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Power corrupts? Just look at Carson City Democrats

The headline on the May 17 Review-Journal’s “Nevada Legislature” page read, “Roberson bumped from panel as GOP cries foul.” So some politician got kicked off some committee. What’s that got to do with anything? Why should anyone in Nevada care a whit about the Democrats and the Republicans and their infighting? Isn’t this just another example of the pettiness and venality dominating the whole political process?

No it isn’t. This is a case of the destruction of the bipartisan balance built into the Legislative Commission, which is second in importance only to the Interim Finance Committee.

During the interim, the Legislative Commission — with its bipartisan six-and-six structure — quietly goes about the business of overseeing the rule-making authority of the executive bureaucracy, ensuring that the regulations match the intent of the law. It’s important work and it has been done well for a very long time.

Now, out of nowhere, in a classic example of “power corrupts,” the Democratic leadership kills the six-and-six balance, changing it to seven to five in favor of the Democrats by appointing state Sen. Patricia Farley, an “independent.” Sen. Farley caucuses with the Democrats and has supported every major legislative initiative the party has put forward.

There is only one person who can stop this vicious abuse of power and that is Sen. Farley herself. She was elected as a Republican but then switched to nonpartisan, probably telling anyone who would listen that she didn’t want to be a part of the partisan politics poisoning the system. If she was telling the truth, this is her opportunity to prove it. She should go the her Democratic colleagues and thank them for thinking of her but tell them she can’t, in good conscience, politicize the Legislative Commission.

Sen. Farley: Decline the appointment.

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