Why?

next
Area GOP flavor of the week Joe Lombardo. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Republicans in Nevada have been having a field day saying “socialists! socialists! socialists!” ever since some Democratic Socialists of America (oh dear!) won state Democratic Party offices.

For example, North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee even cited, however insincerely, socialists!!! as the development that drove him to switch parties and become a Republican. (Oh, and run for governor, which is a thing he says he is doing.)

Now it turns out there is a not insignificant plot by the Proud Boys to take control of the Clark County Republican Party, and it’s looking like the Nevada Republican Party is a Proud Boys enabler.

So if the Proud Boys is successful does this mean John Lee will have to switch parties again? Will all the Republican politicians have to switch parties?

I guess as an alternative they could double down on Trumpism to earn the Proud Boys’ endorsement.

***

Take that Mark Amodei. Republican politician and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo last week publicly confirmed that he will mount a campaign for governor. Ever since Lombardo was elected sheriff, Southern Nevada broadcast media have given him oodles of airtime, most of it pretty cuddly. So naturally Lombardo gave his confirmation to a TV station in … Reno

Well! Since Lombardo went big-footing in Republican congressman and gubernatorial race ditherer Mark Amodei’s back yard, if Amodei decides to join a primary against JL² (Joe Lombardo and John Lee), Amodei should confirm that to a media outlet that operates out of Las Vegas. Call me, Mark. I’ll hook you up.

So far all Amodei’s saying by the way is if he decides not to run for governor, it won’t be because he’s a-scared he can’t beat JL². He notes he’s won elections in the sticks where all the Republicans are, and Lombardo and Lee have not. 

But back to the flavor of the week, i.e, Lombardo. His remarks to the Reno reporter were very very brief, so everyone is left waiting for the answer to the biggest and most obvious question surrounding Lombardo’s candidacy: Why?

***

But oh look, a Dean Heller sighting. I noticed Politico’s piece on Dean Heller’s gubernatorial aspirations quotes Haley Barbour. I confess I was not under the impression that Haley Barbour is still a thing. Similarly, it’s by no means clear that Dean Heller is still a thing.

Heller and Adam Laxalt didn’t lose in 2018 because of the outstanding quality of their opponents. They lost because Trump was occupying the White House. It’s still Trump’s party, and he wants to make the midterm elections all about him. Part of me hopes in this instance he gets what he wants. And as with his buddies the aforementioned Proud Boys, it’ll be a hoot to see who Trump endorses in the Nevada GOP primary for governor.

I hope Heller runs because it will add to the fun. You see, while perhaps not as pronounced as when I was younger, I’ve still got a sadistic side.

***

Nevada to New Hampshire: Buzz off. Unlike states where Republicans control legislatures, Nevada is not passing a bunch of mean-spirited voter-suppression legislation deliberately designed to make it harder for people who aren’t white to vote. But! Nevada lawmakers are passing four election bills, the most glitzy of which would dump the dumb caucus for a first-in-the-nation presidential primary. (If you combined the impact of the other three, it would effectively mean centrally registered voters could cast straight-ticket ballots by mail.)

I have mixed feelings about the first-in-the-nation thing. On the one hand, the novelty of a presidential wannabe on every Las Vegas street corner has sort of worn off. Besides, we’re Nevada. We don’t need the nation’s political press corps parachuting in so as to shine a spotlight on our humble little state. Because we’re not a humble little state. We’re brash and loud and famous and the entire world knows we want to take their money and they come here and give it to us anyway. (Except for owners of battery factories and football teams, in which case we give them money.) Craving political-media-industrial complex stardom seems demeaning, even off-brand, and something some Dakota or other would do.

On the other hand, it’s weird to let a few snowbound farmers have an outsized influence on the nominating process. In those years that New Hampshire has any influence anymore, that is.

***

Mars. Sigh. Does MGM – the movie one not the casino one – still make movies? Anyway, Bezos bought it.

Speaking of Bezos, he was mad because Elon got all the federal money to go to the moon, so Jeff whined and got a senator to try to get Jeff some sweet sweet federal money to go to the moon too. And Bernie Sanders is calling it the “Bezos bailout.”

One could argue, s’pose, that no person on earth needs federal money less than Bezos. OK, except for Elon. Meanwhile, it’s never been exactly clear to me what needs to be done by humans on the moon in the first place. And don’t give me that way-station-to-Mars noise; we are decades away from having the techy techy to safely send humans to Mars and bring them home again, and even assuming the techy techy gets developed some day, there is no reason to send humans there. Mars is a hellhole, and space is always looking for ways to kill you. Might as well build a colony at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Living/working conditions would be about the same. Mars. Gah.

***

Jan Jones Blackhurst, of the Caesars Entertainment Jones Blackhursts, wrote an op-ed in the RJ about the importance of child care to the economy. You’ll be happy to know she seems to have concluded Nevada’s (woefully inadequate) child care infrastructure can be improved without the state spending any money.

In a related item, now, clearly, is no time to raise the gaming tax.

(The above items are excerpts, some lightly massaged, others more heavily, of material published in the Daily Current newsletter, the editor’s opinionated morning news roundup, which you can subscribe to here.)

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and author of the Las Vegas Gleaner political blog. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and editor at the Casper (Wyoming) Star-Tribune.