Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009 | 12:01 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, smacked down a sophomore legislator from his own party in a letter sent Tuesday morning that told the rural Nevadan to “be a man” and not send out ghost-written, publicity-seeking missives.
Raggio, the 82-year-old Senate veteran, was responding to a letter from Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa Valley, that said he would not vote to raise taxes, but offered advice to those who would.
Raggio took offense.
“Since you indicate that ‘you have no intention of voting for any tax increases of any kind’ you really have removed yourself from being any part of a potential solution to solving our serious budget crisis,” he wrote in the e-mail sent to Goedhart and all Senate and Assembly Republicans, and obtained by the Las Vegas Sun. “If we are to balance a budget and ensure delivery of ‘essential services’ taxes may be an option, albeit a last option.”
He accused Goedhart of not really penning the “4-point Fiscal Blueprint” that was posted on his blog, here.
Instead, Raggio accused conservative activist Chuck Muth of penning the letter, which suggests sunsetting tax hikes and instituting a future spending cap.
Raggio and other Senate Republicans are in a battle with others in their party.
Raggio ended the letter with this: “In the future, if you want to give me a message or talk with me, be a man and come and see me in person. I'll be more than willing to discuss these matters.”
The following is the letter from Raggio:
This is in response to your self-titled "4 point Fiscal Blueprint" which you directed to me on February 8th.
Since you indicate that "you have no intention of voting for any tax increases of any kind" you really have removed yourself from being any part of a potential solution to solving our serious budget crisis. If we are to balance a budget and insure delivery of "essential services" taxes may be an option, albeit a last option.
I have some long term experience in this legislative process and I really don't think I benefit from the "advice" that you are offering.
Rather, I think your comments were authored by Chuck Muth and intended by you to be published for your own publicity purposes.
If you really "stand ready to work with your colleagues", I suggest you quit doing press releases, work with the majority of your own caucus, and be willing to listen to all sides of those issues. A closed mind will not help us reach the compromises that, whether you accept it or not, are part of the legislative process.
In the future, if you want to give me a message or talk with me, be a man and come and see me in person. I'll be more than willing to discuss these matters.
Senator Bill Raggio