Sunday, Feb. 21, 2010 | 2 a.m.
And so it begins Tuesday:
Gov. Jim Gibbons, at the dais in the Assembly chambers to welcome lawmakers to the 26th special session: “Good morning and welcome to The Session to Save the State and My Career.”
Boos are heard.
Gibbons: “Sen. Raggio, I really don’t think that’s appropriate. And having my opponent, Brian Sandoval, sitting next to you on the floor is also not appropriate. But I am sure the liberal judge can give you more genius ideas to save the state, like selling state buildings and leasing them back. Madame Speaker, you wanted to say something?”
Barbara Buckley: “Thank you, Governor. Could you explain how reducing mining deductions is not a tax increase?”
Gibbons: “As soon as you guys explain how taking money from industries to pay for their own regulation is not a tax increase. I also don’t understand why consistency is so important. I was against the stimulus money before I was for it. Circumstances change. Sen. Horsford?”
Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford: “I am not sure why you are so mean-spirited and irresponsible, Governor.”
Cheers are heard.
Gibbons: “Sen. Raggio, I don’t see why you and your law partner are standing to clap. That is not collegial.”
Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio: “Governor, I have tried to work with you but unlike most governors, you won’t do what I tell you to do.”
Gibbons: “The people of this state elected me to tighten the belt of state government and make government smaller and make government run more like a business.”
A muted cheer is heard.
Gibbons: “Thank you Assemblymen Cobb, McArthur and Christensen. Assemblyman Christensen, just because I am using this to run for re-election, I think it is unseemly for you to have a ‘Christensen for U.S. Senate’ banner on your desk. Assemblywoman Pierce?”
Peggy Pierce: “We want taxes.”
A lone cheer goes up.
Gibbons: “Thanks for that, Sen. Coffin. I am against taxes and I have been consistent on this since I first ran, if you don’t count the room tax I put in my budget or this latest mining tax controversy. Just because mining will have to pay more under my proposal doesn’t make it a tax. And even though I will approve all those fees you folks recommended, those are not taxes. I am pure. Sen. Horsford and Speaker Buckley, you both want to speak. Who is really the leader of the Democrats up here these days?”
Horsford: “I am.”
Buckley: “No, I am. I’m not dead yet.”
Horsford: “With all due respect, Madame Speaker, I am the future and you are the past, and it is not kosher for us to expose to the world that we really don’t like or respect each other.”
Buckley: “Well, I am not sure what you are talking about, Senator.”
Gibbons: “Is this great or what? You guys don’t agree on anything.”
Buckley: “Oh sure we do. We agree your cuts were too severe. And even you have now relented on some of your human service abominations. But we also agree that we need to take money from local government capital and reserve funds. It’s terrible policy but no one has any sympathy for those folks.”
Gibbons: “But I promised the locals I would not take their money. Sen. Raggio?”
Raggio: “What’s one more broken promise, Governor?”
Gibbons: “Your lack of respect would bother me if I cared what people think of me. Obviously, I don’t. Speaker Buckley?”
Buckley: “Governor, when are you going put the Race to the Top funds on the agenda?”
Gibbons: “When you people consider my education reforms. It’s called hardball, Madame Speaker. You may have heard of it.”
Buckley: “So you would deprive the state of needed funds just to get your way?”
Gibbons: “I just don’t think I should allow you to roll over for the teachers union. Did you hear that Elko?”
Cheers are heard again from Cobb, et al.
Horsford: “Governor, you know we can take you to the Supreme Court about who gets to put what on the agenda of this session?”
Gibbons: “Be my guest. The longer this drags out, the better. And if I don’t like the result, I can always just call you back. And worse for you, from day to day, you have no idea what I might agree to and what I might not. I don’t, either, which is the beauty of this.”
Boos are heard again.
Gibbons: “Sen. Raggio, for a guy who believes in decorum, this is getting to be very unbecoming.”
Raggio: “I am starting to think we would have been better off with Dina Titus.”
Cheers are heard.