Posts Tagged ‘Amodei’

Nevada House Reps. Vote To Audit Federal Reserve, Measure Also Supported By Sen. Heller

By Sean Whaley | 12:45 pm July 25th, 2012

CARSON CITYRep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., today voted in favor of H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act.

The legislation, which Amodei is cosponsoring, would direct the comptroller general to complete an audit of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve system and of the Federal Reserve banks, followed by a detailed report to Congress. The bill passed the House 327 to 98.

Reps. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Joe Heck, R-Nev., also supported the legislation.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

“The Fed’s monetary policy has far-reaching consequences for the American people, affecting everything from employment to consumer prices to interest rates,” Amodei said in a statement after the vote. “Some oversight and accountability are more than warranted. It makes you wonder, who would oppose such transparency? This is an issue where my colleague from Texas, Rep. Ron Paul, has been right and I’m proud to support his effort.”

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., a supporter of the audit legislation, issued a statement after the House vote: “The Federal Reserve is a major influence over our country’s economy, and the ability to audit this institution would bring much-needed accountability.

“It is essential that Congress exercise its constitutional responsibility to conduct oversight and scrutinize monetary policy in an open and transparent way,” he said. “I am a strong supporter of this bill, and I hope the Senate will take action on this legislation.”

Heller was a cosponsor of H.R. 459 when he was in the House and is currently a cosponsor of the Senate companion bill (S. 202).

Tarkanian Wins 4th Congressional GOP Race, Lee Upset By Democrat Challenger In State Senate 1 In Nevada Primary

By Sean Whaley | 11:02 pm June 12th, 2012

CARSON CITYDanny Tarkanian narrowly beat out state Sen. Barbara Cegavske in the 4th Congressional District GOP primary today, surviving a tough challenge in the contest to see who will face Democrat state Sen. Steven Horsford in the November general election.

4th Congressional GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian.

The son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, Tarkanian overcame bad publicity surrounding news that he and his family face a $17 million judgment in a civil real estate case out of California.

The race was close, with Tarkanian ending up with 32 percent of the vote to 28 percent for Cegavske. Cegavske won the more populous Clark County in the district which also stretches across much of rural Nevada. Tarkanian made up the difference with strong showings in the rurals, including Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral and White Pine counties.

But Tarkanian faces an uphill battle in the new congressional district created in Nevada as a result of the 2010 census. The district, composed of parts of Clark County and several rural counties, has a 113,000 to 90,000 Democratic voter edge as of the close of the primary.

The big surprise of the night may have been the overwhelming defeat of state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, in the Democratic primary against newcomer Patricia Spearman. Spearman had 63 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Lee.

The contest is expected to be decided with Spearman’s primary victory because of the strong Democratic voter edge in the district.

Progressive activists targeted Lee because of his conservative stand on some social issues. Spearman’s victory, however, won’t alter the political landscape as Republicans and Democrats face off in several other Senate districts in the effort to take control of the 21-member house in 2013.

The Nevada Priorities PAC, which supported Spearman in her underdog challenge, said Lee was their initial target because of his weak voting record on issues relating to education, civil rights, the environment and women’s choice.

“Voting records have consequences,” said Priorities PAC spokesperson Annette Magnus. “When we have a so-called friend abandon us on issue after issue, we were left with little recourse but to launch an independent campaign to educate primary voters.”

Lee raised more than $208,000 for his re-election bid, while the Nevada Priorities Political Action Committee raised $86,000. Spearman raised less than $14,000.

The statewide primary featured very low turnout by registered voters statewide. Fewer than 20 percent of active voters cast ballots in the primary.

There were no surprises in the other state Senate primary battles, with the toughest challenge in the GOP Senate District 9 contest, where Mari Nakashima St. Martin fended off Brent Jones. The race featured allegations of “partying” by St. Martin, while Jones was questioned about whether he took advantage of a mentally disabled man more than a decade ago by selling him two ostrich eggs for $30,000 to establish an ostrich farm.

The race pitted GOP Senate Caucus favorite St. Martin against Jones, an avowed opponent of new taxes. St. Martin had 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Jones.

A similar GOP primary battle occurred in Senate District 18, where Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, defeated Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, and Conrad Vergara. Hammond was the GOP Senate Caucus choice who voted to continue a package of expiring tax hikes in 2011, while McArthur ran as a no taxes candidate who opposed the package.

Hammond had 56 percent of the vote to 41 percent for McArthur.

For Democrats, Kelli Ross defeated Donna Schlemmer in state Senate 18 and will face Hammond in a district that has a Republican voter registration edge.

The Senate races are critical to both Republicans and Democrats to determine who controls the Senate in the 2013 legislative session. Democrats currently have an 11-10 edge.

The other three state Senate races in play between the parties are Senate 5, 6 and 15. The party primaries in Senate 5 and 6 had no surprises. Senate 15 in Reno had no primary. Republicans need to win four of the five races to take an 11-10 edge in 2013.

In some of the other races and issues facing voters around Nevada, the Laughlin incorporation vote went down to defeat. Residents of the community 90 miles south of Las Vegas rejected the idea of forming their own city by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

There were no surprises in the other congressional races. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., both won their primaries in the Senate contest.

Former Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., had no opponent in the 1st Congressional District. She will face Republican Chris Edwards in November.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., won his primary in the 2nd Congressional District and will face Democrat Samuel Koepnick.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., was easily winning his primary in the 3rd District and will face Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, in November.

In the two State Board of Education races, Allison Serafin and Ed Klapproth, were leading among five candidates in District 3 in Clark County, with 31 percent and 21 percent of the vote, respectively. Both will appear on the November ballot.

