Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Gibbons Gets His Way... And Maybe Democrats Can Learn a Lesson?

OK, it's no surprise. Luv Guv Gibbons will take control of the federal stimulus funds. He says he'll be "responsible", but we can never really trust someone who spends state funds on such useful "stimulus" projects as texting a girlfriend from a state-issued cell phone. That's why Democrats (and even some Republicans!) in Carson City are nervous.

The legislators obviously saw the Interim Finance Committee (IFC) as their only way to check and balance the Governor's power. And in these times when we have a complete psychopath as Governor, it's absolutely necessary. However, they may have crossed the legal line in trying to block the Governor from doing what is necessary "for the protection of life and property". Still, just because what Gibbons is doing (in this case) is legal doesn't make it right. This should be a wake-up call to Carson City Democrats to stop with the IFC-esque "quick fixes" and propose the bolder changes we need to really make state government function properly.

Instead of trying to bypass the Nevada Constitution, Democrats should consider amending it to allow for a full-time Legislature. This would prevent any future Governors from abusing their power and spending state funds as they wish when the Legislature is not in session. And perhaps with other reforms, such as curbing lobbyist influence and implementing full, "clean money" public campaign financing (as Arizona and Maine already do), we can really clean house in Carson City and finally make it work again.

Think about it. How would things be different today if Sig Rogich and his band of merry "bidness lobby" multimillionaire/billionaire buddies hadn't bought the 2006 election for Gibbons? And if the Legislature weren't always so susceptible to the powerful corporate lobby? Maybe we'd have a State of Nevada that works for working people?

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