Posts Tagged ‘Brian Krolicki’

In Case You Missed It: Political Blurbs

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:52 am August 20th, 2011

Welcome to a new weekend feature here on the blog. We’ll bring you recent links, snippets, stories and Tweets you may have missed in Nevada and national politics. Enjoy. Feel free to post your own favorites in Comments.

Presidential Primary

Governor Sandoval’s name keeps popping up in stories about possible vice-presidential picks for the Republican ticket. This week Politico listed him among “the geographically and demographically ideal” along with Mark Rubio and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

This “270 to Win” interactive electoral map is fun to play with.

GOP presidential contenders are seeking Nevada endorsements. So far, Rep. Joe Heck, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and nine state legislators have given Romney their nod.

CD-2 Special Election

The four candidates debated this week in Reno.

John Boehner hearts Mark Amodei. Really. And so does Mitt Romney.

Emily’s List (now over 900,000 members strong) endorsed Kate Marshall. So did the Alliance for Retired Americans.

The federal healthcare overhaul legislation is at issue on the airwaves. Amodei is linking Kate Marshall to the health care law approved by President Barack Obama and Congress, while Marshall released an ad slamming Amodei for supporting a Republican plan to privatize Medicare.

Republicans blame Marshall for Nevada’s credit rating downgrade.

AD does a fact check on the NRCC’s claim that Marshall was responsible for a huge business tax increase.

Kate Marshall chimed in (sorta) on Carson City District Judge James Todd Russell’s failure to disclose his business relationship with Mark Amodei in the special election case.

Marshall pointed out that she has raised more money than Amodei.

Americans for Prosperity commissioned a Magellan robo-poll. The survey says Amodei is up by 13 points.

Mediscare

Duck! Political canons are being fired every five minutes re: which party (or candidate) wants to kill Medicare. The latest:

– The national parties both try to control the Medicare message in the CD-2 special election race.

– Case and point:  The National Republican Congressional Committee TV ad attacking state Treasurer Kate Marshall.

– The Kate Marshall campaign responded with this TV ad claiming Mark Amodei wants to end Medicare.

– Mark Amodei’s mom defends him on the issue in this new TV ad.

Ever wonder what the truth is about rising Medicare costs? A Columbia Journalism Review reporter gives us an overview of a new Annals of Emergency Medicine report that explains.

Politifact evaluated DCCC claims that certain Republicans have voted to end Medicare.

Heller & Berkley

Medicare is an issue in this race, too.

In a June (internal) poll, Berkley was up 42-37 over Heller. The last PPP poll had Heller up over Berkley 46-43 (but within the margin of error). Most pundits are calling it a toss-up or giving a slight edge to Heller with disclaimers that it is too soon to say.

Both candidates seek the support of Nevada’s veterans who make up roughly 10 percent of the state’s population.

Dean Heller has gathered some D support for his call for debt committee transparency.

 

Education

The Clark County School District and the teachers union have reached a bargaining impasse that is “unlikely to be resolved” by Aug. 29, the first day of school.

State superintendent of schools Keith Rheault said Nevada will seek exemption from the No Child Left Behind Act after comments in which U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the program an “impediment” and “disincentive” for educators. States can ask for relief beginning in September.

Various & Sundry

A Nevada judge fined the now defunct ACORN $5,000 for a voter-registration compensation scheme. The field operative who created and ran the incentive program is serving three years of probation. (I had fun blogging about the FBI raid on the Las Vegas ACORN office back in 2008.)

The Clark County Commission decided against packing electoral districts with minorities. The same issue is at the center of disagreements over state legislative and congressional redistricting.

Lorne Malkiewich, the longtime director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau, says he is going to retire before the beginning of the 2013 session.

Your 401(k) may in the tank, but Nevada mining company shareholders are doing well.

After push-back via recent public comment, the BLM says it is now going to evaluate the cost-benefits of that controversial pipeline project.