In the District 2 race in Northern Nevada among five candidates, current board member Dave Cook had 31 percent of the vote and Donna Clontz had 25 percent. Both will be on the November ballot.

Former Lt. Gov. and Regent Lonnie Hammargren had just over 50 percent of the vote in the race for the Board of Regents in District 12. Andrea Anderson was second in the four person race with 28 percent of the vote.

The only other upset in the legislative races occurred in Douglas County in a three-way Republican primary, where incumbent Kelly Kite lost to challenger Jim Wheeler. Kite was targeted for his vote in 2011 to continue a package of expiring taxes.


More Than 500 Capital City Republicans Turn Out For Caucus As Romney Takes Big Lead

By Sean Whaley | 2:06 pm February 4th, 2012

Update: The final results for those voting in the Carson City GOP caucus were 1,738 total turnout, with Mitt Romney getting 656 votes, Newt Gingrich getting 562 votes, Ron Paul getting 268 votes and Rick Santorum getting 252 votes.


CARSON CITY – About 500 Republicans in the capital city participated in the First in the West GOP caucus today, hearing from candidate representatives and learning the rules as early returns suggested favorite Mitt Romney would win the contest handily.

Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich were battling for second place.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., the new representative for the 2nd Congressional District, urged caucus goers to support the GOP nominee whoever it might be if they truly want change in Washington, DC.

Linda Law registers to participate in the Carson GOP caucus today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

The “Red Team” needs to get behind the nominee to ensure Republicans take the White House in November, he said.

Supporters of all four candidates: Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Rick Santorum, could be seen in the crowd. Representatives of three of the candidates spoke before the participants broke into their precincts to vote. Santorum did not have a representative present.

Carson City resident Linda Law said she was leaning towards supporting Romney.

“I’m still kind of torn among the various candidates, but that’s where I’m standing currently,” she said. “I think he has the experience with the private sector to create jobs, and that’s my most pressing concern.”

Law said she was pleasantly surprised at the strong turnout.

“I think it is a wonderful thing for the people in our community to be involved critically with the process,” she said.

David Castle, who just turned 18, said he was at the caucus to support Paul.

“I like how he has a plan to balance the deficit,” he said. “And I like his isolationist, like military, bring all the troops back. We’re in a lot of countries where we don’t have any business being, I think.”

The Carson caucus site opened at 7 a.m. to allow those with work schedules to participate. A final tally of participants was not yet available.

Gov. Brian Sandoval stopped by early before visiting other caucus sites in Reno. He was then scheduled to travel to Las Vegas.

The Nevada State Republican Party was hopeful that the GOP presidential contest would not be decided before its caucus, which initially had been proposed for January. Party officials got their wish, and the state was a buzz of activity for the candidates this past week.

All four candidates made several appearances around the state trying to win a percentage of the 28 delegates up for grabs.

The march to the nomination moved on to Maine, which had its week-long caucus start today with 24 delegates at stake. On Tuesday the battle moves to Colorado and Minnesota with their caucuses.


Audio clips:

Linda Law says she favors Romney because of his private sector experience in creating jobs:

020412Law1 :06 most pressing concern.”

Law says she is impressed with the turnout:

020412Law2 :10 with the process.”

David Castle says he likes Ron Paul’s plan to erase the federal deficit and balance the budget:

020412Castle :12 being, I think.”

Nevada’s GOP House Reps Disappointed At Short-Term Deal On Payroll Tax Cut, Jobless Benefit Extension

By Sean Whaley | 7:55 pm December 22nd, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s two Republican House representatives today said politics won out over policy on the newly announced deal for a 60-day extension on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefit extension.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said: “I will apologize in advance for what people are going to be going through 60 days from now because we have resolved nothing. And I predict the discussion 60 days from now will not only mirror this one, but you will also have a large revenue package which will be a condition to approving any sort of extensions for a year or two years.

“Nothing has changed, and it’s sad,” Amodei said. “We have done nobody any favors. As many commentators have said, you’re right on the policy but you’re wrong on the politics. Hopefully there will be a day when the policy rules the roost and not the politics but that’s probably a naive thing too.”

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said he was prepared to remain in Washington to reach a long-term solution to the extensions.

Courtesy of Kmccoy via Wikimedia Commons.

“The whole time my primary concern was making sure that we had a one-year extension for the folks back home,” he said. “That was the No. 1 priority. And it seems that in typical Washington fashion that politics trumped out over doing the right thing.

“I don’t think folks back home should suffer because Washington wants to get home for the holidays,” Heck said. “I made no secret about my desire to stay and get the job done. I’ve been away from my family; I’ve been deployed over the holidays; it’s not fun. But doing the right thing isn’t always fun or easy.”

Despite his disappointment at the short-term fix, Heck said Congress worked collaboratively in approving the Defense Authorization Act, and he has confidence in the House conferees appointed to work on a more permanent solution to the tax cut and unemployment benefit extension by a Feb. 29, 2012 deadline.

Heck said that if the Senate sends over members who are willing to look at the policy reforms approved by the House in its Dec. 13 bill, “that we will be able to come to a conclusion hopefully by the end of January.”

Both Amodei and Heck are now back in Nevada for a recess that will run through mid-January.

Amodei said he is still in the process of assessing the deal announced earlier today that will lead to the House endorsement of the Senate measure to extend the tax cut and unemployment benefits. Amodei said he plans to issue a formal statement tomorrow after he is confident about the details of the deal.

The House may be able to approve the Senate legislation by a process called unanimous consent, which will not require House members to return to Washington, DC, for a formal vote.

The deal means the continuation of both a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and a 99-week unemployment benefit for two million jobless Americans.

Other comments on the deal came from President Obama and other members of Nevada’s representatives in Congress.

