Bob is back.
After winning the Democratic primary for governor June 10, former Nevada economic development director Bob Goodman headed off to Asia on a trade mission for a month.
But Goodman is back in Nevada this week and ready to accept campaign contributions, he said, and begin his longshot effort to replace GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval, who already has some $3 million in his campaign war chest.
Goodman refused to accept campaign contributions until now but has set a goal to raise $1 million, he said, adding it “will be enough to get my message out to voters.”
“If Governor Sandoval has raised $3 million already for his fight against me, then he must be worried that he’ll need that much to beat me because I intend to win,” Goodman said last week before hopping on a plane on his way home. “I don’t need $3 million, and I think that’s an obscene amount of money to spend in a race in a state with the population of Nevada.”
Sandoval, who won 90 percent of the GOP primary vote, is expected to easily win re-election. The governor has said he plans to serve out his second four-year term, although there’s speculation he could run against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 2016, or accept a Cabinet post or another judgeship if a Republican wins the presidency that year.
Goodman, who has spoken warmly of Sandoval, issued a challenge of sorts to the governor.
“If elected, I pledge to serve my whole term and I ask that you ask Governor Sandoval if he guarantees irrevocably (to) the voters that he would do likewise,” Goodman said in an email to the Review-Journal.
Meanwhile, the 79-year-old said he plans to go big with his quixotic gubernatorial campaign.
“I look forward to announcing in due course when President (Barack) Obama and Vice President (Joe) Biden will be coming to campaign with me and help raise funds for the campaigns of me and the other Democratic candidates,” Goodman wrote. “And nobody should bet against them coming to help.”
— Laura Myers
HECK AGREES TO DEBATE
U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., has agreed to debate his Democratic challenger, Erin Bilbray, but it’s uncertain where, when and how often the face-to-face forums will take place.
Bilbray last week challenged Heck to a minimum of four debates, about one a month, before the Nov. 4 general election. She sent a formal letter with the request to Heck’s 3rd Congressional District office in Henderson.
“Elected representatives have to be willing to stand before the voters and say ‘ask us your questions’ and then actually answer them in an open and honest way,” Bilbray said in a statement. “This is the people’s house, and elected representatives answer to the people. The campaign is a job interview with the voters. No job interview I’ve every heard of has not required answering questions.”
Heck, who is running for re-election to a third two-year term, plans to debate Bilbray, according to Ryan Erwin, an adviser to the Republican’s campaign. But no details have been worked out as yet, he said.
“Joe has never ducked debates,” Erwin said, adding that the congressman is known for making himself available to constituents. “Joe Heck is probably the most available federal elected official in Nevada.”
— Laura Myers
THE POT RUSH
The city of Las Vegas began accepting applications for medical marijuana establishments Monday.
One television station was waiting outside the application site at 5 a.m., hoping to photograph long lines.
After all, about 250 people had attended the mandatory workshops allowing them to submit applications.
By Thursday, the first-week’s tally was released.
One dispensary application was filed.
Erminia Drobkin is president, and Bill Drobkin is secretary-treasurer. They want to open as Samantha’s Remedies at 3500 W. Sahara Ave.
More are expected before the July 23 deadline.
City Planning Director Flinn Fagg laughed at the news media’s anticipation of big crowds on the first day.
Surely we knew that in life, everyone waits until the last minute to do anything.
Sometime in September, the Las Vegas Planning Commission will hold public hearings on applicants.
— Jane Ann Morrison
OVERQUALIFIED FOR THE JOB?
Not to demean the Las Vegas Municipal Court, but the new court administrator seems a tad overqualified for the job.
Dana Hlavac (the H is silent) has a resume that initially suggested he’s either a job hopper or overqualified.
His jobs have included 12 years at Mohave County in Arizona, first as public defender and then as deputy county manager. His job as deputy was eliminated when a new governing job did some restructuring. He was the only deputy who wasn’t retained in another position at the same salary, when he left early in 2013.
His last job as city manager of Lebanon, Ore., lasted just five months and, under an agreement with that city of 17,000 people, he cannot talk about his departure.
Suspicious minds wondered whether the Las Vegas municipal judges had made another bad hire. The previous court administrator had been fired after just two years. It seemed the judges would be careful about this one.
Hlavac, 54, listed another name. There was an 11-year gap between his Army service, and the first job he listed was in 1999 as an assistant district attorney in Trinidad, Colo.
He changed his name to his mother’s maiden name after she was abused by his father. He explained the 11-year gap saying the 1988-99 years were too old to list. But he said he worked for attorney Patric LeHouillier, then had his own startup company, then was a deputy district attorney, then had his own law firm from 1992 through 1999.
During an interview, he said his experience as a prosecutor and defense attorney was not as satisfying to him personally.
“I was a successful lawyer. I made a lot of money, but I never changed anything,” he said.
Instead he wanted to deal with policy. “I came here to address systemic issues,” he said.
He will need to address a new computer system and the sag in revenue because police are not writing as many tickets. The revenue challenge means he needs to deal with how he can do the job without cutting services.
The job pays $120,000 a year.
— Jane Ann Morrison
PAIUTE BILL PROTECTION SOUGHT
U.S. Sen. Dean Heller says he is not against a bill adding land to the Moapa Paiute tribal reservation outside Las Vegas but wants to ensure the rights of mining claim holders in the area are protected.
“It’s not that I am opposed to the legislation at all,” Heller said. “All I want to do is get everybody together and make sure when the legislation is all ironed out that everyone’s needs are taken care of.”
The Nevada Republican commented Thursday, a day after the Senate Indian Affairs Committee reviewed a bill to add 26,565 acres into trust for the reservation from adjacent BLM-managed land. It would expand the tribe’s 70,000 acres about 30 miles north of Las Vegas by 38 percent
Heller’s office said the senator had heard local concerns about potential effects from the change in land designations, but Heller said he saw no major problems.
“We are going to get together next week with all the parties involved,” he said. “We’ll iron it out. There is no big issue there. We just want to make sure that people who have private property are protected and those with mining claims are protected as well.”
— Steve Tetreault
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC. Contact Jane Ann Morrison at email@example.com or 702-383-0275. Contact Laura Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.