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October 1, 2014

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Coolican: Is Brian Sandoval shaping up to be Nevada’s Sarah Palin?

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J. Patrick Coolican

Brian Sandoval

Brian Sandoval

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin

CARSON CITY — Strange notions take hold up here, and one that’s frequently spoken of is that Gov. Brian Sandoval is on the long shortlist of potential Republican vice presidential nominees.

On one level, it makes sense: He has an impressive resume that includes time as a regulator, attorney general, federal judge and now governor. He’s Hispanic, from a Western swing state and looks good on TV.

We’ll be hearing more of this talk when this dreadful legislative session is finished.

Assembly Democrats on Wednesday made one last pathetic attempt to prevent brutal spending cuts, with a parade of business lobbyists strangely begging legislators not to give them a tax cut, which is the practical effect of allowing taxes passed in 2009 to expire, as the law requires.

Allow us to keep paying those taxes, they said. Because they don’t like what bleeding the budget is doing to Nevada.

A hospital lobbyist bemoaned the 5 percent cut in Medicaid reimbursement, which will cripple hospitals that already are losing money.

Sheriff Doug Gillespie said he’s already eliminated 238 police officer positions, with more coming.

Teachers and professors, who already make less than the national average, will take a substantial pay cut, or there will be layoffs, or both, and the best of them will leave as soon as possible.

Then there are the ugly cuts to the most vulnerable — autistic children, the mentally ill.

None of this seems to matter. Democrats need a two-thirds vote to override the governor’s veto, they don’t have the votes and surrender is in the air. There’s private talk of passing the governor’s budget and then trying to hang the ugly consequences on the governor and then go to the ballot to try to get the voters to approve new taxes later.

This strategy has a name: “Burn the village.”

When I point out that Democrats’ message might be muddied if they voted for the budget they’ve decried for months, Democrats give me a look I find concerning — that they haven’t considered this.

And there’s the skilled political play by Sandoval — Democrats are whining losers!

Republicans are jubilant. Senate Republicans released a letter Tuesday, signed by all 10 of them, again expressing support for the governor’s budget. Moderates who once seemed gettable for the Democrats now seem firmly unreachable.

If this all comes to pass, as seems likely, the buzz around Sandoval will merely grow.

Sandoval’s spokeswoman noted in an email that the governor “has said before that he is committed to serving four years. He feels privileged to serve the people of Nevada.”

On its face, the notion is fanciful. Sen. Marco Rubio is more well-known and is from the all-important state of Florida.

Plus, a Nevadan on a national ticket? Imagine the stories about the brothels and the Strip and our rather freewheeling culture. The rest of the country, we often forget, views us a bit differently — Midwesterners like visiting, but it’s not clear they would trust one of our own to be vice president.

There would be uncomfortable questions about our using our jails and prisons as psychiatric facilities; our substandard schools; and our decision to dismantle our university system as a counterintuitive strategy for diversifying our economy.

Stranger things have happened though. Who would have thought Sarah Palin, the governor of Alaska, would become vice presidential nominee and national political figure.

Sandoval: Our very own Sarah Palin.

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  1. It will be a tough sell to fundie Republicans to have as a Vice Presidential candidate a governor who has just signed in the largest, most sweeping civil rights legislation for transgender people in the history of Nevada. I can just hear the chorus of he legalized "men in dresses in the bathroom with our daughters" rising from the Republican morass.

    Another issue is height. Sarah Palin was picked because she was a short woman who would not tower over piddly little John McCain. Sandoval is VERY tall. He will only be a contender if Mit Romney is the Republican nominee. Wow, the Mormon and the Mexican! Talk about a Republican Big Tent%

  2. "Sandoval: Our very own Sarah Palin."

    Hardly. Our governor ain't no "ignorant cow," as Sharon Osborne described Palin.

    "...he legalized "men in dresses in the bathroom with our daughters" rising from the Republican morass."

    Chandler_L -- good point about how this legislature can't seem to deal with the REAL issues facing our state, but "men in dresses" may now use those ladies' rooms. What a waste of limited resources, along with all those new laptops and new gym equipment and ....

    I try not to imagine the buffoonish duo of a Romney-Palin ticket. Then again We the Herd do love to vote for who puts on the best show.

    "A liberation struggle is like a struggle against dirt. No matter what type of bath you take ... in three weeks you'll smell like you've never seen a bathtub." -- the late Florynce Kennedy, African American lawyer, activist, speaker, and author, who once led a mass urination on the grounds of Harvard University to protest its policy of no women's restrooms

  3. Like Palin, Sandoval seems to have trouble staying in a job to its completion, and smiles a lot while pursuing policies designed to ruin and shorten people's lives. Good comparison.

  4. Only here is a failure to raise taxes called a cut. There is a budget and a fixed amount of money. U can't raise taxes every year. Shuffle around the money as u can and do the best with what u have.

    No new taxes!

  5. Raise taxes on the foreign mining corporations that get so many write-offs that they are paid WITH the taxes of Nevada's working families to mine here! Call your legislator at 1-800-978-2878 and demand that the gravy train for the foreign mining corporations paid for by our taxes end! its time for them to pay their fair share!

  6. Dems - You MUST force an actual Veto. Your constituents will not understand folding because of a veto threat. Yes, you got the veto on the education bill, but the more vetoes the better for Dems in the next election.

  7. Birdiedreamin is correct that Palin was elected governor of Alaska as a reform candidate and immediately went after the oil companies and increased their contributions to the State. Resultantly she was wildly popular with the citizenry until she was annointed by McCain, stepped on the national stage and sipped of the RepubliTea. Discovering there was far greater financial reward playing the party hack as opposed to actually working for the People she vacated her office and the rest, as they say, is a nauseating history of lucrative missteps. Were she to announce a run for the White House it would only be to reload her personal treasury as opposed to any true concern for the welfare of the United States of America. Should, by some fluke, Palin actually become the RepubliTea standard bearer she wouldn't even carry her home state of Alaska.
    Of course, that's also true for all of the "name" contenders on the Right. In a national election Romney will not carry Massachusetts, Bachman and Pawlenty will not win Minnesota, Christie will be rejected by New Jersey, etc. Like Sandoval, they all look good from afar, but all are weak at home. Certainly, none presently show the strength of support in their home State as Palin enjoyed at the beginning of her national run. The longer they're on the campaign trail pandering to the base with ideologically pure positioning the further they're driven from the mainstream values of American voters. The media loves to tout that our country is Center-right but by the end of the primary season there will only be a Faaaar-right candidate left standing on that side of the equation. Getting back to the Center will be virtually impossible and only a fool without future political aspirations would accept the number two slot on that ticket.

  8. Palin & Sandoval are made for each other, only as a show on Fox News.