Author: Thomas Mitchell

What Evidence Is Pertinent in Bundy Trials?

Pardon us plebs, but we are a tad bit confused about just what is admissible evidence in the Bunkerville standoff trials. This past week, about a month into the second of three scheduled trials, the judge declared a mistrial because the prosecution had failed to timely turn over potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. Federal Judge Gloria Navarro listed six instances in which prosecutors willfully withheld evidence — including information about an FBI surveillance camera, documents citing the presence of snipers, certain maps, FBI logs, threat assessments that showed the Bundys weren’t violent and internal affairs documents detailing possible...

Read More

Nevada Still Leads Nation in Public Worker Pay

Once again Nevada has earned a worst-in-the-nation ranking. An analysis of 2016 payroll data by Key Policy Data found Nevada’s state and local public employees are the least productive in the country, according to a news account by Watchdog.org. Though researcher J. Scott Moody found that Nevada’s state and local governments employed only 11.7 people per every 100 workers in the taxpaying private sector, the lowest ratio in the nation and well below the national average of 15.7, Nevada pays those “public servants” far more than the private sector, the highest in the nation. Public employees were paid 54 percent more than their counterparts in the private sector, which is 295 percent higher than the national average of 14 percent. The gap has grown like topsy, from only 6 percent in 1969 to today’s 54 percent. Moody said the driving factor for the gap are the benefits provided public employees, many growing due to union contracts. In state and local benefits Nevada public employees were provided 286 percent more than those in the private sector, the highest benefit gap in the country, while the national average was 127 percent. “It is unfair to private sector workers because they are ultimately footing the bill for these very generous benefits,” Moody said. “Additionally, it hurts the private sector overall because it distorts the labor market as workers are enticed into the...

Read More

Bundy Case Secrecy Being Rightfully Challenged

Though the most recent trial of four defendants in the April 2014 standoff between armed protesters and Bureau of Land Management agents trying to confiscate Cliven Bundy’s cattle ended in a mistrial, the case will stand as a historic example of how sweeping secrecy can cast doubt on whether justice is being served. This past week U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro halted testimony in the trial and sent the jurors home while she heard arguments behind closed doors over whether the prosecution had failed to provide the defense with potentially exculpatory evidence quickly enough. The judge said the prosecution’s...

Read More

It is Time for Rep. Kihuen to Step Down

For the sake of the citizens of the 4th Congressional District of Nevada, it is time for Ruben Kihuen to resign. As if the allegations of sexual harassment of a staffer during the 2016 campaign weren’t bad enough, Kihuen has turned himself into a pariah in the already minority Democratic Party by basically calling his party leaders liars. His effectiveness for his constituents is now nil. According to a report by BuzzFeed, a female Kihuen campaign staffer quit in April 2016 after the candidate started propositioning her for dates and sex despite her repeated rejections, and he twice touched her thighs without her consent. The woman said the propositions became more frequent and more aggressive and Kihuen asked her if she had ever “cheated on her boyfriend.” She said the candidate offered to get them a hotel room together while campaigning. She was quoted as saying, “I said ‘no’ very firmly and he just laughed at me. It was humiliating.” Though he says he does not recall the described events, Kihuen was quoted as saying, “The staff member in question was a valued member of my team. I sincerely apologize for anything that I may have said or done that made her feel uncomfortable.” Fellow Nevada Democratic Reps. Dina Titus and Jacky Rosen severely upbraided the 37-year-old, unmarried Kihuen. “Many believed Ruben had great potential, but unfortunately his personal...

Read More

Give the Gift of Knowledge about Nevada

Christmas is coming and you’re still scratching your head over just what to get for that special Nevada friend or family member. How about a gift that will keep giving for years to come — a book, specifically a book about Nevada and/or the West? A couple of the newest additions to this narrow genre are David Philipps’ “Wild Horse Country” and Range magazine’s “The Good, the Bad and the Bovine.” Philipps explores the history of the wild horse in the West with a number of stops along the way in Nevada. He also addresses the issue of feral...

Read More