Did the Las Vegas Review-Journal today endorse Gov. Sandoval’s mammoth mound of tax hikes and education spending?
The short editorial on the opening day of the 2015 Legislature appears at first blush to be the standard admonition to lawmakers to do right by the citizens and conduct themselves civilly and not waste time on petty bills.
The opening paragraph sets the tone:
“Triumph or train wreck? Boom or bust? The Nevada Legislature convenes its 2015 regular session today amid high hopes for bold reforms and pessimistic fears of an epic partisan meltdown.”
It goes on to call on the legislators to prioritize and focus on the important stuff and also to not engage in foolish and time-wasting bickering.
Then it augers into a realm where the editorials of the newspaper have seldom gone. The editorial tells the lawmakers to not worry about who gets credit.
“Already, minority Democrats are implying that Gov. Sandoval has copied some of their legislative priorities — policies and programs they couldn’t get passed when they were in the majority,” the newspaper points out.
It then says:
“Gov. Sandoval needs support from both parties to pass his $7.3 billion budget, the tax increases needed to fund it, and the K-12 improvements that will result from it.”
It concludes by telling the governor he needs to “rally the divided Republican Assembly caucus and convince all Nevadans that his plan will position the state for a prosperous future. He must lead like few governors have led before.”
Sounds like an endorsement.
I was curious about the paper’s near silence in its editorials about the governor’s tax plans, which fly in the face of voter direction by raising taxes on mining and imposing a form of a gross receipts tax. The voters just rejected both in November.
Columnist Glenn Cook did point out the hypocrisy of the governor opposing the margin tax on gross receipts on the ballot and then calling for a graduated business license fee based on gross receipts.
But that was a column. This is the stance of the paper and its new publisher.
As I’ve pointed out before, the editorial board of a newspaper has a majority of one.
It has been a long time since the Review-Journal endorsed any tax, except an occasional school bond question, but the biggest tax in history? Perhaps, we should have seen it coming. The paper did endorse the mining tax hike in November. Dipped its toe in the water and now it has dived in head first.
Turn out the lights. The party is over.