Posts Tagged ‘resignation’

NPRI to Regroup Due to Denis Resignation

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:04 pm December 19th, 2011

As first reported by David McGrath Schwartz of the Las Vegas Sun, state Sen. Mo Denis said he plans to resign from his job with the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC), possibly rendering moot the recently filed lawsuit challenging his ability to be employed in two branches of state government.

Denis, who is the heir apparent to Sen. Majority Leader Steven Horsford, told the Sun he’d already been looking for a new job with more flexibility in preparation for his Senate leadership role. He said the decision is not related to the lawsuit from conservative think tank Nevada Policy Research Institute (NPRI).

The NPRI suit contents that Article III of the state constitution clearly defines the separation of powers between the three branches of government, and that Denis’ job in information technology for the PUC was a violation of that clause.

Analysts had speculated that if the suit was successful, as many as 10 other lawmakers who are also public employees could have been affected.

However, it is now unclear whether the NPRI lawsuit can proceed as filed or whether a new suit would have to be filed against another legislator.


Ensign Says Good-Bye

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:55 am May 3rd, 2011

In case you missed it, Senator John Ensign yesterday made his final remarks on the floor of the United States Senate. Notable quotes follow, most of them coming near the end of the speech:

When I was first arrived in the Senate, I observed several people who were so caught up in their own importance and busyness that arrogance dripped from them; unfortunately, they were blind to it and everyone could see it but them. When one takes on a position of leadership, there is a very real danger of getting caught up in the hype surrounding that status. Often times, the more power and prestige a person achieves, the more arrogant a person can become. As easy as it was for me to view this in other people, I was blind to how arrogant and self-centered I had become; I did not recognize that I thought mostly of myself.


I believe that had I learned this lesson earlier, I would have prevented myself from judging two of my colleagues when I had no place to do so. As Chairman of the NRSC, I was confronted with the personal issues facing Senators Larry Craig and Ted Stevens. Following Larry’s admission and Ted’s guilty verdict, I too deeply believed in the power of my leadership position and I called on both to resign. This has haunted me for years, and I have sincerely struggled with these decisions. So much so that I went to each of them after a few weeks and admitted that what I did was wrong, and I asked them for forgiveness. Each of these men was gracious enough to forgive me, even though publicly I did not show them that same grace; I am very grateful to them both. When I announced my personal failure two years ago, Larry was one of the first to call and express his support. I truly cannot tell you what that meant, and still means to me.

The purpose of me speaking about this is to humbly show that in life a person understands mercy a lot more when they need it and it is shown to them. Again, this is a hard lesson that I have learn, but I hope that I can now show mercy to people who come into my life and need it.


To my Senate colleagues, I would like to take a moment to apologize for what you have each gone through as a result of my actions; I know that many of you were put in difficult situations because of me, and for that I sincerely apologize.


My wife, Darlene, who has been through so much with me and has fought through so many struggles, is owed more than I could ever repay. I do not deserve a woman like her, but I love her and am so grateful that the Lord has put her in my life.


Lastly, and most importantly, I want to thank God for allowing me to be here. I have been encouraged by some not to mention God because it looks hypocritical because of my own failings, but I would argue that I have not mentioned Him enough. I am glad that the Lord not only forgives but likes when I give Him thanks. So Lord, thank you for all that you have done in my life. I hope I can do better in the future, and can learn to love You with all my heart, soul and strength, and to love others as myself.

My colleagues, I bid you farewell. Know that you’ll be in my prayers.



Governor Sandoval Rebuffs Democrats’ Request For Public Hearings On Ensign Replacement

By Andrew Doughman | 3:57 pm April 25th, 2011

CARSON CITY – The answer from Gov. Brian Sandoval is no.

Today the governor’s senior adviser, Dale Erquiaga, rebuffed a proposal from state Democratic legislators to hold public hearings and a public review process in selecting a replacement for resigning U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

“I think the law and tradition are clear, this is an executive decision,” Erquiaga said at a press briefing this afternoon. “We appreciate the Assembly’s and Senate’s advice, but it’s not relevant to the current decision.”

Erquiaga said the governor has just two criteria for an appointment: the appointee should have a political ideology similar to Ensign’s and be qualified enough to “start work right away.”

The governor should select an appointee to the U.S. Senate by the end of this week, Erquiaga said. That decision would come ahead of May 3, the day Ensign officially resigns.

