The sometimes-mysterious whereabouts of Gov. Jim Gibbons -- as recently as late June, Gibbons made an unannounced trip to Montana for a Western Governors' Association meeting -- has some in Carson City wondering whether the next governor would be more open with his schedule and access to the press.
Among the two major-party candidates, Democrat Rory Reid and Republican Brian Sandoval, Reid is the only one to make specific, detailed promises about press access and scheduling.
Reid's ethics plan, posted online at www.Rory2010.com, promises that if elected, he will hold weekly news conferences to discuss timely state issues.
Reid cites South Dakota, where leaders from both major parties and the governor each hold 30-minute forums weekly, as an example.
Reid also promises there won't be any unexplained executive disappearances.
The ethics plan promises that, if elected, Reid will release his official schedule online and to the press, citing the examples of publicly disclosed gubernatorial schedules in Wyoming, Hawaii, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Gibbons cites security reasons for not making public his travel schedule.
When asked whether Sandoval would commit to specifics like a weekly news conference and publicly posting his schedule, Sandoval spokeswoman Mary-Sarah Kinner said: "Brian is a strong believer in open government and if elected will conduct his administration accordingly."
Titus bill advances
As Rep. Dina Titus builds a résumé to show to voters this year, one of her bills, which would enable more schools to hand out backpacks of food for low-income children to eat over the weekends, took a step in Congress last week.
Her Weekends Without Hunger measure was rolled into a larger children's nutrition bill that passed out of the House Education and Labor Committee.
In Las Vegas, the Three Square food bank assembles about 6,000 backpacks each week that are distributed in 195 Clark County schools.
The new bill would authorize $50 million over five years in federal grants to nonprofits and school districts that run feeding programs like that one.
While 140,000 county students qualify for free or reduced-price meals at school during the week, "a vacation from school should not mean hunger for children," Titus said.
The Titus amendment was made part of a bill that increases the authorization for government food programs by $8 billion over 10 years.
The next step for the bill, as for many others this year, is to figure out how the new spending can be offset with spending cuts elsewhere to meet "pay as you go" rules and not increase the deficit.
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman @reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760.