What will an Arnold Schwarzenegger governorship in California mean to Nevada?
There's no way to know until it happens, but indications are that Schwarzenegger will prove to be more of an ally for the Silver State than Gray Davis and, if he can stabilize the California economy, could be a major influence on the Nevada economy.
The most direct role for a California governor is at Lake Tahoe, where Schwarzenegger has said he supports efforts to keep Tahoe blue. We would hardly expect him to say anything less, so the jury remains out until we see how his Republican dislike of government mandates balances against his desire to protect the environment.
A much broader effect Schwarzenegger can have on Nevada will be his stance on Indian gaming. So far, he has been tougher-sounding on the tribes than Davis. Of course, Davis also made promises he never kept as far as limiting Indian casinos.
Schwarzenegger has said one of his key goals in his first 100 days in office will be to get a "fair share" of the tribe's casino revenues for state coffers.
"As soon as I get into office, and soon as I become officially the governor and get sworn in, I will sit down with the Indian gaming tribes and start working together with them so we can figure out ways of getting additional funds -- because we are in a financial crisis now and I want them to participate," he said after being elected last week.
One of Schwarzenegger's top advisers also happens to be on the board of a company that owns two Northern Nevada casinos in competition with Indian gaming, so we assume he has heard Nevada's side of the argument.
More generally, Schwarzenegger needs to get the California economy moving. That will help tourism in Nevada immensely.
Anything he does to turn around business complaints there -- such as workers compensation rates and a coming health-care program -- may change some minds now thinking about relocating to Nevada.
But the Silver State can compete for business on any field, and we'd rather see California stabilize than slide any further.
In the long run, Schwarzenegger's conservative views on government spending and efficiency, and his moderate views on many social issues, fit much better with Nevadans' outlook on the world than the administration of the last five years. It's a start.