President Obama issued a statement that said in part: “This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs. This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who supported the 60-day extension, said: “I am pleased the House is moving forward with the Senate’s bipartisan compromise. Extending the payroll tax and unemployment insurance will benefit Nevadans greatly. Now that Congress has moved beyond this impasse, we can work on a year-long extension.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: “I am grateful that the voices of reason have prevailed and Speaker (John) Boehner has agreed to pass the Senate’s bipartisan compromise.

“Year-long extensions of the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and Medicare payments for physicians has always been our goal, and Democrats will not rest until we have passed them,” he said. “But there remain important differences between the parties on how to implement these policies, and it is critical that we protect middle-class families from a tax increase while we work them out.”

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. said: “While its good news this massive middle class tax hike has been averted, this is one more example of why Washington doesn’t work. This should have been a no-brainer, but instead Tea Party Republicans held Nevada’s middle class families hostage to their extreme Wall Street agenda. The middle class should not be a bargaining chip for DC political games.”


Audio clips:

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., says the deal resolves nothing:

122211Amodei1 :32 or two years.”

Amodei says he believes a large revenue package will be part of the next round of discussions:

122211Amodei2 :27 naive thing too.”

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., says his goal all along was a one-year deal:

122211Heck1 :15 the right thing.”

Heck says Congress should have got the job done:

122211Heck2 :14 fun or easy.”

Heck says he is hopeful the conference committee will reach a deal by the end of January:

122211Heck3 :32 month of March.”


Rep. Mark Amodei Says House Republicans Will Reject Short-Term Senate Payroll Tax, Jobless Benefit Fix

By Sean Whaley | 9:09 pm December 19th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said today that Republicans in the House do not believe a 60-day stopgap response to expiring tax breaks and unemployment benefits as approved by the Senate is a workable solution.

Amodei, in a telephone interview this evening with the Nevada News Bureau, said the temporary fix is unworkable for the business community and creates too much uncertainty that could threaten job creation efforts. Congress needs to approve legislation resolving these issues for a full year, he said.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

As a result of the concerns, Republicans in the House are going to reject the Senate version of a compromise bill approved Saturday to extend jobless benefits and ensure a payroll tax break continues for 160 million working Americans, Amodei said.

The House passed a bill addressing the issues earlier this month that would resolve the issues for a full year.

“Why would you put people through this again 60 days later?” he asked.

The result will be to send the two different versions of the payroll tax and unemployment benefit fix to a conference committee to resolve differences, Amodei said. Whether the Senate returns to the Capitol to work on a compromise bill remains to be seen, he said.

If a compromise is not reached by the end of the year, working Americans will see a payroll tax hike, and five million unemployed workers will face a loss of jobless benefits starting Jan. 1.

Amodei, elected in September to fill out the term of now-U.S. Sen. Dean Heller in Congressional District 2, arrived home Saturday only to turn around and fly back to Washington, DC, on Sunday, to take up the issues. Amodei has not yet served 100 days in office.

The Senate, after voting to amend the House bill to deal with the issues for two months, has adjourned.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said the Senate won’t negotiate further until the House passes the 60-day extension.

In a statement, Reid said: “Speaker (John) Boehner should allow an up-or-down vote on the compromise that Senator McConnell and I negotiated at Speaker Boehner’s request, and which was supported by 89 Republican and Democratic senators.

“With millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet, it would be unconscionable for Speaker Boehner to block a bipartisan agreement that would protect middle-class families from the thousand-dollar tax increase looming on January first,” he said. “It is time for Speaker Boehner to follow through.”

But Amodei said House Republicans want to follow the proper procedure to iron out differences in the conflicting versions of the legislation. That means a conference committee, he said.

“By the way, yes, it does happen to be December, but . . . the issues are important enough, you need to work on them until you get it worked out,” Amodei said. “And by the way, you haven’t got a heck of a lot of time, and yes, there is Christmas and New Years in there, but so be it.”

Amodei said the House is expected to vote to take the Senate version of the bill to the rules committee for its review. The full House will then vote Tuesday to appoint its representatives to a conference committee.

“This is going to be an interesting thing to see whether or not policy prevails or politics prevails,” he said.

There are other concerns with the Senate version of the bill as well, including the proposal to charge a fee on Federal Housing Authority loans to help pay for the expense of the extended benefits and tax cuts, which would be a particularly hard hit on Nevada’s real estate industry, Amodei said.

The House bill also set the number of weeks of federal unemployment to 57, and allowed for means testing for unemployment and food stamps for the wealthy as a state option, he said. It also put in a pay freeze on federal employees and members of Congress to help pay for it, another provision that did not survive in the Senate version.

“Another two-month extension is another exercise in, can you hold your breath for another two months if you are a senior, if you are a veteran, if you’re an employer, if you work for wages or if you are on unemployment,” Amodei said. “I mean, I just think it is absolutely tone deaf to the reality of people looking for work, people who are working, seniors, veterans, home buyers. I mean, it’s like how can you talk about this with a straight face.

“The Senate’s amendment was amending the bill in whole, and basically kept everything the same except made it 60 days, and you’re like, what is the magic in 60 days?”

Nevada’s Republican representatives in Congress are not in complete agreement on how to proceed. Heller, R-Nev., voted for the two-month extension in the Senate.

“There is no question we need to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for the entire year,” he said. “The American people deserve long-term, forward-thinking policies. However, there is no reason to hold up the short-term extension while a more comprehensive deal is being worked out.

“What is playing out in Washington, DC, this week is about political leverage, not about what’s good for the American people,” Heller said.


Audio clips:

Rep. Mark Amodei says the Senate needs to work with the House to resolve the issues:

121911Amodei1 :15 so be it.”

