Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Clowns Are Back in Carson City

Strike up the band, there’s a party coming to Carson City.

The state budget shortfall projected anywhere from $120 million to $330 million depending on what numbers you want to look at have caused Governor Jim Gibbons to call a special session for Nevada legislators. The timing of the session seems odd to most observers, but not to those who have looked at the Governor’s tenure with skepticism from the start.

Let’s forget that Senator Bob Coffin asked Gibbons to call a special session back in December. The Governor assured him that the state could make the necessary cuts to right the sinking financial ship without the entire legislature in session. As recently as three weeks ago, Gibbons stated that a special session would not be needed. Something smells in Northern Nevada and this time it isn’t a result of the seasonal wildfires.

Gibbons acts appalled when someone had the audacity to suggest that he called the special session as a way to change the focus of his recent text message scandal. What better way to take your scandal of sending thousands of messages to a married woman (not your own wife) out of the daily news than to get folks all fired up about budget issues. Not to mention the fact that he was accused of harassment right before the election anyway. Since then, his wife has moved out, filed for divorce, and taken up residence in the guest house at the governor’s mansion. It turns out the governor himself was just a part-time resident of the mansion anyway. Some ugly words were exchanged and then they made nice, probably until his term ends.

Meanwhile, government agencies (including school districts) are left waiting on a budget that should take effect July 1. This is the stuff that can only take place in a state like Nevada. For a while, every day another Clark County Commissioner was in the news for corruption. The state as a whole has a checkered history of mob affiliations. As everyone knows, the mayor of Las Vegas was the mouthpiece for the mob scene in Las Vegas for years. Of course that has done little to hamper the popularity of the self-identified “happiest mayor in America”.

As it stands right now, the state of Nevada could do a lot better than the current head of the state executive branch. I would like to nominate several candidates although I’m amazed that there has been a recall petition up to this point. I think the dog that was a mayor in California for 12 years should be our next governor. If you don’t want a canine mayor, maybe the Governator will come here from California, or the former governor of Minnesota, Jessie “the body” Ventura. It seems that a governor from the entertainment world would at least liven things up in our doldrums state.

Anyway, that’s the view from where I sit.