Secretary of State Ross Miller expressed disgust last week over the Legislature’s rejection of his Senate Bill 49, which would have required politicians to report and post online any contributions of $2,000 or more within 48 hours.
The bill was considered a step toward transparency in government since the source of large donations just before an election would become publicly known. These might point toward a group trying to buy any election before the vote, rather than being disclosed long afterward.
During the Senate debate some members called it the “Armani bill” because a clause would allow campaign contributions to be spent on clothes politicians need on the job. Miller said that section was quickly removed and the talk that legislators would use money for Armani suits was an excuse raised by those opposed to transparency provisions.
Both houses actually passed the bill, but amendments were added in the Assembly and a conference committee of senators and Assembly members never reached agreement.
“The Legislature made it clear they don’t want to move toward more transparency and any kind of ethics reform,” Miller said. “I am convinced this never is going to pass.”
Miller, likely an attorney general candidate in 2014, said he is giving “serious consideration” to a statewide referendum by the public on the issue.
“Maybe we have to bypass the Legislature since they aren’t going to do it themselves,” he said.
sharp dressed man
It should not matter how attractive or ugly our political leaders are. We should elect them on the philosophies and political records.
But since the 1960 presidential TV debates which a sweating Richard Nixon lost to prettier John F. Kennedy, we know looks count.
Gov. Brian Sandoval no doubt is a handsome man. He is a man who flashes his white teeth and dresses impeccably. Some political commentators mockingly refer to him as “Governor Sunny.” Objective news reporters, however, seldom mention the looks of the people they cover unless appearance is relevant to the story.
But one cannot help but marvel how Sandoval maintained his immaculate appearance at 9 a.m. last Tuesday when he met the media following the special session that capped the legislative session. The reporters who interviewed him were haggard, unkept and, frankly, smelled after staying awake all night. But Sandoval looked like Sandoval always does, perfectly groomed. He said he had been awake for 28 straight hours and needed to end the news conference quickly to go to Reno for appointments.
Reporters expressed amazement at his sunny demeanor.
“I appreciate you saying that,” he replied. “A lot of us worked very hard.”
And when the fresh-looking governor headed for Reno, many of the reporters headed for bed.
OK, what did that 75-minute special session the governor called last Tuesday morning to pass the More Cops and four other bills cost you taxpayers? About $25,000, said Legislative Counsel Bureau director Rick Combs.
Legislators get paid their $146.29-a-day salary and $152 per diem for special sessions. It doesn’t matter how long the special session lasts. They get paid for a full day. So by failing to finish their work by midnight Monday, they made a little extra money.
Pay for the 63 legislators came to $18,800. Then there will be overtime for some of state employees, including some who worked more than 24 hours straight, Combs said.
He won’t know for sure about his $25,00 estimate until time sheets are turned in later this month.
Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.