Bob Beers—Nevada’s own right-wing Jon Stewart

“Jim Gibbons is failing miserably in that most important of political skills, the ability to make people want to have a beer with you. Nobody wants to have a beer with Jim Gibbons. Keep it up Bob, and we’ll buy you a beer.”
—Hugh “The Gleaner” Jackson

I’ve changed my mind about GOP candidate Bob Beers.

The man’s a genius. What a governor he’d make. Fake faxes. Bogus news reports. What a hilarious prankster.

In the wake of his naughty April Fools’ joke on Jim Gibbons, I rescind any negative thoughts I’ve had about Beers—the guy who’s still remembered for insights on education.

To recap, during the 2003 legislative session, the state lawmaker said in an e-mail that children of casino workers are “prone to dropping out of school, reproducing illegitimate children, often while little more than children themselves, abusing drugs and alcohol more frequently, and even killing themselves more often than people who do value education.”

Give Beers points for creativity. His bulb’s a bit brighter than that of his opponent in the Republican gubernatorial primary, the humor-free plagiarizing pilot who sends out scary mailers about his own Congressional wondrousness—at taxpayer expense.

Gibbons can’t crack a joke—without plagiarizing from Internet spam. A year ago at a speech in Elko, Gibbons praised war and chastised peace activists: “I say we tell those liberal, tree-hugging, Birkenstock-wearing, hippie, tie-dyed liberals to go make their movies and their music and whine somewhere else.” Regarding peace activists becoming human shields in Iraq: “[It was] too damn bad we didn’t buy them a ticket,” he said.

Tee-hee-hee. Then we found out he lifted the bit from an e-mail forward.

Just before the tree-hugger tirade, Gibbons had looked antediluvian when he tagged those who criticized corporate influence on politics as “communists.”

McCarthyism is so last millennium. You wouldn’t catch Beers slipping up like that.

By now, you’ve heard about Beers’ buffoonery. On April Fools’ Day, the Beers campaign sent a fake press release, complete with Gibbons’ letterhead, announcing a faux Gibbons’ policy shift on Beers’ Tax and Spending Control amendment. The joke should have been evident: “Congressman calls for 50 debates in 50 states.” That a Reno TV station aired the press release as a story without bothering to check says plenty about broadcast news today.

My favorite lines from the fax were the obviously fake quotes from Gibbons: “ ‘Let’s have 50 debates, one in each state,’ Gibbons said. ‘It’s 50, right, Robert? And let’s do one in D.C. They like me better there anyway. … I want to be a governor, not just for Nevadans, but for all Americans.'”

The pseudo Gibbons concluded that debating Beers would be safe now. “I’m against sexual predators, Bob’s against sexual predators. I like puppies, Bob likes puppies.”

The “real” Gibbons campaign shot back with a humorless letter from lawyers, hinting that Beers may have violated fair campaign laws.

Through attorney Craig Mueller, Beers replied that Nevadans (barring mush-brained TV news producers) could spot “political hyperbole” when they saw it. He argued that the fax was satire, stemming “from factually accurate events” and protected by the First Amendment.

“Your client, Mr. Gibbons, refuses to debate Mr. Beers,” wrote Mueller. “Your client has the audacity to insult the public by taking a solicitous stand against sexual predators. This is so insipid and safe as to be worthy of ridicule. Hence, the warm puppies comment. Out of curiosity, who is in support of sexual predators?”

On Monday, Beers issued a sincerely insincere retraction. Turns out, Beers merely wants the public to know the “truth” about Gibbons who, in Beers’ view, is just too darn liberal to be governor of Nevada.

Enough to make a voter downright queasy.