Posts Tagged ‘governor jim gibbons’

Gibbons: Does he really keep his promises?

June 3, 2009

By David Farside

Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons has vetoed 41 bills passed by the Nevada Legislature, which is controlled by the Democrats. The previous record for vetoes during one session was held by Gov. Henry Blasdel. Also a Republican, Blasdel vetoed 30 bills passed by the 1864-65 Legislature. It was Nevada’s first legislative session after becoming a state. In Blasdell’s defense, some of the vetoes were warranted. At the time, legislators sponsored bills establishing toll road franchises. I wonder what Las Vegas would look like today if Californians had to pay a toll to drive there?

Blasdel was an interesting character. He moved to Carson City from California in 1859. He was the first county recorder for Storey County and served as Nevada’s first governor from 1864 until 1870.

At the time, the Storey Sounty sheriff selected his all male jurors based on physical qualities such as men who were the fattest, thinnest, shortest or tallest in the community. If you had squinty eyes , it didn’t matter what you looked like; you were automatically selected. Blasdel was always chosen as a juror because he was 6 feet 5 inches tall and considered the tallest man in the county.

Blasdel was a “ clothes tree.” Needless to say, because of his size, clothing that fit was hard to find and required the services of a personal tailor. The archives show letters written by Blasdel to the best tailors in San Francisco. He had an affinity for black suits, “fancy” black jackets and silk shirts . There are no records indicating if he or the taxpayer paid the haberdashers.

But all governors are not from the same ilk. Blasdel was followed by a few more governors, both Democrats and Republicans, who might have overused veto power.

Gov. Richard Kirman, a Democrat, vetoed 21 bills during the 1937 legislative session. Kirman was a Virginia City native, served as a university regent and was mayor of Reno from 1907 to 1909. He lived to be 81 years old.

Another Democrat with a heavy veto pen was Gov. Edward Carville.

He was born in Mound Valley, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and was also one of our U.S. senators.

Carville became governor in 1939 and resigned in 1945 after being selected to replace Sen. James G. Scrugham in the U.S. Senate. During the 1939 legislative session, he vetoed 20 bills in the following session, he vetoed 16 bills bringing his total to 36 while in office.

Gov. Bob List, a Republican dealing with a legislature controlled by Democrats, only vetoed 11 bills in 1981. List served as governor from 1979 until 1983 and when he left office, he became an avid supporter of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

Another Republican governor, Kenny Guinn, who served from 1999 to 2007, did not veto any bill during the 2003 session. But that was during the era of Sen. Bill Raggio’s political choke hold on the Republican-controlled senate.

The problem with Gibbons is he vetoed the wrong tax bills at a time when the state needs new revenue the most. He also ignored and vetoed the will of the people expressed on ballot initiatives. His excuse is that he will always keep his promise and not raise or impose new taxes on the people of Nevada. He labeled the new taxes as “out of control spending” sponsored by the “liberal leadership in the legislature.”

Fortunately for the survival of the state, those same liberal Democrats and Republicans voted to override most of Gibbons’ ultra right-wing conservatism, stubbornness and campaign promises.

One of the problems with the extreme right-wingers like Gibbons is that they want everything for nothing. They want to use our roads but they don’t want to pay for them because liberals also use them. They don’t want to pay for public education because they don’t want the poor or minorities to have the same advantages or opportunities they have.

They won’t support ballot initiatives such as domestic partnership for heterosexual and gay men and women. And they are opposed to term limits because they think the voters are too stupid to understand the ballet questions.

Speaking of stupid, Gibbons was even considering turning down federal bailout money designated for the state of Nevada – money that would contribute to the creation of new jobs in construction and public works projects.

But does Gibbons actually keep his promises? He is presently in the middle of divorce proceedings. Before his election, he was accused of misconduct with a woman he met at a bar. And he has been in constant touch with another woman who is also married.

Gibbons’ philosophy seems to be, “Do as i say, not as I do.” He may have kept his political promises; however, in a few months, we will see if he kept his promise to his wife when he said, “I do.”

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