July 2, 2015

Cortez Masto’s (D-NV) $215,000 “Juice Job”

When Catherine Cortez Masto was term limited from running for attorney general in Nevada last year, she found a cushy landing at the Nevada System of Higher Education, earning her $215,000 a year.

She started work as Executive Vice Chancellor in January, but quickly resigned in March after Harry Reid announced he would cease inflicting his presence on the U.S. Senate after 2016.
Seeing an opportunity, Cortez Masto announced she would run for Reid’s seat.

But here’s the funny thing: that job Cortez Masto took required no vote among regents. She was appointed directly by system Chancellor Dan Klaich. In addition, the position hasn’t been filled since she left, leading Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Jane Ann Morrison to conclude the position was a “juice job” for Cortez Masto:

She held the executive vice chancellor’s post from January to early April, resigning soon after Reid announced March 20 he would be retiring and hoped she would run. No one holds the executive vice chancellor’s job now, leading me to conclude it was a juice job, but not the first in Nevada’s higher ed system. Klaich said he recruited her.

Since Reid’s announcement to retire had been a closely held secret, maybe Klaich thought and Cortez Masto intended to work longer. Or possibly this was simply a convenient place to park the unemployed politician. It was no secret that Cortez Masto had higher political ambitions, so she was not expected to be a long-timer with the university system.

While Cortez Masto’s “juice job” and blind ambition might sound like something that would help her fit in with other Democrats in DC, it’s not what’s best for Nevada.