Published Monday, May 5, 2008 | 1:48 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2008 | 5:30 p.m.
Cal Dunlap, who represents Dawn Gibbons in divorce proceedings filed by her husband, Governor Jim Gibbons, this morning confirmed my suspicions that our First Lady is far from your ordinary political wife.
Whoever came up with "Behind every successful man is a good woman", probably didn't know Dawn Gibbons, who maybe rightfully fancies herself very much her husband's equal in the political arena.
Mrs. Gibbons may be crying over her husband's boots, but I'd venture to say she's mourning what could be the end of her own political career as much as the end of her marriage.
Dunlap told Jon by phone minutes before we taped a show on Gibbons v. Gibbons that Dawn is responsible for getting her husband elected to almost every office he's held and will contest the divorce unless she's given what she wants. Trouble is, I don't think the governor has the power to give his estranged wife what I think she really wants... a public title.
Who can blame her? Dawn Gibbons stood in for her husband when he flew off to war, was an elected official in her own right and helped squelch the Chrissy Mazzeo story by standing by his side just weeks before the 2006 election. Without her support he may have been defeated. Like Hillary Clinton, Dawn Gibbons, some suspect, led more than followed her husband on the path to success.
Also just before taping... we got a copy of Judge Bill Maddox's ruling ordering the Gibbons' divorce file sealed. Dunlap says he was unaware of a hearing in the matter. Judge Maddox may be interested in this tidbit from a Nevada Supreme Court ruling last week in a case challenging judicial secrecy:
"We conclude that the district court was obligated to maintain the divorce proceedings’ public status under NRS 125.110 and manifestly abused any discretion it possessed when it sealed the entire case file." Johanson v. Dist. Ct. -124 Nev. Adv. Op. No. 23 May 1, 2008
Here's the law:
NRS 125.110 What pleadings and papers open to public inspection; written request of party for sealing.
1. In any action for divorce, the following papers and pleadings in the action shall be open to public inspection in the clerk’s office:
(a) In case the complaint is not answered by the defendant, the summons, with the affidavit or proof of service; the complaint with memorandum endorsed thereon that the default of the defendant in not answering was entered, and the judgment; and in case where service is made by publication, the affidavit for publication of summons and the order directing the publication of summons.
(b) In all other cases, the pleadings, the finding of the court, any order made on motion as provided in Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure, and the judgment.
2. All other papers, records, proceedings and evidence, including exhibits and transcript of the testimony, shall, upon the written request of either party to the action, filed with the clerk, be sealed and shall not be open to inspection except to the parties or their attorneys, or when required as evidence in another action or proceeding.
[1:222:1931; 1931 NCL § 9467.03]—(NRS A 1963, 544)
Tune in tonight to hear from liberal blogger Hugh Jackson and conservative consultant Steve Wark on all of the above and on Dina Titus' chances to defeat Jon Porter in the third congressional district.