Policy, politics and progressive commentary
“END the Gas Tax and HELP local Nevadans out at the pump. VOTE for Jim Marchant in 2022 and get gas prices back down!”
Finally, a politician who will lower gas prices. Jim Marchant, who recently tweeted the preceding statement, must be one heckuva can-do sort of guy.
Alas, if Marchant manages to get elected to the office he is seeking, he will be in a position to do absolutely exactly and beyond a shadow of a doubt nothing at all in any way whatsoever that would remotely have even the most miniscule impact on the price of gasoline.
Marchant, you see, is running to be Nevada’s secretary of state.
That office (unlike, say, lieutenant governor) does have several important responsibilities, the most notable being the competent supervision of free and fair elections in Nevada.
Marchant is a Trumper conspiracy theorist who believes the 2020 election was stolen by a planetary cabal that manipulated voting machines. He is one of several loud-mouthed conspiracy enthusiasts nationwide running for offices that will be in charge of elections, the better to make sure that the next time Trump runs for president, his glorious victory will not be deprived merely because of some extraneous technicality like failing to have enough votes.
Lately Marchant has been barnstorming rural Nevada counties to tell them George Soros has secretly infiltrated their election systems so … Trump’s huge victories in their counties in the last two presidential elections were illegitimate? Just kidding, that’s not Marchant’s “point.” He’s merely trying to discredit democracy any way he can because that’s popular with Republicans and he wants to win an election while we still have them.
Yes, Marchant’s is an immoral and anti-American mission. But whether he’s been suckered in and believes all the global deep state conspiracy garbage that oozes from his piehole or he’s just saying that stuff because it’s what sells these days, it is, albeit in a vile and perverse way, related to the job he’s seeking.
Gas prices aren’t though.
Neither are inflation and supply chain problems, school choice, the Thacker Pass lithium project, the cost of housing, and school mascots, some of the other topics over which Marchant has suggested that, if elected, he would exert influence. Which he would not.
International relations, diplomacy and the provision of U.S. military assistance are also subjects which fall squarely outside the Nevada secretary of state’s portfolio. Yet Marchant, while campaigning for that office, observed that Ukraine Pres. Vladimir Zelesnky “is no different than Biden, Clinton, Obama and that cabal.”
Marchant has provided no proof of 2020 election fraud, but he is convincingly demonstrating that “cabal” is his favorite fancy word.
Many fellow conspiro-trash peddlers seeking public office have endorsed Marchant’s candidacy in the Republican primary, because of course they have. Adam Laxalt, for instance. And Michele Fiore.
Fiore, you may recall, was running to actually be the governor of an actual state. Nevada, specifically. But she chickened out and scurried to a less-crowded, presumably more winnable GOP primary, and is running to be Nevada’s state treasurer.
The scandals, messes and humiliations Fiore has started, stepped in or starred in over the years are far too numerous to mention in a single column, especially one that isn’t really about her. She is seemingly under perpetual investigation for some money-related shenan or other, most recently campaign finance irregularities. As I’ve observed elsewhere, if she is elected state treasure the state of Nevada’s most urgent priority will be statutorily stripping that office of as many responsibilities as is constitutionally possible in an effort to keep the number of ensuing investigations in the low teens.
But I digress…
Like Marchant, Fiore does not shy from non sequiturs in her quest for a reliable full-time salary, er, to become state treasurer.
“Fight back on BIDENFLATION! VOTE Republican and Michele Fiore in 2022!” she recently tweeted. Maybe she’s just confused, and thinks she filed to run for treasurer of the United States. That position might offer some, albeit very limited, power over decisions that might conceivably influence inflation. The office of treasurer of Nevada, however, is as relevant to consumer prices as Marchant is to the price of gas. Which is to say not at all.
Well, it’s Fiore. Not even her supporters take her seriously.
But they might be misled by her.
“We need to eliminate Nevada’s deficit and balance the budget!,” she exclaimed in another recent social media declaration.
A state treasurer will be involved in monitoring deficits and surpluses, but revenue and spending are set by legislators and the governor. The influence of a state treasurer on deficits and surpluses, inasmuch as it exists at all, is (sorry, state Treasurer Zach Conine) teensy weensy.
That de minimis influence would be even smaller if Fiore had the job, because, again, everyone in state government will be doing all they can to keep her mitts as far away as possible from, well, everything and anything that matters.
But more importantly, as anyone who is the sort of person who makes it this far into one of my columns assuredly knows, in Nevada as in the vast majority of states, the state is constitutionally required to have a balanced budget. Fiore can’t “eliminate Nevada’s deficit” because it is unconstitutional for the state to have a budget deficit in the first place.
What is Fiore even talking about?
That’s a rhetorical question. Nobody cares.
On the bright side (where I’m always looking), if Marchant and Fiore win their primaries and then Republicans sweep the statewide offices in the general election, Secretary of State Marchant and Treasurer Fiore will be two more Stranger Things, of what will assuredly be several, to keep Joe Lombardo up at night wondering what the hell he was thinking when he let those fancy pants consultants sweet-talk him into running for governor.
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