Statewide candidates speak at Republican luncheon | NevadaAppeal.com

Statewide candidates speak at Republican luncheon

Steve Ranson | LVN Editor Emeritus

Three candidates running for statewide office recently spoke at the monthly luncheon of the Churchill County Republicans.

Each Republican candidate represents a different office: Jared Fisher is running for governor, Craig Mueller is a candidate for attorney general and Eugene Hoover is vying for lieutenant governor.

Fisher, who lives north of Las Vegas in the small community of Blue Diamond, has lived in Nevada since 1990 when he enrolled at UNLV. About 26 years ago, he and his wife, Heather, started an international company — Escape Adventures, Las Vegas Cyclery, Moab Cyclery and RTC Bike Center. Through these companies, Fisher said he has extensively worked with both U.S. government and State of Nevada agencies.

"I've seen a side of government that has not been so fun," he said. "I've had a few knock-down fights."

Several years ago, Derek said he wanted to give something back to Nevada and wanted to serve the state as the next governor. In his years of working with government agencies, he said the governor serves in five roles: chief of state, commander in chief, chief of his or her political party, chief executive and chief legislator.

"We need to have a leader who understands our state really well as a chief executive and chief legislator," Fisher stressed.

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Because the governor appoints about 80 people as department heads, Fisher said he wants people to serve the residents of the state not their donators. He said those who don't lie, cheat or steal will find a supportive governor and said success is measured on the relations with the people who are hired to serve and look after their constituents.

"I care about this state and will run this state the way I run my company," Fisher said, touting he's the only business owner running for the state's highest office.

Fisher questioned the state's spending, which brought in $24 billion but spent $26 billion. He the state must pay its bills, and he would ensure sustainability with funding and money management. He said the governor should not give away excessive tax incentives for businesses wanting to start their operations in Nevada.

As a family man, Fisher said Nevada needs to have strong leadership that focuses on the family first.

During the past 18 months, Fisher has been bicycling around Nevada and made a stop in Fallon last year.

"I met and talked to a lot of great people here," he said.

Fisher said Yucca Mountain has such a toxic name it should be rebranded. At this point, he's not in favor of storing spent nuclear fuel there. He also said he wants the Bureau of Land Management to work with the communities better so that the local areas can use the adjacent lands more than what they currently are.

Fisher said he's a proponent for growth and claims his opponents are not looking at economic development and because of the new technology coming into the state, he wonders why no one has suggested of having a Nevada Institute of Technology that would be similar to Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Fisher's website is https://www.fisherfornevada.com.

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A longtime attorney and former Navy officer, Mueller is running for attorney general since the current AG, Adam Laxalt, is a candidate for governor.

Mueller grew up in Las Vegas and attended schools there. He received an appointment from then U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt to attend the United States Naval Academy. He served aboard several ships and later attended law school in Baltimore. Once he earned his degree, he resigned his commission and began practicing law. Mueller points to writing the book on how to prosecute DUIs in Nevada as one of his crowning moments.

Mueller doesn't mince words when he tells audiences his No. 1 reason for running for office.

"I want the BLM out of our state," he said, voice rising.

He said there's no reason for the U.S. government to have such control over Nevada and doesn't find any authority granted to the government to control the lands in either the U.S. or Nevada constitutions the Federalist Papers or other documents.

"I believe in strict interpretation of the law in the Constitution," he said.

Mueller promised he will be active as an attorney general and not sit behind a desk gathering and disseminating information; rather he said he will be an attorney general who gets out and fights for the issues affecting Nevada. Over the years, Mueller said he has been preparing documents and has two boxes of material to go after the BLM.

" I will enforce the state constitution," he said, "and I am going to do this personally."

Mueller also thinks it's absurd public employees are allowed to serve in the Legislature because it's not a separation of powers but conflict of interest.

Voters defeated in 2014 a commerce tax or educational initiative to assess additional taxes on businesses' profits with most of the extra money going toward education; however, both chambers of the Nevada Legislature passed its own version of the $1.5 billion bill during the 2015 session. Question 3 or the Education Initiative proposed in 2014 a 2 percent tax gross revenue of $1 million or more for businesses and then channel the extra money into the Distributive School Fund.

Churchill County voted 6,631 to 795 against it, and statewide, the voters defeated it, 429,431 to 115,915. Mueller said he's hopeful a ballot measure will be on the 2016 general election ballot to repeal the tax.

"We had this tax increase passed (in the Legislature) and suddenly Clark County needs more money," Mueller said.

Mueller discussed several other issues. He said sending water from White Pine County to Southern Nevada is an "abomination." As for Yucca Mountain, he said the state needs to deal with it and feels the site could be used to reprocess the spent reactor cores, something, Mueller said, that has been occurring in France for generations.

"If you want to shake things up and do something, I'm your guy," he said.

Mueller's website is http: http://craig4nevada.com.

•••

Hoover has been a small business owner in Nevada for 27 years and recently transferred the firm's operation to one of his daughters.

As with Mueller, he vehemently opposes the Commerce Tax and hopes it can be overturned. As a lobbyist during the last legislative session, Hoover said he worked hard to educate the lawmakers on fewer taxes and regulations. According to Hoover he spent eight years in Carson City as a lobbyist on behalf of business owners.

"That means more freedom for us," he said, speaking for business owners.

Hoover said it was apparent 78 percent of Nevadans didn't want the 2014 initiative passed, but the Legislature during it four-month session, he said, changed its name, adjusted a few nuts and bolts and approved it. He derided one of his opponents, Michael Roberson, for championing the bill through the Senate as majority leader.

"If he hadn't pushed for the Commerce Tax for the governor, we wouldn't have had it," he said.

From the tax to education, Hoover said he's not against spending for education as long as student instruction receives more money that is spent wisely. Hoover said he finds it ridiculous teachers must buy most of the supplies for their classrooms.

"Education is a service business," Hoover said. "As a service business, what should you spend on payroll … about 75 percent?" Hoover asked.

Out of $10,000 channeled to education for each pupil, he said $5,300 goes to the student, which he says doesn't equate well with the overall amount.

"With all the tax increases, and it's all about the kids — we're still last in the nation," he pointed out.

Hoover, who lives in the Reno area, had a word for the two counties: Citizens expect you to educate the children.

Hoover's final thoughts focused on the Second Amendment.

"Let's keep it simple," he said. "If we do not have the Second Amendment, at some point we will not have the rest. We better make sure we keep the Second Amendment the exact way it is, and I'm not eroding it as is."

Hoover's website is http://eugenehoover.com.