It is that time again. Elections are nearly upon us with early voting starting soon. Are you tired of campaign ads yet?
One of the advantages of writing this column is that I get to tell you what I think. If that bothers you, stop reading now.
First, there are three ballot measures this year. The most onerous is Question 3. No on 3. To mix metaphors, if passed this will be the straw that kills the golden goose. Someone should show and explain Laffer’s Curve to the teachers’ union. This is a business and job killer that is so bad even the AFL-CIO in Las Vegas voted to oppose it. If you seek more revenue for schools, perhaps you should lean on Assemblyman Paul Aizley (District 41) to refer the Public Lands Task Force report for committee discussion. Did I mention, no on Question 3?
Question 1 asks to add an intermediate appellate court. As a low tax minimum government spending proponent, at first blush this appear to layer the court system. After further review, in theory it would help with the current court backlog. I support this one.
Question 2 proposes to remove the 5 percent mining tax cap. I am opposed to anything that removes a tax cap. Doing so simply causes more unrestrained spending without thought to frugality. Mines are extremely generous to local communities. If they have added taxes, that generosity will probably disappear, moving revenue to state (that means Las Vegas) hands. Most mines are operated by international companies. If taxes are too high, they simply close Nevada operations.
Local elections have two contested races. For sheriff, both candidates are qualified to serve. Sheriff Ben Trotter is a known entity. We know where he stands on important issues, while someone new in the office would need to prove himself. Further, Trotter pledged in the last election to put a certain amount of his salary back into the community. He has kept that pledge, meaning he kept his word, and without a great deal of fanfare. That along with being a known entity leads me to support Sheriff Trotter.
The other contested race is for recorder. There is no incumbent in this race so there is no “known” history. Again, both candidates appear to be qualified. That said, Jamie Dellera has in my view broader experience and a higher level of maturity. Both are important in dealing with the public. Jamie has lived here all her life and has long supported youth activities with time and money.
On to the school board candidates. This year has disappointing candidate turnout numbers with only five candidates for four positions. What’s up with that? I have some thoughts, but I prefer not to air them publicly. Talk to me privately. Anyway, there is one candidate whom I can assure you researches the issue, makes his judgment and votes that judgment. Whether you agree with his vote or not, he will have done his homework. That candidate is Rich Gent. I have also talked at length with Carmen Schank on several issues and support her. I have not worked with the other candidates in order to make a similar judgment.
On to the state races. The lieutenant governor’s race will probably be less contested than the primary race. Still, I favor Mark Hutchison. If he is elected, I intend to do everything I can to hold him to his statement that he would take the issue of state management of federal lands once to Congress. If Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, the minority leader, is able to block it, he said he would go straight to the Supreme Court with a claim based on the equal footing doctrine. I’ll explain later. This is extremely important in view of federal land (mis)managers presently trouncing constantly on the rights of all land users while ignoring laws and their own policies.
The other race is for attorney general. I support Adam Laxalt based on a statement he made that all Nevada laws should be vigorously defended until overturned by voters or the Supreme Court. An AG should not pick and choose, ala Eric Holder, the laws to defend. How refreshing that would be. It would also be nice to have an AG that does not roll over for every federal dictate.
As far as the other races, you can pretty well guess how I will vote. You don’t have to agree. All I ask is that you be informed. Don’t rely on “It’s on YouTube, dude.”
The predictions are those of Tom Riggins and not the LVN. Tom, an LVN columnist, may be reached at email@example.com.