(Chuck Muth) – In the end – by last night’s midnight deadline to sign or veto bills from the 2023 session of the Nevada Legislature – Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo didn’t break the single-session veto record of 48 set by former conservative Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons.
He shattered it!
When the smoke cleared and all was said and done, “Don Veto” killed 75(!) crappy liberal Democrat bills with the stroke of his veto pen.
That’s 75 bills that would have been signed into law if the Master of Disaster, ex-Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak, had still been in office.
Show of hands: Who among you would have preferred that?
The list of vetoes yesterday included a bill (SB419) that would have provided taxpayer-funded medical benefits to pregnant illegal aliens whose children would earn “birthright citizenship.”
Unbelievably, two Republican senators made the bill “bipartisan” by voting for it: Senate Minority Leader Heidi Gansert and term-limited Scott Hammond.
Hammond’s also the turncoat Republican senator who gave the Democrats the one vote they needed to get the 2/3 super-majority to pass the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) budget bill.
Which reminds me…
Lombardo-obsessed Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Victor “Ahab” Joercks continues to flail away at the governor for not vetoing that bill unless additional funding for charter schools was added to it.
Which again demonstrates that Victor doesn’t know schitt from apple butter when it comes to how things work in Carson City.
In order to override a governor’s veto, both the Senate and the Assembly must vote to do so with a 2/3 super-majority. Democrats had a super-majority in the Assembly this session but were one vote short of a super-majority in the Senate.
So yes, Lombardo *could* have vetoed the CIP bill. However, since Hammond had already broken ranks and given the D’s the one GOP vote they needed to pass the bill, the D’s also had the one GOP Judas vote needed to override any such veto.
So what would have been the point? Derp.
Victor’s nonsense aside, here’s the real and present danger you all should be aware of: Those 75 vetoed bills could still become law! Here’s how (pay attention Victor) …
Since the 2023 Legislature has officially adjourned, votes to override Don Veto’s vetoes can’t take place until the start of the 2025 session.
And if the Democrats in the Assembly maintain their 2/3 super-majority after next year’s legislative races and pick up just one seat in the Senate, they’ll have the votes needed to override every one of the 75 vetoes.
And the odds of them flipping that one GOP Senate seat in the 2024 elections is extremely high.
The Democrats redrew Senate lines after the 2020 session and the seats currently represented by Republican Sens. Gansert and Carrie Buck are ripe for the picking, while the odds of the GOP flipping a D seat are slim, at best.
Gansert’s and Buck’s chances to hold their seats – if they run for re-election – are even worse considering their voting records this session.
Time and time again they gave the D’s the GOP votes on controversial bills opposed by conservative Republicans that provided “bipartisan” cover for next year’s campaigns.
As such, the pair have lost the support of big chunks of their base who will never vote for them again, even with the threat of giving the D’s a super-majority in the Senate to override all 75 of Don Veto’s vetoes.
That’s just the way it is. And demonstrates once again how Republicans never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity.
So if you want to drive a stake through the hearts of those 75 vetoed bills, then Republicans need to flip at least one Democrat seat in the Assembly to get themselves out of the super-minority there. And those odds are far better than saving Gansert and Buck.
And just imagine for a second what the Democrats would do in the 2025 Legislature knowing they had the 2/3 super-majority needed to override Don Veto’s vetoes. Those 75 crappy bills this session will look like child’s play compared to what they’d pass next time.
To paraphrase Democrat political strategist James Carville, it’s the Assembly stupid.
Flipping at least one Assembly seat next year should be the single most important political objective for Republicans in Nevada in ’24. And it should start with this…
Democrat Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager is vulnerable to a strong challenger. He won his race last year by just 6 points against a Republican opponent who only raised $22,000 vs. Yeager’s $726,000.
Which is why Republican Drew Johnson – who lost a Clark County commission race last year by just 336 votes in a Democrat-majority district – should change his mind and run against Yeager next year instead of running for Congress.
At the very least, a Johnson challenge would tie up Yeager and force him to spend money on his own re-election instead of pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into other vulnerable Democrat Assembly races.
I get why Drew would rather be a congressman than an assemblyman. But this isn’t about him.
It’s about saving Nevada from the threat of Democrats gaining a super-majority in both houses of the Legislature next year. It’s about stopping the total californication of our state if Lombardo’s veto pen is drained of all its ink.
And by the way, taking out a top Democrat in the Assembly isn’t unheard of.
Back in 2012, Republican challenger Wes Duncan came out of nowhere and beat Democrat Speaker-in-Waiting Marcus Conklin.
And don’t forget, Republican John Moore took out future Democrat Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson in 2014 despite raising only $800.
So nailing Yeager is probably much more doable than saving Gansert or Buck.
And with that, I’m outta here. Heading down to Gardnerville this morning for Adam Laxalt’s annual Basque Fry featuring Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Wish I could be in Vegas for the Stanley Cup victory parade for the Golden Knights, but Hermoine Granger won’t let me use her Time-Turner so I can be at two places at once. Enjoy the celebration.
Go Knights, go!
7 Worst Habits of Highly Unelectable People
- Picking the wrong race
- Picking the wrong district
- Picking the wrong issues
- Picking the wrong time
- Picking the wrong consultants
- Picking unnecessary fights with the media
- Picking door-knocking over fundraising
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“This session, Democrats passed legislation that raised taxes, eroded constitutional rights, and expanded bureaucracy, among countless other examples of government overreach. … So, while I’m proud of the legislation we were able to pass this session, I’m also confident in my decision to veto bills that did not serve the best interest of all Nevadans.” – Nevada Gov. Joe “Don Veto” Lombardo, 6/16/23
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of CampaignDoctor.com. You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.