Amodei says another two-month extension does not deal with the realities being faced by Americans:

121911Amodei2 :26 a straight face.”

Amodei asks what is the magic in 60 days:

121911Amodei3 :11 in 60 days.”



Las Vegas Attorney Readies Nevada For U.S. Supreme Court Review Of Federal Health Care Law

By Sean Whaley | 2:43 pm November 15th, 2011

CARSON CITY – The Las Vegas attorney representing Nevada in the 26-state challenge to the new federal health care law says the case is critically important because of the mandate for people to purchase health insurance.

“Never before in our nation’s history has the federal government required its citizens to purchase a product or service as a condition of citizenship in this country,” said Mark Hutchison, who is representing Nevada without charge in the case. “This case is of high importance to all Nevadans, because if the federal government can require us to purchase health insurance, then they can require us to purchase anything they choose.”

Hutchison, in a statement issued Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, said the initial written briefs are due Dec. 29. Oral arguments are expected to be in March. The court will issue a decision in the case before its term expires at the end of June 2012.

U.S. Supreme Court.

First appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons, and then re-affirmed by Gov. Brian Sandoval, Hutchison was named to serve as lead special counsel for the state when Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto declined to represent the state in the federal litigation.

In addition to the 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is a party to the challenge.

Randi Thompson, Nevada state director for the NFIB, said in a statement Monday: “This act is already increasing the cost of health care on Nevadans, increasing costs to Nevada taxpayers for Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and causing business owners to even drop coverage for their employees. Health care needs to be more accessible and affordable, but this act is not the way to reach that goal.”

Others also weighed in on the decision.

White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer issued this statement: “Earlier this year, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court to consider legal challenges to the health reform law and we are pleased the court has agreed to hear this case.

“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, one million more young Americans have health insurance, women are getting mammograms and preventive services without paying an extra penny out of their own pocket and insurance companies have to spend more of your premiums on health care instead of advertising and bonuses. We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said in a statement: “Nevada families and businesses are already struggling in this current economic environment, and the president’s job killing health care law is making a difficult situation worse. The law’s excessive taxes, expensive regulations and questionable constitutionality are stripping businesses of the certainty they need to hire at a time when Nevadans and the rest of the country are desperate for jobs.

“While the Supreme Court considers this case, the president should work with Congress to find real solutions to health care reform so the excessive mandates in this law do not add to our national debt or hurt our struggling economy,” he said.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said in a statement: “Families, seniors and small businesses in Nevada and across the country are reaping the benefits of health insurance reform. Prescription drug costs for seniors are falling as the Medicare ‘donut hole’ closes, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, and business owners are taking advantage of tax breaks.

“Just last week, a conservative judge appointed by President Reagan ruled that this legislation is constitutional, and I am confident the high court will do the same,” he said.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said in a statement: “I believe that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and it is my hope that the Supreme Court will overturn it. Already, during my short time in Congress, I voted to repeal a provision of the president’s health care law that raised eligibility for Medicaid far beyond the intended poverty level. This correction is estimated to save taxpayers at least $13 billion over 10 years.

“I eagerly await the court’s decision and from there we’ll be able to assess the path for repealing what amounts to government control of 16 percent of our economy,” he said.

A number of federal courts have weighed in on the law with sometimes contradictory rulings on the constitutionality of the law and the individual mandate. President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in March 2010.

The U.S. Supreme Court decided to use the case filed by the states, including Nevada, and the NFIB, to determine the constitutionality of the law.

Nevada and the other states challenged the law in federal court in the Northern District of Florida. U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled in the states’ favor and declared the individual mandate in the federal health care law unconstitutional. He declared the entire law unconstitutional without the mandate.

The 11th U.S. District Court Appeals then upheld Vinson’s ruling on the individual mandate but said the rest of the law could stand.

The U.S. Supreme Court will now take up the issues of whether the individual mandate is constitutional and whether the entire law is unconstitutional if the individual mandate is unlawful.

The individual mandate requires all U.S. citizens and residents to purchase health insurance from a private company or face government-imposed penalties enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.

“We are pleased that the highest court in the country will make a final decision about the constitutional fate of the healthcare legislation,” Hutchison said. “The states are confident that the U.S. Supreme Court will determine that the law is unconstitutional.”

Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei Named To House Natural Resources Committee

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:34 am October 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, R-Wa., today announced that Nevada Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., is the newest member of the panel.

“I’m pleased that the newest member of the Republican majority – Rep. Mark Amodei – will be joining the Natural Resources Committee,” Hastings said. “Mark’s sprawling Nevada congressional district is comprised of large portions of public lands and his knowledge of western land issues is a welcome addition to the committee. Committee Republicans welcome Mark and are looking forward to working with him to create jobs and keep America’s public lands and waterways open and accessible for all forms of use.”

This is Amodei’s third and final committee assignment in addition to the Judiciary and Veterans Affairs committees.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.

“With our vast mineral wealth and expansive public lands, a seat on the House Natural Resources Committee is important for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District,” Amodei said. “How best to leverage those resources for job creation and economic growth, while preserving the uniqueness of our landscape and our way of life, is a top priority.”

The House Natural Resources Committee considers legislation about American energy production, mineral lands and mining, fisheries and wildlife, public lands, oceans, Native Americans, irrigation and reclamation.

Additionally, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee are working on a wide range of important issues, including increasing America’s economic competitiveness and creating new jobs.

Amodei, a Carson City resident, was elected to the District 2 seat in a special election in September. He replaces Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

In Case You Missed It: The Week in Nevada Politics

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:36 pm October 8th, 2011

And what a week it was! You’re sure to have missed at least one or two of the following items. And if I forgot something, feel free to post it below in Comments, along with your…comments.


