Nevada has been fortunate to have many competent governors. One was certainly Kenny Guinn. I had known him from his early years as Superintendent of the Clark County School System where he had been a super star.
In talking with Guinn on many occasions he described the role of Nevada’s governor and said “You have to understand that the governor has very little power – that the governor cannot really affect the direction of the state. The governor’s day to day job is to operate the state and that does not call for bold and creative decisions.” The control of the purse strings is in the legislature.
I am not a political scientist. But I do know one very important concept. He who controls the money controls the mission.
For forty years, Senator Bill Raggio gathered power on a regular basis and became more powerful than any governor who served during Raggio’s tenure.
One of the primary results of Raggio’s power was his brilliant and politically oriented ability to control the State’s purse strings – and control those purse strings he did.
There is nothing wrong with the use of power – the proper use drives society forward. But the abuse of power by any person, regardless of his honesty and good faith, will finally destroy the project and send it in scattered directions.
In Raggio’s zeal to protect the colleges in northern Nevada, his power became so great that it resulted in shortchanging the southern Nevada colleges by more than 900 million dollars.