In the course of human events and the lives of the newspaper columnists who chronicle them, some things require revisiting and amplification. So today I circle back on a few issues I think require renewed attention.
I recently wrote that it appeared to me Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons had come to grips with his fate as a “one and done” governor. My speculation might have energized him. He’s now making the Vegas re-election rounds with vigor and looking every bit like a candidate.
No skin off my prognosticating nose, frankly. The more candidates the better. And, lest we forget, all Nevadans owe Gov. Gibbons a debt of gratitude for standing firm against higher taxes during this year’s legislative session. You will remember that Democrats, always hungry to spend more of someone else’s money, sought to raise taxes in the worst way, and the only obstacle between them and more misery for the people was Gov. Gibbons and his constitutionally empowered veto pen.
Had liberal egghead Dina Titus won the 2006 election instead of Gibbons, the state’s coffers would have grown by a billion and a half dollars (maybe more), and taxpayers would be poorer with absolutely no good result to show for it. For whatever else we might say about this personally unpopular governor, a simple “thank you” from hard-working Nevadans is in order. He probably won’t get it. But, sir, you have it from me.
(I am right, however, when I say that his chances of re-election remain slim at best. His polling numbers are so bad, in fact, he makes the political corpse that is Harry Reid look halfway electable.)
As a corollary to the scary thought of Dina Titus as governor, imagine the bliss had former Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson, a conservative Democrat, won the 2006 primary against Titus. He would have most assuredly swept into the governor’s mansion when Gibbons stumbled with that waitress in that parking lot. Gibson would have become, in my humble opinion, the right governor at the right time.
We missed greatness by that much.
In the early sweepstakes for governor, we predominantly hear about Rory Reid on the Democratic side of the ballot and Brian Sandoval on the Republican side. But former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon gets the bum’s rush, and more’s the pity.
Mike is a worthy GOP candidate. In this governor’s race, he deserves more than an afterthought, but between Sandoval and Reid I’m afraid for most voters there’s just not enough political attention span left. Unfortunate, but true.
Harry Reid attaboy
Sorry, didn’t mean to frighten you. When Harry and his supporters see his name pop up in this column, they usually think they must brace for an editorial body slam. Rest easy, friends, this is a full-on compliment.
Integrity demands a shout-out to the state’s senior senator, who takes credit for inserting a provision into the so-called “stimulus” bill (you remember, that’s the bill nobody read) earlier this year. The Reid provision enables businesses to buy back debt and defer taxes on the gain.
The net result for companies such as Harrah’s and a few other big gaming companies with cash on the sidelines was a better monthly balance sheet that preserved jobs.
Good job, HR. Remember the lesson: Deferred taxes, good. Lower taxes, better.
Nevada Day task
Several weeks ago, I gave readers a Nevada Day assignment of figuring out who wrote and sang a mystery verse — one that pays homage to Clark County — to the state song “Home Means Nevada.”
Bottom line: No one knows. Some readers had yet more alternative Southern Nevada versions to the dreadful state song. Others told stories of heading to college in Reno and making up bawdy Vegas versions just to poke fun at their Northern Nevada pals and their “silvery rills.” I like that.
In case you missed the mystery verse, you can listen to it at: lvrj.com/mystery_verse. Thanks to everyone who tried.
As a postscript, one loyal reader tells me the local megaband “The Killers” sometimes plays around with an acoustic version of “Home Means Nevada.”
Anyone have a copy? I’d love to hear it.
Unowho gets award
Point of personal privilege: I’d like to thank John Gibson and the Keystone Corp. for honoring me last week with the group’s “Freedom” award. Keystone is a conservative political group. Generally, Keystone’s annual meeting attracts 175 or so people. This year more than 300 made up what could only be called an energized and motivated crowd.
If I were an incumbent politician, left or right, I’d take note.
There’s something going on in Nevada, and whatever you choose to call it, one thing’s for sure: It isn’t happy with the status quo.
Company we keep
Professor Joe, the UNLV historian tasked with digitizing and organizing the Review-Journal’s massive photo archives from the 1940s to present day, has done it again. He passes along these two pictures, at right, illustrating the huge difference between two of Nevada’s most interesting leaders.
On the one hand, you find the ever earnest and stiff-necked Sen. Harry Reid, sitting alongside the almost regal Coretta Scott King. And in the other picture, you find an image of Harry’s polar opposite, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, with Vegas’ most notorious femme fatale, Sandy Murphy. Sandy gives a “come hither” look. Oscar looks like he had one too many martoonies.
Lord of the universe, maker of all men (and women), you outdid yourself when you made Las Vegas. Thank you for your manifold handiwork, Vegas style.
Gimme an “amen,” brothers and sisters.
Sherman Frederick (sfrederick@ reviewjournal.com) is publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and president of Stephens Media.