Jim Gibbons watch
• USA Today reported last week that Gov. Gibbons appointed Retail Association of Nevada CEO Mary Lau, whose members include chain pharmacies, to a seat reserved for members of the public on the state Board of Pharmacy, where she has had to repeatedly abstain on votes, prompting complaints that the public goes unrepresented.
• After telling Tourism Commission chair Brian Krolicki early last month that he “expected” the tourism commission to send him the name of Kirk Montero for state tourism director, which was an effort to circumvent the law requiring Gibbons to appoint from a three-person list compiled by the commission, Gibbons illegally appointed Montero without waiting for the list. The commission then voted to ignore Montero’s appointment and proceed with its search process, forcing the governor to back down. (Tourism director Tim Maland resigned unexpectedly on Sept. 12.)
• From that hotbed of liberalism, Churchill County, comes this editorial comment in the Lahontan Valley News: “Gov. Jim Gibbons must look for solutions and show leadership. He needs to be more proactive than what he has been for the past two years. Not too many decisions have recently originated out of the governor’s office.”
• Gibbons keeps talking about how he’s been vindicated because he hasn’t been indicted, but that didn’t keep him from a coveted ranking on AOL Political Machine’s “5 sexiest scandals of 2008.” Gibbons came in fourth on the strength of several scandals, helping him to compete on total points with single-scandal figures.
• Gibbons’ cost-cutting commission voted to recommend that the Nevada Legislature cut state workers’ health benefits to the approximate level of those in the private sector, making it more difficult for state government to compete for workers. The state already loses large numbers of workers to local governments.
• Gibbons’ budget operation secretly told some state agencies to produce plans for 50 percent cuts in their operations while telling legislators and the public that 34 percent was the highest figure.
• After the Associated Press reported that Gibbons will not release the budget until a week after his Jan. 15 speech to the legislature, Clark County Sen. Robert Coffin decided not to attend the speech. Coffin, a member of the Senate’s budget committee and chair of the tax committee, says he can’t justify the state paying the travel cost if hard budget numbers won’t be available.