(Fred Weinberg/The Penny Press) – Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller seems intent on using his constitutional office, which is largely ministerial in nature, to feather his political nest and future.
This is not an unusual state of affairs since we have, in the past, tweaked now Senator Dean Heller for doing the same thing when he held the office, but in Miller’s case, it seems to come at the expense of doing business in a down economy.
The single largest job the Secretary of State has in Nevada is serving as the registrar of corporations and other business entities that the state charters and tracks.
Some years ago, our legislature, in a rare move of genius, decided to make the state so business friendly that we would challenge Delaware for the place to be incorporated. And it actually worked, mostly as intended.
When the economy tanked, the legislature was actually able to raise some additional money to throw away by raising the fees for those services slightly.
So far so good.
Heller had hired some fairly good information technology people and it was amazing what you could get done at the Secretary of State’s office in a quick session on the internet. No angry state employees to bark at you. And you didn’t even have to think about how much money you were going to have to pay our pension system to keep those employees in a better standard of living than you will have in retirement.
The other day, I needed to get the articles of incorporation from one of my companies. I used to be able to do that on the Internet for a few bucks, which the state took out of our company checking account.
I looked and looked and finally, I called. The nice lady (whose pension is bigger than mine and underfunded) told me I could fill out a form, which I could download from the Internet and they would mail it to me.
Also, for some inexplicable reason, the Secretary of State’s office no longer takes money from your checking account. The DMV does, but not the Secretary of State.
Now for $50, the office will let you buy a “certificate of good standing” online, but not the copy of the original form.
This may not seem like a big deal, but the fact is that most of the people who use the Secretary’s services are small businesses and here’s a shocker: These are the same people who create 92% of the state’s jobs.
Why would you even change a single thing that makes these folks lives slightly easier?
Ross Miller is a legacy.
His father was a former Governor and his name is whispered in hushed tones as having a potential political future. Maybe, even as a replacement for Barack Obama. (Although, without trying to insult chimps, that’s not a tall order.)
People like that are often the least connected with reality. They hold press conferences and they sue people they don’t like (e.g., Chuck Muth) trying to use the state’s might and checkbook to do their own bidding. A classic example is the unbelievably bad job that Miller’s friend, Cathy Masto has done as Attorney General. She, too, is a legacy.
It appears that Miller is going down the same legacy path.
Its almost like pledging a bad fraternity.
Miller should be ashamed of himself, but shame is something in especially short supply in Carson City.
When folks in his office read this, they will undoubtedly shake their heads and say, “big deal.”
Well, clowns, (who happen to be on our payroll) it IS a big deal.
And it makes me wonder what else they aren’t doing.