None of the Above

With many voters holding unfavorable opinions of both Senator Harry Reid and his challenger, Sharron Angle, more voters than ever may be checking the box for “none of these candidates” in November.  Interestingly, Nevada is the only state to give voters the option to vote for none of the above (although, voters everywhere can always refuse to cast a ballot at all in a particular race, a practice resulting in what is called an “undervote”). Nevada has allowed voters to select “none of these candidates” in all statewide races since … Continue Reading »

Goodbye to a Governor

Earlier today, Governor Kenny Guinn passed away unexpectedly.  Governor Guinn served from 1999-2006.  I first met him as a low-level Deputy Attorney General, and spoke to him occasionally while working for his successor, Governor Jim Gibbons.  Governor Guinn always went out of his way to offer a kind and supportive word.  His dedication to Nevada resonated in everything he did.  He was one of those rare leaders who could energize everyone he worked with.  I’ll never forget him telling me how proud I should be of my public service.  Today is a … Continue Reading »

High Noon for the IFC

Throughout the past few years, tensions between the executive and legislative branches have been on the increase.  The constitutionality of the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) has been questioned by the Governor.  The IFC has been fiercely defended by the Legislature.  Those rooting for a legal showdown earlier in the year were disappointed as the constitutional conflict took a back seat to a special session and the primary election. But now, the conflict is boiling up again and the dynamics between the executive and legislative branches have changed dramatically from just a few months ago.  A … Continue Reading »

PAC Registration and Magic Words

Nevada is in the midst of one of the first high-profile election law cases since the United States Supreme Court decided Citizens United v. FEC.  A Virginia corporation called Alliance for America’s Future aired a pro-Brian Sandoval ad in Nevada.  (There is nothing to suggest the group is affiliated with the Sandoval campaign).  The Nevada Secretary of State filed suit and obtained a temporary restraining order. In Citizens United, an outright ban on corporate expenditures on political advocacy was overturned.  However, the Court left reporting and disclosure requirements in place.  In the Alliance matter, … Continue Reading »

The Impact of Apathy

An interesting article appeared today in the Reno Gazette Journal regarding voter turnout. According to the article, in 2008 there was a 59.9% voter turnout in the general election, the 10th worst state turnout in the country.  The 2008 primary turnout was even lower, with only 17.97% of registered voters casting a ballot.  I don’t know where that stands in terms of state rankings, but it sounds dismal. In 2010, the results of several primary races will almost certainly decide the results of the general election.  In the Governor’s race for example, polling shows Rory Reid defeating … Continue Reading »

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 »

Of Note Nevada Now On Twitter

You can follow this blog on twitter at  I’ll send out notifications on twitter whenever a new post is up.

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 »