Assembly Democrats today argued for a one week period to allow candidates to declare their intention to be considered to replace Ensign. Under their proposal there would be an additional one week period when the governor would hold public hearings equivalent to public job interviews for the candidates.

“A question of public importance requires, I think, an open and transparent debate,” said Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas.

A similar vote in the Senate today provoked a party-line vote with Republicans arguing that both state law and the state’s constitution are clear that the governor should make an executive appointment.

Even one Senate Democrat seemed upset with the measure, which he said has “nothing to do with the work of this body.”

“We have so much to do,” said Sen. Mark Manendo, D-Las Vegas. “Really that [measure] has nothing to do with what we should be doing here. … It sounds like the constitution is pretty clear the governor gets to make an appointment.”

Oceguera’s statement echoes the reasoning Democrats have used to debate the governor’s proposed general fund budget in large, public hearings. Erquiaga praised the Legislature for efforts to “obtain additional information and have an open discussion.” But he said not all decisions are matters of public debate.

“You can’t even compare them. The budget process is always done in committee … that’s the budgetary process, that’s not an executive appointment,” Erquiaga said.

Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, R-Las Vegas, echoed Erquiaga in his call for the governor to follow precedent set in law and in Nevada tradition.

“I think we ought to keep the system that’s effective for both parties, Democrats and Republicans, since 1864,” Stewart said.

The Democrats proposal, Assembly Concurrent Resolution 8, seems to preempt a likely Sandoval appointment of current U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev. If Sandoval appoints Heller to the Senate, that would mean Heller’s seat would become vacant and a special election would have to be called to fill it.

“Any appointment that creates a vacancy in another office which necessitates a subsequent special election will cost Nevadans hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money at a time when severe cuts to education and essential services are under consideration,” the resolution states.

Secretary of State Ross Miller said this past weekend there are a number of costs associated with an election: printing up ballots, sending out ballots, securing locations for voting, programming voting machines and staffing the polling locations. He said, though, there is no “generic price tag” for an election.

Sen. David Parks, D-Las Vegas, said that the public should have a chance to ask questions of potential appointees, suggesting a question seemingly designed for Heller.

“Should we spend tax money on a special election at a time when the governor has asked us for shared sacrifice? We’ll only know the answer to critical questions like this if they are asked,” he said.

Senate Republicans, however, reiterated Assembly Republicans’ comments that past governors have had no controversy in appointing replacements for resigning member of Congress.


John Ensign, Episode…Too Many

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:35 am April 22nd, 2011
With yesterday’s preemptive, hastily announced resignation, Senator John Ensign’s graceless fall from grace continued. Despite stating he is leaving office in order to spare his family and constituents any further stress, the timing — shortly after an Senate Ethics Committee quietly voted to continue their 22-month investigation, possibly via public hearings — made the cause of Ensign’s departure evident. The specter of the falling axe sent the senator scurrying for the exit when nothing else would.
Ensign thought — or at least fervently hoped — his decision not to seek a third term was the end of an ugly political affair birthed months after an almost inconceivable conception: a shocking and sordid personal affair with the wife of a dear friend and top aide, fertilized and fed by Ensign’s ego. The junior senator’s parents were not only complicit but participatory in the attempted cover up, issuing a series of “gift” checks to the Hamptons totaling $96,000. The Federal Elections Commission saw fit to take the Ensigns’ expanatory affidavit at face value and dismiss a Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) complaint regarding the payments.
But the saga may not be over, even yet. The sequel and (we can only hope) final episode is pending and tied to the fate Doug Hampton, former Ensign staffer and cuckhold, who now stands indicted on seven counts of illegal lobbying. Should Hampton produce damning evidence of Ensign ethics violations in his own legal defense, as he has hinted he may, the Department of Justice may take a second look at the senator.
In addition, even after Ensign vacates his seat on May 3, the Senate Ethics Committee may release some or all of the evidence it has gathered. This may also motivate the Justice Department to get off its legal duff and move forward with an investigation and possible indictment. Indeed, the committee’s statement yesterday hinted it was in possession of serious findings when it said the resignation of Nevada’s junior senator was “the appropriate decision”.
Many Nevadans disagree, believing Ensign’s so-called appropriate choice came far too long after his initial inappropriate act and subsequent machinations to be considered befitting behavior for a United States Senator. The time for doing the right and proper thing is long past, they say. Their disgraced native son–once on the probable short list for the vice presidency on a near-future national ticket–has done too little, too late.
It is said it is never too late for redemption, but Ensign’s resignation will be an unprecedented, indelible black mark on Nevada’s already tarnished political history books. It is a legacy the already embattled Battle Born State could do without.

