Gov. Jim Gibbons refuses to take part in satirical review
RENO (AP) – Breaking a longtime tradition, Gov. Jim Gibbons is refusing to take part in the opening video of an annual satirical review of the people that make news across Nevada.
Sheep Dip organizers said they were told by the governor’s staff that Gibbons was offended by the show’s “Veto It” song written to the tune of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”
It’s the first time in the Reno-area show’s 46-year history that a sitting governor has not been in the opening video, said Dave Ruhl, president of Sheep Dip.
“He told one of our assistant executive producers, ‘I don’t care about your 46 years. You can start over again,”‘ Ruhl said.
Sheep Dip had sent the governor a script for the video last September that contained what Ruhl called humorous lyrics written to Jackson’s “Beat It.”
The newspaper reports that the script places the governor at his desk at the opening of the video, saying: “Who put all these bills on my desk? I thought I was done… Jeez.” (Looks at his watch) “Damn, I’ve got a hot date.” (Pondering) “I’ll tell you what I’m gonna do… I’ll veto … just veto!”
The divorce ending Gibbons’ 23-year marriage to Dawn Gibbons is expected to be final by late February. Dawn Gibbons accused her husband of having affairs with a Playboy model and the estranged wife of a Reno doctor – allegations he denied.
Gibbons vetoed bills a record 48 times last session. State lawmakers overrode 25 of the vetoes – also a record.
“We were told by the governor’s office that the governor was offended by the Michael Jackson music and the lyrics, and that we had crossed the line by making it personal,” Ruhl said.
Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns said the governor found the original script for the video to be in “very poor taste” and he did not want to “mock the death” of Jackson.
Burns said Gibbons was told that another script would be sent to him, but “that was the last we heard from them.”
Ruhl said this year’s show is meant to be a tribute to the late pop singer.
Kathy Breen, the show’s executive producer, said Gibbons took part in last year’s opening video and it was “much more personal.”
“We thought, ‘This is a no-brainer. The governor is proud of his veto record so he’ll love this,”‘ Breen told the Gazette-Journal.
The video, with an unidentified person filling in for Gibbons, is still part of the show, she said.
The show, whose proceeds go to charity, is Friday night and Saturday night.