Originally Published on NevadaNewsmakers.com, 6/11/2007 11:39:24 AM
Many are neither shaken nor stirred by discussions of public finance. The politically dramatic transportation hearings at the end of the 2007 legislative session, for instance, were actually two parts financial math and one part politics. We reported the politics, announced the large figures that sum up the story, and glossed over financial details.
It’s easier, and more interesting, let’s face it, to focus on prisoners bunked three to a cell, teeth blackened from meth use, or fraud perpetrated on the elderly, than it is to buckle down and understand bond funding. Or the GASB financial reporting requirements which now affect discussions of public employee benefits. (Government Accounting Standards Board.)
Maybe these financial topics should be introduced into our grade schools. Let’s say six or seven years after kindergarten, full-day or otherwise. As long as a grasp of these subjects is optional, opting out will be the preferred course of action.
Nevada Democrats held caucus practice sessions last week led by real Iowa caucus veterans. There’s intense pressure to make sure the January Caucus goes smoothly in Nevada, they told registered Dems who showed up for the “mockus” in Washoe County on Saturday.
To that end, a group of about 80 emulated the caucus process, nominating a pizza instead of a presidential candidate. Pepperoni, Cheese and Anchovies are useful stand-ins for the presidential hopefuls, since party officials can’t allow any candidate preferences to surface, and just about everyone has a preference. The participants split into groups that reflected their pizza preference, and then tried to recruit each other’s members.
“Pepperoni is something your kids will eat,” shouted members of one group, trying to persuade an uncommitted Democrat. “Cheese is pure,” the cheese group countered. “There are many kinds of cheese, which means lots of choice. Cheese has a big tent.” Supporters of the Kitchen Sink promoted a pizza called “Everything,” which could probably have been better named. But the group was able – more or less honestly – to promise “everything,” which is a very enticing promise.
The Caucus was noisy and chaotic, but the Iowans insist it works. There’s a precise formula for assigning delegates. In this case, thirteen people standing firm for pepperoni was equal to one delegate. There’s also a formal reporting process for an accurate tally of the state total. And, they say, it’s more fun than a primary.
It’s worth noting that the “uncommitteds” were snatched up quickly and easily. A tiny number of holdouts must surely be a sign that Nevadans have no caucus experience.