More Calls for Ensign’s Resignation Trickle In

By Sean Whaley | 8:08 am April 11th, 2010

(Updated at 10:02 a.m. and again at 10:41 a.m. on April 11, 2010)

CARSON CITY – Despite being described as a “wounded” senator who has not been effective in representing Nevada in Washington, DC, state Republican officials and candidates surveyed by the Nevada News Bureau for the most part are still not calling on U.S. Senator John Ensign, R-Nev., to step down.

Ensign, under the cloud of an ethics investigation over whether he provided inappropriate and possibly illegal help to former administrative assistant Doug Hampton, was called upon to resign earlier this week by two former Clark County GOP officials. Ensign last year acknowledged having an affair with Hampton’s wife.

Among the few Republicans willing to call for Ensign’s resignation was Michael Roberson, candidate for Senate District 5.

“As a taxpayer and constituent, I have heard and read enough to join other Nevadans in calling for Senator Ensign to resign,” said Roberson. “His behavior shows a callous disregard for moral decency, the dignity of his office and for those of us who elected him.”

“I realize that some suggest that we should wait for the Senate Ethics Committee and U.S. Department of Justice investigations to conclude before making such a determination. However, through his own admitted actions, I do not believe Senator Ensign is worthy of the job he currently holds, and that he is in fact letting Nevadans down by continuing to fight for his job,” he said.

Roberson said that whether Senator Ensign is indicted or cleared is a legal matter and not his top concern.

“As an attorney and a member of the Nevada Bar, I certainly respect our legal system, and I believe Senator Ensign does deserve a full, fair and complete investigation,” he said. “However, the behavior he has shown and the decisions he has made make him an unsuitable representative for our state.”

“Our congressional delegation is weakened by this scandal – and therefore, so is our representation in Congress. Nevada taxpayers  deserve better. It is time for Senator Ensign to resign and allow a more suitable and effective Senator to replace him,” he said.

Ira Hansen, a Sparks resident running for Assembly District 32, also said he thinks Ensign should step down.

“I’ve been a big Ensign supporter from Day One,” he said. “I still think very highly of the guy. But I am extremely disappointed in his unfortunate personal behavior.”

“While it is true that Ensign is innocent until proven guilty,” Hansen said, “his violation of his family values positions by having an extramarital affair does justify asking him to step down.”

“Whether his resignation would be in the best interests of the state is a much bigger question,” he said. “It’s a tough call.”

Elizabeth Halseth, candidate for Senate District 9, also agrees it is time for Ensign to go.

“If you cannot lead effectively, there is limit to your success and the success of those you serve,” said Halseth.  “While I applaud Senator Ensign for the great things he has done for our state, I believe he has become ineffective and will ultimately harm our ability to grow.”

Halseth said she believes we need strong elected officials officials who can help Nevada get back on track.

“The people are our strength, and the people have lost faith in Senator Ensign’s ability to lead effectively,” said Halseth.  “For that reason, I believe it’s in the best interest of the people, the party and the state of Nevada that Senator Ensign resigns immediately.”

Calinit Atia, candidate for state Assembly District 22, said she believes elected officials must always put their constituents first and that it may be time for Ensign to consider stepping aside.

“I don’t know if what Dean Heller said is true, but if John Ensign has lost his effectiveness, then yes, I would say he should put the state’s interests before his own and step down,” said Atia.

“These are dark days for John Ensign and his family and the choices he needs to make are not easy, but they are choices that must be made,” she said.  “My heart goes out to his family.”

George Harris, a former chairman and former treasurer of the Clark County Republican party, re-iterated past statements calling for Ensign’s resignation.

“If Ensign continues to be a wasp in the GOP ointment, he will ultimately damage the prospects of those who come out of the primary election,” Harris said.  “The opposition will absolutely use this ethics scandal against all Republicans in the general election.”

“Ensign could save everyone a lot of embarrassment,” Harris said.  “The problem is, he has become the story.  The media and the Democrats are basically turning him into a clown, the longer this drags on and the more facts come to light.”

“From a strategic perspective, as the former head of the Republican Senatorial Committee, Ensign knows that if this was anyone else, he would be the first in line to tell them to resign,” said Harris. “We cannot have this kind of thing hanging over the party. Ensign should discontinue his selfish behavior and resign now.”

