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The Full Monte

Has the final nail been driven into Gov. Jim Gibbons’ political coffin?

Republican insiders always assumed that Monte Miller, an influential financial supporter, would go down with the ship alongside Gov. Gibbons. Last man standing and all.

Miller has been the governor’s staunchest and most-outspoken defender for the last three years in GOP circles. He and I have butted heads a dozen times on columns I’ve written critical of the governor. And on almost every occasion, the easy-going, highly likeable Miller has told me he believed “Gov. Jim” was the state’s last, best hope for fiscal conservatism and would go down in history as one of Nevada’s greatest governors.

But on Tuesday, Miller hosted a major fundraiser for the governor’s primary opponent, Brian Sandoval.

“Brian has the best chance of being elected,” Miller told the Las Vegas Sun. “Everybody can see that in the polling. I made a political decision to support Brian Sandoval.”

Or as the political saying goes, no permanent friends, no permanent enemies…just permanent interests. I mean, what’s next? A truce between me and Bill Raggio?

Miller says he still holds Gibbons in high regard and considers him a friend, but politically-speaking, he also now sees the writing on the wall. And when you lose someone that close in your inner circle, it’s bad. Really bad. Maybe unrecoverable bad.