This and that in politics |

This and that in politics

There are issues that deserve mention but lack content for a full column discussion. Today I address some of those.

The upcoming Republican primary is an important one for our State Assembly race between Norm Frey and Dr. Robin Titus. With fringe party candidates and no Democrat in the general election, the primary will probably decide the race. Both candidates are conservative and both are respected long-time area residents. Dr. Titus is a relative newbie to politics, while Mr. Frey served as a county commissioner.

Experience counts. In a Las Vegas Democrat-dominated legislature, knowing not only what battles to fight but when to fight them is to me a key factor that only experience teaches. I don’t doubt that Dr. Titus can learn, but the learning curve could be costly to constituents. This, among other reasons, is why I support Norm Frey.

In other primary election races, Governor Sandoval is pretty much a shoo-in. Much less certain is the Lieutenant Governor race. I am not particularly enamored with either Sue Lowden or Mark Hutchison. That leaves Chris Dyer, who I don’t know much about. Time for some more research. Also, for State Controller, I support Ron Knecht. His work on the Board of Regents is a breath of fresh air.

What is wrong with our school board? They recently realized that they have a budget shortfall. One of the main duties of a School Board Trustee is that of fiscal responsibility. In a legislative year I could understand not knowing during Carson City budget debates what your funding is, but in an off year the funding should be fairly well set. It is the board’s responsibility to find out what the funding and expense picture is. Don’t blame your employees.

I find it interesting that at the same meeting they approved the negotiated agreement with the teachers they “discovered” the budget shortfall. Failure to be aware of the funding situation is through either negligence or purposefully ignoring it. You decide, but either way, it is a dereliction of duty.

Perhaps there is a good reason for this. They have been too occupied with trying to get a new high school gym built without the public knowing much about it. They have already approved bond funding for it. Agenda items so far for the gym have been masked to the point of verging on open meeting violations. You really had to dig, and then review meeting minutes later, to find out about the gym.

There is no doubt that gym time is at a premium and a new gym is needed, but the prototype plan seems excessive. For example, second floor weight rooms are expensive to build. I have been in most northern Nevada gyms, and the proposal would top nearly all of them. Do we really need a luxury model when a sedan will get the job done? They need to talk to the city, who built the Venturacci Park building on a shoestring with a perfectly suitable end result.

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner claims he was instructed by the White House to say things he didn’t believe. That is Democrat code for lie. One instance was to claim that Social Security didn’t contribute to the deficit. So much for the open and transparent administration. I suspect Geithner is now conducting a CYA by telling the truth.

At Harvard, a Black Mass was scheduled on campus by a school club, apparently with Harvard’s acceptance. It was only after much public outcry that the club cancelled the event on-campus. What a way to gain respect for higher learning. By the way, how many of our legislators attended Harvard? That might explain some of Washington’s problems.

Finally, the more I learn about the Common Core curriculum the more I want to explode. I have seen some of the math problems kids are expected to solve. It is no wonder they are frustrated. It reminds me of the “new math” that debuted in the 1980s. My oldest daughter suffered through that. She was completely lost until we drilled her with flash cards on the basics. Once she got those, she did fine, but until then only confusion and frustration reigned.

Not only must you get the answer right, you must do so the way they want. But if you get the solution wrong but show the right methods, you get partial credit. Would Obama would ride on a plane designed by getting the method right but the solution wrong? Just wondering.

Tom Riggins is an LVN columnist.