Beers critical of Gibbons for no stand on budget cuts
November 17, 2005
Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., took shots from two other candidates in the governor’s race Thursday.
State Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, who is opposing him for the Republican nomination for Nevada governor, criticized Gibbons on Thursday for refusing to take a stand on federal budget cuts.
And Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson accused Gibbons of voting for big drug companies and against Nevadans in the Medicare program.
Beers described himself as “exasperated by Jim Gibbons’ chronic state of undecided.”
“The latest affront to Nevada voters was Gibbons’ ambivalence over efforts in Congress to reduce the federal budget deficit by $51 billion in order to make up a small part of the cost of preparing New Orleans for the next hurricane.”
Beers made the comments after Gibbons appeared on Jon Ralston’s Face to Face interview show in Las Vegas and refused to give his opinion. He said Gibbons also had no comment on the proposal to temporarily suspend the Nevada gas tax when prices surged after the hurricanes and no comment on the idea to lower Nevada’s governmental services tax.
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“Now he can’t decide about an effort to reduce the size of the federal budget – a budget we all know is bloated with waste and pork,” Beers said.
“Leadership requires people to make bold stands,” said Beers. “It’s past time for Jim Gibbons to join this debate. This campaign of ideas is about offering solutions – and sometimes hard choices – to remove waste and slow uncontrolled growth of government.”
Gibbons spokesman Robert Uithoven said Beers is hardly in a position to talk.
“It was just a few months ago that Bob Beers helped pass the largest, most expansive and bloated budget in Nevada history so I hardly consider him to be a pure messenger on fiscal responsibility,” Uithoven said.
He said Gibbons would comment on the Beers budget limiting plan after they receive and review it.
He said, if elected, Gibbons would introduce budgets “that are fiscally responsible and meet the expectations of the taxpayers and our state’s priorities.”
At the same time, Gibbons came under fire from Gibson, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, for voting against allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices for its participants.
He said Gibbons touted the new prescription drug benefit as “a historic and sweeping addition to our Medicare program.”
“This bill was a historic and sweeping victory for the big drug companies, who unfortunately Jim Gibbons time and again has chosen to side with over Nevada’s seniors,” said Gibson. “Gibbons stood repeatedly with the big drug companies, who have helped fund his campaigns, voting against allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices and to prevent Americans from importing lower cost drugs from Canada.”
Uithoven said directing Medicare to negotiate with drug companies is nothing more than “a federal price-fixing scheme.”
“If people want that, fine, but does that lead to socialized medicine?” he questioned. “Gibbons supports a free market.”
n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 687-8750.