I’m working on a blog post including links to the latest that I’ll get up by Monday, Dear Readers. Documents are flying and quite a bit has happened since Sept. 21 when a Carson City judge ordered public hearings on the matter.

If you want to attend the public hearing still scheduled for Las Vegas, it’s Monday, Oct. 10, at 9:30 a.m. in the Grant Sawyer building, 555 E. Washington Ave., Room 4401.

In Carson City, the public hearing will be Tuesday, Oct. 11, in room 4100 of the Legislative Building, 401 S. Carson Street.

Or you can find links to live broadcasts here.


After Florida jumped ahead to Jan. 31, South Carolina scheduled on Saturday, Jan. 21, and Nevada settled on Saturday, Jan. 14. Then, Iowa yesterday set their caucus date for Tuesday, Jan. 3. This creates a problem for New Hampshire which has a statute saying their primary has to be at least seven days before the next primary/caucus. If New Hampshire schedules on Tuesday, Jan. 10, Nevada’s caucus will fall just four days later.

Presidential Race and Related Matters

George and Jeb were in town. The former gave a speech and then went to see his old pal Sheldon Adelson at the Venetian; the latter mostly hung out with Gov. Sandoval including headlining a big ($600,000) fundraiser, also at the Venetian. (Ralston wrote up some of Jeb’s remarks after his tour of Agassi Prep.)

Team Ron Paul is up with their first TV ad. No word (yet) on the size of the buy in Nevada.

Herman Cain is on the rise.

Immigration matters. Romney v. Perry.

Stuart Rothenberg says he thinks the electoral vote advantage goes to Romney in a match-up against Obama.

A Tea Party Express spin-off group (numerous TPX staffers migrated) called Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama put out a YouTube ad called “Liberal Mitt’s Greatest Hits.” Safe to say, they aren’t Romney fans.

SuperPACs galore.

U.S. Senate

“Senate in chaos” says Politico. Procedurally speaking, that is. By a 51-48 vote, the Senate voted (along party lines) to change the precedent and limit how amendments can be considered once a filibuster is defeated. This after the GOP tried to tie up the Chinese currency bill by tacking on unrelated amendments. (Both parties have done plenty of this kind of thing at various times over the years.)

CSM wrote about it, too.

Is prayer the Senate’s only hope?

China’s currency meddling and related legislation was a topic in the Berkley-Heller Senate race this week.

Berkley out-raised Heller by nearly double in Q3. She now has $3.2 million cash on hand. Heller has $2.8 million. And let’s not forget all the money that will be spent here by the NRSC, DCSC, and various IEs and SuperPACs.


Amodei: Got Committees?

The Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, on which Rep. Joe Heck sits, this week held a hearing to explore ways to modernize the nation’s job-training system. Here’s video of Heck questioning witnesses.


Clark County is moving forward, making NBC and ABC (no, not the TV networks) happy in their PLA/union fight. Interesting stuff.

Our thanks to the LVRJ for running Sean Whaley’s story on Medicare fraud.


Let’s Get Linky

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:49 pm September 23rd, 2011

Bored with my usual “In Case You Missed It” headline, so I’m mixing it up today, Dear Readers. Livin’ on the edge, that’s me. Here’s some stuff you may have missed this week in your mad rush to live your life:

Presidential/Electoral Stuff

What do Florida and Nevada have in common, besides being all sunshine-y? They are both toss-up states with high unemployment rates, which puts them in play in 2012 presidential politics. Michigan (blue) and North Carolina (red) are leaners rather than toss-ups, but that Motor City jobless rate might be a problem for Obama as well. (H/T Ralston)

Rick Santorum admits to helping out a fellow Senator and tipping off John Ensign way back when. (Doug Hampton said as much when he appeared on Face to Face.)


Here’s the state GOP complaint/request filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics Tuesday for an investigation into Rep. Berkley’s legislative actions related to her husband’s medical practice and related matters. Ralston put together a fun timeline showing what happened next.

Sen. Dean Heller gave his first speech. Quite the populist these days. Those of running for U.S. Senate and trying to appeal to independents, I mean.

I wonder if Heller called these guys copycats? He’s been pushing for transparency of that supercommittee with near-daily press releases since it was formed.


Speaking of copycats, someone at R&R pointed me to a Joe Trippi “Echo” ad in the California governor’s race after I Tweeted something about this Amodei ad tying Kate Marshall to various Dems.

You know its official when the door sign goes up.


Sandoval is having a couple of little fundraisers. And Secretary of State Ross J. Miller says he’s looking at the AG’s (not the governor’s) office in 2014.

Sandoval is not running for vice president. Really, Dear Readers, he’s not.

T-shirts for cheap. (Poor Jim Gibbons.)


Redistricting continues.

Random Stuff

Personal income growth in the states is (you guessed it) down. Nevada is in the lowest fifth.

Someone is encouraging people to move to Nevada, but not for the reasons you might think.

Here’s the Retail Association of Nevada poll if you want to read the whole thing.

We might get the winter Olympics. In 2022. If the world has not ended by then.

I didn’t know there was such a thing as the Chinese Miss Cosmos pageant. There is. And it’s coming to Reno.




Nevada’s Newest Congressman On His Way To Washington, DC For Swearing In Thursday

By Sean Whaley | 1:24 pm September 14th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s newest representative to Washington, DC was in the air today on his way east to be sworn in as the fourth person to serve in the 2nd Congressional District.

In an interview today before departing for his new job, former state Sen. Mark Amodei said he expects to be sworn into office Thursday and be casting votes the same day.

“My job now is to make all those 75,000 voters look like smart people,” he said of those who cast their ballots for him.

Newly elected Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., at a debate last month. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

Amodei handily won the Tuesday special election to replace Dean Heller, beating Democrat and state Treasurer Kate Marshall by more than 20 points.

