Chachas says the Senate needs finance expertise |

Chachas says the Senate needs finance expertise

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

John Chachas says it’s time to replace the professional politicians with people who can fix the problems in Washington.

And when the problem is “the economy, the economy and the economy,” a financial professional who has made a specialty of fixing troubled corporations is the right choice, Chachas said Friday.

“My career in business makes me well equipped to talk about the issues,” he said.

Chachas, one of a dozen Republicans vying for the right to challenge Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said his career has been devoted to “helping businesses get well and stay well.”

“When we’re talking about how to course correct the economy, which is spiraling down, I have a valuable set of skills.”

Chachas, who has worked on Wall Street for more than a decade, rejected the charge he is a carpetbagger in the race.

“My family has a 75-year heritage in this state,” he said.

His grandparents bought a cattle ranch in White Pine County in 1939.

“I grew up in Nevada. I hunt in Nevada, vacation in Nevada. My grandparents are buried in Nevada,” he said.

According to his Web site, Chachas maintains homes in Ely and New York.

He said his expertise in fixing corporations is exactly the kind of expertise needed in Washington, D.C., right now.

When a family has financial problems, he said they cut back, make changes in how they live.

“For some reason, the 535 people in Washington (the House and Senate) don’t think that way. Washington seems to respond to absolutely no one,” he said. “Even though we have financial performance that is absolutely catastrophic, we have no change.”

He said the other candidates in the Republican primary race to challenge Reid don’t have his understanding of the financial industry and the reforms needed.

“I think voters want people who can actually attack the problem,” he said.

“I’m going to be a very unpopular Republican,” Chachas said. “They call the Democrats the tax and spend party. Well, Republicans have become the don’t tax and spend party.”

As a result, he said the nation is facing debt that is almost impossible to contain and fix.

At the same time, he said, “the only class of job growth in the last 12 months is civil service.”

“We’re paying them more and there are more of them.”

Asked for some of his ideas to repair the nation and Nevada, he said he would push Congress to sell 10 million acres of BLM land to Nevada with instructions to sell that land to private industry and individuals.

Businesses created on that land, he said, would pay no federal income tax for a decade. He said that would get the land into private hands, create businesses and jobs. At present, the federal government owns or controls 86 percent of Nevada’s land.

To start fixing the nation’s dependence on foreign energy, he said it needs to tap the estimated two trillion cubic feet of natural gas in this country.

“There are millions of natural gas cars around the world,” he said. “Here, 100,000. Why? Because there are no filling stations.”

He said the government should push to create that network of filling stations and move the country away from foreign gasoline.

Chachas said he has raised more than $700,000 for his campaign thus far and more is coming in daily. He has also put more than $1 million of his own money into the race which, he said, is now his full time job.

He said he entered the race because of his anger over how the nation is being run into the ground, and his belief is that he can help fix the problems he sees. But he said he doesn’t intend to become a lifetime politician if he wins.

He said the nation’s founders imagined government as being run by successful people moving into public service for a while, then returning to the real world. He said unfortunately, politics has become a career for too many of those now in Washington.

“I’ve had a rich and successful business career and I intend to have another when I’m done with public service,” he said.