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Sir Bill Hangs up His Spurs

About Sen. Bill Raggio’s not-exactly-surprising retirement announcement today, let me say that I’ve always liked the man and still do. He’s got a wicked sense of humor, was always easy to talk to and still owes me the twenty bucks I lent him in 1995. I have a tremendous amount of respect for my political “godfather” and applaud many of the things he accomplished – many extremely conservative – over his long, storied career.

That said, he and I split big time after he “guaranteed” in the 2008 GOP primary that he wouldn’t support any tax hikes in 2009 – only to then become one of the chief architects of over a billion dollars worth of tax hikes in the middle of the Great Recession.

As for the Harry Reid endorsement, as an individual I could certainly understand and accept his support for the opponent of his 2008 primary race; however, as the Minority Leader of the state Senate caucus, that was simply inappropriate.

And for those who now wish to blame Sen. Mike McGinness for Sen. Raggio’s ouster after the election, it wasn’t Sen. McGinness who did that to Sen. Raggio; it was Sen. Raggio who did that to Sen. Raggio.

The most unfortunate aspect of all this is that it shouldn’t have and didn’t have to end like this. This was no way for a man of Sen. Raggio’s stature and longtime public service to go out. I wish he had made this decision at the end of the 2009 legislative session rather than the beginning of the 2011 session. I wish he had been able to go out on top. This is like the proverbial aging boxer who fights that one last fight he shouldn’t have fought.

In any event, despite our occasional differences over the years, I genuinely wish you all the best, Bill. But I still want my twenty bucks back!


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