Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons joined California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford on a list of America’s "worst governors" published by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The 38-page report published Wednesday covered 11 governors and aggregated myriad allegations of ethical lapses, personal scandals and self-enrichment against Gibbons and the others.
In the case of Gibbons, CREW highlighted allegations of assault by former Las Vegas cocktail waitress Chrissy Mazzeo, his use of a state phone to send text messages to a woman with whom he was accused of having an affair and a threat to reject federal stimulus funds, which CREW said endangered the Nevada economy.
Some of the allegations CREW highlighted dated back to Gibbons’ tenure in Congress before he was elected governor in 2006.
The report comes less than 50 days before the Republican primary in which Gibbons faces a challenge from former federal judge Brian Sandoval, who is ahead in polls and has raised more money. Former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon is also challenging for the office, although polls show him trailing Sandoval and Gibbons.
In campaign ads Sandoval has hinted at Gibbons’ personal and public scandals but has focused direct criticism on policy issues, such as Sandoval’s assertion that Gibbons has directly and indirectly raised taxes on the mining and hospitality industries in order to balance the state’s budget.