(Chuck Muth) – Well, we’re about halfway through the 2023 session of the Nevada Legislature. The movable deadline for introducing bills has passed and the race to the finish line has now begun in earnest.
So, how’s new Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo done in his first three months on the job?
For many, Gov. Lombardo gets an “A” simply for not being former Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Sisolak governed as an authoritarian bully who refused to involve the Legislature in his COVID decisions, belched out all manner of goofy leftist propaganda, refused to meet with citizens in public forums, hid behind his staff to duck tough questions from the media, and talked in gibberish out of both sides of his mouth.
Like how his “science” said it was safe to buy a six-pack of beer in a grocery store, but not a liquor store. Or that it was dangerous to be at a hostess stand in a restaurant without wearing a mask, but perfectly fine to sit maskless six feet away at a table.
Sisolak ruled based on “political science.” Everyone knew it. Which is why he’s the only incumbent governor in the country to be tossed out of office last November.
Contrast that with Gov. Lombardo, who gets an “A” in my book beyond not being King Sisolak.
No, he’s not flashy and doesn’t possess the flowery public speaking eloquence of John F. Kennedy or Barack Obama. But that’s OK.
Instead, his demeanor is one of simple, quiet, focused determination – much like Gen. Anthony McAuliffe who, when the Nazis demanded his surrender at the Battle of the Bulge, simply responded: “Nuts!”
To which Gen. Patton, on his way to rescue the besieged soldiers in Bastogne, replied: “Keep them moving, Colonel. A man that eloquent has to be saved.”
In a similar vein, when asked by a reporter after his State of the State address in January what he was looking forward to over the next four years, the governor responded plainly: “Getting sh*t done.”
And that’s exactly what he’s doing. To wit…
Everyone knows Nevada’s government schools stink on ice. We remain last in education in the country. And the governor has taken a balanced approach to fixing the problem by boosting both public school spending AND school choice.
Some conservatives griped about giving these failure factories more money – and I get it. But the reality is, the Democrats control both houses of the Legislature. As such, the governor’s position is to take what he can get and not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
If conservatives want even more school choice options – and certainly count me in that camp – then the answer is simple: Elect more legislators who support choice in education.
And speaking of education, violence in our failure factories has skyrocketed ever since Sisolak and the Democrats passed “restorative justice” legislation making it near-impossible to discipline or expel unruly students whose antics deny the education of every other student in the classroom.
Gov. Lombardo has introduced a bill to repeal that stupidity; a bill that transcends the partisan divide and is wildly popular with independent voters. If Democrats refuse to follow his lead in boosting school safety, that’s on them. And they’ll pay for it in the next election.
Ditto crime outside of schools.
Sisolak and the Dems believe in pampering and coddling criminals. After cops chase and bust a thug, the hoodlums get their butts powdered and a quick massage by “social justice” judges and district attorneys before being released back in the wild to further terrorize our neighborhoods.
Our jails are essentially equipped with revolving doors these days. Bad guys are caught…and released. Then caught again…and released. And again, and again, and again.
Gov. Lombardo’s approach – culled from decades of front-line experience as a law enforcement officer – is to undo these soft-on-crime policies that have reduced penalties for those who rob and beat law-abiding citizens, as well as boost the penalties for trying to kill us with fentanyl.
Well, Nevadans are still getting socked with some of the highest gas prices in the nation. Gov. Lombardo has called on Democrats to support his proposed temporary suspension of the state’s gas tax. Support for this also transcends partisan lines and Dem’s will keep prices high at the pump at their own electoral peril.
Then there’s your electric bill. Thanks in part to Sisolak and the Dem’s foolish “green” energy mandates, the cost for heating and air conditioning have shot through the roof.
So, without rolling back any of their “renewable” energy pipe dreams, Gov. Lombardo has issued an executive order calling for a “balanced approach” that includes clean and comparatively inexpensive natural gas.
Only the far-left greenies are shrieking like banshees over this action, with one enviro-wacko bleating that the executive order will perpetuate “climate destruction by the fossil fuel industry.”
But once again, cutting your home and business energy costs is widely supported across party lines and Democrats will pay the price at the ballot box in 2024 if they stick with their cult-like “global warming” histrionics.
On election reform, the governor’s proposal is designed to continue making it easy to vote – mail, two weeks of early voting, and Election Day – but harder to cheat.
That includes requiring a photo ID, provided to anyone who can’t afford one for free, mailing ballots only to people who actually request them, and requiring that mail-in ballots be returned in time to be counted on Election Day, not a week after Election Day.
Again, these proposals enjoy cross-party and non-partisan support among voters. If Democrats refuse to support these simple, common sense reforms, it’ll be an election issue in ’24.
I hope you’re seeing where I’m going with this.
Some GOP critics in Carson City are complaining that the governor is fighting for things this session that he can’t get passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
First, don’t be so sure of that. The governor still has considerable negotiating leverage in the form of the oversized veto stamp I’m gonna have made for him. And as the great Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Secondly, those folks aren’t looking at the long-term – meaning getting more Republican candidates elected and re-elected in future elections.
Gov. Lombardo’s proposals are creating a stark contrast between his agenda and the far-left goofy agenda of Democrats that will be used to great political effect if the D’s tell him to stick it where the sun don’t shine.
“Republicans voted to make our classrooms and neighborhoods safer. Democrats voted against it.” The ads write themselves.
Make no mistake, fellow conservatives. Joe Lombardo is no Barry Goldwater and has never pretended to be so. He’s going to take some positions on some issues we’re not always going to be exactly thrilled with.
But you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
You want Sisolak back?
Look, in this current session in a very difficult political environment, we’re on defense. We need to block the worst of the goofy bills the D’s have put forward, take what we can get, live to fight another day, and send the governor some reinforcements in 2025.
Keep your eyes on prize and just, you know, get sh*t done.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“I’m telling you at this point, right here, in front of the audience and public viewers, I will not raise taxes. Never.” – Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, 10/3/22
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.