WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Sandoval, Laxalt meet to discuss immigration suit

News item: Gov. Brian Sandoval says he will meet with Attorney General Adam Laxalt on the latter’s decision to join an immigration lawsuit.

I have obtained, exclusively, a transcript of their meeting in the governor’s office:

Sandoval: Good morning, Adam.

Laxalt: You can call me “General.”

Sandoval: I could. But I won’t.

Laxalt: I hope you understand that you are not the boss of me, governor.

Sandoval: No, I’m not. You are an independently elected constitutional officer.

Laxalt (beams): I know! It’s amazing!

Sandoval: Um, yes, indeed it is.

Laxalt: I hope you aren’t really mad at me over that lawsuit thing, governor. I’m sure it’s just the press out to get us.

Sandoval: Well, actually, I’m not very happy about it.

Laxalt: Why not? This is about the rule of law, Obama’s overreach. It’s the right thing to do!

Sandoval: Hey, Adam, the campaign is over. Let me ask you a simple question: Why wouldn’t you talk to me before joining that lawsuit?

Laxalt: Why should I have? I’m the attorney general.

Sandoval: Yes, you are. And you wouldn’t be if I hadn’t endorsed you and if my political team and I hadn’t created the wave that elected you. You don’t think you owed me a phone call?

Laxalt: With all due respect, governor, I got elected because the people responded to me and my message and were sick and tired of the same old politics that Ross Miller represented. You didn’t do anything for me except pose for a photograph.  We both know you didn’t really want me to win. But I’m used to adversity. You know, governor, when I was in Iraq….

Sandoval (interrupting): Seriously, Adam, do you believe all of this stuff?

Laxalt: Why not? My two Bobs (List and Uithoven) told me it’s true.

Sandoval: Let’s get a couple of things straight. First, I don’t care whether you joined that suit because you actually understand the legal issues or were trying to score political points. I’d guess it’s the latter and that new solicitor general of yours seems like quite the ideologue. Fine. But second, do you think in most states that the attorney general consults the governor before putting his state’s name out there in a lawsuit on maybe the most controversial issue of the moment? And especially when they are in the same party?

Laxalt: Hey, my people talked to your people. (Beams at idea of having people.) And, hey, governor, the phone goes two ways. I have been saying I was going to join this suit. You could have called me. I’m sorry that this may cause you a problem politically with Hispanics. But these people are here illegally anyhow, and this is about the rule of law!

Sandoval: I’d get into a legal debate with you, Adam, but I’m not sure it’s a fair fight. You know, me having been a federal judge and AG and you, well....let’s not go there.

Laxalt: I put away thousands of terrorists!

Sandoval (desperately tries not to roll eyes): Yes, of course I am concerned about the blowback from an important segment of our state. I have worked hard at Hispanic outreach. Not just for me, but for the party. And in one fell swoop, you have undermined that.

Laxalt: I can’t consider politics, governor. My grandfather would appreciate this.

Sandoval: Actually, Paul Laxalt was known for his collegiality and would never do what you did. So can I have some assurances that this will not happen again?

Laxalt: I wish I could do that, governor. But I am the attorney general. That second word means I am in charge.

Sandoval: Like Al Haig was?

Laxalt: Who?

Sandoval: Nevermind.

Laxalt: Governor, here’s the bottom line: I am getting a lot of encouragement. People are telling me that because of your big tax increase, I am the real conservative in state government and I need to keep doing what I am doing.

Sandoval (struggles to compose himself): L-i-s-t-e-n, Adam. You have been in Nevada for five minutes. I’ve been here my entire life, and I have worked very hard to get where I am. I will not sit idly by while you go rogue and put this state’s reputation at risk and my political standing, too.

Laxalt: Oh, so now it’s about your precious 70 percent, governor?

Sandoval: That 70 percent got you elected, Adam.

Laxalt: No, my hard work and pictures of me with my kid and Ross Miller’s gifts got me elected.

Sandoval (dripping sarcasm): Yes, that’s what happened. So where do we go from here?

Laxalt: I’ll do my job and you do yours. I’ll be sure my people tell your people what we are doing.

Sandoval: That’s it?

Laxalt: Yes, and if you continue to press me, I might get my deputies to make an Open Meeting Law request to get some of your records, governor. I can do that.

Sandoval: You mean Public Records Law?

Laxalt: Whatever.