Las Vegas Sun

September 15, 2019

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UPDATE: Nevada daily political update: Gibbons, budget cuts

(Updated at 3:29 p.m.)

Afternoon update

The saga from this morning surrounding Gov. Jim Gibbons has continued into the afternoon.

-- Sun columnist Jon Ralston suggests Gibbons' third Elko gaffe (the governor allegedly pushing his own 40-acre property to be rezoned agricultural to save money) may be his "coup de grace."

-- Gibbons, who is separated from his wife, said in an interview with KOLO-TV of Reno that he doesn’t want to be "lonely," and he says you can expect to see him out with friends. Thus far, no invites received in Green Valley.

-- The Nevada Conservation League predictably favors Democrats in their endorsements, including Senate Minority Leader Steven Horsford, but in a bit of a surprise, backs a couple of Republicans, too, blogs Anjeanette Damon of the Gazette-Journal.

-- Negotiations to have The Wallflowers, fronted by Bob Dylan's son, Jakob, play at a nonpartisan event during the Republican National Convention fell through, reports Politico.

-- OK, maybe it is possible to mock Obama, suggests Politico. And is Obama committed to "netroots?" asks The New York Times.


(Posted at 12:37 p.m.)

Jim Gibbons headlines the state's political page today – and in some cases, the front page – and, again, the news isn't favorable to our unpopular governor.

As first reported by the Associated Press last week, Gibbons allegedly asked the elected Elko County assessor to designate 40 acres of land he bought in 2007 as agricultural rather than residential. Such a move would save the Republican thousands in tax liabilities.

Gov. Jim Gibbons

Gov. Jim Gibbons

Today, Sun colleague J. Patrick Coolican writes that "an ally of the governor's fears the story originated with first lady Dawn Gibbons, from whom the governor filed for divorce in May."

Speaking of their breakup, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that a district court judge in Carson City has scheduled a hearing for Aug. 21 to discuss the status of their divorce proceedings.

The Gazette-Journal also reports that higher education Chancellor Jim Rogers believes an advisor of Gibbons' tried to muzzle him in his weekly memos – "some of which have directly or indirectly criticized the governor for his total lack of support of Nevada education not just the higher education system, but also K-12." Those are Rogers' written words to the Nevada Board of Regents, not a summary by Gazette-Journal reporter Lenita Powers.

Gibbons spokesman Ben Kieckhefer naturally refuted Rogers' assertion in an interview with Powers: "The governor knows it would be completely fruitless to try to muzzle Jim Rogers."

We'll update these soap operas throughout the day if any further details trickle out.

Local Political Headlines

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., had nine minutes and 25 seconds to oppose Yucca Mountain in a Congressional subcommittee hearing Tuesday, but the Democrat had hoped for as much as an hour, writes Lisa Mascaro, the Sun's Washington bureau chief.

Here's a snippet from today's Review-Journal about how the state Supreme Court plans to handle term limit cases involving Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley and Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury.

Scott Wyland of the R-J reports that the county commissioners have awarded lobbying firm Dan Hart & Associates a one-year, $102,000 deal. They also hired lobbyist Rick Loop to represent the local District Court. Loop will earn $10,000 a month over 15 months.

The Elko Daily News' associate editor profiles Kris Pickering, one of four candidates jockeying for the seat Justice Bill Maupin is vacating on the state Supreme Court.


Expanded coverage

News on the Race for the Presidency

-- Another poll shows Barack Obama, the Democratic presumptive nominee, leading Republican counterpart John McCain, according to Dan Balz and Jon Cohen of the Washington Post.

-- An analysis of Obama's candidacy finds attitudes toward race haven't budged much, according to Adam Nagourney and Megan Thee of the New York Times.

-- The R-J's Molly Ball summarizes Obama's new ad.

-- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appears in an ad he probably wants no part of, according to the New York Times' Caucus Blog.

-- Why are comedians struggling to poke fun at Obama? The New York Times' ace television reporter Bill Carter investigates.

Other Headlines, Closer to Home

-- The Las Vegas City Council is to consider bestowing a $10 million grant to a former councilman to help fund his 11-story senior housing and retail project, writes Sun colleague Sam Skolnik.

-- Jeff German, the Sun's senior investigative reporter, learned that the local District Court put tens of thousands of potential jurors at risk for identity theft over the last three years.

-- And I detail the parking crunch at McCarran that could worsen in the coming months, before a new surface lot opens before Thanksgiving.

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