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What's Behind Pres. Trump's Snub Of Governor Sandoval?


(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, left, poses for a photo with Vice President Mike Pence, right, and his wife Karen Pence, center, as he arrives for a luncheon with other governors at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017.

They’re both Republicans but President Donald Trump snubbed Governor Brian Sandoval in Washington recently. The question is: why?

And Harry Reid is returning to politics in a different but big way.

Jon Ralston, political analyst and founder of The Nevada Independent online new site, provides his insight on that and more.

Discussion Highlights:

On the Reid-Boehner think tank:

What I think happened here in the brave new world of the Trump era and the Republican Congress, MGM thought that they better have a Republican to who could match Reid’s stature and looks like they found one in the former speaker.

On why MGM would want to be involved in the think tank:

We can only go by what they said which is they want to have an impact on public policy. They don’t want to be a sideline sitter. They want to be a leader. They want to influence the policy through this think tank and they want to be actively engaged in all manner of policy from here to Washington, D.C.

The company clearly wants to step up and take a higher profile in public policy debates, which we really have not seen happen with the exception being Sheldon Adelson, who has taken a high-profile role in debates about Israel or online gaming.

Support comes from

On Pres. Trump’s snub of Gov. Brian Sandoval at a national meeting of governors:

Brian Sandoval was at this National Governor’s Association meeting as the vice-chair of the National Governor’s Association. He’s going to become the chair in a few months. So, he’s a very prominent figure there. And the administration organized a press conference and not only did they snub all the Democratic governors, but for some reason Brian Sandoval, who was lukewarm on Trump, who expanded Medicaid, was left out of this press conference.

Was this intentional? Was this an accident? I suppose we don’t really know. We can only guess. And my guess is it was no accident.

On State Sen. Yvanna Cancela’s immigration bill:

This is going to be a very, very controversial bill that Sen. Cancela has proposed. The Republicans are already calling it the Sanctuary State bill. She is calling it a bill to increase security for families and law enforcement. This is a tug-of-war that is going on all across the country, which is: what role should local law enforcement have in working with immigration authorities?

She would describe her bill as very reasonable in protecting immigrant and undocumented communities. While people like Michael Roberson, the Senate minority leader, have called it the most reckless bill he’s ever seen in the history of reckless bills – or some such quote.

This is going to be a very, very partisan issue. The key to the whole thing I think are two issues: 1) What will law enforcement do? Roberson says law enforcement is going to oppose it because they don’t want to have handcuffs put on them, so to speak. And the other key is: What will Gov. Sandoval do on this? He’s a law-and-order kind of guy, but could Sen. Cancela get some kind of compromise with the governor’s office?

On the proposal to eliminate the state treasurer and the state controller’s office:

This is (Assemblyman) Elliot Anderson’s bill, and there’s some good arguments for doing in it. In the sense that maybe these are the kinds of jobs that should be elected. That they should have specific qualifications and not be partisan jobs. 


Jon Ralston, founder, The Nevada Independent

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