I know this is harsh, but Gov. Jim Gibbons either doesn’t understand plain English, is a serial prevaricator (someone who doesn’t tell the truth), or has a room temperature IQ. Of course, some might argue “all of the above.”
During his primary race for governor back in 2006, the governor signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge which reads: “I, Jim Gibbons, pledge to the taxpayers of Nevada and all the people of this state, that I will oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
Gibbons shattered that pledge in January when he included a 3 percent increase in the room tax in his budget. Yesterday, the Legislature approved the Gibbons tax hike. And now the governor is saying he’ll allow the tax hike to go into effect without his signature.
Profile in political courage it’s not.
In trying to spin this latest twist in the “As the Gibbons Turns” soap opera, his spokesman, Dan Burns, had this to say to the Nevada Appeal’s Geoff Dornan:
“He (the governor) won’t sign it (the tax hike) based on principle. He didn’t support the tax hike and he doesn’t support tax increases. He will not veto it because he will not stand in front of the will of the people.”
What a load of crap.
1.) The governor is as “principled” as I am a brain surgeon.
2.) Gibbons DID support the tax hike by including it in his budget. Indeed, a number of Republicans who voted for the tax increase said they did so only because the governor included it in his budget. The governor absolutely, positively, without question DID support this tax hike by including it in his budget.
3.) The governor DOES support tax increases because…well, see #2 above.
4.) By not vetoing the tax hike the governor breaks the pledge he made to “all the people of this state” in 2006. He promised to “veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.” This room tax hike is an effort to increase taxes. If the governor lets it become law without his signature rather than vetoing it and forcing the Legislature to override his veto, he’s breaking his promise to “all the people of this state.”
I mean, this isn’t even debatable. It’s in plain English.
Can we get an interpreter over to the governor’s office, please?
5.) It’s a lie – and there’s just no way to sugarcoat it – an outright lie, to claim that this tax increase was “the will of the people.”
As I’ve written ad nauseum, the tax hike was “approved” in just two of Nevada’s seventeen counties last November – and only as a loosely-worded advisory question, not as a specific proposal. And it passed in only two of those counties. Here, let me run the exact numbers for you again.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, at the close of registration for the 2008 election there were 1,446,538 registered voters in Nevada.
According to the Clark County Election Department, 400,647 voters voted in favor of the room tax hike ADVISORY QUESTION.
And according to the Washoe County Election Department, an additional 97,060 voters voted for the room tax hike ADVISORY QUESTION.
That means just 497,707 Nevada voters out of 1,446,538 voted for the advisory question. And that comes to 34.406769818698160711989591701013 percent. So only one in three Nevada voters – which doesn’t even count the number of citizens who aren’t registered to vote – voted for the advisory question.
Sorry, Governor, but one in three does NOT represent “the will of the people” anywhere but in one of Timothy Leary’s worst drug-induced hallucinations or a public school math class.
And any time you or Mr. Burns want to debate me publicly on this, bring…it…on.