Thursday, June 4, 2015

A concluding word on The Statesman.

{Opening Day, swearing in. There's that bald, wrinkly Walter White head we all know and love.}

The 2015 NV Legislative Session was truly the most bizarre affair. I'm not sure you can go back into history to find a bigger example of the Republican party in the middle of such a fabulously ridiculous identity crisis.

The whole session's story begins where all such sessions begin, with the vote of the people. People who overwhelming voted in an entirely Republican majority for the state. Elected Republican officials mandated to do specifically Republican-ish things. 

So naturally, what happens? 

Tax-cuts proposed? Accountability measures implemented? Pro-life bills championed? Big government balls shrinking in the cold tide pools of fiscal conservatism?

Of course not! Because what fun would that headline be?! What good is an identity crisis unless it looks like, well, a crisis. You can't expect candidates to go around making promises on the campaign trail and then actually keeping them, can you? 

Instead, the session closed with the LARGEST tax increase in the HISTORY of Nevada. An unprecedented hike which passed under Republican leadership.

A tax increase which actually could have been stopped, had it not been for three weak-kneed Republicans who sold their votes for future campaign funds from lobbyists and a good liberal media fondling. The real cherry on the top was that all of the increases proposed came directly from our beloved Republican Governor (who had initially made campaign promises of quite an opposite nature). A Governor, who conveniently, doesn't have to worry about re-election. 

Sigh, politics.

Dear Republican sell-outs, 

Can you help everyone else out, for the sake of clarity, and just become Democrats already? It's okay. The Democratic Party is full of good people too.

Actually, come to think of it, I'm not exactly sure the Democrats would want you either. Last time I checked, I'm pretty sure they also champion values like honesty, transparency, and courage. 


So, in all of this madness, how did The Statesman vote?

You know how he voted. 

 2015's session is one that will always live in infamy for me. It was a brutal time. I would never want to relive any of the past 6 months. At one point, it was laughed that Ira Hansen was spouting conspiracy theories when he predicted that there was a 1.1 billion dollar tax increase coming down the channels, a tax increase which explained the real motivation behind the brilliantly orchestrated take-down of him as the voted Speaker of the House. 

Well, he was wrong. It was 1.5 BILLION. He underestimated.

However, regardless of the headaches, it was this session, more than any other, that we saw what Ira Hansen was really made of. As such, even if all of this ends up being the kiss of political death...even if he loses every single campaign donation and never runs for office again (oh that would be so lovely!)... this man should be at peace.

{yeah, he's pretty ticked in this video. lol. imagine what breaking curfew in our house was like!}


All of us kids got talking at the close of the session. We wanted to publicly state for the record our feelings to our Dad. We linked the following message to social media yesterday, and of course, I wanted it posted here as well:

{Pop and Sawyer}

This week marks the end of a historic and very turbulent NV legislative session. Nevadan’s have just witnessed the largest tax increase in the history of our State. As a final wrap up, we want to publicly express our pride in our father, Assemblyman Ira Hansen, for his efforts to fight for the people of NV despite enormous insider political and media pressures. It’s time for some positive press.


As your oldest son I have particularly looked to you for inspiration in terms of leadership. This session you have led, as few around you have been courageous enough to do. In word and deed you have stayed true to yourself and your ideals, despite the fury around you. You have worked with anyone and everyone who is sincerely trying to improve the world around them. You have shown me that true courage and true leadership can be found in a single man defending a just cause, even when that cause is on the losing side. Watching you from afar, I couldn't be more proud. You handled yourself with honesty, integrity, and have stayed true to what you believe is right. No amount of lobbying or campaign funding can compensate for a lack of those qualities. When all is said and done, especially in these stormy political times, know that your son is proud of you and gladly stands beside you.

What a ride this last session has been! I couldn't be more proud of you. Through your example, you once again have given me inspiration to stand tall even if I feel like I'm standing alone. "Do what is right, let the consequence follow" is what you have always taught. The real key to the successful education of our children isn't higher taxes. What children really need for success is to have strong, courageous, principled fathers involved in their lives. Thank you for always walking that walk, Dad. Thank you for helping me sleep better at night knowing at least ONE person is in government willing to fight for the people. Thank you for watching out for your granddaughters and the children of NV. Your brute honesty and passion make for one lousy politician, but a worthy leader.
- Love, Rachel (Rae-pooper)

