Ensign the best choice for Senate | NevadaAppeal.com

Ensign the best choice for Senate

the Nevada Appeal editorial board

A vote for John Ensign may not necessarily be a vote for change, but it is the best vote for Nevadans.

His opponent, Jack Carter, brings a lot of important issues to the table, along with an overall criticism of the Bush administration. But that’s not enough to gain an edge over Ensign, who has a deeper understanding of what Nevada needs and works well with Harry Reid on issues, including opposition to Yucca Mountain.

Ensign is able to cite differences from the president on issues other than Yucca Mountain, including a proposed diversion of money earned from public lands sales in Nevada to out-of-state causes.

When it comes to Iraq, Ensign favors an aggressive prosecution and resolution of the war, but it’s questionable whether he brings any realistic solutions to making that happen. He proposes oil credits be distributed to the different warring factions in Iraq to curb civil unrest. Carter is deeply critical of the war, but is not in favor of an immediate pullout. Rather, he suggests removing U.S. troops from their police role in urban areas and removing them to defensible safe areas, where they can still protect oil supplies.

While their views on immigration do not differ greatly, you will not hear Ensign talk about a path to citizenship. Instead, he supports a secure border, an employee verification system and a temporary worker program.

Carter, like his famous father, is a plain-talking man who hides from nothing in his past. But in the final analysis, sending Carter to Washington, D.C., would reduce the state’s influence on issues such as Yucca Mountain without gaining a great deal in return.