The House Democrat Coup
The Bellmon Tax & Education Overhaul
Republican Governor Bellmon introduced a far-reaching tax overhaul plan that would have revamped the ad valorem system, added a new gross receipts tax and changed the state school funding formula. The proposal quickly died in the Legislature, and Bellmon then called a special session to deal with the issues of educational funding and reform.
A blue-ribbon panel, known as Task Force 2000, tackled those issues prior to the special session and put forth some recommendations for reforming and funding the state's educational system. But the special session came to an end in mid-December when Republican legislators refused to lend support to the plan. Bellmon indicated he would attempt to revive the plan when the Legislature reconvened January.
It finally passed and the RINO governor signed it. The following 2 years, the education unions and many PTA groups targeted fiscal conservatives for defeat. Speaker Steve Lewis ran for US Senate against Don Nickles in '92. The education PAC did defeat some conservatives in 1990 general elections but failed in almost all their attempts to take on conservative legislators in '92.
Steve Lewis lost the 1992 US Senate bid and has not held elective office since. He is still a lobbyist at the capitol.