Thursday, April 19, 2012

(The Need for Change Is) Still at the Center of It All

Yesterday, Governor Brian Sandoval razzle-dazzled the far right wing of the gaming-mining-lobbying industrial complex with his moving speech. Really, do you need me to tell you what he said?

Economic development is “a contact sport,” Sandoval said Wednesday during a speech at the Silverton for members of the Keystone Corporation, a conservative anti-tax business group. “If we want to be in the game, we have to have a cutting-edge approach.”

Earlier this year, Sandoval unveiled a new state economic development plan that relies on regional development authorities and “industry specialists” who will work with specific business sectors to increase exports, research and development.

Wow. I wonder what's "cutting-edge" about Sandoval's approach. Could it be? Could it possibly be... Oh, never mind.

Gov. Brian Sandoval today told conservative business group Keystone Corporation that his decision to support a two-year extension of taxes that were scheduled to expire eliminates the need for any new taxes to balance the state budget.

The governor received a standing ovation from the large gathering of business and political leaders at the Silverton in Las Vegas when he said he will block any new business taxes.

Of course, that isn't stopping the G-O-TEA wing of Sandoval's party from screaming "SELLOUT!!!" over his decision to extend the 2009/2011 "sunset tax" deal. And really, that's the point. By basking in the glow of "Bid'ness Establishment" praise while fending off nasty-grams from the likes of Chuck Muth and NPRI, Sandoval looks so "moderate" and "reasonable" by comparison.

But seriously, how "reasonable" is continuing the status quo? Can we really handle any more "moderate" solutions to the serious problems crippling our state's economy?

Brian Sandoval claims he took his new position on the budget because he doesn't want to cut education funding any more. OK, that's a start. But still, that's not enough to fix what's fundamentally wrong with our state. Jim Rogers clearly pointed that out last week.

One must question the timing of Sandoval’s pledge to education, especially during an election year. The governor may simply be posturing when he says, "no more cuts to education.” When push comes to shove, he certainly will follow the Republican party line to destroy public education. Education has little or no blood left. For all practical purposes, public education is dead in Nevada and Sandoval’s promise not to take the last half pint of blood is meaningless.

The governor is delusional if he believes the education community does not know he is anti-public education. Politicians have their own set of rules for truthfulness. That is, there are no rules. A politician will say anything on day one and just the opposite on day two and will actually believe that the day two statement will control and that no one will remember the previous contradictory statement. Sandoval has done everything possible to eliminate Nevada’s public education system. He now seems to believe that with a little play on words the public will forget what he has done.

Nailed it.

No, really. Look at CCSD trustees fighting with teachers over cost-of-living increases and education benefits. Look at WCSD Chief Heath Morrison fleeing to North Carolina taking over Charlotte's schools and leaving Northern Nevada behind. Nevada, we have a problem. And no, "moderate" looking continuation of the status quo won't do anything to solve it.

Brian Sandoval's BFF Monte Miller recently dropped his tax initiatives because he's satisfied that Sandoval and the gaming-mining-lobbying industrial complex want to continue the status quo. And remember, the status quo has only been delivering failure. The status quo is limiting our potential for future growth, development, and improvement.

Seriously, we can't afford any more of the status quo. At least the Nevada AFL-CIO seems to understand that. Maybe it really will take a full throated call to justice for Nevada's 99% to finally get some badly needed change.

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