Dear HUNTER'S ALERT I would like your members to know how bad our government is in the state of Nevada. Our governor is supposed to be our state leader here in Nevada. I was brought up to look at our leaders as people who look after things. They were the ones that people voted into office to do the right thing. But after my firsthand dealings, I can see I was wrong.

Published in HA Newsletter 13
Monday, 30 September 1996 17:00

EDITORIAL

Before we get into this editorial, let's set the record straight right now! HUNTER'S ALERT is opposed to any anti-government activities such as militias, bombs, or terrorism of any type. With that stated, let's ask why are some of these terrible acts committed? Pure and simple, it is frustration with our government. People committing these acts want a quick fix to government problems and there is no quick fix!

Published in HA Newsletter 13
Thursday, 31 October 1996 17:00

ARE ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES MISMANAGED?

It all started in February, 1979 when my hunting partner, taxidermist Hagan Thompson and I returned from a very enjoyable African safari. Hagan's taxidermy shop was a one man operation so he had a young man watching his shop while we were on safari. Upon his return, the part-time employee notified Hagan that while he was away, two game wardens, one from the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and one from Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) came to the shop and seized his record book and skins.

Published in HA Newsletter 11

Dear Governor Miller:

In the realm of your duties you have the responsibility to insure that qualified and responsible individuals fill the positions of state government that the law allows the executive branch to fill. The hiring and, if necessary, dismissal of leaders of various state agencies is your prerogative, their administrative abilities and their performance

based on their track record, executive branch guidelines, state law, political background, and public satisfaction, I assume are the primary guidelines you use as criteria in your decisions on such matters.

Which brings me to my first question:

Are any of the following, grounds for dismissal from a leadership position in state government?

1. Loss of a lawsuit for sexual discrimination? 2. Malfeasance in office? 3. Joking about sexual harassment in an official state department bulletin? 4. Failure of a state audit? 5. Use of state vehicles for semi-private use? 6. Over expenditure of the legislative authorized budget? 7. Taking a state agency with more that a million dollars surplus, doubling its yearly expenditures in a five-year period and

creating a need to borrow from the state's general fund to stay afloat? 8. A public request from an entire county's commission asking for dismissal of an administrator? 9. Federal lawsuits (pending) alleging discrimination and retaliation for inter-agency problems?

Governor, after discussing these situations with state employees and with different state administrators, the conclusion was almost unanimous—any one of these would normally constitute ground for getting dismissed from state service. That's why leadership positions in state government are normally not tenured—to allow you the flexibility you need to remove individuals whose job performance is substandard or worse.

Yet, today, you have an administrator of one of the state's largest agencies who has been involved with not one, not two, but all nine of the situations listed. I'm talking about William Molini, administrator for the Nevada Division of Wildlife. Let's start with the most serious violations.

Molini's agency has exceeded its legislative expenditure authority by more than $190,000. As you know, this is no minor matter. In fact, it's a violation of the state's criminal code (NRS353.260), and officially constitutes malfeasance in office. That Molini wasn't doing his job is best evidenced by the fact that this huge overdraft wasn't even known about until the middle of July 1995 —more than two weeks after the close of his fiscal year. He has more than six fiscal budget employees, so there is simply no excuse for failure to properly track revenue and expenditures. Additionally, he is over his limit in not one, but several categories. As one of your own fiscal analysts told me: "It's clear they were not watching or paying attention, and sheer luck they didn't overspend in all their budget accounts."

In one of the two lawsuits (a federal lawsuit recently filed) against Molini and his agency, a trip in a state helicopter involving Molini, Senator Raggio and lobbyist John Sande was brought to light. It involved flying Raggio and Sande

from Reno to a private hunting club at Kings River Ranch, where Raggio has his own private hunting lodge. The flight was supposedly to "conduct a chukar survey." Since chukar surveys are normally conducted by the biologist in each region (for that area the biologist is Jim Jeffers, stationed in Winnemucca, and he was not on board) and do not involve staying overnight at a private hunting club (it's only a 15 minute helicopter flight from Winnemucca to Kings River Ranch) it's difficult to escape the conclusion that this was a private scouting trip to show Senator Raggio the best areas around his hunting lodge to hunt chukar. At a cost of $365 per hour to fly the helicopter, it was no inexpensive excursion.

This was made public through a lawsuit — how many additional such "perks" are there that we don't know about? Such misuses of state vehicles are not right and should not be tolerated. Raggio was the senator who requested, in 1990, the performance audit which brought to light numerous problems within NDOW. Since the helicopter trip in 1991, Raggio has been a strong supporter of Molini; in fact, he was the only Republican in the Assembly and Senate to vote against Assembly Bid 307 that would have changed the way NDOW does business. A coincidence? Perhaps, but I doubt it. Molini has faced not one, but two cases of sexual discrimination. They involved Ginger Miller and Virginia Oliver. After a careful review of the cases, the Nevada Attorney General's Office recommended an out-of-court settlement. The taxpayers had to pay a total of $291,000. After paying more than a quarter of a million dollars you would think they had learned their lesson, but no; since that time, NDOW has in its inter-agency newsletter made jokes about sexual harassment.

Due to Molini's inept handling of several issues important to the people they serve, the Elko County Commission, in a highly unusual move, publicly requested you to remove him from his position. For reasons you have not made public,

you denied their request. Why?