Like Heller, appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval to replace John Ensgin, who resigned, Amodei is a Carson City resident. Amodei said he plans to fly home each week to keep in touch with his constituents.

“If you’re going to be effective you have to be in touch with the folks who gave you the job,” the Congressman-elect said.

Amodei said he will report to the House Speaker’s office at 8:30 a.m. Thursday and take the oath of office by about 10 a.m.

“We’re going to go back and get sworn in and start the stuff with staff and the office and just kind of get up to speed and operating,” he said. “There is a ton to do so I’m sure it will be a pretty fully employed . . . next couple of weeks.”

Despite leading in the polls up to election day, Amodei said he did not purchase his Southwest Airlines ticket to Washington until last night after returns showed him winning the open seat.

Amodei said it is humbling to win so much support from voters, including Washoe County, where Republicans don’t always do well in general elections. Amodei took the county by more than 7,000 votes over Marshall, a Reno resident.

Making reference to the other special house election, where Republican Bob Turner won in New York City in a district held by Democrats for decades, Amodei said the GOP victories could help foster more cooperation in Congress.

“I think the overall message is, people are tired of what’s been going on the last few years, so let’s figure out where we need to go that makes some sense that hasn’t been tried and failed,” he said.

Land use regulations are the major issue facing Nevada and the residents of the district, Amodei said.

“I’m looking forward to going over to the Department of Interior before the end of the week and introducing myself to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) folks and just saying, hey, you know what, we have a lot of work to do in Nevada,” Amodei said. “I’m not impugning anybody’s work product but the time frames absolutely, positively have to change.”

Eighty-seven percent of Nevada is under the control of various federal agencies. The BLM controls 67 percent of the state alone.

“You just can’t take years to make decisions when the economy is in the shape it’s in,” he said. “I mean make whatever decision you think is appropriate. But this slow play stuff which is a de facto shut down of land use in Nevada; that’s priority No. 1 for me.”


Audio clips:

Newly elected Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., says it will be a busy fall for him in his new job:

091411Amodei1 :21 couple of weeks.”

Amodei says voters are tired of the failures of those in Washington to solve the nation’s problems:

091411Amodei2 :11 and failed, so.”

Amodei says he will meet with the BLM to tell them the regulatory process needs to be streamlined:

091411Amodei3 :31 it is in.”

Amodei says the current process is a de facto shut down of land use in Nevada:

091411Amodei4 :13 No. 1 for me.”

GOP Former State Senator Mark Amodei Easily Wins 2nd Congressional District Special Election

By Sean Whaley | 9:32 pm September 13th, 2011

CARSON CITY – The results of the vote in the special election in the 2nd Congressional District went the way that most pundits had predicted: Republican and former state Sen. Mark Amodei will assume the seat vacated with the appointment of Dean Heller to the U.S. Senate.

Amodei jumped out in front with more than 60 percent of the vote when the first results were posted from around the state, and the wide margin between the former Nevada State Republican Party chief and Democrat Treasurer Kate Marshall declined only marginally. Later results showed Amodei leading by 57 percent to 38 percent for Marshall, of Reno.

Former state Sen. Mark Amodei won the 2nd Congressional District special election Tuesday.

The 2nd Congressional District seat, held exclusively by Republicans since it was created in 1981, will remain in GOP control.

Marshall called to congratulate Amodei just after 9 p.m.

Heller said in a statement: “I want to congratulate Mark Amodei on his victory this evening. As our state continues to struggle in this difficult economy, Mark will be a strong voice in the halls of Congress to help place our nation back on track and get Nevadans working again. I know he will serve our great state with distinction.”

Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement: “Kate Marshall fought tirelessly to win a special election in a heavily Republican district that no Democrat has ever won. While we are obviously disappointed in tonight’s results, Kate Marshall will continue to serve Nevada well as state Treasurer. We look forward to electing Democrats in the upcoming general election across the state to fight to get Nevadans back to work and protect Nevada seniors from Washington Republicans who are trying to kill Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies.”

The district, with a wide margin of Republican voters over Democrats, required a special election when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed incumbent Heller to the Senate to replace GOP Sen. John Ensign, who resigned.

The contest began with a crowded field as Democrat Secretary of State Ross Miller said the race would be open to all comers in a “ballot royale.” But the state Supreme Court rejected Miller’s argument for a wide-open race, saying both major parties had the right to pick their candidates.

Political observers saw the wide open race as one that would favor Democrats by splitting the Republican vote.

With the court ruling creating a two major party candidate race, however, Republicans were favored to keep the seat. Also running were Independent American Party candidate Tim Fasano and independent Helmuth Lehmann, both of whom were pulling in the low single digits.

With Amodei’s win, the seat will remain in the hands of a Carson City resident. Heller is also a capital city resident.

The district encompasses 16 of Nevada’s 17 counties and a small part of Clark County.

The district has a more than 30,000 Republican voter edge, but there are also more than 60,000 independent voters.

Amodei’s win won’t mean a rest from campaigning. He will have to run for a full term in the 2012 election.


Live Results Link for CD-2 Special Election

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:09 pm September 10th, 2011

The Secretary of State’s office has announced that the official live results of the Congressional District 2 Special Election on Tuesday, Sept. 13 will be available at

The website will enable the public to monitor election results as they are reported by the counties throughout the evening.

The website features county-by-county results, updates on the percentage of precincts reporting and past voter turnout statistics for CD-2. The voter turnout feature allows users to view historical statistics from the 2008 and 2010 elections and compare them to 2011 special election turnout.

Friday was the last day of early voting.

Voters can locate their Election Day polling place by visiting My Voter File and clicking on the Election Center tab.

