Chuck Muth: Pardon me, but have you seen this Republican governor?
The Republican Governors Association held its fall meeting in Las Vegas this month and one of the only Republican governors who did not attend was the host-state governor, our own Gov. Brian Sandoval.Instead of joining his fellow chief executives to discuss just what went wrong in the elections this year and what to do to fix the problems, Sandoval opted to be in Washington, D.C., to accept a heretofore unheard-of award by the heretofore unheard-of Governing Magazine for, in part, breaking his word and raising taxes last year.In any event, the following excerpt from a Las Vegas Review-Journal story on the RGA meeting explains why Sandoval would have probably felt very out-of-place with his more conservative colleagues at this annual get-together:“Republican governors meeting in Las Vegas renewed criticism of President Barack Obama for pushing to raise taxes… Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was among the most vocal, telling a Republican Governors Association conference that GOP governors like himself and those in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin also inherited collapsing economies yet have been able to lead state recoveries without raising taxes.”Which is something Sandoval can’t say since he broke his word to Nevada’s voters, business owners and families by re-imposing some $620 million worth of “temporary” taxes last year instead of keeping his campaign promise and making the tough choices to reduce spending.By the way, have you ever noticed that “temporary” tax hikes almost always become permanent while permanent spending cuts seem to always be temporary? Go figure.In any event, Sandoval is also the only Republican governor in the country who immediately moved forward with implementing an Obamacare “exchange” in our state, and the chance of him agreeing to expand Medicaid has been set by Vegas oddsmakers at approximately 100 percent.This stark contrast is what was so outrageous about Sandoval speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and claiming he made the same kinds of “tough” choice his fellow GOP governors made to deal with budget problems.No he didn’t. He took the easy way out. He raised taxes. And he’s planning to do it again next year.Sandoval may be popular in Nevada, but it’s not hard to be popular when you don’t stand for anything and are at the beck and call of the monied special interests. Indeed, consider just how easy it is for any teenage girl to be “popular” in high school. Sandoval was AWOL at the RGA conference. He was AWOL for GOP candidates in the last election. And he’s been AWOL from the Nevada GOP. Perhaps it’s time for Republicans to print up some milk cartons?• Chuck Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.com.