Guy Farmer’s gives his election endorsements
Although I’m not a big fan of media election endorsements, I’ll join the fray one more time and offer a few personal endorsements – which definitely do NOT represent the considered wisdom of the Appeal’s Editorial Board – for the Nov. 7 General Election.
I think this is an important (aren’t they all?) election because it will determine which party controls Congress. President Bush and his Republican allies are in Big Trouble on a number of “hot-button” issues, including congressional ethics, Iraq and illegal immigration, and my guess is that the GOP will narrowly retain control of the Senate while losing the House to the Democrats. Get ready for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. With that brief preamble, here are my personal endorsements, for what they’re worth, if anything:
I have a semi-serious question about the U.S. Senate race: Which Carter is running against Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), ex-President Jimmy or his son, Jack? I’m confused because when I see the Carters at campaign events on TV, Daddy does all the talking. Although I admire Jimmy’s humanitarianism, he was a weak and unpopular one-term president. As for son Jack, he’s a Georgia carpetbagger who wants Nevada taxpayers to buy him a ticket to our nation’s capital. And that’s why I’m supporting Sen. Ensign.
It’s an interesting race between Democrat Jill Derby and Republican Dean Heller for the open Northern Nevada seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both are likable native Nevadans, but Heller didn’t help himself by clasping President Bush in a warm embrace during a recent Reno fund-raiser that charged $2,100 per presidential photo op. And besides, why would a nice Carson City boy want to live in Washington, D.C. (a question I should have asked myself 40 years ago)? A few weeks ago, I wrote that I was looking for centrist, moderate Democrats whom I could support in good conscience. Derby is one of those Democrats, and I’ll be voting for her on Nov. 7.
This is a tough choice between conservative GOP Congressman Jim Gibbons, of Reno, and state Sen. Dina Titus, a liberal Democrat who is a political science professor at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Televised campaign debates have clearly shown the double-dipping Titus to be much brighter than her photogenic, but verbally challenged opponent. Nevertheless, I simply can’t endorse a tax-and-spend liberal. And given a choice between a Northern Nevadan and a Southerner, I’ll choose the Northerner almost every time on the theory that most Las Vegans don’t know (or care) where Carson City is and want to move the state capital south. That’s why I’m casting a reluctant vote for Rep. Gibbons.
As far as other state offices are concerned, I favor Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto over Republican Don Chairez for attorney general because of her recent prosecutorial experience. The sons of two well-known Nevadans are running for secretary of state: Democrat Ross Miller, the son of former Gov. Bob Miller; and Republican Danny Tarkanian, the son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. I’m voting for Tark Jr. because he’s insisting on photo IDs for all Nevada voters, which is essential in order to prevent voter fraud. Outgoing State Treasurer Brian Krolicki, a Republican, is a shoo-in for lieutenant governor. I decline to endorse anyone for state controller or treasurer because I simply don’t know enough about the candidates.
State Sen. Mark Amodei and Assemblywoman Bonnie Parnell should be retained as the capital city’s effective bipartisan team in the Legislature. I also support the re-election of Supreme Court justices Nancy Becker and Michael Douglas and favor fifth-generation Nevadan David Fulstone over Carson’s own Ron Knecht for university regent.
I’m wimping-out on the city supervisor races because I know, like, and respect all four capable candidates: incumbent supervisors Pete Livermore and Robin Williamson and their respective challengers Neil Weaver and Tom Keeton. Although I’m voting for my friend and neighbor Keeton, we’ll be well-served, no matter who wins. Deputy Attorney General Neil Rombardo is my pick for district attorney, and popular Justice of the Peace Robey Willis deserves re-election. I have no opinion on the school board races.
Chief among the ballot measures that I care about is Question No. 7, which would make Nevada the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana, a dubious “honor” we can do without. The Washington, D.C.-based drug legalizers pushing this measure are financed by left-wing extremist billionaire George Soros, who wants to legalize all hard drugs. Let’s just say NO! yet again (it was defeated handily in ’04) to this dangerous proposal.
On other measures, I’m against Question No. 1 to fund education first because we shouldn’t tie our state lawmakers’ hands on budget priorities, which is their responsibility. I’m voting for Question 2 to restrict eminent-domain takings of private property; Question 5, the more reasonable of two anti-smoking proposals; and Question 6, to raise the state’s minimum wage. If you disagree with any or all of my recommendations, come to the polls on Nov. 7 and cancel me out. It’s the American Way.
• Guy W. Farmer, a semi-retired journalist and former U.S. diplomat, has voted in Carson City since 1962 and been a local pollworker since 1996.