering pangs of panic is Sen. Coffin himself.
And what does the good senator have against the state’s most important industry and the state’s most important customers that he would so denigrate a “casino operator” and “gamblers”? Oh, and what “pot” is he talking about. Does Sen. Coffin want to legalize and tax marijuana now? (Hey, THAT’S one we might be in favor of!)
“IF YOU RECEIVE A PHONE CALL THAT SAYS I SUPPORT HIGHER TAXES IT IS TRUE THAT I SUPPORT TEMPORARY INCREASES,” Sen. Coffin e-screams. “TEMPORARY.”
OK, show of hands: Who can name one “temporary” tax increase that didn’t become permanent? Anyone? Hello?
And who cares if it’s “temporary” or not? The fact remains it is irresponsible and reckless to raise taxes in the midst of a recession just to protect government from the same kind of belt tightening that every Nevada business and family is experiencing themselves right now.
In any event, Sen. Coffin’s auto-response/counter-attack is obviously directed at Nevada GOP Chairman Sue Lowden, whose family owns a casino in Laughlin along with other gaming interests. But truth be told, it’s not Sue Lowden or the Republican Party who are actually paying for the calls. In fact, a rather generous contributor contacted Chairman Lowden late last night and asked to be billed for the full cost of all those calls into Sen. Coffin’s district. And that generous fiscally-conservative anti-tax donor is…
Former Republican State Sen. Bob Beers.