Committee carpet-bombs Ballardini Ranch

Special Internet Extra Edition 4-16-2005
Updated 5-7-2005

SB 326 will be heard before the Assembly Judiciary Committee
at 8:00 a.m on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.
Call, fax and/or e-mail lawmakers NOW to oppose SB 326.
Contact info hereinbelow

Latest update
Download the latest version of the bill.
Download the amendment passed by senate voice vote on April 22.

Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute endorse an alternative measure (AB 143) proposed by an Assembly Democrat
Assembly Bill 143 unanimously passes lower house 42-0
Las Vegas Sun 4-20-2005

AB 143 will be heard on May 11 before the State Senate Committee on Judiciary
Contact info hereinbelow

CARSON CITY — If you read in the Saturday, April 16, Reno Gazette-Journal that the revised Senate Bill 326 would still allow public domain acquisition of the Ballardini Ranch, you were grotesquely misinformed. The RGJ stood alone among Nevada media in so stating. I was in the room, heard the debate and read Sen. Terry Care's amendments. The only accurate part of journalist Anjeannette Damon's report was Assemblywoman Sheila Leslie's comment, "this is war."

Care misrepresents bill content to fellow senators: "SB 326 would prohibit state and local governments from using eminent domain authority to acquire property for open-space or wildlife habitat preservation, but Care said that wouldn't block acquisition for a park or for flood control."

Associated Press 4-22-2005

Sen. Care's amendment was not made available to the Great Unwashed before the committee opened its April 15 work session. Mr. Care, D-Gomorrah South, added some language to section 2, the genuflection to Las Vegas' Fremont Street fiasco, which has provided the emotional and political cover driving SB 326. The revisions probably amount to no more than fresh lipstick applied to this particular pig (no disrespect intended to Mother Nature's worthy barnyard animals or pork products).

RGJ reporter Damon's confusion probably came from Sen. Care's rambling and mumbled justification for his bill at the top of the discussion. In a later response to a question from Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, Mr. Care dismissed Sen. Washington's concerns as issues which would have to be settled by the courts anyway.

Lawyers should rejoice at this job creation act.

Sen. Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas, expressed unstated reservations about the bill but said she would support it in order to get it to the senate floor. Translation: She voted "amend and do pass as amended" as a courtesy to Sen. Care notwithstanding the substantial demerits of the legislation.

The most curious comment came from Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon. He stated that he was aware of abuses contradictory to the testimony of Pamela Wilcox, administrator of the Nevada Division of State Lands. (Wilcox "noted eminent domain is seldom used by the state 'but it's still an essential tool in our tool kit.'" — Associated Press 4-7-2005.)

Sen. McGinness did not elaborate on his evidence.

Committee Chair Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, noted that Assembly Bill 143 was "coming over" from the lower house and that the committee would fully consider its provisions vis-a-vis Sen. Care's bill. He noted his intentions to invite principal sponsors of the assembly measure, which enjoys bi-partisan majority sponsorship in both houses, including the endorsements of Sens. Amodei and Care.

AB 143 applies to redevelopment districts such as the Fremont Steet Experience, location of Nevada's most notorious confiscation which resulted in years of litigation. Perhaps that's one abused "park" to which Sen. McGinness referred. The downtown Las Vegas project has been such a failure that it was declared a public park as a subterfuge to legalize additional corporate welfare subsidies from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Meanwhile, Clark County's production of actual parklands remains abysmal at less than half the national average.

Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, did not comment. Freshman Sen. Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas, may have made a brief point, but I did not retain it. (Reviewing the amendment on the fly while talking with others occasionally diverts concentration for those lacking three ears.)

Six members of the committee voted "do pass as amended" with only Sen. Horsford dissenting.

If the bill is passed by the full senate, it may end up in the Assembly Judiciary Committee, chaired by Assemblyman Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks. However, there is no guarantee that Mr. Anderson's committee will get the bill. Assembly rules are not as strict as those of the senate with respect to committee jurisdiction.

If SB 326 becomes law in its current form, it opens state government and Nevada municipalities to high-handed blackmail by land speculators.

Please let your state and local officials know where you stand. And stay tuned.

Be well. Raise hell.

