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Nevada Gov. Gibbons' ex-wife called 'window dressing'

December 31, 2009 |  5:40 am

Gibbons Gov. Jim Gibbons hasn’t had the best week.

Granted, you could say that about many weeks of the Nevada Republican’s troubled governorship – his approval rating has been stuck below 20% for some time – but this one began with him haggling with his estranged wife over the terms of their divorce. The U.S. and North Korea likely have a better relationship.

During Monday’s settlement announcement, which spared Gibbons from a potentially awkward public trial, the governor, among other things, botched his wedding date.

Later that day, his campaign advisor, Robert Olmer, pooh-poohed the state losing First Lady Dawn Gibbons. “Any first lady is to a large extent window dressing,” he told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Though the governor’s spokesman tried to downplay the comment, a story Tuesday in the Reno paper placed them among the Jim Gibbons’ missteps that have turned off female voters. An autism group, appreciative of Dawn Gibbons’ efforts to raise awareness of the disease, was displeased with Olmer’s remarks as well.

On Wednesday, Jim Gibbons fired Olmer, saying his remarks were “beyond inappropriate and were demeaning, sexist and do not, in any way, reflect my feelings.” While this distanced the governor from Olmer’s poor choice of words, it also stretched the story into another day.

What else has the governor been up to? He sent a letter to state employees suggesting he might support cutting education funding. He also called for the resignation of one of President Obama’s Cabinet members.

And the week’s not over.

Think nothing squirrelly can happen ...

... on New Year’s? Then you underestimate Nevada.

Gibbons was sworn into office seconds after the start of 2007, reportedly to block a previous governor’s appointee from being seated on the state Gaming Control Board.

According to Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Jane Ann Morrison: “Gibbons said the midnight swearing-in was necessary for security reasons so he could immediately appoint two people to top security jobs. Guess he feared terrorists might march through Washoe Valley if his own guys weren’t in office. It was not widely accepted as believable, but that was his story and he stuck with it.”

So we think it’s safe to say: Stay tuned.

-- Ashley Powers

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Photo: Gibbons preparing for a court hearing on his divorce settlement Monday. Credit: Associated Press.