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Surprising Stories And Political Intrigue Part of Nevada State Legislature Start

The Nevada State Legislature kicked off Monday and already it is some people shaking their heads.

Before the lawmakers even gathered in Carson City, there was word of an alleged extortion plot being investigated in Las Vegas among Assembly Republicans.

And then, nine state lawmakers let authorities know they are carrying concealed weapons, bringing derision from one fellow Republican. Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Washoe, made fun of his security-minded colleagues.

“It is possible a future Assembly Floor Session could turn into the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral — especially if certain righteous patriots in the body feel slighted by Speaker (John) Hambrick,” Hickey wrote on his blog.

The lawmaker who has been making headlines for months also came up in Hickey’s blog. Of Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, a Las Vegas Republican who claimed gender discrimination after she was elevated to a political leadership position, then demoted, then elevated, then demoted again, Hickey wrote:

“Finally, there is no truth to the rumor … that Assembywoman Michele Fiore is going to nominate from the Floor sometimes-Republican Chuck Muth as Assembly Speaker.”

Muth, president of Citizen Outreach, is attempting to force the recall of several lawmakers for not coming out strongly enough against new taxes.

On the Democratic side of the aisle, Democrat State Senator Debbie Smith of Sparks announced she will miss the sessions start due to a “serious health issue.”

Smith is introducing a bill that would ban people who have been convicted of domestic abuse from owning guns.

Political columnist Steve Sebelius told KNPR's State of Nevada the extortion investigation is the talk of the legislature with lawmakers wondering who might be listening to conversations.

Sebelius also said the sideshows at Legislature are a distraction, but ultimately won't change the work that needs to be done.

"I don't think the sideshow will impact the outcome," Sebelius said.


Steve Sebelius, political columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal
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Steve Sebelius, political columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.