Guy Farmer: Is Nevada turning into East California?
Thankfully, the 2019 legislative session will end on Monday before a pack of “progressive” Las Vegas Democrats can turn the Silver State into “East California,” as former State Controller Ron Knecht once suggested. I thought Knecht was joking at the time, but perhaps he wasn’t.
Legislative examples abound of proposed bills that would have turned the rest of Nevada’s cities and counties into suburbs of Las Vegas, which is becoming more and more like Southern California. Let’s start with SB533, a bill written by the marijuana industry that seemed at first glance to require Nevada cities and counties to open more pot shops and/or pot lounges throughout the state, even in 13 of 17 (including Carson) counties that voted against the commercialization of “recreational” pot. It was difficult to find “opt-out” provisions in the first draft of SB533.
Fortunately, drug-free heads prevailed and obnoxious portions of the toxic bill were eliminated, thanks in large part to Las Vegas casinos that reject recreational weed and pot lounges because ex-President Obama’s Drug Enforcement Administration classified marijuana as an illegal Schedule One “dangerous drug.” So much for Chief Pot Pusher Tick Segerblom’s announced plan to turn Vegas into “Amsterdam West,” and his hope the rest of the state would follow suit. No thanks!
Here in Carson, the only county to approve pot shops against the will of local voters, Mayor Bob Crowell and our four elected supervisors have established a limit of two legal pot shops, which is two more than we need. Fortunately, 60 of 63 existing Nevada pot shops are in Reno (12) or Las Vegas (48); everyone else has opted-out, as have a solid majority of cities and counties in other states that have legalized recreational marijuana, including California and Colorado. Carson City should have opted out by rejecting spurious “Rule of Law” arguments.
The Las Vegas-dominated Legislature also considered legislation that would have turned the Silver State into a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants, as California Gov. Gavin Newsom has done. Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford did his best to emulate Newsom by advocating open borders and the elimination of ICE, which provides border security by enforcing our flawed federal immigration laws. Congress could fix the border crisis but won’t because Democrats don’t want to give President Trump a “victory.”
Fortunately, Gov. Steve Sisolak vetoed a bill that would have required Nevada electors to cast ballots for the winner of the national popular vote, thereby eliminating Electoral College protections for small states like Nevada against the tyranny of the majority. The minute the Electoral College disappears we might just as well petition to become part of California.
In their far-sighted wisdom, our Founding Fathers established the Electoral College while the 10th Amendment to the Constitution declares “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution… are reserved to the States.” Amen!
Just so I’m not 100 percent negative I want to commend the Legislature, Sisolak and our congressional delegation for continuing to oppose the storage of nearly 80,000 tons of highly radioactive nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Southern Nevada. Ever since I started writing this column in 1996 part of the federal government — mostly Republicans — and the powerful nuclear energy industry have been trying to dump the nation’s nuclear waste on Nevada because “it’s a desert and no one lives there.” I dare Energy Secretary Rick Perry and other Yucca Mountain proponents to put their toxic proposal on the Nevada ballot.
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.