My column: Predictions for 2013

Making predictions shortly before an election is both arrogant and brave – I am sure the proverbial “others” would deploy other adjectives.

But daring to unveil one’s Delphic powers a year in advance: That is hubris of a different order. Or, perhaps, sheer lunacy.

But why come down from my lofty Pundit’s Perch, where you underlings peep about to find yourself honored by my predictions, so late in the game? It’s that time again to bravely go where I have gone so many times before. But before I do, a pundit  must eat crow or crow with delight about previous soothsaying.

So, here’s what I asserted a year ago:

The good – I said Steven Horsford would “easily” be elected to Congress – right on. On the U.S. Senate race, I wrote: “I think Heller ekes it out despite the Democratic machine.” Um, genius? I also said Dina Titus would return to Congress – and that was when golden boy Ruben Kihuen was still in the race. Not bad. I also called Rep. Joe Heck’s win.

The bad – I said state Sen. Barbara Cegavske would not file for Congress. (Maybe she shouldn’t have.) I said the Heck-John Oceguera race would be close. (Not so much.) And I suggested the GOP would take control of the state Senate. (Close only counts in tiddlywinks.)

The ugly – “Nevada’s labor and business (yes, gaming, too) will qualify a tax initiative for the 2014 ballot. They will highlight education funding. Bonus prediction: It will still lose.” Where did I get THAT? Oh, wait: That could still come true, right, teachers?

And now for 2013.

THE LOCKS

►The Legislature will not act on the teachers tax (if it gets to them and past the court challenge), but the Democrats, who will keep their promise of talking about tax reform early in the session, will pass a modest restructuring that is not revenue-neutral. Gov. Brian Sandoval will veto it (in a nice, sunny way).

►Secretary of State Ross Miller will formally announce his candidacy for attorney general and Treasurer Kate Marshall will announce she is running for his job. (I need to boost my average, folks!) State Sen. Greg Brower will decline to challenge Miller. Danny Tarkanian will float his name for both races.

►Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak will form an exploratory committee to run for governor. Undaunted by Sandoval’s approval numbers, Sisolak will point to his deep pockets, huge campaign war chest, access to Strip money and his midterm status. An early poll will show him trailing badly, but he will act undeterred.

THE PROBABLES

►A Republican will announce that he is running for governor to challenge the "liberal" incumbent. But no one will take the announcement seriously except for conservative gadflies and troublemakers. Keystone Corp. will have endorsed Sandoval for re-election by then, as will every chamber in the state.

►There will be an attempted leadership coup in at least one of the four legislative caucuses. At least one will come very close to succeeding. But all of the leaders will be intact by session's end, although rumblings about higher office will abound for ambitious Michael Roberson (attorney general) and reform-minded Pat Hickey (secretary of state).

►Sandoval will personally recruit a strong GOP candidate for lieutenant governor -- his former chief of staff, Heidi Gansert, perhaps? - fueling rumors he will challenge Harry Reid in 2016. When asked, Gov. Sunny will smile (of course) and say,"I love being governor. I'm just focused on my re-election." The media will hype the non-denial denial.

THE FANTASIES

►New best friends Steve Wynn and Sheldon Adelson will announce they are going to do a joint venture in Macau. The resort will be called “Haven from Obama."

►Former Speaker Barbara Buckley will announce she is coming out of political retirement to run for attorney general against Ross Miller. Ex-Gov. Bob Miller will get his predecessor Richard Bryan to offer her a job at Lionel Sawyer and Collins (“It worked with Brian McKay two decades ago,” the governor will be heard to say.) But Buckley will decline the inducement to stay out.

►Zappos’ Tony Hsieh will announce that among his latest downtown land purchases is just slightly north of the Las Vegas center. The address: 1500 Foremaster Lane. Hsieh will insist he will keep the current enterprise going but will want to change the name of one of the signature programs, the one that airs at 7:30 nightly, to feature a co-host: Former Mayor Oscar Goodman.

 

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