Sunday, February 19, 2012

Finding Elizabeth Halseth: Postscript (& Connecting the Dots)

So today, Chuck Muth has one more batch of Elizabeth Halseth's dirty laundry to expose. And jeez, it's a real doozy. And it gets really personal really fast.

Again, I don't really like talking about others' private lives. But in the case of Halseth, where she often injected private morality into the public sphere, she essentially asked for this. And by using her private life to make excuses for not fulfilling her public duties, Halseth also a lack of interest in showing any public morality. Sorry, but who can really fault Muth for "going there"?

And this really goes to a deeper core problem with our Legislature: When did this become "the norm" for governance in our state?

Right before Halseth's sudden resignation overshadowed every other trending #NVLeg story, we were again seeing the usual Sturm und Drang on a Sun piece on three Assembly Democrats not following Secretary of State Ross Miller's guidelines on reporting campaign expenses done while working in Carson City. As usual, queue the "revolutionaries" yielding pitchforks and decrying "corruption". But again, it was all just another Kabuki dance, since no one wanted to go to the heart of this problem, which is the massive amount of corporate money infecting our politics and our government. Instead of asking why who didn't report what on which form, why can't anyone ask why we have to accept the gaming-mining-lobbying industrial complex bestowing upon us "the best democracy money can buy"?

We saw another act in this Kabuki theater last week when the Harvey Whittemore scandal broke. Pundits were pointing fingers in all directions. "How much did Harry Reid get from Whittemore? What will Dean Heller do with all those donations?" But funny enough, Jane Ann Morrison, one of the resident R-J pundits, actually made what was perhaps the smartest comment on last Friday's episode of "Nevada Week & Review" when she pointed out that what Whittemore did with his contributions isn't all that different from what the likes of Sheldon Adelson and Foster Friess are doing with Super PACs today. Of course, the only big difference is that Whittemore was "ahead of the curve" in doing it before the US Supreme Court legalized Super PACs with their Citizens United decision. Again, instead of asking why who accepted how much from whom, why can't anyone ask why we have to accept that so much power and influence in concentrated in the hands of a privileged few?

And finally, we saw California's State Senate Leader tell us to stick our SB 271 "Trash Tahoe Bill" where the sun don't shine. Thankfully, California's Legislature doesn't seem to be under the firm grip of corporate lobbyists yearning for more real estate development at Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, ours has been. Again, why can't anyone ask why we have to accept that a few powerful corporate interests get to call all the shots and pave paradise to put up more parking lots?

And this takes us back to Elizabeth Halseth and her now defunct political career. How did it last for this long? And how was she able to get away with her escapades with Tiger Helgelien until late last week? If you want answers, then I suggest you see her page on the Secretary of State's new AURORA campaign finance database. And remember who funded "anonymous" attacks on her Democratic opponent in 2010. And remember who guided her last February to smear elementary school kids begging for the chance to stay in school. Notice anything?

If one really has to ask why Halseth made it to Carson City last year, then one hasn't been paying attention.

Believe it or not, a whole lot of folks across the state are still asking that question. And a whole lot of folks are still shocked at Chuck Muth exposing Halseth's moral hypocrisy. I'm just waiting for someone, anyone (!!!), to demand the kind of changes to our system that will no longer allow shadowy corporate interests to pop out of nowhere and send "empty suit" politicians like Elizabeth Halseth to do their bidding.

No comments:

Post a Comment