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Nevada Held Hostage: Sisolak’s “War on Work” Rages On

(Chuck Muth) – Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s much-anticipated announcement of his plan to restart the economy he himself wrecked was another self-inflicted train wreck Thursday evening.  To summarize…

“OK, there will be four phases to reopening.  But it might be three phases.  Or it might be five phases.  Or it might be more phases.  And there might be phases of each phase.  And each phase might be different depending on which phase each county is in.  But every county, regardless of which phase they’re in, will only be allowed to enter a reopening phase when Clark County reaches a phase or the phase of phase it’s in.”

Got it?

Now, if you’ve been watching Sisolak’s amateur-hour dog-and-pony shows for the last six weeks, you know the production value of the videos has been barely better than an artist’s rendering of a court proceeding.  Stone-age technological quality.  Lousy sound.  Not ready for prime time.

And after six weeks’ worth of trying to put on the show via Facebook, the governor’s crack communications operation switched last night’s production to Livestream.  And yet another unmitigated disaster.

The sound was, once again, a mess right out of the gate.  Worse, just over ten minutes into the show the livestream cut out completely.  So unless you quickly switched over to a Facebook feed from a local news station – I switched over to KRNV News 4 out of Reno – you missed the most important parts.

Now think about this…

We’re supposed to trust our lives and livelihood to the competence and judgment of a governor and gubernatorial staff that couldn’t even point an i-Phone at someone and hit “record.”

As is his wont, the governor opened up the show by patronizing suffering Nevadans; telling us we’ve been good little boys and girls up to this point but warning us that if we don’t continue to behave ourselves we’re gonna be kept in “time out” indefinitely.

And the sheep among us said, “Baaaa!”

Details of the politically-named “Battle Born Beginning” multi-phase reopening plan include yet ANOTHER triple-somersault policy reversal.  First, the golf courses were ordered closed. Then allowed to reopen. Then closed again.  And now reopened again.  Until he changes his mind.

Oh, and drive-up churches are now OK…but not drive-in movies.  Figure that one out.

But some good news!

The tennis and pickleball courts will also reopen.  But only if you only touch your own balls…unless playing with a family member.  If you’re playing with a stranger, you’re advised not to touch their balls.

Actually, that was probably pretty good advice even before COVID-19.  Onward…

Interestingly, the governor will decide when every business in Nevada will reopen and under what conditions…except gaming.  Casino re-openings, he told us, will be decided by the Gaming Control Board.

That way, if anything goes wrong the governor will blame the Board: “THEY decided when and how to re-open, not me.”

In any event, the fate of Nevada’s gaming and tourism industry will be decided by a cabal of gubernatorially-appointed, not publicly-elected, political insiders while the fate for the rest of us won’t even have the input, let alone consent, of the 63 elected members of the Nevada Legislature.

Why hasn’t a SINGLE elected state legislator called for a Special Session yet?  Every one of them should be brought up on charges of dereliction of duty.

OK, more insanity…

Out of one side of his mouth, the governor acknowledged that Clark County and Washoe County aren’t like the other 15 rural counties and shouldn’t be treated the same.

But out of the other side of his mouth he declared that no county – regardless of individual circumstances as it relates to the virus – will be treated differently.

“All counties will open in Phase 1 at the same time,” Little Caesar declared from upon high at Mt. Olympus.

Why?  Because, he explains, the virus doesn’t know borders.


Then why, according to the governor’s convoluted shutdown orders, does the virus apparently not spread in grocery stores, big box stores, pharmacies and hardware stores – not to mention the Raiders’ stadium construction site – but will attack you without mercy if you go into a small mom-and-pop store?

Wait, it gets worse…

The governor also announced the creation of a politically-named “Local Empowerment Advisory Panel” (LEAP) made up of a pair of county commissioners, government regulators and administration officials.

So I guess 2020 really is LEAP year, both literally and figuratively.

But make no mistake.  This is a political set-up.  If things go wrong in the re-opening, you can bet Sisolak will wash his hands and point the finger of blame to the members of the LEAP committee.  They’re walking into a trap…and they don’t even realize it.

Oh, and decidedly NOT part of LEAP: Anyone representing Nevada’s cities.

Why not?  Well, it’s obvious.  Political payback to Mayor Carolyn Goodman of the state’s largest city, Las Vegas.

Mayor Goodman has been critical of Gov. Sisolak’s irrational, emotionally-driven, contradictory, confusing and discriminatory decisions from Day One.  So in an overt act of political revenge, the governor has told Goodman to take a leap when it comes to the LEAP committee.

What a petty tyrant.

Let’s face it, the so-called “emergency” is over – and has been for a while.  There are plenty of tests on hand and plenty of excess hospital beds.  Our health care facilities were not, are not and will not be overrun.

Destroying Nevada’s economy happened with a gubernatorial flip of a switch on St. Patrick’s Day.  Now we’re expected to wade back into the recovery by dipping one toe in the water at a time.

The longer we wait, the worse the economic pain for families and mom-and-pop shops is going to be.  Some won’t make it.  Sisolak’s cure will indeed prove to be worse than the disease.

We’ve flattened the curve.  That’s inarguable.  It’s now way past time to stop flattening our economy.  It’s time to begin reopening Nevada.  TODAY.  Even if it means civil disobedience.

Heck, they can’t throw ALL of us in jail – even though there are a number of empty cells since we’re letting murderers, rapists and thieves out because of the virus.

In concluding today’s Muth’s Truths, some final words to the scared-of-their-own-shadow Henny Penny crowd, courtesy of a letter-to-the-editor published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal this morning…

“No one is going to make you leave your home.  You can shelter in place for as long as you want. … So if you are scared of this virus, stay home.  But don’t make the rest of us suffer.”

What he said.


“We should all be so lucky to have a mayor like Carolyn Goodman – who has truly become ‘America’s Mayor.’” – Orange County Register columnist John Phillips

“We need to reopen doors to our family owned-restaurants. They have seen success with curbside/delivery. We can open with safe protocols. Get people back to work. Save these businesses. We are Americans. We are Southern Nevadans. We can reopen safely.” – Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony

“We’ll see how things progress through the summer, but we know this: COVID-19 is not going to magically disappear.  We’d better get used to it.” – Rich Galen,

2020 Tax Pledge Signers in Nevada

  • CD02: Mark Amodei
  • CD03: Dan Rodimer
  • CD03: Mindy Robinson
  • CD04: Lisa Sutton
  • CD04: Jim Marchant
  • CD04: Sam Peters
  • CD04: Rebecca Wood
  • CD04: Charles Navarro
  • AD02: Jim Small
  • AD02: Heidi Kasama
  • AD02: Erik Sexton
  • AD04: Richard McArthur
  • AD07: Tony Palmer
  • AD10: Jonathan Friedrich
  • AD15: Stan Vaughn
  • AD19: Annie Black
  • AD26: Lisa Krasner
  • AD31: Jill Dickman
  • AD31: Sandra Linares
  • AD36: Joe Bradley
  • AD37: Andy Matthews
  • AD38: Robin Titus
  • AD39: Jim Wheeler

(Mr. Muth is president of and publisher of  He blogs at  His views are his own.)


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