 

 

 

State GOP Chairman Responds to Criticism About Lawsuit

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:57 am May 6th, 2011

Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mark Amodei today answered criticisms by saying he is proud of the process that preceded the GOP’s decision to move forward with a lawsuit against Secretary of State Ross Miller.

The lawsuit centers on the Secretary of State’s decision that there will be an open ballot for the September 13 special election for the open NV-2 congressional seat.

Now that Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki — the presumed favorite with many Nevada Republicans — has said he will not run, Amodei stands to benefit if a District Court favors the GOP lawsuit and decides the GOP central committee has the right to nominate a sole party candidate for the ballot.

recent poll of 100 members of the Nevada Republican Party central committee showed Krolicki with 44 percent support, while Amodei came in second with with 27 percent support.

“I understand the perceptions and corresponding criticisms about the lawsuit, and I’m glad to answer them,” said Amodei. ”I am pretty darn proud of how this was done.”

Amodei said when it first became apparent the congressional seat was going to be open, the state GOP executive committee asked for a legal opinion regarding the special election process.

“Once we received that legal opinion, which said the party had strong legal grounds for expecting that the central committee could and would nominate a Republican candidate, the executive board met and voted on the matter,” said Amodei.

“That vote in favor of moving forward with the lawsuit was 10 to zero,” said Amodei. “I was just one of the votes, and I was not part of the Special Litigation Subcommittee that was formed and oversaw the process to that point.”

Amodei said the legal opinion also recommended that if the party did choose to pursue litigation, it should also immediately schedule a central committee meeting and nominating election, in preparation for the possibility that the court might favor the suit.

“As member of the state Republican central committee, an executive board member and party chairman, when you receive a legal opinion that says there is a strong case to be made that the central committee has legal grounds to expect to be involved in the process to nominate a candidate for an election, well, if you are not willing to stand up and fight for that effort then you should not be chairman,” said  Amodei.

“I firmly believe moving forward with the lawsuit was the right thing to do for every central committee member and for every Republican, whether I was going to get in this race or not,” added Amoedi.

Amodei confirmed he is issuing a media advisory out later today and will make his candidacy official on Monday.

“I’d also like to say, I’m the last guy in the world who thinks he’s got anything locked up,” said Amodei. “If we win this lawsuit, I will have to talk to the members of the state central committee to try to earn votes just like everyone else has to do.”

 

Krolicki Out, Marshall In, Amodei Pending

By Elizabeth Crum | 2:15 pm May 5th, 2011

As first “guessed” by @RalstonFlash on Twitter this morning — Nevada has learned the hard way that Ralston’s guesses are not mere speculation but informed fact — Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has formally announced that he is not going to run for Nevada’s open congressional seat.

State GOP chairman Mark Amodei will now be free to make his final decision, probably to jump in.

The success of the GOP’s lawsuit against the Secretary of State re: the special election rules is Amodei’s best shot at the congressional seat. The central committee would almost certainly nominate him now that Krolicki is out of the picture. However, in an an open election, Amodei is by no means a lock because he is not a favorite with much of the conservative base (due, among other things, to the 2003 tax hike in which he participated).

If the GOP lawsuit fails, as many on both sides of the aisle think it will, the man with the next best shot to win the hearts and minds of Republican voters is probably state Senator Greg Brower — IF he can convince enough of the GOP base that he is not an “establishment” candidate. If he cannot, then former U.S.S. Cole Cmdr. Kirk Lippold might be able to take advantage of the situation (and we can expect Lippold’s campaign to paint both Brower and Amodei as career politicians while pitching their guy as a military hero, conservative family man, and voice of the people).

As for the Democrats, State Treasurer Kate Marshall is in (also first Tweeted by Ralston, yesterday). It remains to be seen whether any other serious Dem contenders take a shot at it.

