Category Archives: Politics

Senate Candidate Debate

Earlier today Nevada Newsmakers hosted a raucous and informative debate with the Republican candidates for state Senate District 4.  The seat, located in a heavily Republican district, is open as the incumbent Senator Randolph Townsend is term-limited.  You can watch the debate  It provides some good insights into the platforms and personalities of the various candidates.

Now What?

As all remain hopeful that the recent special session will keep the state budget in the black through the biennium, the looming problem of a budget deficit that could reach $3 billion (around 50% of the general fund ) in the next biennium inches closer.  Anjeanette Damon wrote a comprehensive overview of the situation here. The stimulus crutch will be gone, and most of the temporary tax increases from the 2009 session are set to expire.  The fiscal problem facing the state is severe and the solutions that come out of … Continue Reading »

The Bigger Question in the Health Care Debate

The vigorous debate on the health care bill has largely focused on policy.  Questions such as whether the bill will help or hurt and how expensive it will be for Americans are important and strong arguments have been made on both sides.  But there is a deeper more fundamental question on the bill that has little to do with policy and more to do with the scope of Congressional authority. One aspect of the health care bill in particular brings this question to light.  The bill includes a mandate, effective in 2014, … Continue Reading »

Who Can Represent the Governor in a Lawsuit, Redux

With the passage of the health care bill, the Governor has renewed his call for the Attorney General to file suit to challenge the legality of the bill.  Earlier in this blog, I wrote a post about what might happen if the Governor demanded the Attorney General file a lawsuit and the Attorney General refused.  Now that the health care bill has been signed into law and other states have already filed legal challenges and the Nevada Attorney General has refused to comply with the Governor’s request that Nevada join in the litigation, that … Continue Reading »

The Dust Settles on the Special Session

Early this morning the Legislature concluded its 26th special session.  In a showing of bi-partisanship and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches, elected officials enacted a series of fixes (many of which are temporary) in an attempt to shore up the general fund budget deficit for the current biennium. The major components of the plan, including spending reductions, have been comprehensively covered in the mainstream media.  Here are a few of the other aspects of the plan, including what ended up in the plan and what was proposed but … Continue Reading »

One Minute to Midnight

As I’ve discussed in earlier posts, there is a long-running legal dispute between executive and legislative lawyers about whether the Governor has the authority to set an end time for a special session.  The issue has never come to a head in Nevada, although there is an Attorney General’s opinion to the Guinn administration opining that the Governor can in fact declare a time by which the Legislature must adjourn.  But the issue has not been tested in court. Today, the Governor released an amended proclamation on the special session, adding several agenda items for consideration, … Continue Reading »

Poll Shows Angry and Frustrated Voters

A new poll from renowned national pollster Glen Bolger shows that Nevada voters are generally dissatisfied with their government and are looking for change. 37% of those involved in the poll described themselves as Republican, 42% as Democrat, and 18% as independent or tending to lean towards one of the parties.  Interestingly however, when asked if they would vote for the Republican or Democrat running in their legislative district, 34% picked the Republican and only 28% picked the Democrat (with the rest generally undecided). 80% said that the situation in Nevada “has … Continue Reading »

Some Observations on the Call for the Special Session

Earlier today Governor Gibbons issued a proclamation calling the Legislature into a special session beginning at 9:00 a.m. on February 23, 2010.  Without rehashing everything contained therein, I did note some interesting aspects of the proclamation. 1.  No specific ending time and date is set for the session.  In the two special sessions in 2008, a specific ending time and date was established in the proclamation itself. 2.  There is no express prohibition on the consideration of new or increased taxes.  Of course, both the Governor and legislative leaders have said that taxes are off … Continue Reading »

The State of the State

Today the Governor announced he will call a special session beginning February 23 to address a projected budget shortfall of almost $900 million.  The Governor has yet to issue his official proclamation calling the session, where the agenda for the session will be spelled out. In his speech, the Governor pointed out the continuing economic woes plaguing Nevada and blamed the Legislature for raising taxes and failing to enact stiffer budget cuts in 2009.  The Governor took potshots at Senator Harry Reid as well, noting that Nevada came in 50th … Continue Reading »

Who’s To Blame For Losing Out On Mag-Lev Funds?

A proposal to build a high speed magnetic levitation train between Southern California and Las Vegas with the help of $83 million in federal stimulus dollars suffered a major setback when the application for those funds was denied. The political finger-pointing started quickly, with Governor Gibbons blaming Senator Reid for failing to ensure the funding and Senator Reid blaming Governor Gibbons for failing to ensure the application was submitted correctly. However, a closer look at the denial suggests that the denial was due not to political failings, but instead to the way … Continue Reading »