Posts Tagged ‘Assembly Democrats’

Reno Assemblyman Named GOP Caucus Leader In Unanimous Vote

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:08 pm January 19th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Reno Republican Assemblyman Pat Hickey was unanimously elected today to be the new GOP Assembly Caucus Leader.

The former minority Leader, Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, stepped down because of his intention to run for the Nevada State Senate in District 19.

Assembly Republicans currently hold 16 seats in the 42-member Assembly, while Democrats control 26 seats. Hickey said he is optimistic the caucus can improve on those numbers in November.

Hickey, who represents District 25 in Reno, returned to the Assembly in 2010 after an absence of several years.

Assemblyman Pat Hickey during the 2011 legislative session. / Nevada News Bureau file photo.

“As a caucus, we sincerely thank Pete Goicoechea for his leadership over the years,” Hickey said. “I am humbled and honored to be selected to follow in his footsteps. As the new leader, I will direct my energy and focus on supporting a strong conservative agenda and electing a dynamic slate of candidates this election cycle.”

Hickey was first elected to the Assembly in 1996 in the Democratic majority District 27. He then took time to focus on his family and business before running for Assembly in District 25 in 2010.

“The 2012 election cycle presents opportunities for our caucus to strengthen and grow,” Hickey said. “I am confident that our conservative message of limited government and fiscal responsibility will resonate with the people of this great state.”

In a telephone interview, Hickey said he believes Assembly Republicans have a chance to capitalize on GOP momentum in the state Senate and pick up several seats. Senate Republicans are optimistic they can retake the majority from Democrats, who now have an 11-10 edge.

“The level of enthusiasm at this moment in Republican state circles has extended from the Senate where they of course are sharing a realistic optimism they that are going to be in the majority,” he said. “And given the quantity and quality of candidates that we have attracted in Assembly races following redistricting, frankly, is giving us a great deal of optimism with respect to the prospects of significantly growing the caucus.”

In a perfect set of circumstances, Republicans could come close to taking the majority, but realistically the caucus could see its numbers increase to the high teens or low 20s, Hickey said.

The caucus is ahead of where it was in the last election cycle with fundraising, he said.

Hickey said he is in a position where he can devote all of his time to getting Assembly Republicans elected in November.

“I mean there are so many ingredients that go into a successful election cycle,” he said. “In the end it’s the quality of candidates and we’re especially hopeful this time because we think we’ve got some very good candidates who will no doubt be extremely competitive and in many cases successful.”

Democrats had a two-thirds, 28-vote veto proof majority in the 2009 legislative session. Assembly Republicans picked up two seats in the 2010 general election to take away the two-thirds advantage in the 2011 session.

Hickey, a small business owner, is a 4th generation Nevadan. He was born in Carson City and grew up in Lake Tahoe. He received his master of arts in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Hickey and his wife, Shin, have been married for 34 years and have four children.

Hickey’s election comes just days after Assembly Democrats voted to make Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, the leader of their caucus after a contested election.

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Audio clips:

GOP Assembly Caucus leader Pat Hickey says Republicans are optimistic of regaining the majority in the Senate:

011912Hickey1 :23 in the majority.”

Hickey says that optimism is now extending to the Assembly as well:

011912Hickey2 :24 growing the caucus.”

Hickey says the caucus will have competitive and successful candidates:

011912Hickey3 :26 many cases, successful.”

Nevada Assembly Majority Leader Says Public Transparency Issues Will Be Major Focus Of 2011 Session

By Sean Whaley | 6:21 am September 10th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera said yesterday he will pursue a number of transparency measures in the 2011 legislative session with an eye towards providing the public with accountability and confidence in how the state spends taxpayer dollars.

Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, said Assembly Democrats have been working on a number of ideas since last session, including a two-year “cooling off” period before former state lawmakers and other officials could work as lobbyists.

Oceguera, who is expected to be elected speaker for the 2011 session, said Assembly Democrats want to go even further than some other proposals for a cooling off law to include state regulators and local government officials as well.

“Some of these ideas were part of a bill last session that didn’t make it out of the Senate but made it out of the Assembly,” he said. “So it has been on our radar since at least last session and we’ve tried to refine it and look at what we think we can get passed. But some of the issues we’re going to pass out of the Assembly one way or the other.”

The cooling off proposal predates the recent controversy over former Assemblyman Morse Arberry, who resigned to accept a lobbying contract with the Clark County District Court. The contract was rejected earlier this week by the Clark County Commission.

In announcing the proposals earlier in the week, Oceguera said: “We’re serious about reforming the way Nevada government does its business. Today, we are putting a series of reforms before the public. They are common sense and timely measures, and I will work for bipartisan support in both the Assembly and Senate.”

Among the reforms Assembly Democrats will pursue include:

- Establishing a two-year cooling off period before an elected official can be hired to lobby the government body where the individual served;

- Creating a two-year cooling off period before an elected official or regulator can be hired to work for any agency they regulated or oversaw;

- Putting the state’s checkbook online where taxpayers can see how tax dollars are spent;

- Putting the entire state budget on the web so taxpayers can see spending priorities;

- Requiring all candidates for public office to report every financial contribution, the amount and donor, online within 72 hours of receipt.

Gov. Jim Gibbons has created a transparency page on state government spending on his website, so at least some of the state budget and spending information is already available to the public.

Oceguera said the Assembly Democrat proposal for reporting campaign contributions goes even further than what is being sought by Secretary of State Ross Miller, who wants earlier reporting of contributions and expenditures as well. Miller also wants reports filed electronically so the public can search the information more easily.

Oceguera said he and Miller worked closely on other measures in 2009 and will likely do so on the campaign reports transparency issue in the upcoming session as well.

Efforts to improve the reporting and usefulness of campaign reports have ended in failure in the past. A proposal to require online reporting for most officials passed the Assembly in 2009 but the provision was deleted in a Senate Committee by Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno.

Transparency has become an issue for many lawmakers on many different fronts. Many of those running for seats in the state Senate and Assembly have responded to a transparency questionnaire sent out by the Nevada Policy Research Institute. It asks candidates for their views on the posting of state spending information online as well as the need for a searchable database for campaign contributions, among other issues.

Other lawmakers have previously weighed in with their own proposals, including Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa Valley, who has proposed a four-year cooling off period for lawmakers and statewide elected officials who want to become lobbyists.

Goedhart also wants a three-day wait before bills are voted on by the Legislature, another transparency proposal included on the NPRI candidate questionnaire.

Assemblyman Joe Hogan, D-Las Vegas, has weighed in with his own plan to change the campaign report filing deadlines to make the reports more useful to voters. He introduced similar legislation in 2009 that did not get a hearing.

Democrat candidate for governor Rory Reid in December released an ethics reform plan that includes a call for a two-year cooling off period before former lawmakers or state employees can represent private interests at the Legislature.

Twenty-six states have such laws. Nevada does not.

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Audio clips:

Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera says the Assembly will work to get transparency measures passed next session:

090910Oceguera1 :22 or the other.”

Oceguera says Assembly cooling off law would go further than what others are suggesting:

090910Oceguera2 :23 are talking about.”