In the political year about to pass into history, there were literally hundreds of memorable things said. Today, I take a look back at the year that was through the prism of a select few of those remarks.
• “The people of Nevada don’t have a Legislature. Mining and gaming have a Legislature.”
— Attorney Kermitt Waters, discussing his lawsuit to overturn the infamous “single-subject” rule, which has been used to kill nearly every initiative petition proposed in the last seven years.
• “Good state [political] parties do two things: They register Republicans to vote and they deliver them to the polls. If you look at really good [state] parties, they may do other things, but they are really good at those two things.”
— Former Nevada Republican Party Executive Director David Gallagher. Nevada’s Republican Party lost the registration battle every single month since February, not only to Democrats, but also to voters choosing to register as non-partisan.
• “I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to have every single penny reported just because of the level of burden it really takes on a person. Maybe if I had a staffer paid for to record every single one of my receipts and ensure they were being kept up full-time, and I didn’t have to leave my day job so I could spend an additional couple hours working on that.”
— Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, explaining to the Las Vegas Sun’s Anjeanette Damon the burden of completely reporting her campaign spending. Flores was re-elected without opposition.
• “It is thinly veiled social Darwinism.”
— President Obama, on the proposed Republican budget.
• “I was totally under a different impression when we passed this increase.”
— Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, explaining his vote to increase Southern Nevada Water Authority rates to constituents angry with the new rates. The potential for steep increases was, of course, fully discussed before the vote.
• “I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had stepped back and that program would have closed. I mean, there were 200 people waiting in line for a kidney transplant. What would you tell them? That you can’t, you won’t, you shouldn’t? That was my job.”
— Rep. Shelley Berkley, explaining why she worked to keep the kidney transplant center at UMC from closing. She was later confronted with an ethics complaint that included the UMC issue, which may have cost her the election to U.S. Senate.
• “I don’t think the burden should be on me. The burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”
— U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, who claimed he was told by a source at Bain Capital that Mitt Romney had not paid taxes in 10 years. Romney released only two years of tax returns during the campaign.
• “The monorail is far from perfect, but it has been successful from every point of view except one.”
— Monorail board member Bruce Woodbury, in the year’s most dramatic understatement. The monorail this year stiffed investors to the tune of about $637 million in Bankruptcy Court.
• “Our family has felt an obligation to help level the playing field by providing support to the candidates and causes on the other side of the equation.”
— Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldson Adelson, who with his wife, Miriam, was the single largest individual donor to super-PACs during the 2012 election. According to OpenSecrets.org, six of the top 10 individual donors to super-PACs were conservatives, and six of the top 10 super-PACs were conservative.
• “Pete and I have known each other a long time, and usually we agree. But on this one, I couldn’t disagree more. Mitt Romney has the momentum and will carry Nevada.”
— Political consultant Mike Slanker, contradicting fellow Republican Pete Ernaut, who correctly predicted a Nevada victory for President Obama.
Steve Sebelius is a Review-Journal political columnist and author of the blog SlashPolitics. He’ll be on vacation for the remainder of the year, but his column will return Jan. 4.