June 2, 2011

Transparency Review (5/30 - 6/3)

• Making sense of Nevada's fiscal state could be made easier following Gov. Sandoval's signing of AB276. The bill "will require [the State Controller's office] to post data concerning the expenditures and revenues of the state, including a table displaying all revenues received during each month from certain sources; a table displaying all expenditures made each month for certain purposes; a graph displaying certain cumulative expenditures by month during the current biennium and the immediately preceding biennium; and additional information as well."

• Political scientist Chris Bonneau makes the case for judicial elections. He argues by insulating judges from the electorate, it also insulates them from having to follow the law and the Constitution.

• The Las Vegas Sun's J. Patrick Coolican rails against term limits, claiming it deprives the state of knowledgeable and invested lawmakers.

• A Reno Gazette-Journal investigation finds almost 700 state employees currently  and legally  drawing both a paycheck and retirement pay.

• The world of campaign finance law received a jolt last week after a Virginia judge ruled that corporations can directly donate to candidates. The judge applied the logic of the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision and held that corporations are as much entitled to free-speech rights as citizens. However, it now appears the judge is walking back his decision in light of a 2003 Supreme Court decision in which the Court upheld a ban on corporation donations to candidates.