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PARTY LINES: Let’s talk politics

Updated March 11, 2022 - 1:50 pm

Let’s talk politics.

Starting today, the Las Vegas Review-Journal inaugurates PARTY LINES, a weekly notebook-style roundup of political news, observations and events in a single place. This feature will be on top of our regular coverage of the 2022 election from Washington, D.C., to Carson City to city halls across the valley.

If you have ideas for items we should include, send them in using the email at the end of today’s notebook. And now, the news:

Timely ruling? Now is the time.

Actually, the first week of March would have been better, but now is definitely the time.

The Nevada Supreme Court heard arguments last year about whether two state senators who are also deputy district attorneys – Nicole Cannizzaro and Melanie Scheible – are constitutionally permitted to serve in the Legislature at all.

The long-running debate centers around Article 3, Section 1 of the state constitution, which says no one who exercises the powers of one branch of government (say, writing laws) shall exercise the functions of any of the others (say, prosecuting people for violating those laws).

Justices haven’t decided the case yet, and on Wednesday, Scheible filed for re-election to her state Senate District 9 seat. If she and Cannizzaro are constitutionally barred from serving, now would be a dandy time to let them know.

If a ruling comes down after filing closes, on March 18 things get a lot more chaotic and complicated.

Then again, the three cases pending before the court may turn entirely on procedural issues, which means a ruling on the main issue may still be elusive. But justices know that similar cases will continue to arise, so they may be inclined to settle the matter once and for all.

If so, it would be nice of them to decide now, before the close of filing, while there’s still time for other candidates to jump in. But the safe money says, don’t hold your breath waiting for that judgment.

Thanks for nothing: When he was running for governor, Steve Sisolak promised he would allow state employees to collectively bargain. Once elected, he kept that promise.

One of the first unions to take advantage was one representing state police officers, including highway patrol troopers, university police officers, and parole and probation officers. It was also the only union that couldn’t reach a collective bargaining agreement before the Legislature adjourned in 2021.

But Sisolak’s push to grant collective bargaining rights didn’t impress the police union that much; last year, it decided to back former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller for governor instead of the guy who got the union the right to bargain.

And, ironic kicker, Sisolak voted this week on the prevailing side of a Board of Examiners decision that granted 2 percent cost-of-living raises to members of the state police union, as well as 3 percent raises to members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

No hard feelings, right?

Not the end, but the beginning of the end: Candidates are in the midst of filing for offices around the state, a two-week process that began March 7 and will end at 5 p.m. Friday, March 18. But even then, we won’t have a final final list of candidates.

That’s because Nevada law allows filed candidates to withdraw their candidacies after the close of filing, all the way up to March 29, seven business days after the close of filing. That’s when the Nevada Revised Statutes allow candidates to change their minds.

There are always surprises during filing, but keep in mind that some surprises may come after filing, so stay tuned.

Set your DVRs: September is usually when network TV shows return to the air after a summer hiatus. But that’s not all that will be on TV screens when kids start going back to school.

The Republican Governors Association has purchased $33 million in airtime across the country in swing states where the group hopes to keep or capture governors’ mansions, and Nevada’s on the list. The RGA won’t know whom the party’s nominee will be until June, but assuming a viable candidate wins, the group wants to make sure he or she has ad time reserved, and at the lowest rates possible.

And something tells us that’s just going to be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to outside spending in the races for governor, U.S. Senate and Congress. As always, election years are great times to own TV stations.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

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