November 13, 2018
The election is over and I suspect we are all thankful that the non-stop campaign ads and six to seven calls per night for polling opinions are over. That said, it was definitely interesting.
Democrats predicted a "blue wave" across the nation. Their prediction turned into a "blue whimper" in the Senate races, with the GOP gaining seats. The Democrats gained seats in the House.
Rush Limbaugh theorized, which makes sense to me, that the GOP was as responsible as the Democrats for the changeover in the House. There were about 45 GOP representatives that bought into the media's assertion of a blue wave. They were too chicken to stay in the game, or didn't like Trump, or were afraid of the Democrats. Whatever the reasons, 45 lost incumbencies were a lot to overcome. And to the Democrats' credit, they took advantage of the situation.
The Senate was a different story. Only Nevada's Senate seat flipped to Democrat. Otherwise, there was a gain in GOP Senate seats. That is, unless vote officials in Arizona and Florida manage to get enough "found" ballots into the counts. The "Kavanaugh effect" played a large part in the Senate races. Those who supported the Kavanaugh nomination, except Dean Heller, won their races while those who opposed it lost. This was true in North Dakota and Missouri.
In Nevada, there was a blue wave. The Democrats won nearly every constitutional office, including governor and lieutenant governor. I have maintained for some time that the demographic in Northern Nevada would change with the growth in the area and the resulting influx of people, trending more toward Democrats.
The election outcome causes in the inevitable question, "What happens next to Nevada?" Here are some of my thoughts on what to expect. First, we have a Democrat-controlled Legislature in both houses. That hasn't changed from the last legislative session but during that session Gov. Sandoval vetoed over 40 bills. Most either proposed to raise taxes or expand government. I will bet that the first order of business will be to attempt to overturn Sandoval's vetoes. I don't think that will succeed as it takes a two-thirds majority vote to accomplish that. There are too many Republicans still in the Legislature to get that many votes.
Recommended Stories For You
With a Legislature under Democrat control and a Democrat in the governor's seat, backed up by a Democrat attorney general is a recipe for dramatic change.
At the very least expect any tax that can be raised to be raised. Democrats have made plain that they are revenue-hungry spenders. Just go back and review the campaign ads for the Democrat primary election for governor.
On the table will be a revised version of most of the bills vetoed in the last legislative session. This will include increased sales tax, fee increases for vehicle registrations, and fee increases for most licenses required by the state. By the way, "fee" is Democrat-speak for tax. Kind of like government spending now being referred to as "investment."
One of the most damaging tax proposals is a revision of the state property tax. The last proposal, SJR14, removed the 3 percent cap on annual tax increases that was instituted during the economic downturn. It also removed the depreciation factor from appraised values, which then affects assessed values. As I understand it, the appraised value would then be solely based on the cost new to replace your house, sans depreciation. Expect some revision of this bill.
Also expect more intrusion from the federal level. Many of the prior intrusions were under Democrat attorneys general, who chose to stay hands-off rather than proactively oppose such actions. I only hope that Trump can stay in office long enough to stay the present course and maybe keep the feds out of our state as much as possible.
Nevada has historically been a Democrat state, with numerous Democrat governors and other elected officials. Most of those governed with a moderate hand. Remember Gov. Miller, for example? Sadly, I think those days are gone. We are in for a rocky ride for the next four years with a total big government mentality imminent. Hope for the best, and stay vocal on issues you disagree with.
Tom Riggins' column appears every other Wednesday. He may be reached at email@example.com.