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Curb Your Incompetence

Jim Gibbons: It's Only A Little Slush Fund

Coolican may have hit on the perfect actor to play Jim Gibbons in that film about Tierney Cahill’s doomed 2000 run against then Congressman Jim Gibbons: Larry David. (Sun)

If you’re wondering how next year’s State of the State will be portrayed in the film, click on the pic for an artist’s rendering. Well, a rendering, anyway.

And the only folks who like that Legal Defense Slush Fund that Gibbons threw together to defend himself from, well, legalities, are (a) the lawyers getting paid out of it and (b) the moribund Clark County Republican Party. At least the lawyers’ position makes perfect sense. Kudos to the Review Journal for that journalistic doggedness that unearthed the two groups. Stayed up late on chasing them down, no doubt.

Government watchdog groups are now urging Gibbons to stop taking any more contributions to the slush fund. Ralston, Inc., dissects how screwy the handling of the whole thing was:

  1. Gibbons should have brought the fund to the attention House Ethic’s Committee. Of course, my guess is the real reason Gibbons didn’t do that is he knew he had less than two months left in the House and that the Ethics committee doesn’t pursue claims against ex-Congressfolk. Also, that committee has  been rendered useless by Congressional deadlock, and the fears of the then-Republican leadership that more Republican corruption would be discovered.
  2. Such defense funds have to be linked to a Congressperson’s job as Congressperson–not for defending against extracurricular gropings.
  3. The House limits the amounts of contributions to such funds to $5,000, not the $10,000 to $30,000 Gibbons’ pals were tossing in.
  4. On the Nevada side, Gibbons should not have been accepting gifts while the Legislature is in session, or just before and just after.
  5. Whether the money is considered a campaign contribution or a gift, Gibbons violated laws requiring the disclosure of such funds and might be guilty of willful filing of incorrect documents with the Secretary of State.

Well, if we’ve learned anything from Nixon and Scooter, it’s not the crime that gets ya, it’s the cover-up.

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3 comments to Curb Your Incompetence

  • KidFromVegas

    Your photoshop skills are exceptional

  • What?!

    Clearly, Nevada statutes are black letter law crystal clear: any money Gibbons received before the election was a contribution (even a “gift” is defined as a contribution); so he went WAY over the $10k limits.
    Clearly contributions (which include things called “gifts” according to the law), cannot be used for personal reasons (which is what Gibbons is insisting the contribution are to be used for).
    His own attorney says the money is a “gift”. The law says a “gift” is a contribution. His attorneys say the money is for personal use, the law says you can’t use contributions for personal purposes.
    They damn themselves. If someone wants to commit political suicide, get out their way.
    The obvious foil to their argument is that if a “side fund” is legal then why is it that no other elected official (aside from Oscar Goodman’s purported fund), has such a personal fund whereby lobbyists can contribute additional money to the elected official for “non political” purposes, even during prohibited periods? If you think that this is the spirit of the law, I got a bridge for sale in Henderson.
    The Governor has made the biggest mistake in politics; he is playing the electors as fools.

  • Anonymous

    Its not the electors Gibbons is worried about anymore. Its the prosecutors, in this case the state AG. He needs to have a prima facie plausible excuse to prevent his legal defense fund from becoming the source of another legal investigation.