Right now the status of the special session called by Governor Jim Gibbons to deal with the ever-expanding revenue crisis is unclear; tonight he is scheduled to address the whole state in a speech that will be carried by all major media outlets.
Thanks to various economic hits Nevada and the nation are being hammered by the burst of the housing bubble, dramatically rising gas prices and even food costs. Nevada’s state government faces more than $1 billion in red ink. This translates into major cuts for education, capital projects (state-financed construction), hiring freezes and layoffs — a chain reaction that will reverberate down through the entire Nevada economy.
But, as always, the government worshippers have a solution — raise taxes. Led by Democrat Shelia Leslie of Reno, the panacea of soaking the already hurting private sector for every possible penny, especially those gullible tourists, is the answer.
Considering gaming revenue is also way down, and the growing popularity of Indian casinos, tourists are already being enticed to spend their ever-shrinking extra money elsewhere. Killing the golden goose by always raising their costs is penny wise and pound foolish.
The larger casino operators, by the way, really don’t have a problem raising costs for tourists through taxation; they, in fact, see it as a plus. While it may reduce their revenues a bit, the casinos that will be truly hit will be the smaller competitors and, well, if the little guys go under, so much the better.
With the economy and its shaky foundations on everyone’s minds, the Gibbons haters, always out to get a conservative, have had a remarkable change of heart.
How so? Simple. Most of our current crop of liberals cut their teeth in the age of Bill Clinton, and the chant then was personal behavior did not matter. If the president was guilty of various sexual misdeeds, well, that was a matter for him and his wife to work out.
Considering they defended Clinton through a whole series of not only sexual misdeeds but blatant sexual harassment, perjury and an impeachment, their return to the some sort of Victorian Puritanism about text messages is the greatest conversion story since Paul’s on the road to Damascus.
While the divorce and text message stories are unfortunate and not a credit for Gibbons, the truth is that no one has done anything other than produce a mountain of allegations. There is not a single example of any impropriety, just a guilty-by-implication attack with no evidence of anything. Last time I checked, sending text messages was not proof-positive of adultery.
It has been an open secret their marriage has been on the rocks for a long time, and the divorce, while unfortunate, has not really been a surprise to most. Allegations abound as well that Dawn, not Jim, has been the one “playing the field,” but Jim’s attorney, perhaps being overly chivalrous, has not introduced “lust” allegations in the fashion Cal Dunlap did for Dawn. But, we elected him to be governor, not archbishop and it’s a very difficult time to be the one dealing with a budget catastrophe. His “no new taxes” pledge needs to be honored and the scandal mongers need to crawl back under their slimy rocks.
A real crisis exists: We need a governor to lead this state with fortitude. Fake scandals are an unnecessary distraction and Gibbons needs to be allowed to do the job we elected him to do. Sensationalistic pseudo-journalism needs to stop.
Ira Hansen is a lifelong resident of Sparks, owner of Ira Hansen and Sons Plumbing and his radio talk show can be heard Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m. on 99.1 FM.