Political Eye: Berkley plotting her next move


Former Rep. Shelley Berkley said she is weighing two job opportunities but might not decide for a few more months what path to follow after a 14-year career in Congress.

Berkley, back in Las Vegas, said the job offers are not related to government and she has no desire to return to Washington. She said in a short interview Friday she declined for that reason to pursue the chief lobbyist job for the American Gaming Association that fellow Nevadan Frank Fahrenkopf is leaving this summer.

“I spoke with Frank about it,” Berkley said. “I don’t think I was urged or discouraged to apply, but in the end I just decided I really don’t want to live my life in Washington.”

Berkley represented Las Vegas for seven terms in the House. She ran for U.S. Senate last year and lost to Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Berkley said she will decide on a course “sometime in May,” and has been traveling in the meantime. She was scheduled to speak on a panel today in Washington during a meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

“I’m in no rush,” she said. “I just want to do something that I will enjoy doing, and I enjoy being home. It’s nice to have Sunday night dinner with the family.”

— Steve Tetreault

STATEHOUSE FUNNY MAN

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki might be the funniest politician in Nevada. He once again ended the boredom of a typical state Senate floor session with a joke Thursday, this time saying, “We have a lot of billed hours in this room today.”

As president or parliamentarian of the state Senate, Krolicki authorizes legislators to speak and oversees the orderly functions of Legislature’s upper chamber. On Thursday, dozens of Nevada lawyers who are members of the Nevada Justice Association attended the session and sat next to most of the 21 senators.

Each senator dutifully introduced his or her legal guests, mentioned what colleges they attended, where they worked and some even gave their hobbies. The presentation lasted less than a half-hour, but for those in the Senate chambers, it seemed like half a day.

Fortunately Krolicki stepped in. Billed hours are the hourly pay rates lawyers charge clients. For some it is $300 or more per hour.

That everyone got Krolicki’s stab at lawyers was obvious. When the introduction ordeal was finished, Senate Majority Leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said jokingly: “I feel we should send a bill to our guests today.”

Krolicki had missed two Senate floor sessions earlier in the week. On his return, several senators welcomed him back, saying they missed his talking. Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, presided in his absence.

Without Krolicki’s jokes, and sometimes those from Senate Secretary David Byerman, there would be no reason for any audience to show up some days in the Senate chambers.

— Ed Vogel

THINGS GETTING HAIRIER

It’s contagious. Three weeks ago 11 legislators sported beards. Now the number is at least 13.

Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, and Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, have added beards to their styles.

“I think I’ll keep it,” said Kihuen, who in the space of four days went from clean-shaven to having a healthy beard.

He said he didn’t shave last Monday, and by Tuesday decided he liked what he saw. His girlfriend likes it too, he added.

Roberson had grown a beard over the winter months, but decided to shave it off just before the legislative session opened Feb. 4.

As far as can be determined, the number of beards in the Legislature is the biggest in at least 90 years.

Beard-growing may not be just a Nevada legislative fad. During the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 23, announcers kept remarking on the growing number of beards among male movie stars.

In particular, actor and director Ben Affleck, who won the award for best picture for “Argo,” received compliments for his beard.

But best actor Daniel Day-Lewis, who won his award for portraying the bearded President Abraham Lincoln, arrived sans facial hair.

— Ed Vogel

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC. Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

 

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