This is one of those times when I can’t decide if feeling utterly amazed is worth the accompanying sense of despair.
The setting for this tragic drama:
Due to a co-candidate’s schedule conflict (uh huh), Senate 12 hopeful Patrick McNaught (GOP) was at center stage on Ralston’s Face to Face tonight. Which I just finished watching thanks to the modern miracles of digital recording.
The curtain lifted, and McNaught uttered his first sentence about the reasons for his candidacy:
“I felt it was important that we got more of a conservative voice inside District 12.”
He then said that state government has not gone through the same “exercise” as the private sector (meaning cutting jobs, not hopping on a treadmill) and added that he deals with businesses every day “that would like to move to the state of Nevada, but even the idea of creating a corporate tax or gross receipts tax is driving those people to states such as Texas.”
McNaught said he wants to squash the rumors that such taxes would ever happen here and create a budget “in which the state has to live within.” He agreed the poor education system also plays a part in our difficulty attracting businesses to the state but said taxes are the main problem.
When asked for solutions, he said:
“We need to create reform and live inside our budget; we cannot continue to spend money we do not have.”
“You know, you just got three clichés jammed into about ten seconds without telling me what you would do. Tell me what you would do.”
“The first thing I would look at is cutting state legislative pays. I mean if we are going to ask the employees of the state of NV to take a hit, I think it is important as leaders and legislators that we do it first.”
“Are you serious about that? Come on… They make seven grand.”
(Right. Multiplied by 63 legislators, the total savings to the state would be $431,000 if they all took a 100% pay cut. So, assuming there is a $3 billion budget shortfall come February, we’d have just $2,999,569,000 more in cuts to go.)
“It’s better to at least take something from the people that go to Carson City.”
Is it? Priority One is a take-away of the pittance our citizen legislators receive for dedicating four months of their lives every other year (plus any special sessions) to trying to solve the state’s biggest problems?
When pressed for other budget cutting ideas, McNaught said he is looking to our gubernatorial candidates for their Plan.
Really…? No additional suggestions? Just whatever the governor-to-be posits?
McNaught then made some vague references to jobs, the private sector and state worker wages. And going “line item to line item” as we “get into the balance sheet, line by line.”
And said he has a friend at the Department of Transportation who sent him suggestions via “seven pages of cuts.”
None of which he could or would name.
A few sentences more and then his big finish:
“The Republican party has lost its brand.”
Yeah, it has.
In part because of cliché-loving candidates who even after months of studying-up and campaigning are either unable or unwilling to suggest a single decent proposal for cutting the state budget, creating jobs or improving education in our state.