 

 

 

 

 

CORRECTION: Amodei Still Mulling Run

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:38 am April 21st, 2011

The original headline of this post was “Amodei Announces Run for Heller’s Seat.” It was supported by a Las Vegas Review Journal story by political reporter Laura Myers. However, Mark Amodei told Jon Ralston he has NOT made nor announced a decision. From Ralston’s blog:

Despite a report to the contrary, state GOP Chairman Mark Amodei says he has not announced his candidacy for Rep. Dean Heller’s seat. “I did not announce anything,” Amodei told me, referring to a report this morning in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I need some things to fall in place. If they don’t, Mark Amodei will not enter the race. If I can get the right organizational pieces in place, I’m in.”

Amodei obviously was not pleased with the newspaper story and even went to the length of calling Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, also considering a bid, to assure him he had not announced anything, he told me. He also talked to state Sen. Greg Brower, also known to be mulling a run for Heller’s seat. Despite what the newspaper said – that Brower told Amodei he is in – Amodei said Brower only told him he is seriously considering the race and doing his due diligence, too. Brower also informed me this morning that he has not made a decision.

Amodei candidly told me he learned the lesson of what he wryly called his “six-month foray” into the 2010 Senate race, which he dropped out of after getting little traction. “I am not going to do what I did in the Senate race,” Amodei said.

I asked Amodei if he had been contacted by Gov. Brian Sandoval to try to dissuade him from running because of GOP fears that too many candidates in the contest might hand the nomination to Sharron Angle, who might lose to the Democratic nominee. Ex-USS Cole Commander Kirk Lipoid also has announced his candidacy.

Amodei said no one had called him to try to keep him out of the race, but he expressed frustration with people “sitting back and writing their hands” rather than coalescing behind one GOP hopeful. He pointed out that “this is not the district of Barbara Vucanovich and Jim Gibbons,” a reference to the first two occupants of the seat who had an overwhelmingly safe GOP district. Amodei suggested that after reapportionment the district will be less a sure thing for the GOP than it has been and that the imperative for a unified GOP front is even greater. He pointed out Heller’s loss in Washoe County to Democratic nominee Jill Derby four years ago.

Finally, Amodei essentially told me nothing has been decided about his stepping down as chairman, that he won’t make that decision until he decides on whether to run.

Which, clearly, he has not done.

My original blog post is below.

The current chairman of the state Republican party, Mark Amodei, told the LVRJ he is going to run for Nevada’s second congressional seat. If he files, he will join Sharron Angle and Cmdr. Kirk Lippold in a GOP primary that will likely see a couple-few more contenders before all is said and done.

Amodei said he is likely to file in May and will attempt to raise $100,000 in the next cycle, a mere pittance compared to the $710,000 Sharron Angle raised in the first quarter. Angle’s fundraising machine will make her a tough competitor in the race despite her high negatives with the base (as reported by Ralston, who got a peek at some March polls). And Amodei’s candidacy will help her because in a multi-way field, the more the merrier–for Angle.

State Senator Greg Brower looks like a strong maybe, and Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has said he’ll wait until after the legislative session to announce his plans. If both of them run, we’ll have a thrilling 5-contestant game show to watch next season.

Angle Holds Hour Long Press Conference in Reno

By Elizabeth Crum | 5:06 pm March 21st, 2011

Nearly 600 days before the general election and wearing a bright purple suit while proving she is no shrinking violet, Sharron Angle today cheerfully fielded tough questions from nine journalists for nearly an hour.

The sole (so far) candidate for Nevada’s second congressional district held the first press conference of her campaign in a small conference room at the Best Western hotel across from the Reno, NV airport.

In a stated attempt to get off on the right foot with a press corps unhappy with (what they claim are) past instances of inaccessibility, Angle said today’s press conference was purposefully scheduled so many days after her announcement last Tuesday in order to give the media time to arrange travel and get their questions ready.

During the press conference, each time she was asked whether she really believes she can win the CD-2 primary race and then win a general election after being so badly damaged in last year’s electoral loss, Angle referred to a large sign reading “19,677″ and which represents her margin over Reid in CD-2 last year:

Angle said she believes that large margin means she has strong enough support in the district to win both the primary and general election. Recounting her history as a politician, she also pointed out, “I have won ten elections. I have lost four.”

