Nevada’s vaunted Blue Wave was a spray bottle of Windex.
You could have won bar bets on last week’s political races with no more knowledge than which party registered the most voters in a district.
Statewide, all the Donkeykongs won save secretary of state candidate Nelson Araujo, defeated by incumbent Wicked Witch of Voter Suppression Barbara Cegavske. He failed to raise the issue. (See below.)
The victories of Gov.-elect Steve Sisolak and U.S. Sen.-elect Jacky Rosen reinforce my Oct. 17 comment about weakness at the top. Given a Democratic registration edge of more than 100,000, they should have landslided their opponents
In Washoe County, the partisan split was just as predictable. Only Assemblymember Skip Daly, D-Sparks, prevailed in a GOP district, as did just two other Gomorrah South legislative candidates. Two D’s also survived “non-partisan” races in Republican jurisdictions, Reno Councilmember Naomi Duerr and Kalie Work who beat incumbent County Recorder Lawrence Burtness.
ONCE PER CENTURY. The hills of Nevada are littered with the bones of mayors who ran statewide, e.g., Oran Gragson, Bill Briare and Jan Jones of Las Vegas; Roy Bankofier and Pete Sferrazza of Reno. Add long-ago Clark County Commissioner Hank Thornley.
But not current Clark Commission Chair Sisolak who joins Reno Mayor Richard Kirman as the only two who made the jump.
I’ve polled this issue. Locals usually don’t view officials they encounter frequently in a gubernatorial light. As one Washoe commissioner told me years ago, “every time I vote on something, I’ve made someone mad at me for life.”
Kirman let things cool off, serving as mayor in 1907-1909 and governor 1935-1939.
YELLOW DOGS. In the mid-1970s, a campaign memorabilia collector displayed some of his huge stash in the foyer of the Nevada Legislature. The Associated Press asked had he noticed any trends over 200 years. Yes, yellow loses most often, red-white-blue wins. Of course, most campaigns use the colors of the American flag, but I’ve kept a tally every election year and his anecdotal observation has proven prescient.
This year, six winners and 15 losers used yellow. (Sisolak vs. Adam Laxalt is a push because both used yellow-ish. Likewise both sides of Question 3.)
BLAST FROM THE PAST. Light-Gov.-elect Kate Marshall would have wiped the floor with incumbent Republican U.S. Sen Dean Heller had former Sen. Harry Reid, D-Searchlight, allowed her into the race. My dear friend Kate deployed a secret weapon. United Auto Workers legend, boxing historian and César Chávez NevadaLabor.com Hall-of-Famer George “Battling” Nelson (1932-2016) was the distinguished older gentleman appearing behind Kate in the final scene of all her TV spots.
Organized labor, the Reno-Sparks NAACP and the Great Basin Youth Soccer League dedicated the final Johnson-Jeffries Heavyweight Fight of the Century memorial in Nelson’s honor at Moana Springs last August. With the old fighter in her corner, Kate couldn’t lose.
BLASTING THE DEMS. Longtime Democratic Party stalwart Laurie Haley, wife of former Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley, was reportedly working the phones at Demo HQ. And telling voters to support Republican Darin Balaam for her husband’s old job. She need not have bothered. Republicans enjoy a substantial voter registration edge in Washoe which complemented Balaam’s financial superiority and made him a safe bar bet.
RUMBLE IN THE GREEN FELT JUNGLE. My spies report that perhaps as many as 100 workers have been laid off at downtown Reno’s Eldorado Hotel-Casino. I’d like to hear from anyone pink-slipped. E me or call (775) 786-1455. All replies confidential, of course.
LEO DUROCHER DEPT. The baseball hall-of-famer legendarily said that “nice guys finish last.” I know of at least seven candidates, including Araujo, who had silver bullets and proved too timid to shoot.
It is thus fitting that U.S. House of Representatives Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, D-California, said on election night that “impeachment’s off the table.”
As my old friend, talk radio legend and former Tribune colleague in columny Travus T. Hipp used to say, “when there’s a fight, liberals cut and run.”
Painfully true in this case. Again. As I wrote when she did the same in 2006, defending the president against impeachment eats of up half of his time, as evidenced by the Clinton fiasco. Bush and puppeteer Cheney would thus have done less damage in their final two years.
No less than Czar Donaldov might say that unilateral surrender of major leverage demonstrates incompetence in the art of the deal.
THE NEW MATH. Today, we live in the alternate universe of untrue truths and alternative facts. No less an institution than Macy’s Department Store has gotten into the act. They’ve advertised a one-day sale. Last Monday thru today.
George Orwell, call your office.
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 50-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com. E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.