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Nevada Politics, Past and Present.

by Knight Allen, NSC Legislation Director
Originally published on  January 8, 2007 - reprinted with permission

   Aggie and Ken Mahal went to Florida for the holidays and he asked me to do a "guest" column so, here goes.

   The election has come and gone. Is there anyone who didn't breathe a sigh of relief? NSC is a non-partisan group so there will be no comments about who won, who lost or the right or wrong about the outcome of any race. It is now up to those we have elevated to elected office to do their best which, believe it or not, is what the vast majority of them will try to do. There is however one individual who should receive special recognition and that is Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley who has become the first woman Speaker of the Assembly. This is a wonderful accomplishment on all kinds of levels and we offer her congratulations and best wishes for a successful tenure.

   Looking forward: While the Eminent Domain Initiative (Question 2) easily won its first time out (one more to go), make no mistake, the political/economic establishment has declared war on it and plans to do whatever it can to convince us to walk away from it in 2008. There are already Bill Draft Requests (BDR's) in the hopper regarding eminent domain and I can guarantee you none of them will give us the level of protection we just voted for.

   Elsewhere on the legislative front, beside the over one thousand BDR's already in the works, there are a couple of things worth watching. First is something called the Article 6 Commission which is yet another example of the Nevada Establishment's penchant for creating panels made up of the "usual suspects" to hold hearings and public meetings which when concluded come to the exact "findings" the Establishment wanted before the Commission was announced. In this case it's another run at the Nevada/Missouri Plan to select judges. I wish the old lion, Mike O'Callaghan, was still around. He had a great way of exposing the intellectual dishonesty, the arrogance, the half truths and manipulations of the elites pushing this nonsense that is sorely missed. At the core of the Nv/Mo Plan is one of the most corrupt political principles in history: "Give me the power to nominate and you can have all the free elections you want."

   Another example of the "We know best" mentality is an already done deal set for the '07 session. It's a constitutional amendment to go on the '08 ballot which will make it more difficult to qualify petitions and initiatives. You won't be hearing much about it this year. It's just better to operate under the radar as much as possible on these things, you know? Just remember its purpose is to substantially weaken the important check on government the petition process gives us.

   Our political system really is a thing of beauty but it is being badly undermined by an elitism that should not have as much influence as it does. It is a big problem that needs to be taken seriously but also needs to be kept in perspective. The only way the elites can get what they want is if we walk into the voting booth and hand the government over to them and I have an abiding faith we are not going to do that. Are we?

   Finally, there’s the stuff that just gives you an outright laugh. In a classic and hysterical example of, "I love my legislator but I hate the Legislature," almost every incumbent won re-election by a more than comfortable margin but Question 11, the proposed pay raise for legislators LOST 70% to 30%! How can you not love it?

   On behalf of the Board of Directors I offer you all Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

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