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., agreed in television interviews this week that Ensign is a “wounded” junior senator and that Nevada needs a stronger voice in Washington. But he stopped short of calling for Ensign to resign.

In a written statement to the Las Vegas Review Journal, U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian said, “After consideration of the news reports and Congressman Heller’s recent statements — which I take very seriously — I think the issue is that the people of Nevada need to know that Senator Ensign can represent them effectively.”

“I must respectfully say that as the potential Republican nominee, I do not expect to be campaigning with Senator Ensign this fall,” said Tarkanian.

Interviews with a number of other Nevada Republicans do reveal a general reluctance to call for Ensign’s resignation.  The general consensus is that Ensign has not yet been found guilty of any wrongdoing and that he will make the right decision for Nevada when the time comes.

Still, there is acknowledgment that Ensign’s troubles are creating problems for the Republican Party in Nevada because he can’t raise money for candidates or campaign on their behalf.

U.S. Senate John Chachas said, “Senator Ensign has suffered a great deal of personal and professional grief for some self-acknowledged lapses in judgment and behavior. Nevadans should not make sport of tap-dancing on someone’s misery.

“That said, elected officials need to be held to a higher standard. They have to be,” he added.  “I have served on boards of directors in business, and if a senior director had such issues, I would give him or her a nudge and suggest that moving on would be good for the company and shareholders.”

“But this is politics. The only ‘board’ is the electorate every six years. So in the interim, the only thing that matters is the good judgment of the individual,” said Chachas.  “I am confident Sen. Ensign will exercise good judgment for Nevada. His career and reputation are not the issue. The issue is Nevada, and I am confident he will do the right thing in that regard.”

Mike Montandon, gubernatorial candidate and the former mayor of North Las Vegas, said Ensign appears to be a liability for Republican candidates because they are clearly not seeking his endorsement.

But the issue of his resignation is a decision only Ensign can make, he said.

“I’m not going to call for anyone’s resignation,” Montandon said. “If someone in public office can’t make that decision for himself, then something is wrong.”

Montandon also noted that an Ensign resignation, should it occur, raises myriad political issues that could ripple across the state. Whether it would be better before or after the primary and how it might affect the re-election chances of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., are just two of those issues, he said.

State Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Amargosa Valley, said Ensign’s troubles are damaging to the GOP brand, but he added that the inquiries into his actions are still in progress.

“In America we have a system where you are innocent until proven guilty,” he said. “So in the absence of any clear criminal wrongdoing, it would presumptuous of me to be the judge, jury and executioner.”

Democrats are using Ensign’s troubles to their advantage, but ethics issues aren’t unknown to Democrats, Goedhart said. He pointed to New York Rep. Charles Rangel, who is facing an ethics probe of his own.

“Is it reducing Ensign’s effectiveness? Yes,” he said. “Am I calling on him to step down? No. Not unless he has been found guilty of criminal wrongdoing.”

Assemblyman Ty Cobb, R-Reno, a candidate for state Senate, said he believes Ensign will do what is best for the state.

“He has not been charged or convicted, so it is very premature for people to be calling his resignation,” he said.

Assemblyman Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, who is also running for an open state senate seat, said he has stayed out of the controversy but said a resignation could, “throw a monkey wrench into the elections.”

A resignation now would be poor timing, he said.

“We should wait and see what the investigations turn up,” Gustavson said. “Let it take its course. Until then I’m not suggesting we do anything different.”

U.S. Senate candidate Garn Mabey, a former member of the state Assembly, said he would agree with the description of Ensign as a “wounded” senator. But Mabey said he considers Ensign a friend who helped him win his first race for elective office.

“I’m not going to throw him under the bus,” he said.

Mabey said he does not believe Ensign’s troubles will affect other Nevada Republican candidates.

“I think he is a good man,” Mabey said. “It is a decision he has to make.”

U.S. Senate candidate and Assemblyman Chad Christensen said: “This has been an unfortunate situation all the way around. There are two basic issues here. If John Ensign did anything illegal he should resign, if not then voters should decide in 2012 if he should stay.”

Rob Lauer, a candidate for secretary of state, said he believes in loyalty and called Ensign “a great Republican.” It is up to Ensign to decide whether he can continue to be effective in Congress, he said.

“I like him personally,” Lauer said. “He has done a lot of good things for the state. But on a political level as a senator he has an obligation to the people of the state. If he can’t get bills through, if he is not effective for the state, he needs to do what is best for the state.”