Mom sent me a photo of you last week. You were in dirty work clothes and a hard hat - doing a plumbing job between legislative sessions. I could not help but feel proud. I hope people look at your hands when they meet you. I hope they notice they are not the hands of a political insider, but the hands of a man who has supported 8 children through manual labor in the small business he started at 19. Then, I ultimately hope they will listen to what you have to say. Because, while your hands are hard and calloused from hard work, your mind is sharp as a razor. I remember watching you reading (for fun) everything from "The Wealth of Nations" to "Shrubs of the Great Basin" (haha). This instilled in me a love for learning. Your work effort, your commitment to faith and integrity, your patriotism and your love for Mom and all of us kids demonstrated through the giving of your time and attention has been inspiring. Watching you now on a bigger stage, giving people a glimpse into the type of man you are, has been enjoyable but also frustrating. I don't think many realize how special you are. You are a rare breed. Still, no matter what titles you may hold, for me you are the dad who was at all my football games, you are the grandpa that loves nothing more than spoiling the grandkids with "Pop's Cocoa", and you are the wise man who never falters in his ideals while still being civil and diplomatic. You are my hero dad, you always have been. I wish people knew you the way we all do. -Jacob

This session you didn’t waver from the person you have been our entire life. You are honorable and brave and these attributes are always evident in your actions as a father, husband, and Assemblyman. You have dedicated your life to making our life and childhood one that every child deserves. You would leave before the sun was up and come home tired from a hard day’s work and still manage to be extremely involved in our extra-curricular activities. You loved watching me keep up with the boys on the basketball court. Much to your dismay, when your little tomboy traded in softballs and basketballs for a short cheer skirt and a boyfriend, you sat proudly in the crowd waving those spirit fingers. While I have retired that cheer uniform for mom jeans, I will continue to proudly cheer on my dad, Ira Hansen. – Sarah

If Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington were mixed into one character it would produce Dad- but with much less hair! From what I have learned about these two leaders in history, it is apparent that in the face of adversity and challenges they remained constant. They strove to do what they thought was best for the people even while trying to balance their personal lives with the crazy public life of politics (and the headaches that come along with public opinion). They stuck to their guns (or Big Stick in Roosevelt's case). The trickle down effect of witnessing your hard work, Dad, is a greater confidence for me that personal belief and true conviction in oneself and work can really open doors I’ve never thought possible. So here's to you, Dad, for your example, hard work, and passion for our home state of Nevada.

Dad, you never cease to amaze. In these last days of the session, once again you have left me in awe with your ability to be true to yourself even when the cards are stacked against you. You have always taught us kids lessons about honor and integrity but more importantly you have lived by these codes and your example has been our greatest lesson. To this day you show us that you will continue to fight for what is right (even if it turns out like the Spartans at Thermopylae), because it is about integrity to your word. Like you have always told 5'6" me, “It's not about the size of the dog in the fight it's about the size of the fight in the dog”, you have more fight than any man I have ever met. I couldn't be more grateful to have you as my father. Keep fighting the good fight!

Dad, you have put up quite the fight this session. I think it is safe to say you did many people proud, but mostly, us kids. You worked long hours not only as a plumber and a legislator, but as our dad. I often wish people could see the real work that you put in and not just the media’s version. Thank you for showing me what a leader looks like. You often like to brag about your kids, so I’m glad I have a chance to brag about you. These past few months have been the most trying in my entire life and what a difference it has made to have you as my dad. To the outside world you might be a loud and controversial legislator. To me, you are the late night conversation when we run into each other looking for snacks in the kitchen. You are the heart-felt Valentine's day card to me after Mikey’s death. You are the dad who coached me from the fence when I attempted to play softball. You are the 'Pop' that serves his grandchildren too much cocoa. You are the dad who held me as I cried in the hospital. You are the quiet voice that whispered to Mikey as you said goodbye. That is my dad. That is Pop. That is Ira Hansen.
I love you!

Recently I visited you at the legislature and you walked me out to my car. As we said goodbye you turned and said, I am so proud of you. Now that I think about it, I should have turned to you and thanked you for your example. You always encourage me to do my best. You are always there for a good pep-talk when life gets tough. High school can be a hard experience and you know how to make me feel protected and loved. Thank you for being a one-of-a-kind person and a one-of-a-kind dad.
-Love, Rissa

Now, it’s time for you to enjoy a more peaceful summer: filled with grandkids, Lake Tahoe, and BBQ’s. Congrats on your 2015 session, Assemblyman Ira Hansen!

1 comment:

Amy said...

You dad will always get my vote. I am so thankful there are true republicans out there who "get it." Always full of wisdom. Thank you To your dad for not backing down.