The state of Nevada now knows what it feels like to go on a date with Jim Gibbons and say "no."
With some pimping from the Nevada Attorney General, Gibbons gave Nevada the full-blown Mazzeo treatment after the Interim Finance Committee initially refused to go along with his cash-for-cronyies stimulus czar proposal. Yesterday, the IFC caved, faced with a decision from Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto that says the Gube can do anything he wants as long as he thinks it's an "emergency". (AP)
Let's review a little history just to show how bizarre the AG's decision is.
Just a few weeks ago, the Gube brought his stimulus czar boondoggle to the State Board of Examiners, on which the AG and Secretary of State Ross Miller sit with the Gøøber. After taking some wan potshots at the proposal, Miller and Masto approved the spending. (Sun) At that point, everyone, including the Governor and the AG, thought the proposal had to get the approval of the IFC. I say that because the AG didn't point out to the Governor at that time that she thought going to the IFC was a waste of time. You'd think that in the interest of government efficiency, she would have pointed out in the Examiners' meeting that he needn't waste precious state resources on the process.
No, she remained dumb, as if that weren't her opinion, or anyone else's, at the time.
So, off the proposal goes to the IFC, where everyone, including all the Republicans on the committee, and, yes, even Mr. Raggio, thought at the time that state law required the IFC's imprimatur.
Then, as we all know, the IFC decided to modify the Gube's proposal and place the stimulus czar and the incumbent financing under the measured management of the controller's office, since they knew that handing the money over to the Governor's office is like giving it over to a pack of rabid chimpanzees. (Sun)
The Governor then threw his famous fit and slapped down an executive order giving himself authority to grab the stimulus funding and create twenty or thirty czars if he wanted. (Sun) The AG at that point had her divine revelation that the state law in question does give the Nevada governor powers to go around the IFC in funding matters IF there is an emergency. Deciding that Gøøber tantrums are essentially the same as major earthquakes or nuclear wars, Cortez-Masto sides with the Gube.
Note, however, that we all had to wait a week or two for the AG to pen a written decision on the matter. (The opinion is dated yesterday–very timely) During the interim, the state controller was pummeled like a cocktail waitress by Gibbers for daring to follow the law as written. Unlike legislators, the controller waited from written confirmation of the up-till-then verbal opinion, announced by the Guv. (VT&S)
Now, perhaps the two-faced Republicans who were perfectly content to abandon all legislative control to the mad guv will happily hand over the one or two percent needed to get him past Sandoval in the primary. However, unlike cowed legislators or demented tea-baggers, the rest of us don't have to put up with the Gube's bullying and will happily hand him his divorce papers in 2010.
Goodbye, Guv! You ain't slappin' this bitch around no more!