UPDATE MAY 6, 2005 — Ballardini developers wrote the key section of SB 326, which passed the Senate Committee on Judiciary 6-1 on April 15 (with only Sen. Steven Horsford, D-N. Las Vegas, in opposition) and a senate voice vote on April 22. It passed a roll call vote in the senate 16-4 with one excused on April 25. (Sens. Raggio, Titus, Lee and Horsford were opposed. The bill was recalled later in the day and Sens. Mathews, Townsend and Rhoads changed their votes to opposition, so the final passage goes into the record books as 12-7 with one absent and one excused.)

Senate Bill 326 has been forwarded to the lower house and assigned to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. A hearing is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.

Bill to pave over Ballardini Ranch advances in state Senate
Associated Press 4-22-2005

Read more about it. Go to

Smoking Guns

To e-mail the entire Nevada State Senate at once, highlight, copy and paste the following addresses into your e-mail send box. Remember to retain the commas.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,



Mark Amodei, R-Carson City/Lyon/Storey/Washoe
(775) 684-1470
Bob Beers, R, Clark District 6
(775) 684-1475
Barbara Cegavske, R, Clark District 8
(775) 684-1445
Warren B. Hardy, R, Clark District 12
(775) 684-1462
Joe Heck, R, Clark District 5
(775) 684-1457
William J. Raggio, R, Washoe District 3
(775) 684-1419
Dean A. Rhoads, R
Northern Nevada Senatorial District
(775) 684-1447
Sandra Tiffany, R, Clark District 5
(775) 684-1481
Randolph J. Townsend, R, Washoe District 4
(775) 684-1450
Maurice Washington, R-Sparks
(775) 684-1480
Mike McGinness, R-Fallon/Central Nevada
(775) 684-1442
Dennis Nolan, R, Clark 9
(775) 684-1421

Terry Care, D, Clark District 7
(775) 684-6503
Maggie Carlton, D, Clark District 2
(775) 684-1431
Bob Coffin, D, Clark District 10
(775) 684-1427
Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas
(775) 684-1429
John Lee, D, Clark District 1
(775) 684-1424
Bernice Mathews, D, Washoe District 1
(775) 673-2086
Michael Schneider, D, Clark District 11
(775) 684-6502
Dina Titus, D, Clark District 7
(775) 684-6504
Valerie Wiener, D, Clark District 3
(775) 684-1422

Watch and/or listen to live senate floor proceedings
with Windows Media Player

AB 143, which will actually fix the problems encountered in downtown Las Vegas, unanimously passed the Assembly and has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee which will hear it at 8:00 a.m. on May 11, 2005.

Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute endorse AB 143
Assembly Bill 143 unanimously passes lower house 42-0

Mark Amodei, Chair, Carson City
(775) 684-1470

Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, Vice-Chair
(775) 684-1480

Mike McGinness, R-Fallon
(775) 684-1442

Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas
(775) 684-1421

Terry Care, D-Las Vegas
(775) 684-6503

Steven Horsford, D-North Las Vegas
(775) 684-1429

Valerie Wiener, D-Las Vegas
(775) 684-1422


SB 326 will be heard before the Assembly Judiciary Committee at 8:00 a.m on Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Bernie Anderson, D-Sparks, Chair
(775) 684-6563

Barbara Buckley 684-8537
Marcus Conklin 684-8505
Susan Gerhardt 684-8855
Assemblyman William Horne (D-Las Vegas),
principal sponsor of AB 143, 684-8847

Mark Manendo 684-8801
Harry Mortenson 684-8803
John Oceguera 684-8595
Genie Ohrenschall 684-8819

Francis Allen 684-8829
Sharron Angle 684-8848
John Carpenter 684-8831
Brooks Holcomb 684-8559
Garn Mabey 684-8827

To e-mail the entire committee at once, highlight, copy and paste the following addresses into your e-mail send box. Remember to retain the commas.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Additional legislative contact information

General Legislative Phone Numbers
Northern Nevada 1-775-684-6789, 1-775-684-6800
Southern Nevada 1-702-486-2626
Statewide Toll Free 1-800-978-2878 OR 1-800-995-9080 or 1-800-992-0973
By Fax:
Nevada Senate 1-775-684-6500
Nevada Assembly 1-775-684-8533
By U.S. Mail:
Nevada Legislature
401 S. Carson Street
Carson City, NV 89701-4747
Nevada Legislature
555 E. Washington Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
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Copyright © 2005 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 36-year Nevadan and webmaster of The opinions expressed hereinabove are strictly his own. Responses to the issues raised are welcome and may be posted. Any respondents who wish comments kept confidential need only ask.


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