In defense of her loss to Reid, which came up numerous times in a variety of ways, Angle pointed out that only one Senate Majority Leader has ever been defeated once entrenched.

Some Republican leaders are not thrilled with Angle’s decision to run, fearing she may win the primary but lose in the general election, effectively handing a congressional seat to the Democrats.

Angle dismissed those concerns, saying it was her “right” to run and adding, “I can win.” She insisted she is well-liked in the district, saying her supporters may not agree with her on every issue but they “know how I will vote” and “can sleep at night knowing I won’t change” position on issues.

When asked what mistakes, if any, she thinks she made in her U.S. Senate campaign and whether that will change her approach this time around, Angle answered, “We have some regrets, but too few to mention.”

Angle added that the initial days of last year’s campaign were “like drinking water from a fire house” and went on to talk about how the Harry Reid campaign engaged in “character assassination.” Later in the press conference, she said she needed “a commercial up the day after the primary.”

When asked about her position on Social Security, Angle resurrected a phrase from her sole debate with Reid and said Congress needs to “man up” and stop using the “trust fund” as their “personal piggy bank.”

Questions about the tea party effect and whether it may help her again were met with measured comments about how such labels can be misleading or “box people in.” Angle said she is appealing to voters to whom “constitutional issues” are important, whether they are members of the “tea party” or not.

As the press conference wrapped up, Angle named upcoming events on her calendar and said her new book, an autobiography that will share personal, formative things, will be out on April. The book is entitled “Right Angle” and will be self-published under Author House.

Angle stayed after the press conference to shake hands and answer individual questions, also introducing her press secretary, Will Rasavage, who she said journalists should “feel free” to contact for “exclusive” time with her.

As Angle gears up to hire her campaign team – she said she is conducting interviews now – some Republican leaders are pressing Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki to run, while also asking state party chair Mark Amodei to consider not running in order to avoid a scenario that might pull votes from Krolicki and hand Angle the primary win.

Also considering a run are state Sen. Greg Brower and Kirk Lippold, former U.S.S. Cole commander.

 

Krolicki Endorses Heller for Senate, Says Considering NV-2

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:16 am March 15th, 2011

Politico reports that Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has formally endorsed Rep. Dean Heller and will “take time” to consider a run for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. Quote:

“I’m embracing his candidacy, and I told him over the weekend that I will do everything within my power to help him become a U.S. Senator.  I’m a team player and Dean is a very important friend in my life, as is his family,” said Krolicki, who noted that he had several conversations with Heller since Sen. John Ensign’s announcement to retire.

Krolicki also told Politico he hoped “his endorsement would signal to Nevada Republicans that they should unite around Heller’s bid and avoid the intra-party fratricide that hindered GOP hopes at upending Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid last year.”

Methinks Krolicki hopes in vain. At least one viable GOP contender will probably challenge Heller in the Senate primary.

We shall soon see.

 

 

 

Heller Was Poised to Challenge Ensign in Primary

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:43 am March 15th, 2011

During a brief interview with Congressman Dean Heller a few moments ago, Heller laughingly called his U.S. Senate run “the worst kept secret in Nevada” and said that for the past many months his team “had anticipated we would be running against Ensign in the primary.”

Indeed, Heller’s well-tooled, warm-and-fuzzy campaign website and already emailed fundraiser invitation to major donors show he has been working on his Senate campaign for some time.

Heller said he “probably would not have announced for another couple of months” were it not for the scandal-plagued Ensign’s recent announcement not to seek a third term, confirming speculation about the timing of his own announcement to run for Senate.

Heller will not be holding a formal press conference, but instead will be talking to reporters one-on-one and doing numerous radio and television appearances in the coming weeks.

The Congressman would neither confirm nor deny whether he has had recent conversations with Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Sharron Angle and/or other Nevada Republicans about their own possible senatorial ambitions — but of course he has, and those conversations will surely continue as we wait to see who else will try to become Nevada’s next senator.

 

 

 

 

Lieutenant Governor Criticized At Board of Regents Meeting

By Andrew Doughman | 5:26 pm March 10th, 2011

CARSON CITY – It was not a friendly crowd for Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki as he spoke of economic development at Western Nevada College.

The bleachers in Sarah Winnemucca Hall were packed with students and staff concerned about Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed $162 million reduction in state support for Nevada’s colleges and universities.

James Dean Leavitt, chairman of the Board of Regents, criticized the governor’s proposal. He said that Nevada’s higher education system has never been properly funded and that economic diversification should be coupled with diversifying revenue.

Leavitt had earlier called for tax increases to mitigate cuts to higher education.

“I’m not preaching to my audience right now, but the Legislature and the governor are making an unbelievably difficult decision,” Krolicki said in response to Leavitt. “…The best way to get out of these budget woes is to crank this economy and let it go. That’s what we need to do.”

Leavitt and the other dozen regents were gathered at Western Nevada College for a board meeting. The board is responsible for approving cuts like those drafted by UNLV and UNR earlier this week, as well as tuition increases.

Krolicki addressed ways universities can help create jobs during his speech to the board.

Apart from his job as lieutenant governor, Krolicki is the chairman of the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. That means he works with higher education institutions to do things like commercialize research.

Dan Klaich, chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, played the conciliator after Leavitt and Krolicki had their back-and-forth.

“Brian [Krolick] has included NSHE in every conversation that has been had,” he said “…I think that the board has said exactly what it needs to say, but I would like to recognize a true partner who has been with us through every step of the way.”

Officially, Krolicki was supposed to talk only about economic development, but his ties to the governor and the proposed state budget could not be ignored.

The state budget weaved its way through everything the Regents talked about. Students exclusively addressed it during public comment. The hallways were alive with chatter about the proposed cuts; one young woman cried watching the testimony of Western Nevada College students whose program for the deaf could disappear with its funding.

The Board of Regents reconvenes at Western Nevada College tomorrow, when they plan to officially address the governor’s proposed budget.

 

Recession Leading To Exodus Of University Faculty

By Andrew Doughman | 10:14 am February 23rd, 2011

Professor Michael Young began to think last year that he should look for a job outside of Nevada.

It was not the craziest thought; the recession was in full swing and legislators were slashing the higher education budget.

Young was a departmental director at the Desert Research Institute. Now he’s an associate director at the University of Texas, Austin.

During the recession, Nevada has had a difficult time keeping research professors like Young.

The best students already seem to be leaving for out-of-state colleges. The same thing seems to be happening with faculty.

“It turns out, ironically, that the state of Texas has big economic problems as well,” Young said in a phone interview. “But there’s a very fundamentally different level of understanding in terms of what the university does for the economy and for the future of the state [in Texas]. You don’t really hear that a lot in Nevada.”

What you do hear is the president of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas telling faculty that the university may go bankrupt. You hear Gov. Brian Sandoval proposing a $163 million cut to the state’s universities and colleges.

At the same time, Nevada’s public figures have championed economic diversification through hiring innovative faculty, providing start-up funds and building a research engine. These professors will presumably leverage millions in federal grants and build Reno or Las Vegas into high-tech research hubs where start-ups will provide manufacturing jobs.

It sounds great. One day we will talk of Silicon Valley, Seattle and Reno as the tech hubs of the West.

But then reality sets in.

“It’s hard to imagine a young faculty member … why would that person go to a university where 30 percent of its budget is being cut?” Young asked. “It’s not an incentive that a lot of young people would take.”

Young said he left Nevada for various reasons, among them the state’s fiscal woes.

Steven Wells, president of the DRI, said that the institution has lost 21 faculty since 2008.

“We’ve had people who have been here five to ten years suddenly leaving and our investment in them goes with them,” he said. “Michael Young is a prime example. I tried to do whatever I could to keep him.”

Wells said that researchers like Young aren’t tenured. They support themselves through grants they receive largely from the federal government.

But the DRI’s administrative costs do come from the state. The state must also attract graduate students to work under researchers like Young.

“These researchers within these institutes have to believe that there’s a future here and that the state is interested in bolstering the fledgling research infrastructure that we have,” said Jim Croce, director at the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization.

Data provided by the Nevada System of Higher Education showed that Young had brought about $3 million into Nevada via grants during the past two years. He’s just one of many professors at the DRI, UNLV and the University of Nevada, Reno who collectively brought in millions of dollars to the state and have since left.

Where’s the money?

The recession has left the state’s coffers running dry, the federal stimulus is running out and “new spending” are dirty words at the Legislature.

A Senate committee on economic development heard testimony this week from Croce, who talked about expanding his organization’s link between university research and the renewable energy sector.

Senators immediately wanted to know the cost.

“Does that mean investing general funds into the system so that they have the capacity in their budget to go out and recruit their researchers?” asked Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno.

Croce replied that yes, Nevada would be “literally buying” faculty to come to Nevada.

Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, followed by asking what the state would need to do.

“At a minimum we have to stop the bleeding and make sure we have a healthy NSHE base,” he said.

Higher ed needs “drastic reform”

Others argue that the higher education system already has enough money.

“You’re really good at coming and asking for money,” said Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, to Dan Klaich, NSHE chancellor, at a higher education hearing this week. “But what we need now is help and places where we can make reform. Drastic reform.”

Her comments echo those of the governor’s senior adviser, Dale Erquiaga.

“You’ve got to have money to spend money,” he said during a January press conference.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki said that the universities can help with economic development, even as their budgets shrink.

“It can be done today,” he said. “It’s about directing resources.”

He said that universities can help faculty gear their research toward commercialization.

Nonetheless, those same faculty have been and still are leaving.

“It’s not like you flip a light switch and you get your research back,” Young said. “To me that’s probably one of the saddest parts of the story. …When the economy is doing well, the state is going to continue to suffer through this because the research infrastructure is gone.”

Two Cents (and some video clips) from Nevada 2.0

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:24 pm January 12th, 2011

Ramping down Nevada’s dependence on the gambling industry (and associated consumer spending) through developing new job-creating industries was the main topic at last Friday’s Nevada 2.0 economic forum at UNLV.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki used the word “retooling” as he spoke of the need for diversity in his opening remarks, adding that he did not believe the vision of  an economically robust Nevada was “Pollyanna-ish.”

“Building sustainability into the budget” so the state can be “better buffered against downturns” should happen simultaneously with immediate job-creating initiatives, added state Senator Steven Horsford.

Speaker after speaker at the forum pointed out that while millions of tourists emptied their pockets in casinos, the state ignored warnings that its economy lacked diversity and was headed for a crash.

Nevada has ranked behind eight other western states for industrial diversity since for over a decade, according to Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Nevada also needs to stop outsourcing so many service jobs to other states and backfill certain sectors in ratios that make sense based on our current population, said Lang.

Much of the discussion focused on the state’s comparatively undereducated work force. Roughly 19 percent of Las Vegans possess a bachelor’s degree, compared to between 25 and 30 percent of the population in most major cities. Of 100 ninth graders in Nevada, only 48 graduate high school, 26 enter college, 18 are still enrolled after year two, and just 4 graduate with college degrees, on average.

Though a gaming-supported working-class population may not need much more than high school diplomas to get the job done, employees who hope to work in high-end industries do need college degrees.

Business owners and government officials from Dallas, Denver, Phoenix and Salt Lake City suggested any comprehensive economic plan must include a greater focus on education.

Utah’s economic initiatives included attracting world class faculty members from other states in order to bolster research and patent registrations and bring in federal grant money, said Ted McAleer of the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR). But faculty-stealing can cost a great deal of money, acknowledged Aleer.

Suggestions for diversifying the state’s industries included attracting film, television and media companies along with corporations rooted in the medical field, defense contracts, technology and renewable energy. But most such plans developed in neighboring states relied heavily on public monies, something Nevada sorely lacks.

