Nevada turning blue say Fred LaSor (column)
November 17, 2016
Eight years ago Barack Obama promised America fundamental change. Voters have now rejected that vision at the polls. More specifically, they rejected Hillary Clinton and her decision to run as a continuation of Obama's policies. That rejection led to a historic defeat for her party, with Republicans winning the White House, retaining control of the U.S. Congress, and picking up seats in state legislatures and governorships.
But the Republican tide didn't rise in Nevada. Harry Reid's Senate seat was won by his hand picked successor, Catherine Cortez Masto. Two Nevada seats in the U.S. House flipped from Republican red to Democrat blue. And our state legislature flipped with big wins by Democrats in the assembly and senate.
What I'd like to explore in this column isn't the recent election, though. It's what my friend Guy Farmer calls the Californication of Nevada. This is perhaps a coarse description, but it captures the coercive nature of our recent change from conservative to liberal politics. Nevada's vote outcome came from electoral results imposed upon us by a small part of the state and arrived with two ballot questions funded from outside the state: one that places unnecessary burdens on gun owners without enhancing safety, and one that legalizes marijuana and turns production and distribution over to a large out-of-state cartel. The Silver State is turning blue.
Two of Nevada's counties (Clark and Washoe) carried the electoral change. They did so because of higher population density and good party discipline, which is notably lacking among Nevada Republicans. Californians fleeing the social and tax policies of their home state, many of whom have settled in Washoe and Clark counties, have brought a watered-down version of California politics with them.
The housing development known as Vintage at Kings Canyon (Napa east, as I call it) will turn Nevada further blue, as several hundred families settle in west Carson City to escape California taxes and crime, but bring nostalgia for social policies they experienced back home.
California's Democrats are passionate about giving state and federal benefits to people who cross their southern border without proper documentation. Those arrivals, incentivized in increasing numbers by President Obama's refusal to enforce immigration law and Governor Brown's eagerness to qualify them for legal status, drivers licenses and instate tuition, pose a heavy burden on California's taxpayers. The wealthy tolerate the higher taxes, the poor don't pay any, and the middle class flee to Nevada and Arizona.
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As the new Democrat majority in our legislature works to catch up with this largesse on the part of Sacramento lawmakers — and there's little doubt they will — we will see an increase in the problems southern California is experiencing: drug trafficking, gang activity and a breakdown in social order. Law enforcement in Carson City say they're already seeing some of this here. Readers who aren't concerned about this would do well to read the book "Mexifornia" by Hoover Institute's Victor Davis Hanson.
I have seen first hand the results of uncontrolled refugee flows in Asia and Africa. I also have family living in Mexico who like living there but are dismayed by the dysfunctional political and economic situation that surrounds them. We can expect the same if we continue to allow virtually unrestrained immigration from our south. It's not racist to expect our laws to be respected. If that does not suit you, work to change federal immigration law, not ignore it.
We can't stop migration from California, but we can limit growth and demand employers respect federal law. That's a start on slowing our Californication.
Fred LaSor follows political and economic developments from his home in the Carson Valley.