Gibbons denies political ploy |

Gibbons denies political ploy

Associated Press

Gov. Jim Gibbons says only a “moron” would accuse him of calling a special session as a political ploy and that Democratic legislators who have criticized the move are “whining.”

Top Democratic lawmakers contend the Republican governor, who last week reversed himself and announced a special session starting Monday to deal with a huge budget shortfall, was trying to deflect attention from his marital problems.

Asked by a Las Vegas newspaper about that claim, Gibbons said Wednesday, “You would have to be a moron to suggest that, because if you have lived in this state for the last year, watched the budget and the shortfalls to our state government rise as they have, you would know this is a critical time for the state of Nevada.”

The first-term governor said he has done all he could to trim the budget to cope with steadily rising shortfalls in revenue.

“We’ve done what we thought was allowable for the executive branch of government,” he said. “Now we need to have some of these changes that require legislative approval coordinated with the Legislature. Now is the time to act, and it requires the Legislature to step up to the plate.”

“I find it funny that even the press doesn’t recall all of the hue and cry by some of the Democrats about not being included in the decisions about changing the state budget,” he said, referring to previous cuts. “Only now when they are asked to be included, they’re whining about it.”

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, reiterated Wednesday that the special session is “a stunt to divert attention from his personal life.” Gibbons is seeking a divorce, and first lady Dawn Gibbons has said he’s involved with the estranged wife of a Reno doctor.

Buckley added that Gibbons met June 12 with legislative leaders, including herself, and told them there would be no special session. The next day he changed his mind.