2015 Mischief blog, one in a series: The Ira Era begins

Four Monday nuggets about the Ira Era, which officially begins in 84 days:

Nugget No. 1: New Speaker Ira Hansen told me something that no elected official has ever said to me when I have asked about coming on my program: “I have a confidentiality agreement until our organizational structure and policy positions are more formalized.”

What? So the new speaker has some kind of no-speak agreement with his own caucus? Um, he's the leader. And what kind of elected official has such an agreement? (My guess: He doesn't want to talk to the media until he can get his sea legs. Problem: With that caucus, the waters will always be stormy.)

Nugget No. 2: As I told my newsletter subscribers, Hansen may not be the anti-tax guy the conservatives have been looking for. He twice has voted to extend expiring taxes, so the state has had an extra $1.2 billion to spend since 2011, partly thanks to the new speaker, whether or not you label extending taxes an "increase."

Nugget No. 3: During a handwringing e-mail chain among Democrats, Las Vegas Councilman Bob Coffin, who was there when the Republicans last held the Assembly 30 years ago after 1984's Morning in Nevada election, told his friends to be patient:

"Let us look forward here. The Republican hubris is palpable and visible by giving Northern Nevada all the power. They will overplay their hand soon enough and open the path for the pendulum to swing back. Just wait.
"On the other hand, whoever the caucuses pick for leadership need to be streetfighters or they will be rolled. Period."
This, as the state Senate Democrats still have not chosen a leader. And the incumbent, Mo Denis, would not be described by anyone as a streetfighter.
As for giving the North all the power, Coffin surely was referring to the speakership. But Hansen gave seven of 10 committee chairs to southerners, and Las Vegas' Paul Anderson is the majority leader and chair of the most important lower house panel, Ways and Means.
(In the state Senate, southerners have five of 10 chairs, with northerner Ben Kieckhefer chairing Finance and southerner and Majority Leader Michael Roberson the vice-chair to keep an eye out for the South.)
The guy in the governor's mansion? He's from Reno.
Nugget No. 4 -- Hansen is no dummy. He knows -- or should know -- that most of the Republicans who gave him the scepter are sitting in moderate or heavily Democratic seats. If does not want to suffer the same, one-term speakership fate of 1985's Bill Bilyeu, he will have to find a way to ensure the Democrats don't take back what they see as theirs during 2016, when turnout patterns will be much different and should favor them.
In the same email chain as Coffin's comments, another former Democratic lawmaker, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, pointed out that after the 1985 session, her husband, Gary Gray, formed the Assembly Democratic Caucus and targeted races. The Democrats had 29 seats in the 1987 Legislature.
The definition of a cautionary tale.