Governor bashed for not defending gay marriage ban

CARSON CITY — Longtime conservative legislative lobbyist Janine Hansen is hopping mad at Gov. Brian Sandoval for deciding not to defend the state’s law banning gay marriage in federal court.

Hansen last Tuesday called Sandoval’s decision “a disgrace and a slap in the face” to the nearly 70 percent of Nevada voters who supported defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

She encouraged “all pro-family voters” to support someone other than Sandoval for governor this November.

If state legislators pass an enabling resolution again in 2015, then, during the general election in 2016, voters will decide whether to keep Nevada’s amendment defining a marriage as between one male and one woman or permit same-sex marriages in the state.

— Ed Vogel


You wouldn’t think a city of Las Vegas news release touting random acts of kindness would irritate county officials, but it’s part of a recurring issue.

County types grumble quietly when Mayor Carolyn Goodman holds events outside the city limits or presents keys to the city at events in the county.

But businesses sometimes ask her and her husband, former Mayor Oscar Goodman, to participate in events outside city limits.

On Wednesday, the city staged an event at which the couple, and Oscar Goodman’s traditional showgirls, stood outside the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign in the county’s domain on Las Vegas Boulevard to tout International Random Acts of Kindness Week.

The city has its own Welcome to Las Vegas sign, but it’s a much smaller version where Las Vegas Boulevard and Fourth Street divide. There’s no parking there. And people don’t usually stop there to have their photos taken.

But the news release made it sound as if the kindness event occurred within Las Vegas city limits.

It has been a longstanding annoyance to county commissioners who believe they should be the ones featured at county events and city officials should keep to their own side north of Sahara Avenue.

So when Hofbräuhaus Las Vegas asked the Goodmans to tap a keg for its 10-year anniversary and when Bobby Flay invited the Las Vegas mayor to his new burger joint on the Strip, Bobby’s Burger Palace, they quietly annoyed the folks who actually do license their operations.

(Flay’s folks at least had the good sense to invite County Commissioner Mary Beth Scow.)

Not that the county would hold a grudge.

— Jane Ann Morrison


Clark County Sheriff candidate Larry Burns didn’t remember how he voted when the legalization of medical marijuana was on the ballot 13 years ago, but he remembers his wife supported it.

Like other candidates with law enforcement backgrounds of a certain age, legalizing marijuana isn’t an easy question to answer.

“I grew up in a time where it was a federal felony if you had a seed in your car,” said Burns, 56.

He does agree with federal officials that “you don’t want to fill your jails with people smoking marijuana.”

His best friend and SWAT partner had cancer and used Marinol, a synthetic version of THC, the psychoactive component in marijuana, to stimulate his appetite.

He can support medical marijuana, but “I wouldn’t vote for using it for recreational use,” Burns said. “I think my objection to legalizing marijuana is that it seems like the last thing we need to do is legalize another drug.”

Burns said if recreational use is legalized, then he will live with it. “I don’t know of a case where someone overdosed on marijuana.”

— Jane Ann Morrison


Sen. Harry Reid is accustomed to pulling strings. But he might have tried to pull one too many in a recent conversation with the governor of Montana.

Gov. Steve Bullock , a Democrat, told reporters on Friday he essentially told Reid to butt out when the Senate majority leader from Nevada called in December and wanted to talk about who might replace Sen. Max Baucus, whom the Obama administration was looking to nominate as ambassador to China.

“He wanted to weigh in on who I should choose, and this was before it was even public,” Bullock said, according to Montana newspaper reports. “And I said it was none of your damn business.”

Bullock would not say whether Reid suggested anyone in particular. Reid’s office said it would have no comment.

Baucus already had declared he was not running for re-election this year when President Barack Obama nominated him for the China post in December. The Senate confirmed Baucus on Feb. 6.

Bullock ended up naming Lt. Gov. John Walsh to fill in for Baucus. Walsh already was running for the seat, so his appointment gives him a head start as senator with the power of incumbency.

Republicans have accused Reid and Obama with orchestrating Baucus’ appointment to ambassador and the naming of his successor as a way to protect a Democratic seat in a red state.

“If there was a backroom deal, I certainly was never invited to that back room,” Bullock maintained on Friday.

— Steve Tetreault

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter @edison vogel. Contact reporter Jane Ann Morrison at or 702-383-0275. Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC.