Gov. Dudley Do-Right and the two pieces of cheese

Special Internet Edition, 11-24-2002

Gov. Dudley Do-Right is getting a lesson in basic animal science. You may remember from high school biology that a rat placed equi-distant between two pieces of cheese will starve to death. It doesn't have the brainpower to make a decision as to which way to turn.

Gov. Kenny Guinn now knows how that rat feels. Right after his overwhelming re-election against non-funded State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, the guv stated he now has a mandate to raise taxes.

His right wing immediately went ballistic. The GOP has a stranglehold on the state senate and is close to parity in the assembly. Further sticking a gimlet in Dudley's ribs, Republican GOP assemblymembers elected anti-tax Sharron Angle, R-Reno, to a leadership post. Chuckling colleagues wonder if Dudley and Dema will invite the charming but dogmatic Angle to any strategy sessions at the governor's mansion.

Guinn also had the nutso editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal come down on his head for the mandate remark. They don't want any taxes raised until state employees and teachers have been placed in poverty with their retirement funds severely diminished.

Guinn immediately went into damage control mode. Leaning toward the cheese on the right, he noted that perhaps he did not agree with his own tax study commission which reported that Nevada is facing a Red Sea of red ink.

He then nodded to the piece on the left by reiterating the state's looming deficits. Maybe he will choose the easy way out — run against U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Statewide campaigns now take three years and Reid's up in 2004. Guinn's tax study body already fired the first volley for him by asserting that Nevada does not get its fair share of federal pork, something which Reid has always prided himself on packing home. (The senator's office has been curiously silent on the issue.)

On July 7, I compared Guinn to Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., whose political career collapsed when he was finally forced to make a major decision on an issue which could not be papered over with press releases: the medfly infestation. Now, Dudley is facing his own medfly crisis.

Do mounties or medflies eat cheese?

OLYMPIC CHAMPION. Soon. She has received little mention in any of the three Washoe County newspapers, but a young Carson City woman is on her way to an Olympic berth.

Carson High senior Lauren Costella is a two-time national champion, winning the 2001 and 2002 titles in the 1,500-meter freestyle at the United States Summer National Swimming Championships. She was recently named to the World University Games team and the national sanctioning body for the sport, USA Swimming, has honored her as an academic All-American.

The Carson City Nevada Appeal reported that "Costella was among four female swimmers and five swimmers overall to receive a perfect score of 250. The five swimmers that received perfect scores all won national titles and had 4.0 grade point averages."

Lauren Costella is the daughter of Danny Costella, business representative of Sparks Ironworkers Union Local 118. Last week, the beaming father announced to his colleagues that his prodigious daughter has accepted a scholarship to attend Stanford University.

CHARTER CABLE UPDATE. Last week, the Reno City Council selected seven citizen volunteers to serve on the city's new Citizens Cable Compliance Committee. Named to two-year terms were Karol Gorman, Jackie Inman, Kathleen M. Marshall, Barbara A. Stone and Noel E. Thornsberry. Serving three years before the mast will be Peter Padilla and the rabble rouser who had the idea to start the thing, an obscure writer named Barbano.

The council chose a good cross-section of people with diverse skills from among 27 applicants, some of whom were ineligible because they live outside the Reno city limits. Washoe County residents who wish to serve on the county's panel should contact John Balentine at (775) 328-2280. Washoe has five members, each selected by a member of the county commission. Washoe's franchise with Charter Communications expires March 31. Reno's expires later next year, Sparks is a few years away.

It is thus high time for the Sparks City Council to establish its own consumer panel to coordinate with the other bodies. Several good people are waiting to apply. For updates on the issues, keep an eye on

CUTTING THE GRASS. George Orwell would love this. You may well have heard that the organization which got the medical marijuana issue on this month's statewide ballot called itself "Nevadans for Responsible Law Enforcement." You may not know that the outfit formed to defeat Question 9 was named "The Committee to Keep Nevada Respectable."

The latter snuffed medical marijuana, sure as the Lord made little green meadows. Now, they need a new crusade. Should we outlaw gambling? Prostitution? Alcohol? I've got just the thing...

MARRIAGE PROTECTION REVISITED. On Nov. 5, Nevadans ensconced forever in the state constitution a passage making certain expressions of human love illegal. Can we now, as proponents of Question 2 asserted, rest assured that marriage has been properly protected and is therefore now safe? Nope. I thus call upon all the proselityzers of queer-bashing Q-2 to step forward with a new initiative. I volunteer to be the first to sign a petition making divorce illegal in Nevada.

THE PRICE IS RIGHT. Dennis Myers' splendid column in last Friday's Tribune about former Assemblyman Bob Price, D- North Las Vegas, left out one important fact. He and his wife, former University and Community College System of Nevada Regent Nancy Price, have relocated to beautiful downtown Sparks. After all these years, downtown redevelopment is finally showing some positive results.

Be well. Raise hell. | U-News | C.O.P. | Sen. Joe Neal
Guinn Watch | Deciding Factors


© 2002 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 34-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of and He hosts Deciding Factors on several Nevada television stations. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.)Tribune since 1988.

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