(Annie Black) – There’s an old saying that it’s not “paranoia” when they’re really out to get ya.
And yes, Assembly Democrats – with aid and comfort from the Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB) – certainly have had the long knives out for me. A recap…
On Wednesday, April 14, it was announced by LCB that the Legislature would be semi-re-opened to the public under relaxed COVID restrictions. So I pasted a tongue-in-cheek sign on my office door the next day reading…
“Come on In. We’re Open. Don’t Mask. Don’t Tell.”
Susan Furlong, Chief Clerk of the Assembly, had a cow and instructed the Sergeant at Arms to take the sign off my door, claiming “it violated Assembly Standing Rule 150.”
Alas, Ms. Furlong apparently never heard the age-old wisdom about people who live in glass houses.
So in my April 17 AnnieGram, I pointed out that Ms. Furlong herself had been in regular violation of LCB’s draconian mask requirement without penalty or sanction. (See “Faces of Furlong” at the end of this AnnieGram.)
Apparently, the rules apply to me but not to she.
In any event, two days later Ms. Furlong was suddenly sporting a mask in the Assembly Chamber at the start of the very next floor session. No wonder she’s so angry with me and wanted a pound of flesh!
Fast-forward to May 13. The CDC changed its mind (yet again) and announced that wearing masks indoors was no longer required under certain circumstances.
With that in mind, at the end of the session on Tuesday, May 18, I removed my mask during a floor statement and called on LCB to drop its mask requirement for individuals in the building. Which it did the very next day.
Then the spit hit the spam.
Two days later I was seated, mask-free, in the Assembly Chamber waiting for the day’s session to begin.
Immediately after the Pledge of Allegiance (“…with liberty and justice or all.”), Majority Leader Teresa Benitez-Thompson made a motion accusing me of being in violation of Standing Rule 150, allegedly for not proving I’d gotten the COVID vaccine.
The problem is, at that time NO ONE had even bothered to ask me if I’d gotten the vax!
Nevertheless, Speaker Frierson then immediately asked the 42 members in the Chamber to vote on whether or not I was in violation of Standing Rule 150.
In was an unsubstantiated allegation followed by a partisan 26-16 “guilty” verdict with no evidence or even an opportunity to present a defense. They then stripped me of my right to vote on bills or speak on the Assembly floor unless I apologized.
To which I essentially said, “Pound sand!”
I would also note that after the vote no one attempted to remove me from the Assembly Chamber. They allowed me to sit in my seat, mask-free, but without the ability to vote or speak.
Indeed, if I really posed such imminent danger they should have escorted me out – just like they did to Assemblywoman Jill Dickman, who also took a principled stand in opposition to being forced to present a “vaccine passport” to be allowed on the floor.
This whole thing was nothing more than a kangaroo court and political theater. It’s all about compliance, not science. It was payback and revenge for embarrassing Ms. Furlong for breaking her own mask rule, pure and simple.
And for the record, I was never told I had the option to vote virtually, as was offered to Assemblywoman Dickman.
So when Speaker Frierson claimed at the start of the Monday, May 24, floor session that “the option for remote participation was offered to Assemblywoman Black and rejected by her before this body found her guilty,” that’s simply not true.
Which is why the Assembly then voted 41-0 to allow me to vote remotely.
But let’s face it, that’s not the same as actually being on the floor.
Assemblywoman Dickman and I can neither see what’s going on when LCB’s cameras are turned off nor confer with colleagues as the Democrats slam-and-jam new bills and amendments down our throats.
We’ve been relegated to “second-class legislators” simply for refusing to produce a “vaccine passport.”
Now, I know many of you have suggested “suing their pants off.” And we’ve considered it.
But there simply isn’t enough time before the session ends this weekend, and the courts are notorious for avoiding getting involved in anything dealing with the internal workings of the legislative branch of government.
Plus, there’s still a fundraising “blackout” period in place preventing me from raising the money necessary for a legal defense fund until 30 days after the session. So we’re going to take our time and figure out if there’s a viable lawsuit option after the session ends.
Either way, I’m not going to let this go.
Businesses, employers and various government entities continue to push for vaccine passports in order for us to return to normal. And I will continue to fight them with every fiber of my being.
P.S. Because of this Maskerpiece Theater sideshow by the Democrats and LCB staffers, I’m delaying the release of our “BattleGround ’22 Election Survey” until after the session ends.
Look for it sometime next Tuesday.
FACES OF FURLONG
My communications director went back and reviewed every single Assembly floor session since the start of the 2021 Nevada Legislature.
And despite her own rule that EVERYONE in the building be masked unless alone in their office or actively eating or drinking something, Chief Clerk Susan Furlong performed in EVERY floor session maskless for extended periods of time.
The following are screen shots of Ms. Furlong, accompanied by a date/time stamp to the right, documenting her breaking the exact mask rule she’s imposed on me unless I present a vaccine passport.
Note: All of these floor sessions occurred BEFORE the CDC changed its mask guidelines, so she was in violation even if she’d been vaxxed.
Our April 17 AnnieGram pointed out that Ms. Furlong had not been wearing a mask in the Assembly Chamber since Day One. And lo and behold the very next floor session…
FROM ANNIE-GRAM MAILBAG
“PUT ON A MASK YOU DWARVISH (expletive deleted)ING INBRED (c-word deleted)!!” – Jason Willaims
“Honey, With a face like yours, I’d recommend you wear a mask for the rest of your wretched life.” – Kevin Williams
“Congrats for being an inconsiderate moron. You are just one dumb trump trash wanna be. Put a mask on, get the vaccine and act like a (expletive deleted)ing adult with adult like responsibilities.” – Dawn Mitchell
* * *
“I have been a convention worker the entire time I’ve lived in Nevada and am very worried that I will not be able to work and provide for my family if vaccine passports or non-vaccinated discrimination is allowed in businesses such as convention centers in Nevada. Never in my lifetime have I seen my rights in such jeopardy. Please please please help!” – Name withheld
“Hi, Annie: you’re doing the absolute right thing. While the hate mail doesn’t shock me, it is surprising in its nasty, dangerous tone.” – Bruce Jackson
“You are truly an inspiration to all of us. Do you realize that YOU are the only one that is truly standing up for Nevadans, and you are doing it alone? Not really alone, because you have your ARMY behind you!” – Barney Wadley
“I look forward to reading your AnnieGrams when they come out. I am not in your district; I am in Washoe County, but I feel like you are still fighting for us up here. I am so proud of you for standing your ground and not backing down. If they can treat you this way, then we are their next victims.” – Holly Downing
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The flawed reasoning that one must vote for Republicans or else allow a Democrat to win is no longer acceptable. If we are to win an ideological battle, we need individuals who have the courage and conviction to fight it. We need Constitutional Conservatives to defeat progressive socialists.” – Texas GOP Chairman Allen West
Annie Black is the Nevada State Assemblywoman representing District 19. You can get more information and subscribe to her AnnieGram newsletter by visiting www.AnnieBlack.net