Ensign’s troubles are an issue for Nevada Republicans because without them, he could raise money and help GOP candidates, Lauer said. Until the issues facing him are resolved, he can’t be an effective leader for Nevada Republicans, he said.

Craig Lake, candidate for Congressional District 1, declined to comment on the matter. Brian Sandoval, a former federal judge running for governor, also had no comment.

Patrick McNaught, candidate for Senate District 12, and Michelle Fiore, candidate for CD-1, could not be reached for comment. U.S. Senate candidates Sharron Angle also could not be reached.

Former County GOP Officers Get National Media Attention for Op Ed Calling on Ensign to Resign

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:30 pm April 10th, 2010

Such is the power of “new media,” Dear Readers.

Write a scathing op-ed about a prominent Republican senator, convince the publisher of an online news site to post it — and Bam! you’re headlining in stories at Politico, CBS News, the New York Times and (gasp!) even Huffington Post.

Here’s the op-ed piece by former Clark County GOP Chairman Richard Scotti and former Clark County GOP Treasurer Swadeep Nigam.  In was posted Thursday at Nevada News & Views and in a nutshell, it called on Senator John Ensign to resign, like, yesterday.  An excerpt:

“We are on the verge of great victory come November, but the most long-awaited victory can quickly slip through our grasp unless we immediately put the focus back on conservative issues,” they wrote on the blog Nevada News & Views. “We call on all true conservative Republican leaders and activists to speak out now for the resignation of Senator Ensign.”

It was the long-awaited and much-anticipated shot heard ’round the world.  Here we had not one but two Nevada Republicans calling for their scandal-rich embarrassment-of-a-senator to just resign, already.  Their fifteen minutes of fame came quickly and in a big way.

Here’s the New York Times piece titled “Two Nevada Republicans Call for Ensign to Bow Out”

Here’s the Politico piece titled “John Ensign faces increased pressure to quit”

Here’s the CBS News piece titled “Two Top Nevada Republicans Call for Sen. John Ensign to Resign”

Here’s the Las Vegas Sun piece titled “Fellow Republicans call for John Ensign’s resignation”

And here’s the HuffPo piece titled “John Ensign Resignation Calls Mount: Nevada Republicans Call for Senator’s Ouster”

Wowza.  That’s a lotta ink for two guys who don’t even work for the county party anymore.

Nigam agreed and said he is surprised the op-ed went so far, so fast.

“I thought it would stay in the state,” he said.  “I didn’t realize it would end up in the press in New York, DC and LA.”

“Because of the interent these days, I guess these things fly all over the place and can create a political storm,” he added.

But Nigam said he thinks more Nevada Republicans, including those in positions of leadership, should speak out on the Ensign matter.

“The leadership is very quiet, or in some cases there is no leadership,” said Nigam. “We do not even have a state party chairman right now. And we have a governor who is not really in a position to talk about Ensign’s issues.  So others must step up and say what needs to be said.”

“It’s nothing personal,” said Nigam. “I’ve done fund raising for Ensign in the past.  But when not one candidate in the state wants his or her photo taken with you in the midst of campaign season…  Usually candidates are very eager to be seen with their Senator and really count on having that support.”

Nigam left his position as Treasurer for the Clark County GOP in December 2009.  His departure corresponded with the resignation of seven other party officials on a day later referred to as “Black Thursday” by Republican party insiders. The officers and board members all resigned in the heat of controversy and in-fighting.

Nigam served as Assistant Treasurer for the state party for a brief period between December and January and then resigned that position as well.

Charters and Choppers and Strip Clubs, Oh My!

By Elizabeth Crum | 12:19 pm April 10th, 2010

In the interest of fairness vis a vis my earlier post about RNC funds being used to pay for questionable activities, we have this story from FrumForum about the eyebrow-raising use of DNC donor funds.  Opening excerpt:

While RNC chairman Michael Steele faces calls of resignation for questionable expenditures — including meals at a bondage-themed nightclub — it turns out the Democratic National Committee has been spending thousands of its own donor money on luxury hotels, limos and yes, scantily clad go-go dancers, FrumForum has discovered. Further, the DNC has been hiring White House helicopters for party use, while Steele fell into more hot water for even suggesting he might need a private jet.


