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Special Sessions and Special People

by Knight Allen, NSC Director of Legislation
Published on  December 13, 2012 - reprinted with permission

     Thoughts on the election:  Oh well  .  .  .  . 

    The American people are clearly closely but deeply divided and both parties seem to be OK with that as long as each of them is getting a relatively equal piece of the pie. So, the Federal government is divided just the way it was, while Republicans picked up a couple more governorships.  And the band play on.

      Here in Nevada the passage of Question One was very disappointing. One party is now only three seats away from having the two thirds majority in both Houses of the Legislature needed to call themselves into special session. In fact, all they really need is three defectors (2 Senators & 1 Assemblyman) from the other party to go to Carson City and pass anything they want without the Executive branch veto to restrain them. Unchecked legislative power is very dangerous. Watch it unfold in California. You'll see what I mean.

      Last month was the 32nd Anniversary of the MGM fire on 11/21/1980 There were several articles and photo essays of that day and they all served to remind me of one of the most interesting days I've ever experienced. Like most, I woke up to the news on the radio and immediately turned on my TV to see what a surreal scene was playing out right in front of my eyes. Back on the radio I heard a request for volunteers from a group that was trying to confirm the whereabouts of the MGM employees. Obviously things were pretty chaotic at that time and accounting for everybody was an important priority. It was about 11 a.m. when I arrived at the office and joined a handful of people dialing like crazy to confirm the employee was OK. Fortunately the vast majority of calls went well. A few didn't but it was still pretty early so there was no sense of panic. By around 6 p.m. we had gotten through the list and the lady running the operation asked me if I would drive her around. In all honesty I don't know what she was doing but I'd watched her working throughout that long day and was more than happy to be her wheels.

    It was at the Convention Center I got my eyes opened to what a remarkable place I was living in. Las Vegans had loaded the building with supplies cots, bedding, clothing and food. Everything you can think of was there for the refugees of the fire. What really boggled my mind was that they were coming in with things but in several instances they were leaving with people. Many Las Vegans opened their homes to the victims of the fire.

  I had been in Las Vegas six years.  I had experienced a level of success I couldn't even have imagined and yet I never really felt a connection to this town  -  on 11/21/1980 I truly became a Las Vegan.

    How about you?  were you here that day - any stories to tell?  Let me know and I will try to pass them on in future columns.

     In the spirit of 11/21/2980 I offer you all my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

  Knight can be reached at: