Posts Tagged ‘Bush’

Rep. Berkley Announces Plan To Permanently End Federal Travel Ban To Las Vegas, Sen. Heller Joins Effort

By Sean Whaley | 3:31 pm April 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., today said she will introduce legislation to permanently end a Bush era ban on cities -  including Las Vegas and Reno – from hosting federal agency and executive branch conferences and conventions.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he will join Berkley in the effort.

A similar effort in 2009 by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not pass.

Heller and Berkley are both seeking the same U.S. Senate seat, filled by Heller in 2011 when he was appointed to the post by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The announcement by the two Nevada members of Congress comes as the fallout continues from a now infamous conference held by the General Services Administration (GSA) in Henderson in 2010.

In remarks on the floor, Berkley said some GOP members of Congress are seeking to attack Nevada’s tourism industry because of the abuses reported regarding the GSA conference.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“These Republicans are trying to bring back the last administration’s so-called ‘blacklist’ of resort cities like Las Vegas and Reno – prohibiting federal agencies from traveling to hold conferences and seminars,” she said. “This policy has damaged the reputation of my state, hurt our economy and killed jobs.”

Berkley said the blacklist has been lifted by the Obama Administration, but that it is time to make such a policy permanent.

“Las Vegas wasn’t the problem, the irresponsible behavior of the GSA was,” she said. “And that’s why I am going to introduce legislation to prohibit the blacklisting of any city in America.”

Later in the day Heller said he would join in the effort.

“Despite our differing views on the bailouts for Wall Street and Detroit, Obamacare, and stimulus spending that has left many Nevadans out of work, I am pleased to join Congresswoman Berkley in the effort to end the blacklist process by the federal government,” he said.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

“Nevada offers the best hospitality and convention services in the world, and Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been favorite destinations for millions of visitors,” Heller said.  “I have always taken pride in the Nevada delegation working together on Nevada issues, and plan to introduce legislation in the near future.”

While Berkley praised President Obama for ending the federal travel blacklist, she did not bring up his controversial remarks made in 2009 when he told companies receiving federal bailout money that they should not “take a trip to Las Vegas” on the taxpayer’s dime.

Then-Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, among others, criticized Obama’s remarks, saying they helped stall the state’s economic recovery.

Obama later compounded the controversy when he remarked that responsible people don’t “blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Nevada is one of several “battleground” states where the 2012 presidential election is expected to be played out in November.

Several congressional committees have held hearings into the GSA conference, which resulted in the resignation of GSA chief Martha Johnson after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the incident.

The $823,000 conference was held at the M Resort and Casino, and included a clown and a mind reader. It was the subject of a critical report by the GSA Office of Inspector General.


Rove Predicts GOP Control Of Congress In 2012 General Election, Says Presidential Race Outcome Uncertain

By Sean Whaley | 1:56 pm February 2nd, 2012

RENO – Former Sparks resident and George W. Bush presidential adviser Karl Rove predicted today the both houses of Congress will go Republican in the November general election, but said the presidential election is up in the air even with President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings.

Rove, speaking at the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce event Directions 2012, predicted that the U.S. Senate will see Republican control with a minimum of 52 seats, but possibly as many as 54.

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks at a Reno chamber event today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Republicans could lose a handful of House seats but will maintain control, he said.

No president has won re-election with poll numbers as low as President Obama has now, but he is a tough competitor with $1 billion to spend, Rove said.

“It’s going to be difficult,” he said, predicting that the U.S. will see “the nastiest, ugliest general election campaign we’ve seen in our lifetime.”

The Obama campaign team will put the Republican candidate on trial and prosecute tough and hard, and with $1 billion in the bank, as often as they can, Rove said.

Winning 51 Senate seats is important if Republicans win the White House as well, because it will mean the immediate repeal of the federal health care law, he said. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the Senate using a process called reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes to reverse, Rove said.

In his comments to several hundred attendees at the event, Rove noted that the federal Health Care Law is the only major piece of social legislation since polling began in the 1930s that is less popular after it was passed.

“Why?” Rove asked. “Because every single promise made about it is turning out not to be true.”