Will last week’s forum add a sense of urgency to a now decades-long call for expanding Nevada’s economy beyond gaming, tourism and construction?

“You can never get out of a recession by doing anything,” said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. “What you do in a recession is prepare for the recovery.”

While business leaders and elected officials continue to talk, the  state’s unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure rates remain the highest in the nation.

*

Video clips below posted and captioned by Mike Chamberlain

The Nevada News Bureau was able to obtain some interviews with participants and attendees at the Nevada 2.0 economic conference held last Friday, January 7, 2011 at UNLV.

Nevada Assembly Speaker John Oceguera was asked if making the types of investments in sciences and engineering programs that some had recommended to drive the Nevada economy may have to be done at the expense of liberal arts and other programs that may not be effective economic drivers (a point made later in the program by Robert Lang, Director of Brookings Mountain West):

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera (Video)

Ted McAleer of the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) described how Utah was able to fund its development initiative. He admitted that the circumstances are different in other states, including Nevada, which may have to look for a different solution:

USTAR\’s Ted McAleer (Video)

Lt. Governor Brian Krolicki explained why Nevada may have to find a more innovative answer:

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (Video)

Somer Hollingsworth of the Nevada Development Authority discussed how the public and private sectors can work together to improve the economic conditions in Nevada:

Somer Hollingsworth (Video)

Lt. Gov. Krolicki listed some of the strengths of the Silver State that could help improve economic development and diversification.

Lt. Gov. Krolicki (Video)

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki Will Seek Reelection in 2010, Continues to Question Failed Prosecution by Attorney General

By Sean Whaley | 1:47 pm December 16th, 2009
CARSON CITY – Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, cleared earlier this month on charges that he mismanaged a college savings program while serving as state treasurer, said today he plans to run for reelection as lieutenant governor next year.

“It is absolutely my intention to run for reelection as lieutenant governor,” he said.

Krolicki announced his intentions during an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.

During the interview, Krolicki said he will continue to press for an explanation from Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto on why she sought to prosecute him criminally in a case that he said never should have been pursued to begin with.

Krolicki said defending himself against what he called politically motivated charges over the past year has cost him “hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Masto spokeswoman Edie Cartwright said she did not see the program and did not anticipate that there would be any comment from the attorney general’s office.

Krolicki was accused of violating the state budget act by misusing $6 million of a $3 billion college savings plan, but this issue was not even mentioned in the indictment, according to a ruling dismissing the four felony counts against him issued by a Clark County District Court judge earlier this month.

Masto then announced she would not appeal the ruling or seek a new indictment even though she believes Krolicki was guilty of criminal wrongdoing, citing limited resources in her office.

In the interview, Krolicki said the attorney general’s office was responsible for reviewing and approving the contracts that specified how the college savings funds were to be used. The attorney general also sits on the Board of Examiners and voted to approve the contracts, he said.

“We heeded their advice from the very beginning,” Krolicki said. “For the attorney general to turn around after negotiating and approving these contracts and say, ‘Oh, I don’t like that’ – how does a lawyer prosecute their own client for heeding their advice? That’s the one thing that I will never understand in all of this.”

Krolicki said that is why the case was dismissed for the first time earlier this year – because the attorney general‘s office was determined by a judge to be an “aider and abettor” in the way the funds were used as specified in the legal contracts.

The lesson should have been learned then and the case should not have been pursued at that time, he said.

Krolicki said Masto is more fortunate than he is with the ruling by the judge to dismiss the charges.

The facts that would have come out at trial would have, “embarrassed her so greatly that I think she got a great Christmas present, too, because now some of these just incredibly damaging things to the prosecution will not be known fully,” he said.

Krolicki said three of the top 10 college savings programs nationwide are in Nevada. They were created without taxpayer dollars and are helping over half a million families pay for college.

“We made a profit doing it, and it was balanced to the penny,” he said. “I’m proud of that. I don’t know what else to say.”