That old New Nevada

Gov. Brian Sandoval's message to the legislature: “We all want to tell our grandchildren that we were the architects of the New Nevada—that we were here when Nevada needed us most.”

Assembly Democratic floor leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick: “The people that don't think voting affects their life, and the people that live every single day with economic anxiety, those are the people who can't be left behind in the New Nevada.”

Before anyone gets too attached to the name the governor is trying to attach to his program, they should know that someone was there before.

“New Nevada” is the name Gov. Robert List (1979-1983) gave to his program. “We face a New Nevada,” he said in his January 1979 inaugural address.

The shine from the term as it refers to Sandoval's program could also be a bit tarnished by the fact that besides describing Sandoval's program, it is the name of his political action committee—the New Nevada PAC, which spent more than a million dollars in last year's campaign, more than half of it for attack ads on a single Democratic state senate candidate.

The New Nevada theme also seems to be at war with Sandoval's earlier description of his plans, which suggested a return to a previous Nevada, offered in his first message to the legislature after taking office: “I say to you on this day, in the spirit of those who have sworn this oath before me, that when the clock strikes on that 150th anniversary [of statehood [in 2014], Nevada will be Nevada again.” Many observers were mystified by the meaning of the comment.