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Sandoval kicks off re-election bid with State of the State, budget

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AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Lawmakers and guests give Gov. Brian Sandoval a standing ovation for remarks made during his first State of the State address given before a joint session of the Nevada Legislature in Carson City on Monday, Jan. 24, 2011.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 | 5:49 p.m.

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If there was any doubt to the political undertones of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s State of the State address, the Democratic Governor’s Association dispelled that notion, sending out a scathing release this morning blaming the Republican governor for a “lack of leadership” and failing to turn around the state’s economy.

Sandoval at 6 p.m. will address lawmakers and dignitaries in Carson City for the State of the State speech, laying out his vision for the future of the state and his assessment of the past two years since he took office. It will be televised and also streamed online here.

Sandoval today will also release his proposed budget for the next two years, which will be presented to the Legislature which meets Feb. 4.

But the speech, the Legislative session and the budget will also serve as the base for Sandoval’s reelection campaign in 2014.

Sandoval is expected to offer an optimistic vision of the state, stressing the progress made over the past two years, even though some economists and top education officials stress challenges ahead for the state.

He has made big promises on his budget, promising to increase funding for K-12 — his superintendent said he would propose a 2 percent increase in funding for school districts — and preserve services to the poor while keeping taxes at their existing levels by extending some of the $620 million in taxes set to expire in 2013.

It’s unclear what Democrat will challenge Sandoval in 2013 — Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s campaign adviser said she’s considering it, as has Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak. But in a full-throated broadside, the Democratic Governor’s Association offered a gloomy prebuttal on the “real state of Sandoval’s state.”

It stressed the highest in the nation unemployment in Nevada, at 10.8 percent in November, above the national average of 7.7 percent; a ranking that puts Nevada last for the economy and education; and provides a list of press clips negative toward Sandoval.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, will offer the Democratic response tonight following Sandoval’s speech.

Sandoval raised $653,000 in 2012 for his gubernatorial campaign, an impressive total, with large contributions from casinos and mining companies. Masto, by comparison, raised $67,000 last year. Secretary of State Ross Miller, who is running for Attorney General, raised just $30,000.

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  1. Before a politician speaks, it's most important to follow the money first.

    In 2012, Sandoval took in $93,000 of his annual haul of $650,000, with mining more than a third of that, led by Barrick's $10,000 contribution (another subsidiary already had given $5,000).

    Among Sandoval's benefactors were some big-name Texans, including T. Boone Pickens ($5,000) and the wealthy Crow family, which gave him $50,000 last month.

    Three members of the top gaming regulatory body, the Gaming Comnmission, which is appointed by the governor, gave Sandoval a total of $22,500. (John Moran gave $10,000, Randolph Townsend and his wife gave $5,000 each and Tony Alamo gave $2,500.)

    Also, a couple of weeks before Sandoval appointed Brian Ayala to the Commission on Tourism, Ayala's Inc. gave $2,500.

    Here's others from 2012, all lobbyist/developer/casino/mining rich document:

    George Maloof ($10,000)
    Tropicana ($10,000)
    Terrible Herbst ($10,000)
    Station properties plus Zuffa ($20,000)
    Pat Lundvall ($5,000)
    Michael Eisner (yes, that one) ($5,000)
    B of A ($5,000)
    Siegfried and Roy ($5,000)
    Harrah's ($10,000)
    Boyd ($7,500)
    Tony Marnell III ($5,000)
    South Point ($10,000)

    The above figures came from Ralston's blog.

    To sum it all up, if Sandoval gets reelected, it's going to be same ole, same ole no taxes on mining/casinos...and to hell with everyone else. Sandoval won't rock the boat. He wants that money rolling in. THOSE above people are far more important than anyone else in Nevada.

    Time to get rid of him. He is not a moderate Tea/Republican. I guarantee you if he had a majority in the State Government, he would go absolutely crazy with pieces of legislation regarding anti-abortion, bust apart the teachers' union, de-fund Planned Parenthood, and more taxes on the middle class....to name just a few predatory Tea/Republican tactics.

    We need a change here in Nevada. Sick and tired of the same ole, same ole vampire stuff.