The governor gets a notch on his belt
The fashionable editorial to write about Gov. Jim Gibbons would resemble the article in Wednesday’s New York Times, which reported in depth on his rocky start. The article, which called him a “largely invisible five-term congressman,” told the country of the governor’s low popularity ratings and cited his plan to sell water rights beneath highways that the state never owned, as well as his plan to turn the state’s coal reserves into jet fuel, even though we don’t really have coal reserves. And it, of course, repeated all of his missteps during the election last year.
But it looks like the governor has a notch on his belt today in the form of the education budget. The budget gives the Democrats an all-day kindergarten program – though far short of what they had sought – while retaining the governor’s school empowerment plan. And the forthcoming budget agreement will accomplish his goal of holding the line on taxes.
The budgets were ugly in the making and Gibbons’ lack of experience – and lack of physical presence at the Legislature – frequently left legislators flabbergasted. His dictatorial style and eagerness to play hardball, including his recent veto threat, miffed even those in his own party, especially compared to former Gov. Kenny Guinn’s consensus building style. The governor has no one to blame but himself for those problems.
But today we give him credit for the result, not for the process.
And, as far as the process, we’re willing to write that off to inexperience, as long as he’s willing to work on it over the next two years.