He declined to pick a winner of the Republican presidential nomination, although he said, Mitt “Romney looks like he could be the guy.”

“You have a big role to play in that,” Rove said of Nevada GOP voters.

Nevada’s Republican presidential caucus, the first in the west, is Saturday. The four remaining contenders for the nomination are visiting Nevada to make their case with GOP voters. Romney is the favorite to win.

Rove, who lived in Sparks from age 9 to 15, served as senior adviser to Bush from 2000 to 2007 and deputy chief of staff from 2004 to 2007. At the White House, he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs and was deputy chief of staff for policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Rove became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states. He writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Outgoing Nevada State Lawmaker Seeks To End State Pronunciation Debate

By Sean Whaley | 3:21 pm August 10th, 2010

CARSON CITY – If there is one thing near and dear to the hearts of many Nevadans, it is the pronunciation of the name of their state.

For most Nevadans, it is pronounced Ne-vaaa-da. The middle syllable rhymes with glad. It is not pronounced Ne-vah-da. And many Nevadans don’t mind letting people know when they err.

In 2003 then-President Bush was criticized for what many considered his mispronunciation of the state’s name during his first visit to Nevada as president.

The mispronunciation by then-NBC news anchor Brian Williams in 2008 even generated a report by the news agency itself that addressed the proper pronunciation of the state’s name, which is Spanish for snow-capped, referring to the Sierra Nevada.

While many Nevadans take this pronunciation stuff seriously, one state lawmaker just wants to call the whole thing off.

Out-going Assemblyman Harry Mortenson, D-Las Vegas, wants to end the pronunciation debate for good. He has requested the drafting of a concurrent resolution that, “resolves that there are two acceptable pronunciations for the name of the state of Nevada.”

Mortenson said the description of the resolution on the Legislature’s bill draft request list isn’t quite right. It is BDR 205 requested on Aug. 1.

“It should say there is one preferred pronunciation, and one that is tolerated,” he said.

Mortenson, who acknowledges he is likely to get numerous calls and emails for his proposal, said the intent is to be accepting of the alternate pronunciation, which he said is the preferred pronunciation for most of the world.

“It is a terribly daunting task for Nevadans to try and correct the other 8 billion people on the planet,” he said. “Maybe we ought to just allow a different pronunciation.”

Mortenson said he still remembers when ABC’s George Stephanopoulos was booed for mispronouncing the state’s name when he moderated a presidential candidate forum in Nevada in 2007.

“He didn’t understand what everybody was booing him about,” Mortenson said. “It was rude and crude.”

Former state Archivist Guy Rocha, who is now retired, has spent a lot of time researching the pronunciation issue and was himself the target of nasty emails when he suggested in 2003 that Bush should have pronounced the state’s name properly.

While all for civility, Rocha said the proposed resolution misses an important point. The pronunciation Mortenson wants accepted is not Spanish, but a pronunciation learned mostly by Americans east of the Rockies, he said.

“Essentially it is a long standing mispronunciation that people defend as Spanish and I challenge that,” Rocha said.

The Spanish pronunciation would be more along the lines of “Neyvada,” he said.

The key point is that the “correct” pronunciation of a town or state is the one used by the residents, and visitors typically use that pronunciation as a sign of respect if they are aware and able to do so, Rocha said. Any correcting should be done gently. But knowingly mispronouncing the name of a city or state won’t win you any friends, he said.

Mortenson, who is termed out of office, won’t be able to usher his measure through the Legislature in the 2011 session himself, but another lawmaker may choose to introduce the resolution on his behalf.

Such resolutions are typically approved by lawmakers without the lengthy hearings and testimony that accompany bills seeking to change state law. Given the seriousness of the issue for many Nevadans however, this resolution could be a notable exception.



Retired State Archivist Guy Rocha says pronunciation issue requires civility:

081010Rocha1 :12 of each other.”

Rocha says proposed resolution won’t clarify pronunciation issue:

081010Rocha2 :22 it is different.”

Rocha says learning the pronunciation of a state or town is a sign of respect:

081010Rocha3 :13 very good welcome.”