State of the Valley

[State of the Valley]

The Gibbons follies

Hey, someone’s got to be the worst governor in the country


It’s ridiculous, just plain ridiculous to assume that Gov. Jim Gibbons used any political influence to receive a special designation that lowered his annual property tax liability from about $5,000 to $15 on 40 acres of sagebrush in rural Elko County.

It’s ridiculous to think that Gibbons’ lawyer on this one, John E. Marvel, a member of the Nevada Tax Commission and the son of a longtime state legislator, was brought into the process because the young Marvel might have a little Sig Rogich-style juice.

How dare Elko County Assessor Joe Aguirre tell Associated Press reporter Sandra Chereb, who broke the story: “To me it seems odd that a member of the Tax Commission was involved. I did feel uncomfortable.”

What in the name of Phil Gramm is that? Whining aimed at a fellow Republican?


Take the Gibbons test (Las Vegas Weekly, 6/5/08)
Taxing Argument (Las Vegas Weekly, 7/17/08)
No disguising the latest tantalizing Gibbons allegations(Las Vegas Weekly, 6/18/08)

You see, Gov. Gibbons is out there fighting for you, for all of us, the Southern Nevadan who’s shaken by the plummeting value of homes and the threat of foreclosure, the casino worker who fears the financial sting of reduced hours and layoffs, the parent who can’t afford $4.30-a-gallon gas, the young college student who’s watched professors and classes disappear amid state budget cutting, the immigrant laborer who lacks health care, the Strip construction worker who hopes to end a shift alive.

This is a man who’s thinking of you every step of the way as he’s snapping photos of celebrities at the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship bout at Mandalay Bay or while he’s making the moves on the Tao nightclub dance floor, talking with hipster and former Nevada Attorney General George Chanos. It’s all a part of the job for the people’s governor.

The man who’s wrongly been dubbed Bush Lite has an inquisitive sort of mind that knows no bounds. He’s pushing to transform the region’s tourism- and construction-dependent economy into one that will tap into the emerging green revolution. He’s undoubtedly aware that billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens will be in Las Vegas next month to discuss his own massive investment in wind power. Jumpsuit Jim will likely seek face time with a man who is investing big dollars in West Texas wind farms. That Gibbons-Pickens alliance could develop a true Green Valley in Southern Nevada.

Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson is no more influential than you when it comes to gaining access to the man with the strong chin and wise eyes. The doors are open to the governor’s mansion for any and all to stop and talk with our chief executive who never ducks interviews or fails to engage someone who challenges him with a thoughtful series of questions.

Nevada Higher Education Chancellor Jim Rogers knows a sharp intellect at work, and the multi-millionaire lawyer and media executive has long marveled at the inner workings of the mind of Gibbons, a man who has prompted Rogers to produce some of his most inspired writing.

Anyone who doubts Gibbons’ inspirational qualities simply has to look to Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid or Nevada Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley or State Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto. Rarely has a Nevada politician sparked so many to think so big.

Gov. Gibbons’ metaphorical embrace of each and every one of us, whether we’re lucky enough to run into him outside of an off-Strip restaurant or in a Reno parking lot, should give you the confidence to know that this super-sized Nevadan has only one person in mind—you.

So go ahead and make that call to Governor Jim and ask him to lobby on your behalf for a lower property tax bill. After all, no new tax is the most special tax of all. And if you can’t reach the people’s governor, give John E. Marvel a call. It’s ridiculous to think you wouldn’t receive the same treatment.


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