We learned a couple of new things from Molly Ball’s report in today’s RJ on Deltagate. Tuesday we learned that Sig Rogich awakened Nevada State Majority Leader Bill Raggio from his between-sessions nap to try to cobble together some kind of defense.
Congressman and Governor wannabe Jim Gibbons, you may recall (and isn’t it so much fun to repeat it over and over again?), gave another one of his patented weird little speeches in which he described what may have been a shake-down of Delta Airlines for a job. Delta had fired Gibbons for not showing up to his job at Delta. Gibbons had just entered the Nevada State Assembly and was unable to convince the company to give him a leave of absence. However, at the same time, the Nevada legislature was considering imposing a hike in the jet fuel tax. Not surprising, Delta sent a lobbyist to try and talk the legislature out of the hike, and somehow the lobbyist got routed to Jim Gibbons’ office.
How the lobbyist got there is still open to interpretation. Gibbons claims Raggio sent the lobbyist to him to “poke fun” at the company. Raggio doesn’t remember that.
Poor old Sig’s thinking, “blast that Raggio! Can’t stick to the talking points!”
What passed between the lobbyist and Gibbons will probably remain a mystery–unless some enterprising member of the MSM tracks down the lobbyist. The amount of influence, if any, Gibbons had on the eventual demise of the tax hike is currently unknown as well. But, then again, how much influence could a freshman Assemblyperson have on anything? Especially Gibbons, whose tenure in Congress has resulted mainly in a bunch of land transfers up north and not much else.
And what, if any, connection there is between the incident and Gibbons subsequent re-hiring at Delta is unclear as well. Assuming that Gibbons didn’t actually influence the vote for or against the tax bill, the meeting with Delta probably doesn’t reveal the machinations of a clever Machiavellian insider using his new found juice for personal gain. Such an insider would have dickered for a place on Delta’s board of trustees, not a piddling pilot’s job. No, it just bolsters what we already knew: Gibbons is a mediocrity and a bumbler.
[UPDATE: You know your campaign is in trouble when (a) your backroom string-puller has to crawl out into the light of day to clean up after your candidate's spew, and (b) you're blaming your fall in the polls on an Internet sock puppet ad. AP via Gleaner.
Beers is also a friend of Raggio’s and called him to find out what, exactly he had said.
“I spoke this morning to State Sen. Bill Raggio, who is in New York, and he denied saying that I made false accusations of any kind. He said Sig Rogich called him for his recollections on the Gibbons/Delta Air Lines/jet fuel tax nexus from the 1989 Nevada legislative session, which he freely related. However, Raggio said neither Rogich nor he used my name in that conversation."
Umm..."Gibbons/Delta Air Lines/jet fuel nexus"? Is that in Area 51?]