Chuck Muth: How now Cheryl Lau

In a rather embarrassing letter-to-the-editor published by the Nevada Appeal recently, former Nevada school chief, public education apologist, and northern Nevada's leading leftist Eugene Paslov blubbered that promising voters not to raise their taxes was "irresponsible" and anyone who signs the Taxpayer Protection Pledge "should be voted out of office."

Hmmm, that would mean: Sen. John Ensign, Rep. Dean Heller, Rep. Jon Porter, Gov. Jim Gibbons, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, state Sen. Bob Beers, state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, state Sen. Warren Hardy, state Sen. Maurice Washington, Assemblyman James Settlemeyer, Assemblyman Ty Cobb, Assemblyman Ed Goedhardt, Assemblyman Chad Christensen and Assemblyman John Carpenter.

In other words, anyone who is a responsible fiscal conservative.

The fact is Eugene Paslov has never heard a tax hike bell he didn't salivate over. Indeed, he also inked a separate letter-to-the-editor, published a couple weeks ago in the Reno Gazette-Journal, in which he lent support to a proposed tax increase to dump more hard-earned tax dollars into Washoe County's public schools.

"I have spent 45 years in various aspects of public education," Paslov wrote, without, unbelievably, even a hint of embarrassment " adding that he believes "improvements can best be made by those responsible for education."

Yeah, and O.J. was the best person to hunt down the real killer.

You see, it's veteran education "professionals" such as Eugene Paslov who are responsible for public education's decline in Nevada over the last, say, 45 years or so " abandoning the basics of reading', writin', and 'rithmetic for educational fads such as "new" math, whole language and an absurd focus on self-esteem. The notion that the people like Paslov who have screwed up public education in the first place are the people best able to fix it " or that the solution is to throw more good money after bad into a broken system " is a dog that just won't hunt.

Which brings us back to Mr. Paslov's recent Nevada Appeal letter in which he heralded Republican assembly candidate Cheryl Lau for not signing the Tax Pledge:

"I know Ms. Lau and have had an opportunity to work with her over the years. She is a bright, decent, and energetic human being who should be taken at her word that she doesn't want to raise taxes. I also assume she realizes that new revenues may be required ... or at the very least, she wants to keep her options open ... (K)udos to her for not making a pledge that may in the end be impossible to keep."

Alas, Mr. Paslov apparently missed a memo. Because Ms. Lau - who is indeed a bright, decent and energetic human being " HAS signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. I wonder how Gene feels about her now?

I know how I feel about her. That's why my political action committee piped the following automated phone message into Carson City households last weekend, and will do so again as the campaign heats up.

"This is an important voter alert. Republican assembly candidate Cheryl Lau has signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge promising that she will vote against any and all efforts to raise taxes on the voters of Carson City. Her opponent, Democrat Bonnie Parnell, has voted for tax hikes in the past and refuses to sign the Tax Pledge promising not to do it again. So when Bonnie Parnell comes to your door asking for your vote, ask her why she thinks Nevada needs higher taxes."

The choice in this race is now as clear as day. If you want higher taxes for bigger government, vote along with Eugene Paslov for Bonnie Parnell. However, if you want a smaller, more efficient government without having your taxes raised, vote for the responsible, bright, decent, and energetic Cheryl Lau. Heck, even the graduate of a Paslov school should be able to figure this one out.

- Chuck Muth, of Carson City, is president and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a political blogger. Read his views Fridays on the Appeal Opinion page or visit You can e-mail him at


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