With all the bizarre behavior in Washington, it is easy to forget about the over-the-top antics of state officials around the country. But, sometimes, a governor outdoes himself.

Consider the case of Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons, a former Republican congressman who was elected to his current job last November. Gibbons, who was the subject of an inquiry into whether he assaulted a woman during the gubernatorial race, is now reportedly the target of an Federal Bureau of Investigation inquiry into whether he steered federal contracts to a Nevada defense contractor who allegedly made secret payments to the then congressman.

The newspaper that broke the story of the Gibbons scandal was The Wall Street Journal, which is generally seen as the most political conservative and Republican friendly of America’s nationally-circulated newspapers. While there is no question that the Journal’s editorial page bends hard to the right, it’s news pages have a good reputation for reporting responsibly on national affairs — which should come as no surprise, as titans of industry and Wall Street traders do not like to be lied to.

But Gibbons says The Wall Street Journal is bought and paid for by the Democrats. Indeed, the governor claims “the Democrats have paid to have these Wall Street Journal articles written.”

Asked for more details about those payments, the governor’s press secretary said, “As far as the Wall Street Journal story goes, we don’t know. We don’t know who is providing it but we do hear rumors just like you do.”

Rumors? Has anyone heard rumors about the Wall Street Journal being on the take from the Democratic Party? If that’s the case, Democrats — aside from Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman — ought to ask for their money back. No newspaper has more consistently editorialized in favor of the Bush administration’s failed policies, and the initiatives of Republicans at the state level, than the Journal.

For the record, officials at the newspaper have not yet come up with any receipts for those Democratic bribes.

Indeed, a Journal spokesperson says, “The Wall Street Journal’s articles about Governor Gibbons are supported by extensive reporting. The Governor’s suggestion that the Journal’s coverage is a product of the Nevada Democrats is baseless.”


John Nichols’ new book is THE GENIUS OF IMPEACHMENT: The Founders’ Cure forRoyalism. Rolling Stone’s Tim Dickinson hails it as a “nervy, acerbic, passionately argued history-cum-polemic [that] combines a rich examination of the parliamentary roots and past use ofthe ‘heroic medicine’ that is impeachment with a call for Democraticleaders to ‘reclaim and reuse the most vital tool handed to us by thefounders for the defense of our most basic liberties.'”