Sandoval’s the real deal, for real

Brian Sandoval is the genuine article. Folks who get frightened away by crossfire talk from Sandoval’s political flanks will wind up with a legacy Democrat as governor if such sniping succeeds.

It’s that simple. I’ll explain later my take on why. First, let’s assess the Republican gubernatorial primary election. Judge Sandoval, who stepped down from the federal bench to run for governor, is a nuanced and serious man.

He is experienced, understands constitutional limits and displays the smarts to lead Nevada. He looks you in the eye and tells you his position on issues or, with joy and pride, tells you his mom got her doctorate in education a few years back—in her ’60s.

He knows who he is, a rarity among politicians.

His main opponent in the June 8 GOP primary is incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons. Gibbons, named recently as one of the nation’s 11 worst governors, sports a private life of interest only because it gets in the way. He has displayed similar bad judgment to that of Bill Clinton as president. He was distracted from the peoples’ business—our business.

Gibbons might quibble. But ponder his priorities. Author James Baldwin wrote, “Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex; you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did.”

The governor may hope voters believe the following: Dawn of divorce flap, adios sex. Then if Baldwin is correct, Gibbons’ thoughts were mostly of sex as the divorce dragged on. If the governor acted on said thoughts, however, he got sex and pondered the divorce.

The state, meanwhile, lacked sufficient money even as we taxpayers kept Gibbons on the payroll; consequently, he wasn’t forced to fret about his own cash flow.

Friends of Democrat Rory Reid, meanwhile, aren’t waiting this thing out. Reid supporters began attack ads against Sandoval two months before Sandoval, Gibbons and former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon, third in GOP primary polls, face the Republican electorate in June. It’s almost unprecedented, but not surprising.

Nearly everyone knows Sandoval is the strongest Republican, so government-loving Democrats help government-hating Republicans in a strange bedfellows bid to bash Brian and revive Jim.

A focal point in anti-Sandoval rhetoric is his role as Nevada attorney general in Nevada’s 2003 budget/tax flap. But charges Sandoval then wanted a tax hike miss the mark. It’s like saying Gibbons thought about money when deprived of sex. It won’t pass the smell test.

Sure, Sandoval prodded the state Supreme Court on behalf of Gov. Kenny Guinn to push for legislative action on a balanced budget funding education.

Governors and legislatures decide spending and taxes. High courts rule. Lawyers advocate. An attorney general must advocate for the chief executive as client (on behalf of the executive branch).

Thoughtful Nevadans should support Sandoval for what he did just as they should castigate current Nevada AG Catherine Cortez-Masto for defying Gibbons’ push to challenge the federal health insurance revamp legislation.

This isn’t about taxes, health revamp challenges, or money and sex.

It’s about duty—nothing more, nothing less.

Criticizing Sandoval for doing his constitutional duty is a cynical rationalization, wrongfully branding him a tax-loving Republican while ignoring (or trying to exploit) Gibbons’ weakness if he faces Senate majority leader Harry Reid’s son in November.

Rory Reid, a Clark County commissioner and a Democrat in his father’s image, is the next generation of warmed-over New Deal Democrat. He isn’t what Nevada needs.

I’ll take Sandoval, the Real Deal, for Nevada