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Ledge X: The Deer-in-the-Headlights Session
by Andrew Barbano
Feb 27, 2010 | 772 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Erik Holland
By Erik Holland
slideshow
I spent the past week clinging to the Ledge in Carson City. The skulduggery didn’t really involve lawmaking or government but production of a TV show — and not a very good one at that. Herewith,  early reviews.

Deer Me

Nevada news has recently been overloaded with government meltdown stories. Thousands of words and millions of tears have been shed. As usual, the Tribune investigative reporting team has spared every expense to find the smoking gun which tells the whole story in one delicious snapshot. (Sorry, Gov. Jim the Dim is not in it.)

Did you know that the Nevada Legislature has its own deer herd?

There’s no punch line. The critters actually make the Capitol grounds their home during part of the year.

At exactly 2:38 a.m. awhile back, Legislative Police Officer Ronald John was making his rounds when he saw something moving across the street at the Marvin Sedway Office Building. He witnessed the state deer herd gathered in the parking lot and beginning to cross Fifth Street toward the Capitol grounds — single file and in the crosswalk! I guess they didn’t want to risk a citation for jaywalking.

Officer M. Nicholas told me that tall tale (or tall tail) and produced surveillance photos to prove it. They will be posted with the Web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com. I will include some gag captions not suitable for a family newspaper.

So after all the rhetoric, the political animals of the Capitol complex have named the latest fiasco after themselves: The Deer-in-the-Headlights Emergency Session.

Catch me if you can

Follytix and government are all about big bucks. Accordingly, the Capitol cops gave me a pic of a four-point buck bedded down for the night at the same time a couple of legislative police officers were out somewhere freezing their butts off — deer hunting. Smart critter. Can’t say the same for some of the elected officials I’ve recently seen in action.

I know when I’ve been beat

I try to stay away from commenting on our governor’s personal peccadilloes, but it’s now time for the Barbwire to ante into the game.

As I did with Gov. Dudley Do-Right before him, I’ve hung Jim Gibbons with the handle of Jim the Dim for the past four years. Last week, some of my union friends trumped me. He is now The Luv Guv.

In flagrante backseato

Gibbons made national news last week when a reporter from KLAS TV-8 caught him and his paramour deplaning and getting into a state-owned SUV at Reno-Tahoe Airport. The Gomorrah South reporter asked Gibbons if the lady in question had accompanied him on his trip to Washington, D.C. He denied it, cussed out the journalist, then issued an admission and apology the next day.

I don’t care who’s doing what, with which and to whom, but apparently Mr. Gibbons was in violation of both law and regulation. Page 13 of the Nevada State Employee Manual states “... only persons traveling on State business are authorized to ride in these vehicles.” (SAM 1402.0-1417.0)

State employees are prohibited from giving rides to nonstate employees. All state workers are warned about it.

Nevada Revised Statutes Section 204.080 makes it illegal to use a state vehicle for private purposes and establishes penalties.

“A violation of any provision of this section by any person other than an officer or employee of the State of Nevada is a misdemeanor,” the law states, adding that “a violation of any provision of this section by an officer or employee of the State of Nevada shall constitute malfeasance in office.”

Unless Gov. Gibbons can prove that his lady friend was also on state business, he has violated very strict state law and regulation. (Thanks to Cory Farley for “In flagrant backseato.”)

No respect at all

My spies report that last Christmas Eve, Gov. Gibbons escorted a lady to the Reno DMV. While she took care of business, The Luv Guv decided to schmooze the growing lineup of Nevadans and also say howdy to DMV workers. He was taken aback when several refused to shake hands.

“Do you know who I am?”

“Yes.”

Hairy and Harry

On my TV show last Sunday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blasted Gov. Gibbons for not showing any interest in obtaining $175 million in Race to the Top federal education funds. (See the Feb. 21 Tribune front page.) With all of Jim the Dim’s recent blasts at Reid, my fellow colleagues in columny around the state have wondered if Gibbons is confused as to whom he’s running against. Apparently, Gibbons will veto any bill changing Nevada law to facilitate application for those federal funds. What a guy.

Statewide reruns of the program entitled “Suing for Schools” begin this week on three Reno-Sparks-Washoe community television channels (SNCAT/Charter digital 16, 216 and hi-def 80-295): Tuesday at 10:30 p.m.; Wednesday at 1 p.m.; Friday at 11 p.m.; and Saturday at 8:15 a.m. Watch NevadaLabor.com for additional broadcasts statewide.

Correction from last week

The governor has the power to add to the agenda of a special legislative session while it is in progress.

Coming soon

Nevada’s annual César Chávez Celebration, March 31 at Circus Circus. See CesarChavezNevada.com

Be well. Raise hell.

Andrew Barbano is a 41-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail barbano@frontpage.reno.nv.us. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.

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