‘Political Shout Night’ draws variety of opinions, positions
April 18, 2012
From this year’s elections to supporters of the Dream Act to opponents of the Carson Nugget Project, Western Nevada College students and community members got a potpourri of opinions to think over at the college’s “Political Shout Night” Tuesday.
Both the head of Nevada Young Democrats Michael Cabrera and Aaron Sims of the GOP made their pitch to a crowd that peaked at about 75 in Marlette Hall. “The real job creators are the middle class, consumers,” said Cabrera. He got a strong positive reaction when he called for equal pay for women. On the health care law, he said Americans support the pieces that are in it, “they just don’t understand it.”
When the subject of the battle over requiring healthcare to cover birth control came up, audience member Margaret Mello questioned why “it’s always a man that questions it.”
She said in the congressional hearing, it was a panel of five men – no women.
“I think we should have a women’s panel to decide how we handle men’s birth control,” she said to applause from nearly every woman in the room.
Aaron Sims representing the GOP called for the federal government to get out of controlling education.
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“Government should not be involved,” he said adding that parents and students themselves should have more control, not be dictated at the national level.
He called for a return to the constitution, which drew a challenge from student Jocelyn Diaz who said for the first100 years, this country only gave rights to white men with money.
“Is that the constitution you want to get back to,” she asked.
He said that wasn’t the case at all but that congress has drifted away from constitutional principles.
Frankie Perez, head of the Latino group at WNC made an impassioned plea for support for the Dream Act, which would provide children of illegals who grew up in the U.S. a path to citizenship. That legislation is stalled in the U.S. Senate without enough support to get the 60 necessary votes. Perez said those young people are effectively Americans because they grew up here, brought across the border by their parents, but through no fault of their own are still subject to deportation.
The pitch to put the Carson Nugget project before the voters in November came from Day Williams. He said the Board of supervisors has committed $24.8 million in public funds to the plan.
Supervisors candidate Brad Bonkowski challenged that saying not a dime has been committed yet because the Adams foundation has to put up $21 million before Carson City money is tapped.
Williams said whether the project goes forward should still be decided by the voters. He said supporters of the vote have 2,000 of the 3,000 they need to force a ballot question.
Incoming WNC student body President Curtis Blackwell said his priorities are very simple for the coming year: to get more money for WNC.
He said not just the colleges but middle and high schools are suffering under state budget cuts.
He said that will take a team effort by all to convince lawmakers and the governor to restore funding.
WNC is also hosting the candidates night sponsored by the Carson Chamber of Commerce May 22. Professor Henry Weiner urged students and others to attend and question candidates for the legislature and other offices about their positions on education funding and other issues.