Letters for May 12, 2005

No forgiveness for Gibbons
Re “Conservatives haven’t cornered the market on hypocrisy” (Right Hook, May 5):

In his recent column, Mike Lafferty defends the now infamous remarks made by Rep. Jim Gibbons about liberals at an Elko rally a couple months back. Lafferty defends Gibbons’ remarks by saying that they were at least less offensive than those made by rabid right-wing talk show hosts, and most importantly, he defends Gibbons by failing to mention the most inflammatory remarks he made.

Yes, right-wing radio is more offensive than Gibbons. But what does that prove? Rush Limbaugh was not elected to serve the people of this community. Gibbons was. That’s the difference. Gibbons has a responsibility to represent all of his constituents, not just those who agree with him 100 percent. By writing off the legitimate concerns of his constituents with simplistic name calling, Gibbons proved his contempt for people who disagree with him. For that alone, a U.S. Congressman should be ashamed.

But he didn’t only call leftists hippies that he didn’t care for. He also said that it’s too bad that “we” didn’t buy plane tickets to Iraq for anti-war protesters to act as human shields. Calling for the death of constituents who disagree with you is not the same as articulating a legitimate position. I’m sure Lafferty wouldn’t be so forgiving if Harry Reid said he wanted to see pro-war Republicans killed. I just hope that when it comes time to vote for governor, people in Nevada remember that Rep. Gibbons called for the heads of some of his constituents for failing to wholly agree with him.

Stewart Stout

There is a Reno sound
Re “Is there a Reno sound?” (Cover story, May 5):

Many thanks for your recent cover story detailing the past and current music scene in Reno. As an expatriate Renoite who split in 1995, I was most pleased to read mention of the Atomiks and Gunshot Licker, two seminal bands underappreciated by the world at large—the sad fate of all the best Reno music, it seems, which brings me into the debate of whether a “Reno sound” exists or has ever existed. I draw your attention to Portland band Richmond Fontaine. Not only is frontman/songwriter Willy Vlautin a fellow Reno expat (and half of long-gone Reno band Grey Mauser), but the bulk of their songs concern Reno, Winnemucca, Wells, and other locations around Nevada. Their sound varies from strictest pedal-steel country lament to all-out Replacements-punk-nihilism. Between these poles lies the Reno sound, I think, and Richmond Fontaine exemplifies it. It’s crucial to dig that only by leaving Reno can this sound be heard, but only by coming from there can this sound be made.

Ian Baker

Evans violated constitution
Re “Still missed” (News, April 28):

Jan Evans’ legislative career in many ways illustrates exactly what is wrong with politics today. It epitomizes an “end justifies the means” philosophy that is more than willing to shred Constitutional restraints on government based on a politics of envy, revenge and misguided self righteousness.

Yes, Jan Evans may have been an effective log roller, a persistent manipulator of government officials who fear the power of faddish ideas more than they are willing to stand and fight for time-honored principles, legislative restraint and common sense. But, should she be a hero deserving of adulation? I would say no.

I was the Libertarian Party Candidate for her seat, Assembly 30, in 1992 and 1994. Twice, I filed contests of election against her for violation of the separation of powers clause of the Nevada Constitution. The first time, the Legislative Counsel Bureau failed to notify me of the hearing in Carson City, denying me due process. When I went to the Supreme Court, they denied me the right to a re-hearing as well. When I filed the second time, I received a legislative hearing, during which the current Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins said, “The Constitution was all right for Washington and Jefferson, but it really doesn’t apply today.” When I went to district court to have the Constitution enforced, a woman judge, relying on the technical issue of a Supreme Court refusal to allow me a re-hearing, denied my suit.

In the last few years, this issue has resurfaced due to more constitutional abuse, this time over taxes. The attorney general of Nevada has issued an opinion that vindicates my original contest of election, that state employees are enjoined from keeping their employment and serving in the Nevada Legislature. Many legislators have resigned their state employment as a result, while others, like Sen. Dina Titus, have somehow (politics as usual?) continued to double dip.

I urge RN&R to read the actual words of the Nevada Constitution. It clearly states that “no persons charged with the exercise of powers properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any functions, appertaining to either of the others…” This is not what you reported. You wrote “…the person must be ‘charged with the exercise of powers’ of both branches.”

Brendan Trainor