When Molini was appointed, the Nevada Department of Wildlife was a well-respected state agency; it had an annual budget of $8 million and a surplus in the bank of $1.3 million. In five years, between 1983 and 1988, Molini increased spending dramatically, the budget doubled from $8 million to $16 million, the surplus was all spent and employees went from 147 to more than 200.

The bloom left the rose and Molini was forced to borrow $800,000 dollars from the state's general fund to keep his agency afloat. In yet another federal court lawsuit, one of Molini's own employees, Bart Tanner, alleges that Molini's law enforcement division, in retaliation for his helping some private citizens falsely accused of poaching sage hens, falsified evidence, conducted an illegal search and seizure and perjured themselves in an attempt to get even. The charges against Tanner were dismissed outright; the judge threw out the whole case. The federal case is pending, but it clearly looks bad for NDOW and Molini. Taken all together, it's abundantly clear this agency —to put it mildly — is very poorly managed.

Governor, I personally know Molini on a first-name basis and like him as a person. He is a dynamic individual. In fact, I wrote a letter to you in 1990 supporting Molini. However, as more information and evidence becomes available, it becomes painfully clear that he is an inferior administrator, and has run a once well-respected agency into the ground. I know I speak for tens of thousands of Nevadans when I say it's time to let him go. It's time for some new blood, new ideas, and a clean slate.

If you're going to retain him, please Governor, tell us — why?

Ira Hansen — Reprinted from the Daily Sparks Tribune
Wednesday, September 13, 1995

Ed. Note: Critics say HUNTER'S ALERT is picking on Willie Molini. Gee: looks like the Daily Sparks Tribune is also picking on poor Willie. Elko Daily Press is guilty too!

Published in HA Newsletter 11

hunters and fishermen can expect improvement in their favorite outdoor activities in the not too distant future, thanks to passage of AB307, restructuring the state's Wildlife Commission. The Commission, originally all sportsmen, was changed, starting in 1979. Out of nine members, four remained sportsmen representatives, and the other five were divided amongst several different groups. The Governor got to make all the selections to the board. The sportsmen agreed to these changes, based on the assurance that the state would now help fund a large portion of the wildlife budget. In retrospect, the sportsmen were naive and got taken to the cleaners. What happened? Well, the sportsmen still paid virtually all the bills; the Governor appointed a bunch of political cronies with limited interest or background in fish and game matters; and, the Commission and the fish and game agency they were supposed to guide began to follow an increasingly environmentalist direction, with a corresponding decline in programs that would directly benefit the average guy who hunted or fished in Nevada.

Published in HA Newsletter 10
Wednesday, 31 May 1995 17:00

ISN'T IT AMAZING!

At the June Clark County Game Advisory Board meeting, the chairman of the Wildlife Commission made the following statement, "A.B.307 (HUNTER'S ALERT bill) is dead and we don't need A.B.212. (which increases hunting and fishing license fees) On that same day, Governor Miller issued a press release in which he states that Nevada's hunting and fishing are in jeopardy if A.B.212 doesn't pass. It is quite apparent that when it comes to wildlife activities, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing! A.B.307 was signed by the Governor. Fortunately, the county game advisory boards will now have much greater input into the process.

Published in HA Newsletter 10
Wednesday, 31 May 1995 17:00

WE WON! WE WON!

HUNTER'S ALERT again has shown it can get the job done. A.B.307, a HUNTER'S ALERT sponsored bill, was recently signed by Governor Miller. It is a giant step forward in the effort to improve hunting in our state. A.B.307 will add another sportsman to the Wildlife Commission. Even more important is that the five sportsman representatives must have held a Nevada hunting, fishing, or combination license for three of the four prior years as a prerequisite. Other parts of the bill will help sportsmen in our state. We did not get everything that we wanted but you never do. What we did get was a great starting point.

Published in HA Newsletter 10
Friday, 30 September 1994 17:00

FEAR OF REPRISAL

Many guides have come forth acknowledging what a serious predator problem we have in our state but they were reluctant to put it in writing because of fear of reprisal from NDOW. Doesn't that bring to mind visions of World War II Nazi SS troops who persecuted people for speaking out against their government? We have secured statements from some of these guides with the promise that we will not use their names for fear of reprisal. We will call them Guides A, B and C. Below are their stories.

Published in HA Newsletter 08
Friday, 30 September 1994 17:00

GOVERNOR MILLER, YOU HAVE FAILED!

Many organizations like the labor unions and the teachers unions grade our elected officials. HUNTER'S ALERT would like to grade Governor Miller on his effectiveness in office. For the sportsmen in our state, your grade is "F". You have failed them miserably.

Published in HA Newsletter 08
Tuesday, 31 May 1994 17:00

DID YOU KNOW

When Governor Miller took office, Willie Molini's salary was $50,728. Today it is $58,204. His assistant, Terry Crawforth makes $55,801. Ed. note: Willie's raise certainly couldn't have been based on the merit system!

...In 1990, 18% of Nevada Department of Wildlife's budget was spent on non-game. This year it will be 25.82%!

...At one time, New Zealand had so many game animals that there were no seasons, licenses, or limits. WHY? They hadn't hunted them for 40 years and there were no predators.

Published in HA Newsletter 07
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