July 14, 2010

Tarkanian to lead petition drive

From the RJ:

Defeated U.S. Senate candidate Danny Tarkanian will lead Gov. Jim Gibbons' petition drive in Southern Nevada to require that collective bargaining negotiations for schools and local governments be conducted in public. ...

Under the petition, local governments, school districts and unions bargaining on behalf of public employees would be required to follow the open meeting law. That means they would have to post notices of meetings and allow members of the public to meet and speak.

Despite the transparency this petition would promote, we have expressed concerns about the Governor's involvement in the past. The law is clear that a public official cannot "cause a governmental entity to incur an expense or make an expenditure" in support or opposition to a ballot initiative.

However, if Gov. Gibbons is able to make sure no state resources are used to promote this petition, it will go a long way in erasing any potential ethical issues.

The group has until November 9th to collect 97,002 signatures. We'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.