OK, I’m back from seeing the new remake of the classic horror film, Poltergeist.
One of the WORST remakes ever made and one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. And that’s all I have to say about that.
So, armed with a cool, fresh margarita on the rocks in a mason jar, let’s continue with our story…
[Editor’s Note: That first margarita was so good and went down so fast that I had to have another…and then another. So heeding the wisdom of “Don’t Drink and Blog,” I opted to stop writing halfway through this post and instead hung out with the kids and watched recorded episodes of Shark Tank last night. I actually finished Part III this morning.]
After the Not-So-Great-Eight Republicans blind-sided their colleagues by standing up with 16 Democrats to kill the effort to add the campus carry amendment to SB175, Assemblywoman Michele Fiore requested a one-minute recess – a request rarely, if ever, denied.
But Speaker-of-the-Weak John Hambrick rejected the request. And with that, Fiore abruptly left the Assembly Chamber and went back to her office to consult with the Legislative Counsel Bureau’s top legal beagle on Hambrick’s actions.
While she was gone, Hambrick banned her from returning to her seat and the legislative police were summoned to secure the chamber and prevent her re-entry.
Eventually Hambrick relented and allowed Fiore to return. But by that time, word of the flip-flopping betrayal by the Not-So-Great-Eight had already hit social media…and people were p*ssed!
THE MAD CYA SCRAMBLE
Indeed, the blowback was so fierce and so intense that Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, leader of the Not-So-Great-Eight, reportedly went to Hambrick and begged for him to use one of his “emergency” bills so that campus carry could be re-introduced.
Thus, AB487 was born.
This wasn’t part of some grand plan. This was a “Holy Re-election, Batman, we need to cover our arses!” hit-the-panic-button desperation move.
Here’s how the Las Vegas Review-Journal described the resurrection stunt…
“Most of the eight Republicans who voted against campus carry Thursday had a change of heart Friday. Seven of the eight opponents are now sponsoring the new campus carry bill. They are: Assembly members James Oscarson, Jim Wheeler, Melissa Woodbury, Derek Armstrong, Chris Edwards, Stephen Silberkraus and Lynn Stewart. Majority Leader Paul Anderson, who also opposed the amendment, is the only Republican opponent who isn’t sponsoring the new bill.”
This is a lot to take in, so go ahead and re-read that paragraph.
The first thing you should notice is that none of the sponsors of Fiore’s original bill – including Fiore herself! – were invited to co-sponsor this new-and-unimproved campus carry bill.
Only seven of the Not-So-Great-Eight are listed as sponsors of the bill.
So much for collegiality, let alone common courtesy.
Secondly, I’m told the language of the new campus carry bill is IDENTICAL to the language of Fiore’s original bill.
Indeed, the only difference between Fiore’s bill and the Not-So-Great-Eight-Minus-One bill is that Fiore’s name is no longer on it.
Let’s bring in the clown and enjoy a little comic relief at this point.
From the RJ story on the supposed resurrection of campus carry…
“(Assemblyman Chris) Edwards described the new bill as ‘cleaner’ than the amendment he voted against, but was unable to offer any specifics on the difference between the amendment he opposed and the new bill he’s now sponsoring. He said the new bill has support and he anticipates it moving through the Assembly and Senate.”
Edwards is a boob. And a weasel. But I mean that in a good, Christian way.
And he really hates Fiore because Fiore famously told him a couple weeks ago to “Sit your #$& down!” on the Assembly floor.
So in his remarks to the RJ he was trying to take a veiled swipe at Fiore by claiming the new campus carry bill that he’s suddenly co-sponsoring is “cleaner” than Fiore’s bill.
As noted earlier, the language is IDENTICAL, not “cleaner.”
No wonder Mr. Let’s Make a Deal “was unable to offer any specifics on the difference” between “his” bill and Fiore’s.
Because there is none!
What a schmuck.
But read that last sentence of the RJ blurb again. Edwards predicts that the new campus carry bill, with the EXACT SAME LANGUAGE as Fiore’s earlier campus carry bill will be approved by the Senate.
And he’s not the only one.
Here’s what Assemblyman Paul Anderson, the minus-one of the Not-So-Great-Eight-Minus-One gang, wrote to constituents who raised bloody hell about his vote to kill campus carry on Thursday…
“I will vote for the clean gun bill that will get signed by the Governor into law.”
Anderson’s not some run-of-the-mill, lowly assembly-critter. He’s the illegitimate Assembly Majority LEADER.
This is a man in the know. He’s in the inner circle. Part of the inner sanctum.
And according to him, a deal has been struck whereby Fiore’s original bill, without her name on it any longer, is miraculously not only going to pass in the Senate – where Brower said over and over and over and over again the votes weren’t there to pass it – but be signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval!
But if that’s true – and I have considerable doubt that it is – it raises a ton of questions. Such as…
- If Anderson is such a supporter of this new campus carry bill, why didn’t he co-sponsor it with the rest of the Not-So-Great-Eight.
