Some elected offices matter, others don't

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Me and my big mouth! Because I commented on a couple of political races a few days ago, several of my buddies and a few of you readers are giving me hell for not talking about some of the others, more specifically the sheriff's race.

Well, my feeling about the contest for sheriff is that we are very fortunate having two excellent candidates wanting that thankless job. I've never met either candidate, but my sources on the street tell me that Bob Guimont is an awesome street cop, and Ken Furlong is a well-schooled administrator. Both of them certainly know everything about Carson City. Which one am I going to vote for? I'll make up my mind when I enter the booth.

I know that sounds like an uncharacteristic copout, but I really mean it. I do hope that if Furlong wins, he will keep Guimont in the department. We can't afford to lose him.

Concerning the race for State Assembly District 38, I'm voting for Tom Grady. While the name Joe Dini is closely linked politically to Yerington and the Mason Valley, his son George isn't in the same league with Joe. Sons rarely can fill the shoes of famous fathers, no matter how hard they try.

It's time for a change, and Tom Grady has not only proven himself in the past with whatever public offices or assignments he took on, he is extremely sharp in the areas of banking and finance which are related to taxation and budgets and are very important to the job of being a lawmaker. Vote for Tom Grady, State Assembly District 38.

Looking at the so-called "constitutional" offices, with the exception of the governor and the attorney general, it doesn't make much difference who you elect. Those offices are run by civil servant employees who've been there forever and these women know what they're doing. So, the elected officials don't need much brain power. The offices are so constrained by regulations and tradition that no imagination or innovation is permitted.

For attorney general, I think Brian Sandoval is our best bet. While I don't personally know a lot about him, my on-the-street sources tell me that he is the best qualified man for the job. Perhaps since our secretary of state doesn't know how to handle the 29 candidates and incumbents, more specifically North Las Vegas Assemblyman Wendell Williams, who refuse to file their campaign spending and contribution reports, perhaps a new attorney general will take that bull by the horns.

All our secretary of state does is send out reminder letters. Hankies at 50 paces. Perhaps his being a candidate for governor the next time around is constraining his willingness to uphold the law.

In my last column, I endorsed Ron Knecht for the Assembly, District 40. I want to elaborate a little more by saying that Knecht is one candidate who is not in the hip pocket of special interest groups. He has taken no campaign money from the Resorts Association (gaming) nor has he taken any money from the teacher's union. I don't believe his opponent can say the same. After all, in a small way she's in gaming. And let's face one fact. Gaming and Nevada Teachers Association (union) practically own our Legislature, both the Senate and the Assembly. When it comes to lobbying for their own interests, they have no equals. I am not exaggerating. As a matter of fact, they own our governor too. And that's pretty sad.

Now here is another golden opportunity for us Carson City Republicans to shoot ourselves in the foot. We've done such a good job of it in the past that I'll be shocked if we don't do it again. I''m talking about the fact that we Republicans have a plurality in District 40 so we should be able to elect a fellow Republican to the Assembly if we want to. But this will entail burying our hatchets and for the first time in ages, ceasing to let inner party squabbles kill our chances as they have in the past.

I empathize with you good ol' boys and girls who wanted one of the other two primary candidates to win. But for whatever reason, they didn't! However, we've lucked out! We Republicans really do have the most outstanding candidate in Knecht. In fact, and it kills me to admit this, Knecht is better equipped than I was when I was elected to the Assembly the first time around. If there's one guy who will not be fooled by special interests and bureaucrats alike, it's Knecht.

Bob Thomas is a Carson City businessman, local curmudgeon and former member of the Carson City School Board and Nevada State Assembly.


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