CD2 Candidates Battle Over Tax Policy, Solutions for the Economy

By Anne Knowles | 7:14 am August 26th, 2011

Helmuth Lehmann and Tim Fasano were caught in the crossfire last night as Mark Amodei and Kate Marshall threw rhetorical punches at one another during an hour-long debate between the four candidates for Nevada’s second congressional district.

Former state Sen. Mark Amodei responds to a question at the debate./Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau

The former state senator and current state treasurer stood on opposite ends of the podium trading jabs about taxes and jobs for much of the live debate held in Reno’s KNPB TV studio and broadcast statewide.

Democratic candidate Marshall proposed offering tax breaks to companies who create jobs and endorsed a so-called infrastructure bank, an idea also promoted by President Barack Obama, which would lend money to private companies to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. She used the topic to chide her Republican opponent.

“It has bipartisan support unless, of course, you signed the tax pledge, then you’re not supportive of that bipartisan piece of legislation,” said Marshall. “In order to come together you have to not box yourself in a corner you can’t sign a tax pledge which has Grover Norquist telling you when and whether you’ll raise taxes.”

Amodei recently re-signed a pledge not to raise taxes if he were elected to Congress, a pledge promulgated by Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington-based advocacy group headed by Grover Norquist.

“I think it signals a willingness to acknowledge the facts. Compromise is not spending 40 cents of every dollar on debt. Compromise is not running up the debt until it equals the GDP, ” said Amodei when asked earlier in the debate whether signing the pledge signaled his unwillingness to compromise. “It’s not being intractable, it’s recognizing we cannot tax your way out of this.”

For his part, Amodei rebuked Marshall for latching onto loan guarantees made to private enterprises by the federal government.

“We need to start telling the people the truth,” said Amodei when asked what he would do to restore confidence in Congress. “How maybe loan guarantees aren’t a good thing. Remember the ones to Chrysler and General Motors?  They cost the taxpayer. Remember the ones to AIG and some of the Wall Street folks.”

Amodei, like Marshall, repeated ideas he’s been touting on the campaign trail to solve the state’s economic woes. He talked about expediting the process for permits to use public lands and, on a national level, suggested a hiring freeze for the federal government.

Amodei said 85 percent of the land in Nevada is publically-owned and should be better utilized for ranching, mining and energy resources in order to create jobs, but permits to use the land can take up to 10 years to acquire.

“The processing times are phenomenally slow to the point where we are de facto closed for business,” said Amodei.

When the candidates were asked when they disagree with their own party, Amodei said his party over the last couple decades has sometimes lacked courage.

“Not having the courage to say we don’t need special healthcare for members of Congress, that we don’t need a special bank for member of Congress,” said Amodei. “There’s a good bunch of people serving there, but the culture has overtaken.”

Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall

Marshall said she parts way with the Democratic party on the so-called Bush tax cuts, reductions in the tax rate passed under President George W. Bush that are set to expire at the end of the year.

“I think we need to keep the Bush tax cuts,” said Marshall, saying that small businesses needed the cuts to create jobs.

Only Lehmann, a non-partisan independent, favored letting them expire, but only to raise rates on the wealthy.

The candidates also agreed that they would have not voted to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, but for varying reasons. Lehmann said he is opposed to the balanced budget amendment that was attached to the bill.

“I think it’s a ruse to make people believe that Congress is actually doing something,” said Lehmann.

Fasano, the Independent American Party candidate, said he wouldn’t have voted for it either.

“We have a problem in government and that problem is spending,” said Fasano.

Marshall said she was opposed to the deal because it cut defense spending and Medicare and didn’t close tax loopholes.

“It was the wrong priorities and those are not my priorities,” said Marshall.

Amodei said that he would have voted no because Washington needs to learn spending discipline.

Early voting for the special election to fill vacant seat starts on Saturday. The election is Sept. 13.


Amodei, Marshall Duel Over Facts, Foreign Policy, Medicare and Taxes

By Anne Knowles | 9:05 pm August 22nd, 2011

State Treasurer Kate Marshall and former state senator Mark Amodei sparred over Medicare reform, campaign ads and even the uprising in Libya in an hour-long debate airing on the statewide news program Face to Face on Monday and Tuesday.

Former Nevada state Sen. and CD2 GOP candidate Mark Amodei.

The two candidates vying for a vacant congressional seat in a special election next month offered starkly different solutions to the nation’s problems, including how to best rein in Medicare spending.

Marshall said the federal government should use its power to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies over the price of prescription drugs for seniors, while Amodei said the Medicare eligibility age should be bumped up and the program’s benefits restructured for those 15 years or more from current eligibility.

Amodei said he wanted to reform the program while increasing the reimbursement rate doctors receive for treating Medicare patients.

Jon Ralston, host of Face to Face and the debate moderator, asked the Republican candidate what he would cut if he were not in favor of reducing reimbursement rates for doctors.

“How about a federal hiring freeze?” said Amodei, adding that it was wrong, “to tell people they have a Medicare program when doctors won’t let them in the office because reimbursement rates are too low.”

The Medicare discussion raised the issue of the budget plan put forth by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, which calls for turning Medicare into a program in which seniors are given vouchers to purchase insurance on the private market.

Democratic candidate Marshall said the plan “lacks vision” and actually exacerbates the problem because the cost of private insurance has grown faster than Medicare.

“Medicare is a good bang for your buck if you’re a senior,” said Marshall.

Amodei said he would have voted against the Ryan plan if he had been a member of Congress at the time, but Ralston pointed out that Amodei was quoted in an article on Politico saying the plan was “excellent.”

“I think Mr. Amodei is trying to have it both ways,” said Marshall.

