Gov. Jim Gibbons can't seem to do the smallest thing without ticking somebody off.
Last week, it was the Pahrump Town Board, whose members reacted with confusion and anger when Gibbons filled a vacancy on the five-member advisory panel without notifying them.
According to the Pahrump Valley Times, Bill Dolan introduced himself as the newly appointed member during the public comment portion of Tuesday's board meeting. His fellow board members didn't know anything about his appointment until that morning, the newspaper reported.
At the time, the board had yet to accept the resignation of John McDonald, the man Dolan was picked to replace.
"Last time I checked, the governor doesn't live in this town; we do," board member Dan Sprouse said angrily. "So I think the people in this community ought to have a say-so in who sits on this board."
The newspaper reported that board members -- excluding Dolan, presumably -- plan to send Gibbons a letter to express their displeasure with the way the appointment was handled.
What usually happens is the board accepts a resignation and advertises the vacancy, then establishes a subcommittee to review and interview the applicants. At the end of the process, which has been in use since 1997, a list of board-approved nominees is sent to the governor for consideration.
Board Chairwoman Lauranye Murray called the governor's actions "disrespectful." Dolan was not sworn in at last week's board meeting.
The governor's spokesman, Ben Kieckhefer, said Dolan was recommended for the post by North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon. Kieckhefer said he understood some people were unhappy with the process, but the governor's office followed its standard, legal procedure after being notified of the vacancy on the board by the secretary of state's office.
Dolan was an unsuccessful candidate for the Assembly and for the North Las Vegas City Council. He has served on the executive board of the Clark County Republican Party and the North Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, details reported by the Pahrump newspaper under a large "Who is Bill Dolan?" headline.
Kieckhefer said Dolan now lives in Pahrump.
Nationally, pundits scored last week a rough one for Republican presidential candidate John McCain. Democratic rival Barack Obama pranced across the Middle East and Europe, while McCain had to call off a planned news conference in New Orleans because of hurricane weather.
Locally, McCain's campaign also was beset by gaffes, including exaggerating the credentials of a supporter and throwing a news conference that wasn't.
First the campaign rolled out its committee of military veteran supporters at news conferences in Reno and Las Vegas. The events were well attended and the committee substantial.
But the news release announcing the group prominently quoted "Sean Fellows, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a member of the Air Force Reserve." Fellows, a Republican candidate for Assembly, did not serve overseas; he served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, but remotely, piloting drones from bases in Nevada. And he was on active duty at the time.
Fellows was alarmed by the misrepresentations and immediately contacted the campaign to correct them when they were brought to his attention. A McCain spokesman said the campaign needed to tighten its vetting processes.
"This was put together by the state director and vetted through D.C.," Rick Gorka said. "Any error was purely unintentional. We weren't trying to pump up anybody's service or misrepresent the facts."
Later in the week, the campaign scheduled another news conference on just a couple hours' notice, summoning reporters to hear state Sen. Bob Beers, R-Las Vegas, and Gus Gutierrez, CEO of Tortillas Inc., talk about the economic impact of high gasoline prices on Gutierrez' North Las Vegas-based business.
A lone reporter found Gutierrez in his office at the appointed time. He was happy to talk, and spoke about the crunch he's felt not only from increased fuel costs for his 21 trucks, but also soaring corn and wheat prices. Beers was a no-show, however.
Reached by phone later, Beers said he tried to tell the campaign he wasn't going to make it. The reason: He needed to finish up some work before heading up to a blues festival outside Ely, where he planned to show off his banjo skills. Beers began learning to play the banjo about a year and a half ago.
"I figured, not my campaign, not my district," Beers said.
Asked whether his nonattendance should be construed as a lack of enthusiasm for McCain, Beers said it should not.
Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has some trouble paying his property taxes on time.
The Carson City assessor's office has charged the congressman late fees 18 times since 1996 for the taxes owed on his property on Plantation Drive, according to online records.
Together with other charges, such as delinquency notifications, Heller has paid $718 in penalties for the late tax payments, the Washington newspaper Politico reported last week.
Politico included Heller in a list of House candidates who could face criticism on the campaign trail for their handling of their personal finances.
Heller's staff didn't return phone calls seeking an explanation of the late fees.
The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce handed out endorsements to some candidates in primary races last week.
Notably, the chamber endorsed Republican Jon Ozark over incumbent Assemblyman Bob Beers in the GOP primary for Assembly District 21.
The chairman of the chamber's Government Affairs Committee, Hugh Anderson, said in a news release that the group was looking for "candidates who embrace pro-business values and who understand the challenges business people face."
Other candidates endorsed in primary races included incumbent state Sens. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Bill Raggio, R-Reno, as well as Assemblyman David Parks, D-Las Vegas, in his state Senate run.
For Assembly, the chamber endorsed incumbents Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, Chad Christensen, R-Las Vegas, and John Marvel, R-Battle Mountain.
The chamber also endorsed Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, a day before the state Supreme Court ruled Woodbury ineligible because of term limits.
Chamber spokeswoman Cara Roberts said Friday the endorsement wouldn't be revisited for the primary.
With Woodbury out of the race, the commission contest has become interesting.
Hoping to win the Republican primary, and thus avoid a confusing situation, is longtime GOP activist Brian Scroggins. He lost the 2006 Republican primary for secretary of state to Danny Tarkanian. Scroggins faces Duane Christy in the primary.
Scroggins had been trying to avoid running against Woodbury while running for his office, just in case.
That delicate dance saw him driving a truck and handing out stickers at the Boulder City July 4 parade with the slogan, "If Not Bruce, Then Brian."
Republican political consultant Ryan Erwin has signed on to manage Scroggins' campaign.
Meanwhile, Democratic consultant Gary Gray is running University Regent Steve Sisolak's bid for the commission seat.
Sisolak also must clear a primary, against fellow Democrat Jeffrey White.
The commission district includes parts of Henderson and points south, including Boulder City.
Republicans make up 41 percent of the registered voters, Democrats 39 percent; there are 2,700 more Republicans than Democrats and 22,000 nonpartisan voters in the district.
Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball @reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.