Interestingly enough the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa, has a local connection in that he recently purchased a home at Tahoe Keys in South Shore Lake Tahoe.
This is the first time in American history that an attorney general of the United States has been cited for contempt of Congress. Also interesting is the fact that the attorney general’s Department of Justice is the entity charged with prosecuting the contempt charge.
The original vote in the committee was along party lines. Some prominent Democratic members of the committee originally said they would pursue to whatever level necessary the investigation, no matter how high it reached. As time went by they effectively changed their tune to one of defending the attorney general. Finally, the president himself intervened by declaring the documents the committee sought to be under executive privilege.
As to Obamacare, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts sided with the four Democrats to create the majority ruling. Justice Kennedy, who was supposedly the “swing” vote, wrote the dissenting opinion. Inadvertently, the ruling could prove to be a winnable campaign strategy for Gov. Mitt Romney because nearly 70 percent of Americans are not in favor of Obamacare. In his remarks following the ruling, Romney noted that Obamacare was a major job killer and vowed to repeal it the first day he was in office.
Although initially Obama stated on television that his Affordable Care Act was not a tax, the Supreme Court ruling said that it is in fact a tax.
Constitutional experts on both sides have mixed reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling. Many say that it will gut Medicare, others claim that it will be a boon to uninsured Americans. Whatever the case, it will raise taxes by some $500 million. Obama has yet to address this topic.
While it is true that the health care law does not go into effect until 2014, Congress is already on record to take a vote on July 11 to repeal the law as written. It is unlikely that the Democrat-controlled Senate will ever bring this vote to the floor. Again, this will probably be another ploy by the Republicans to enhance their election possibilities.
The recent conclusion of this year’s presentation of the Reno Rodeo brought back several memories. Sometime in the 1960s the Reno Rodeo was on shaky ground. Gate receipts were not enough to cover the expenses. When Charles Mapes, Jr. assumed the presidency of the board of directors of the event he promptly instituted an underwriting campaign. The premise of the campaign was that underwriters would be sought to finance the entire budget of the rodeo. The gate receipts of the show would then be returned on a percentage basis to the underwriters. In order to put the plan into motion the rodeo directors would form two-man teams and call on specified merchants and professional people. I was fortunate enough to be paired with the vice president of the board, one George Scolari, and we made our rounds of assigned calls together.
When all of us had finished we had raised enough funds to cover the cost of the event. When the rodeo was over somewhere around 40 percent was returned to the underwriters and the rodeo’s future was assured. In addition to the underwriting program, the scheduling of more night performances and the inclusion of rides for the kiddies added to the income, and it has since been expanded exponentially.
Even in those days the stock for the rodeo was provided by Cotton Rosser’s Flying U Company. Proof that the rodeo has grown over the ensuing years is the enlarged grandstand area. Another factor that has added to attendance was the construction of the enclosed Reno Livestock Events Center.
One thing that has remained a problem over the years is adequate parking for the fans. It has even been suggested that the rodeo grounds themselves be moved to a larger outlying location. But to date no concrete action has been taken.
This year’s edition of the rodeo was subject to unusually high winds. It spite of this, attendance was at an all-time high. So it is obvious that the Reno Rodeo has a solid future.
To gain a historical perspective and complete story of the history of the Reno Rodeo, I recommend that you read newspaperman Guy Clifton’s excellent book on the subject.
Thursday’s NBA draft resonated locally because two outstanding former University of Nevada, Reno players were involved: Olek Czyz and Dario Hunt. Czyz has been highly touted because of his offensive ability. He can score at will and is an excellent passer. On the other side of the coin, Hunt will rely on his reputation as a premiere defensive player and rebounder. It remains to be seen if they can fit in with teams that need their specialties.
Harry Spencer is a Reno freelance writer.