Jim Gibbons watch
• After months of the governor and his aides discussing the state budget with public, legislators and press, this week they started cherry picking what they wanted to talk about, and floated a novel rationale—that it’s illegal to talk. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported, “The governor’s office refused to discuss the proposal [for public worker pay cuts]. Gibbons spokesman Daniel Burns cited an obscure statute that he claimed requires that the executive budget remain confidential, even though Gibbons has previously discussed many aspects of the budget he plans to propose. ‘I can’t answer that,” Burns said when asked about the pay cut proposal. ‘I would be committing a crime.’ “ (No word on whether the attorney general will prosecute the earlier comments.)
• “Given the severity of the current economic crisis, coupled with the significant cuts that have already been made, it is likely that more revenue will need to be raised if this crisis continues.” –Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce official Hugh Anderson.
• “[Tourism Commission Chair Brian] Krolicki slowed the hiring process so that a tourism director wouldn’t be put on the payroll before being shown the door.” –Las Vegas business reporter Richard Velotta on Gov. Gibbons’ attempt to appoint a pal’s friend to a post that Gibbons wants to abolish.
• “Do you really want to do this to the children of Nevada?” –Clark County superintendent of schools Walt Rulffes, on the budget recommendations being put together by the governor’s budget office.
• The governor received an unaccustomed wave of praise for two appointments he made to the Nevada Board of Regents this week. Gibbons appointed Ray Rawson, one of the most respected legislators in the state (Rawson served from 1982 to 2004 in the Nevada Senate and later served as a gambling regulator), and financial manager Kevin Page to vacancies on the board. The appointments even won favor from higher education chancellor Jim Rogers, one of the governor’s critics.