(Chuck Muth) – In the ridiculously long 12-day special session recently concluded, the Nevada Legislature put a band-aid on the $1.2 billion budget hole created by Gov. Steve Sisolak’s “emergency” shutdown orders that he’s been cranking out like a Pez dispenser since March 17, 2020.
All they did was kick the can down the road.
The economic calamity caused by the SISOLAK-19 shutdown virus is only gonna get worse. Proof: CES, the largest annual convention in Las Vegas, which brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in taxable revenue, just this week cancelled its scheduled annual in-person confab for next January.
And as thousands upon thousands of Nevada citizens in the private sector not only can’t get their jobs back thanks to the #SisolakShutdown, tens of thousands still can’t get their unemployment benefits thanks to the governor’s inept mismanagement of DETR (Department of Employment, Training & Rehabilitation).
Nevertheless, almost zero non-essential “royal family” government employees – such as that student-athlete dietician at UNLV – have been similarly laid off. I guess we’re not really “all in this together” after all.
Now, after the disastrous Special Session I debacle, the governor has now called for a totally frivolous and unnecessary Special Session II that started today and has a midnight deadline for next Friday.
None of the items on the governor’s agenda can be considered “necessary” enough to warrant another special session. The only thing that can even remotely be considered an “emergency” necessitating a special session are legislative measures supposedly needed to fix Sisolak’s total mismanagement of the unemployment system.
But if those measures were truly necessary to fix the fouled-up system, why wasn’t a special session called last APRIL when everyone first realized the wheels had come off the apple cart? Or at the very least, during Special Session I.
This is just another example of the governor’s total mishandling of the crisis.
Another item on the Special Session II agenda is to force Nevada into another all-mail election in November, as well as repeal the law banning “vote harvesting.”
So we’re going to overturn our entire established electoral system over the next seven days for an election that’s only three months away? That’s, at best, irresponsible. And certainly isn’t something necessary to be dealt with in a special session.
And then there’s the liberal “criminal justice reform” agenda to handcuff Nevada’s law enforcement officers. Once again, there’s no “emergency” here requiring it to be dealt with in a weeklong special session.
But it’s even worse than that…
The Democrat legislative leaders are a pair of government employees who are paid to work in our criminal justice system. Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro works for the district attorney’s office and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson works for the public defender’s office.
Nah, no conflicts there.
In addition, consider this…
It was recently revealed that in the days leading up to the start of Special Session I, the government employees’ union coughed up a whopping quarter-million dollars ($250,000) to legislative Democrats and their assorted PACs.
And what did they get for their “investment”?
Well, each and every one of the government employees serving in the Legislature voted for the budget bill which cut the number of unpaid monthly furlough days for government employees from 12 to 6 and eliminated almost all government employee layoffs.
That’s one helluva a return on investment!
Enter Deanna Forbush and Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI).
Ms. Forbush represents NPRI in a critically important lawsuit to stop government employees from serving in the Legislature. In addition to Cannizzaro and Frierson, there are eleven other “double-dippers” currently and unconstitutionally cloistered in Carson City for Special Session II.
The defendants include eight Democrats – Kasina Douglas-Boone, Ozzie Fumo, Brittney Miller, Dina Neal, James Ohrenschall, Melanie Scheible, Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Selena Torres – and three Republicans (in Name Only) – Heidi Gansert, Glen Leavitt and Jill Tolles.
The Nevada Constitution clearly states that “no person charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments (Executive, Legislative or Judicial) shall exercise any functions appertaining to either of the others.”
It’s the “No Dog Can Serve Two Masters” clause.
The reason is pretty clear and obvious, as stated in the lawsuit…
“The rationale underlying the Separation of Powers requirement of Nevada Constitution can be traced to the desires of the constitutional framers to encourage and preserve the independence and integrity of the actions and decisions of individual members of the Nevada State Legislature and to guard against conflicts of interest, concentration of powers, and dilution of the separation of powers.
“Defendants’ dual employment by simultaneously holding elected offices in the Nevada State Legislature and paid positions with Nevada State or local governments expressly violates the Separation of Powers requirement of Nevada Constitution and undermines the ethics of their legislative service by creating conflicts, concentrating power, and diluting the separation of powers.”
As such, Ms. Forbush and NPRI have asked the District Court to rule that the 13 double-dippers are in violation of the state Constitution and issue an injunction…
“…prohibiting each and every one of them from continuing to simultaneously hold elected offices in the Nevada State Legislature and paid positions with Nevada State Legislature and paid positions with Nevada State or local governments in violation of the Separation of Powers requirement of Nevada Constitution.”
In other words, quit your government job or quit the Legislature; you can’t have it both ways.
I’m not sure who the District Judge is that’s been assigned to the case, but he or she could and should issue the injunction TODAY and immediately bring the Special Session II clown circus to a screeching halt until this matter is resolved in some finality via the appeals process.
Just one principled judge with the fortitude to do the obviously right thing regardless of political consequences can flatten the spreading SISOLAK-19 economic virus curve.
So let it be written; so let it be done.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“The politicization of sports hit a new all-time low last night when the NBA returned to action after a four-month coronavirus hiatus and not one of these multi-million dollar athletes stood for the national anthem. Not one!” – Committee to Unleash Prosperity
“If we can stand in line at a grocery store or hardware store, we can stand in line at the polls to vote. President @realDonaldTrump is RIGHT that universal, unmonitored vote-by-mail would be a DISASTER, and we’re already seeing evidence of that across the country.” – Jenna Ellis
“It is unequivocally true mail-in balloting will lead to more of the Democrat scam known as ‘ballot harvesting.’ Operatives go to nursing homes and other collection points and scoop up ballots and fill them out. It’s exactly why Pelosi is running rough shod over America now.” – James Woods
“We already knew that the coronavirus doesn’t infect people at left wing political demonstrations. It’s fascinating to learn that it also doesn’t infect people at the funerals of prominent Democrats. This is the most socially conscious virus in history. Really incredible.” – Matt Walsh
“No one is upset that John Lewis is being memorialized. People are upset that the same politicians attending his funeral with 100s of others are the ones telling everyday people they can’t have proper funerals for their own parents. It’s immoral. You don’t get these moments back.” – Allie Beth Stuckey
“The number of folks (in Nevada) filing continued claims for standard UI (346,138) is up to the second highest it’s been during the pandemic, below only the week ending 5/16 when most things were still shut down. PUA and extended benefits claims push that even higher.” – Michelle Rindels
(Mr. Muth is president of CitizenOutreach.org and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. He blogs at MuthsTruths.com. His views are his own.)