Legislators fall for April Fools' spoofs


A few legislators got taken on April Fools’ Day by whoppers told by David Byerman, secretary of the Senate.

On Monday he released an official-looking news release with photos of how the Senate chambers would look after undergoing a $10 million remodeling. The plan was to create “17 luxury suites, 400 club-level seats, a membership-fee based ‘Club 21’ lounge and a dramatically upgraded press box” with vibrator seats and built-in cupholders.

No mention was given of what beverages reporters could put in the cupholders.

“The constituent in a modern democracy demands a higher entertainment standard,” Byerman said.

By expanding the Senate, the house could “lure” Gov. Brian Sandoval to make his State of the State addresses in the Senate chambers, rather than the in Assembly where it always has been held.

Byerman also conned a few senators by posting on the Senate’s video board the “fact” that residents in Wendover, along the Nevada-Utah border, can vote in both states because the state line is in dispute. One senator said that was unconstitutional. It might be unconstitutional, but it is patently ridiculous.

In all, Byerman, the Adam Sandler of the Legislature, prepared 23 factoids in a slideshow for the amusement of everyone. One law, in case you didn’t know, calls for a $100 fine if you pronounce Nevada as “Ne-Vuh-Dah.”

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, however, fooled no one when he told the Senate to be prepared for Friday when the “sine die” resolution ending the legislative session would be introduced.

That announcement produced groans. Adjournment will come in June.

LATINOS GET THEIR DAY

There never has been a day like Wednesday for Hispanic residents of Nevada. About 100 Latino people, some of them arriving by bus from Las Vegas, showed up for the first Latino Lobby Day at the Legislature and testified for legislation to create driving privilege cards for people in the country illegally and more English language learner training for students.

The Legislature’s seven-member Hispanic Caucus conducted a news conference that drew those guests, Spanish language media and the Review-Journal, which also publishes El Tiempo, a Spanish language newspaper.

The most surprising fact to come out of the news conference was the admission of Hispanic legislators that they sometimes feel “lonely” because of the lack of Hispanic residents in the audience for legislative hearings. “It gets lonely in the building looking at each other,” said Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante Adams, D-Las Vegas.

“Your being here makes such a difference,” added Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas. “This is something that never happened before.”

In response to a question from a Spanish language reporter, the Latino legislators said they have no problems in working with non-Hispanic legislators and in representing non-Hispanic constituents.

“We don’t just talk about Latino issues,” said Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas. “We are Latinos, but we are legislators first and Nevadans first. We are here to represent the interests of all our constituents.”

CHEETO WILL KNOW BY FRIDAY

Legislators will decide by Friday whether to make a 9-year-old Reno boy and his dog Cheeto happy, or leave him wondering about whether people really can make a difference at the Legislature.

Members of the Senate Government Affairs Committee on April 1 conducted a 20-minute hearing on a proposal by a boy named Brenlon to name the Blue Weimaraner as the state dog. Brenlon, whose last name was not given at the request of his parents, named his hunting dog of the breed after his favorite treat, Cheetos. “Its temperament is friendly and fearless and so are people in Nevada,” he testified.

Eleven states now have official state dogs. Nevada has official state insects and lots of official emblems, but not a dog. Bill sponsor Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, drew flak for what some consider a frivolous bill.

Longtime legislative lobbyist Neena Laxalt proposed the border collie as the state dog. Her grandfather, Dominique Laxalt, used border collies to herd sheep in the mountains outside Carson City 100 years ago. Sheepherder Laxalt drew fame from the 1950s book “Sweet Promised Land,” written by Neena Laxalt’s uncle, the late Robert Laxalt.

BEATEN IN THE RING AGAIN

Assemblyman Harvey Munford, D-Las Vegas, is in his 70s and widely known as a thoughtful and respectful gentleman.

So it was surprising to hear the loud and angry “What’s the matter with us?” comment he made to a reporter last week when he learned his bill for Nevada to provide health insurance coverage for former boxers again had died.

Munford contends boxers have made millions of dollars for Las Vegas, but older fighters, such as the late Michael Dokes, ended up destitute without medical help for the brain injuries they suffered.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

 

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