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As usual, Hugh Jackson is right on in his assessment of Nevada politics. We just went through perhaps the roughest time in recent memory and yet nothing much was resolved, especially when it comes to education. At UNLV the students got screwed, as usual. Since no new revenue seems to be coming our way (not surprising given the anti-tax fanaticism of the state)it is obvious to me that we'll be going through the same mess next spring.

Gleaner, you hit the nail on the head.

In the state legislature, the casinos, mines, and Chamber of Commerce types got together and told Raggio what the budget was going to be.

And that was that. Nothing that anybody else did changed that number.

Off topic Hugh, only you and I are old enough to get the "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead" reference... :(

@Observer is not correct. There were many things Raggio did, but he was not the originator of the State Budget. He was, in fact, the loyal opposition on many budgets submitted by many D Governors.

Raggio argued for a Legislative Budget in addition to the Governor's recommended budget--something he failed to achieve--so that the Executive Branch did not have such a strong influence over the budget. "Casinos, mines, and Chamber of Commerce types..." not only didn't get together, but hardly told Raggio what the budget would "be."

Again, the State of Nevada spends money in 3 places, 1. Education (Raggio embraced the Nevada Plan, an elegant state funding mechanism for K-12 schools, and he fought the education unions over what money can be bargained for) 2. Prisons (Raggio put a lot of people there and kept them there as cheap as possible. State employees cannot collectively bargain, thanks in large part to BR) 3. Health care for poor and elderly (If Raggio came back from the dead, there is little he could do for this part of NVs budget. It is a living, breathing monster.)

Genralissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

Francisco. That's fun to say.

Here's the account, from the Las Vegas Sun,


of how Raggio (in a minority) defeated the Democrats in the 2009 legislature. "Republicans Take Pot in Final Hand". Raggio got the Dems to agree to sunset the taxes in 2011, in return for a budget from Raggio. By sunsetting the taxes, this resulted in a billion dollar hole in the budget in 2011.

In addition, Raggio and the Republicans cut the pay and health benefits of public employees, and eroded whatever bargaining rights they have.

And the casinos, mines, and chamber of commerce types have this enormous power by working behind the scenes with their lobbyists and with lawyers from the influential law firm Jones Vargas, whose heavy hitters included Bill Raggio and Brian Sandoval.

As referenced in the article, Raggio's "Victory" was against Governor Gibbons and his cruel budget. There was nothing in there for mining, casinos, or anyone. 2/3 was required on every vote in order to overcome the gubernatorial veto. Any Democrat or independent could not have done a deal any better than that given the dynamic.

Let's have less cynacism regarding the so-called powerful interests in Carson City. A well-articulated, reasonable goal with a responsible strategy has an excellent chance of passing. I would bet these powerful interests may just work with you.

Goldy, read the article again, more carefully. Raggio controls the Republican minority so the Democrats were defeated despite having a majority in the Senate. 2/3 vote was required, and if Raggio had joined the Democrats they might have passed a real tax increase.

Cynicism regarding the powerful interests in Carson City? How's this for some reasonable well-articulated goals:
raise pubic school teachers' salaries to the national average
hire more social workers to handle Nevada's many problems
get Nevada off the bottom of every good list
and down from the top of every bad list
how? raise taxes on casinos to the national average
raise taxes on mines to a more reasonable average
make non-casino businesses (Bank of America, WalMart) pay the taxes they pay elsewhere in the country

Whaddya think is the chance of that passing Carson City? Nil, for well known reasons.

Richard Nixon said it very well: "much as these men (corporate executives) might want to do what is in the public interest, they must necessarily be guided by the interests of the organizations they represent."

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