– Late last year, Democrats partied it up at D.C.’s ‘Josephine’, when they dropped $5,850. The nightclub comes complete with two stripper poles and, according to one reviewer, a “skimpily clothed go-go dancer to feast your eyes on.”

– In just the first two months of this year, the DNC spent half a million dollars on catering, parties, lodging and limos. This includes a staggering $278,478.12 on Hilton hotels; $143,286 on catering from Susan Gage Caterers and Avalon Caterers; $36,956 on lodging at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C.; an $11,154 event at the Kennedy Center; and about $1,500 in limo services.

– The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent $14,098 on car service last year. Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spent $48,270.25 on charter flights and limousines. Democrats even spent $36,874.39 to bring in Austrian celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck three times last year.

– But perhaps the most questionable expense was the DNC’s use of the trappings of the White House for partisan purposes: $232,436.81 spent on White House helicopters and White House In-flight Services since August of last year. The DNC’s White House helicopter expenditures have been unexamined until now because, unlike the RNC, the DNC files some of their travel expenses under a different Federal Elections Commission ID than their other expenses.

Last week I heard a very young man working on his very first campaign for a never-ran-before candidate say it was fun, but he didn’t really understand how politics could be a full time job.

If you’re reading this, my dear boy, please note that politics can not only be a job but one with some really great perks.  Until you get carried away and someone notices.  Then you have to fire a scapegoat or two and tone it down for awhile.

Heller Says Ensign Needs to Be More Forthcoming With Press and Nevada Needs a Stronger Voice in Washington

By Sean Whaley | 2:15 pm April 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., today rejected the suggestion that he call on embattled U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., to resign because of an ongoing ethics investigation.

In an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, host Sam Shad said national and state Republican Party leaders have been criticized by Nevada political consultant Chuck Muth for failing to call for Ensign’s resignation.

“Will you call for Sen. John Ensign to resign?” Shad asked Heller.

“Not on this show,” Heller said. “I’m not going to call today for his resignation. Because John Ensign’s problems are John Ensign’s problems. They are not my problems. My job is to worry about the economy.”

But Heller said he stands by his criticisms of Ensign.

“I think John needs to be more forthcoming on the issues at hand,” he said. “He needs to come in front of the press, come on this show, and talk to you about the issues that are in front of him, and I think that has caused a lot of his problems.

“If John Ensign’s issues impact me politically then yes, I take exception to it,” Heller said.

Asked if Ensign’s political weakness is harming Nevada and the GOP, Heller agreed that the ethics inquiry is taking up much of his time and that Nevada needs a stronger voice in Washington.

“But if you are asking me to come on this show to ask for his resignation I’m not going to do that,” he said.

Heller agreed that having a “wounded junior senator” is cause for concern.

“But what that entails down the road, I don’t really know,” he said.

In the interview, Heller said the No. 1 topic on the minds of Nevadans is the economy and jobs, not health care.

“They are over 19 percent unemployment right now in Lyon County,” he said. “You put a couple of more points on that and you are at depression stages.”

Heller said he voted against the jobs bill recently passed by Congress because the measure contained a tax increase.

“You can’t grow government and create jobs at the same time,” he said. “You can’t raise taxes and create jobs at the same time.”

“Washington needs to get out of the way,” Heller said.

One way Congress could respond to the nation’s economic crisis is by lowering taxes, he said.

“I’d start with the corporate income tax,” Heller said.

But employers aren’t hiring because there is no stability coming from Congress, he said.

“I think there is a way to bring stability back to the process,” Heller said. “And that is to not have single control by one party of both houses and the presidency. And I don’t care if it is Republicans or Democrats.”

Disclosure:  Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach, which provides funding for the Nevada News Bureau.

State GOP Chair Resigns

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:45 pm March 30th, 2010

As I told you was gonna happen (right here on Friday night), Chris Comfort has now very tenderly tendered his resignation citing both family and business reasons.

Uh huh.

I suspect Comfort may have waited until today just to spite everyone — I’d been told The Big Quit would happen yesterday — because one of his many demands of the Executive Board last week was that they keep quiet and allow him to exit gracefully (and control the message) with the timing and content of his resignation letter.  So I imagine he was none too pleased to have the story broken on Friday.

The fact is, four reliable sources called me between last Wednesday and Friday to tell me the resignation was coming and that it was just a matter of working out the How and When.  I waited until I was absolutely sure it was gonna happen and then clicked “Publish.”

Sorry, Chairman, but secrets just don’t keep that long in Nevada politics.