Horsford holds Senate hostage for 3 a.m. session

Victor Joecks

As those of us in Las Vegas know, people make their best decisions at 3 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Horsford’s decision to force the Senate into session at 2:45 a.m. last night/this morning wasn’t a sign of panic. No, no, it was a shrewd decision to ensure that the Senate acted in the wisest possible way.

Horsford had convened the senators around 2:45 a.m., invoking a rule that trapped them in the chamber and allowed absent members to be tracked down and rounded up. The upper house had been in recess since 11 p.m.

During the hours of recess, yet another round of closed-door talks seeking accord on a package of tax hikes and public employee benefit reforms had broken down.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, called Horsford’s action a “threat.”

“I think it is very inappropriate and imprudent if it’s to hold us hostage here until we cave in,” he said.

Sen. Horsford even tried an “enhanced” negotiating technique.

Sen. Warren Hardy, R-Las Vegas, got up to leave. “Anyone have a tea cup? I have to use the bathroom.”

Senate sergeants at arms staff didn’t move or respond.

Hardy turned to Horsford. “Can I use the bathroom?”

Horsford said, “I’m just following the rules.”

So we’ve got potential ethical conflicts that no longer exist thanks to a politically motivated rule change, and now this. Oh, the drama. Any bets on what will happen next?

As I’ve said before, these last few days will beat anything you’ll see at the box office all summer – if it doesn’t end with a secret, job-killing, record billion dollar tax increase.