Beers predicts good GOP caucus turnout
Appeal Staff Writer
Members of the Nevada Republican Party held caucus training events on Monday to instruct their members how to caucus.
Sen. Bob Beers, R-Clark County, who attended the caucus training sessions in Carson City and Virginia City, said some people had never attended a caucus, and with the large GOP field, it was important to let them know how.
“We just wanted to let them know what to expect,” he said, adding that 16 people showed up for the Virginia City caucus, though he had no numbers on the Carson City event.
“It is a complicated process, and we had some people that had never been to a meeting. We had people that never participated in anything.”
Beers said in the past caucuses were not so complicated since the GOP nominee was usually known long before Nevada held its event. This year, with the caucus date moved up to Jan. 19 and eight candidates in the running, the process is more complicated.
Instead of voting for candidates, something the state party could not do without seeming to endorse one, the caucus trainees voted for their favorite television shows.
Boston Legal, 30 Rock, Monday Night Football, CSPAN and NoTV were the contestants, and Boston Legal won, with 30 Rock second and Monday Night Football and CSPAN as alternates.
Juanita Cox, of McCarran, came to caucus and ended up being elected county Republican chairman.
“I think it was a blast,” she said. “This is the first time we have a real caucus.”
Beers said that state Democrats, who have been doing mock caucuses since the summer, “are more showy in what they do and they do hoopla better. But on Jan. 19, I bet we have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans participating.”
Beers is supporting Fred Thompson for president.
“I was holding out for Ronald Reagan, but I came to the conclusion he’s not coming back,” he said.
He would not make a prediction on the upcoming election.
“This appears to be more flux in this election than any I have seen in the GOP for a long time,” he said. “Anyone who makes a public prediction on the race at this time is maliciously egomaniacal.”
He was not concerned with recent reports that Democrats had moved slightly ahead in voter registration in Nevada, since after “purges” he thought the Republicans would end up on top.
“I think it was Elko that just had a purge,” he said. “A purge is when the county elections official sends out postcards telling you where to vote. The real reason is to send postcards out first-class, so if no one is there, they bounce back to the post office. Then the election official can mark you inactive.”
He said voters who are inactive for two elections are dropped from the rolls, and Democrats move more frequently than Republicans do.
“Whenever they do purges, the GOP makes big gains,” he said.
He said someday he might make a run for statewide office, but not against Gov. Jim Gibbons.
“I had more fun last year than grown-ups are allowed to have,” he said.
On an issue of import to rural counties, the tax cap, he admitted it is a thorny issue.
“If citizens were to approve a tax hike, I have a lot less heartburn,” he said. “I believe government is best when it’s closest to the people. But when government revenue is down, when the economy is stalled, people have enough trouble. It doesn’t make sense for government to raise taxes on them.”
• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-7351.