- Why is the new bill only sponsored by the Not-So-Great-Eight-Minus-One? Why didn’t these people invite Fiore and the others who co-sponsored the original bill to co-sponsor this one?
- Indeed, why didn’t they even INFORM Fiore and Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Ira Hansen and the others about what they were doing?
- And why, if the votes weren’t there two weeks ago for Fiore’s “clean” campus carry bill, are they suddenly there now?
- And if the votes are there now to pass campus carry, then why was there any need to keep it out of SB175?
Seriously, this all makes no sense whatsoever.
The language in Fiore’s original campus carry bill is identical to the language in the amendment proposed for SB175, as well as the new “emergency” bill.
So if the votes weren’t there in the Senate to pass Fiore’s original bill or in the amendment to SB175 on Thursday, why and how did the votes miraculously materialize to pass it less than 24 hours later?
And if the votes ARE there now to pass AB487 in the Senate, then the votes were there to pass the amendment to SB175.
Somebody’s either lying or somebody’s playing some sick games with our Second Amendment rights.
I honestly don’t know what’s going on.
I HOPE something has, indeed, changed dramatically – as Anderson and Edwards and others in the Not-So-Great-Eight are claiming – and that campus carry will now pass in the Senate and be signed into law by the governor.
But I have strong doubts. As does Hansen.
Here’s what Ira told the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the Not-So-Great-Eight-Minus-One “emergency” campus carry bill on Friday…
“(It) is a huge mistake politically, and it was the wrong thing to do, and they abandoned their own party’s base (by voting against the campus carry amendment). And now what they want to do is come back when it is not going to make any difference and they know it, and have me go through the whole hearing process again as we already did on (AB)148, to give them political cover. And I think it stinks, and I think we had a shot if they would have stuck to their guns.”
Indeed, instead of sticking to their guns, the Not-So-Great-Eight surrendered without a shot being fired.
But if – as Anderson and Edwards and others are claiming – the new campus carry bill sails through the Senate and is signed by the governor, they will indeed go from zeroes to heroes…and students on Nevada’s college and university campuses will be safer.
And the Not-So-Great-Eight will deserve credit for rescuing campus carry after they shot it down.
But let’s not be counting our bulls-eyes before they’re shot.
DONE DEAL NOT DONE YET
While Anderson and Edwards are indicating this is a done deal, the architect of the deal, Wheeler, is saying something else entirely.
Indeed, on Friday afternoon, immediately after the “emergency” campus carry bill was announced, I tweeted…
“I’m hearing that Asm. @Wheeler4Nevada is saying Senate will now pass his emergency campus carry bill, but that makes no sense whatsoever…”
Because at the time the “emergency” campus carry bill was announced – with the EXACT SAME LANGUAGE as the amendment to SB175 – SB175 still hadn’t been approved by the Assembly.
As such, if campus carry was now, suddenly, OK with the Senate, then why the need for the “emergency” bill?
If the Senate was now OK with campus carry, why not just add it back into SB175 and be done with it?
Because despite claims to the contrary by Anderson and Edwards, it appears the Senate has NOT changed its mind about campus carry, as clearly indicated by Wheeler in a follow-up tweet to my tweet…
“We have been assured of a hearing. Can’t do more than that for now.”
What? A “hearing”? That’s it?
Apparently the Not-So-Great-Eight-Minus-One don’t even have the assurance of a committee vote, let alone a floor vote, let alone passage, let alone the governor’s signature.
It appears somebody engineered this resurrection stunt for the sole purpose of deflecting criticism for killing campus carry by voting with the Democrats to block it from being added to SB175 as an amendment.
It appears this is, as Hansen said, nothing but a cheap political trick.
Though, to be honest, it has, indeed, fooled a lot of people who are, prematurely, hailing the Not-So-Great-Eight for the Second Amendment’s second coming on campus carry.
Indeed, you can fool some of the people all of the time.
CAN WE TALK?
Again, I honestly don’t know how this is going to turn out.
But I do know there is a LOT of bad blood between the original sponsors of Fiore’s campus carry bill and the sponsors of Wheeler’s new campus carry bill.
And nowhere is the bad blood as bad as between Wheeler and Fiore themselves.
I’ve communicated with each separately on this issue since Thursday, and it is a true he said/she said.
So rather than going back and forth with each separately, I’ve asked both to join me on a teleconference call to hash this out…and both have agreed.
I tried to schedule the call for tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m., but Assemblyman Wheeler is scheduled to testify on a collective bargaining reform bill at that time.
As soon as I can coordinate a time convenient for both Assemblyman Wheeler and Assemblywoman Fiore, I’ll let you all know.
And for the record, I will be fearlessly moderating this discussion without the aid of a bullwhip and chair. I just hope a tranquilizer gun won’t become necessary!
Kidding aside, let’s hope we’ll finally get some answers to all the unanswered questions about this God-awful mess.