Amodei defended the change in views, saying he had read the Ryan bill since making his earlier statements of support and that it would not work well for his district. He added that the Ryan plan was the only budget plan on the table.

The pair also discussed their dueling campaign ads. A Marshall ad accuses Amodei of being a paid lobbyist while serving in the legislature, when he was employed by the Nevada Mining Association, and also of voting himself a pay raise.

Amodei said he was not employed as a lobbyist nor registered as one in the years in question, and that the bill he voted for that gave legislators a bump in pay meant he made only $7 more per day for 60 days during the 2007 and 2009 legislative sessions. Meanwhile, he said, the state treasurer was given a $17,000 pay raise.

The same bill that gave legislators their pay raise also increased the state treasurer’s salary from $80,000 to $97,000, but Marshall did not take office until after the bill went into effect.

The Marshall ad also accuses Amodei of voting for the largest tax increase in the state’s history, in 2003 when the legislature passed the modified business tax. Amdoei said it was supported by the Chamber of Commerce and the Nevada Tax Association and was necessary to fund the education budget requested by then Gov. Kenny Guinn.

“I’m a solutions guy who deals with the facts and the fact at the time was that was a responsible way to deal with Gov. Guinn’s budget request,” said Amodei. “What we need now is a solutions person who won’t ignore the facts, won’t go in the tank for a political caucus or special interest group and who says we’ve got to bring the federal budget into balance, we’ve got to bring some spending discipline.”

Marshall said she would not have voted for the modified business tax because it penalizes employers for hiring people.

Amodei distanced himself from an ad paid for by the Republican party that showed Marshall saying she had “steered the state with a steady hand,” while flashing grim statistics about Nevada’s unemployment and foreclosure crisis.

Amodei talked about some of his solutions to the state’s fiscal woes, including expediting the permitting process to use federal lands for recreation and resource exploration. Marshall countered, saying she supported what she called streamlined permitting.

Nevada state Treasurer and Democrat CD2 candidate Kate Marshall

Both candidates shied away from answering whether they supported the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s project to import water from rural Nevada.

Marshall said the project wasn’t being done correctly, while Amodei said he supports the process of the state engineer having control and would not, as a federal official, intervene in a state-controlled decision.

Ralston started the debate asking about Libya, where a popular uprising has ousted Muammar el-Qaddafi, with the help of the United States and other countries.

Amodei said the U.S. should now enlarge its embassy there to monitor the situation and determine who is in charge while Marshall said we should first work through an intermediary there, such as a country friendly to both the U.S. and Libya.

“Mr. Amodei shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Middle East,” said Marshall in the first jab of the debate.

Amdoei responded by saying America needed to discern the situation there for itself and not rely on outsiders.




Differences Between Major Party Candidates In CD2 Race On Display At Reno Debate

By Sean Whaley | 10:54 pm August 17th, 2011

RENO – The two major party candidates running in the 2nd Congressional District special election to replace Dean Heller stuck to their talking points in a tame hour-long debate here today.

But the verbal jousting in front of about 150 people at the California Building in Idlewild Park still managed to illustrate the contrasts between Republican Mark Amodei and Democrat Kate Marshall.

Marshall, the Nevada state Treasurer in the midst of her second term, said she would protect social security and Medicare while seeking to balance the federal budget. She also pointed to her successes as treasurer, making money on the state’s investments in every quarter she has been in office.

Nevada state Treasurer and Democrat CD2 candidate Kate Marshall. / Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau.

“There is only one candidate here who will protect your social security and Medicare, and that is me,” Marshall said.

Amodei,  a former state Senator who served in several sessions of the Legislature, said he is a candidate who does not think the federal government is too small, that there aren’t enough regulations and that there isn’t enough taxing and spending. Amodei said his legislative experience will allow him to tackle the tough issues facing the country the day after the Sept. 13 special election.

“I hope you take a look at who has worked for 24 years in the private sector to earn their living,” he said. “When you’re worried about unemployment, you’re worried about foreclosures, you’re worried about the economy, I think it’s a good thing to have somebody who comes from the private sector.”

Marshall touted her advocacy of Senate Bill 75 passed in the 2011 legislative session, which will allow the treasurer’s office to invest school funds in start-up businesses to create jobs, and criticized Amodei for proposing what she said would have been the largest tax increase in Nevada history as a lawmaker in 2003. The tax bill that was ultimately approved included a payroll tax, which means businesses that hire new employees pay more tax, she said.

“It’s no wonder our unemployment rate is the highest in the nation,” she said.

Amodei said his tax proposal was designed to head off the possibility of an income tax in Nevada. It was also intended to prevent a tax on gross receipts. Amodei also noted he opposed a $781 million tax increase in 2009.

Former Nevada state Sen. and CD2 GOP candidate Mark Amodei. / Photo: Sean Whaley, Nevada News Bureau.

Also participating in the hour-long debate were American Party candidate Tim Fasano and independent Helmuth Lehmann, both of whom argued that they were better choices than the establishment party candidates.

Fasano said the two major party candidates are “out of the same cloth” and voters who want change should vote for him on Sept. 13.

“I will stand for the rule of law,” he said.

The special election was made necessary when Gov. Brian Sandoval appointed former Rep. Dean Heller to the U.S. Senate to replace Sen. John Ensign, who resigned. The district encompasses 16 of Nevada’s 17 counties and part of Clark County.

The district has a more than 30,000 Republican voter edge, but there are also more than 60,000 independent voters.

Audio clips:

GOP candidate Mark Amodei says his 24 years of private sector experience are a big part of his qualifications for Congress:

081711Amodei :22 the private sector.”

Democrat candidate Kate Marshall says she will work to balance the budget while protecting social security and Medicare:

081711Marshall :32 and that’s me.”