Underdogs: time to overturn status-quo | NevadaAppeal.com

Underdogs: time to overturn status-quo

The underdogs in the primary race for U.S. Senate say voters should reject the major candidates they see as anointed by the GOP and Democratic parties and, instead, send them to the November election.

John Ensign is the incumbent and favorite among Republicans in Tuesday’s election. Jack Carter, son of the former President, is the Democratic front-runner.

But Edward Hamilton, a retired auto executive in Las Vegas, says he has the business experience to get things done for Nevada more effectively and quickly than Ensign.

And Ruby Tun, a Carson City science teacher, says its time to overturn the status-quo which she argues isn’t serving the average American.

Tun, 39, said the federal government has lost its moral compass and is serving only those with money and power.

“We need to turn the focus of the government toward its people,” she said. “We have a responsibility to our elderly, a responsibility toward our kids and a responsibility toward our citizens. That’s the bottom line.”

She said the U.S. is trying to provide services and stability in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“We need to do that here,” she said.

As a sixth-grade teacher, she said, she sees too many students whose parents can’t afford necessities, such as medical and dental care.

“They have to think, do I go to the doctor this week or fix the car,” she said.

Tun said too many in Congress have lost touch with the problems of real Americans.

“They’ve made it so good for themselves, they’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a normal person,” she said. “What job do you know of besides the U.S. Senate that you work just six years and get full benefits?”

“It’s time government had normal people in office, people who struggle.”

Tun, a science teacher, also called for much stronger efforts to develop energy and fuel sources that don’t depend on fossil fuels.

“I can’t believe in Nevada we don’t look at solar energy more critically,” she said. “We should actually be running the electric grid off solar on everybody’s home.”

In the short term, she said the U.S. should work more with “our neighbors” Mexico and Canada to tap their oil and gas supplies and bring prices down.

“Depending on foreign fuels is a tragedy.”

And she said she would work to straighten out the Medicaid prescription drug plan, which she said is too complex for normal people to make sense of and doesn’t provide good enough benefits.

She said No Child Left Behind was “a piece of legislation that had good intentions” but needs to be fixed. In its current form, she said, it has forced too many schools to abandon teaching what students really need to know because the only thing that counts is numbers on tests.

“It’s changed the curriculum to reflect the tests. It no longer reflects what kids need to know.”

Tun said many give her little chance of winning, but she believes if people believe in what she believes, “then they ought to vote for me.”

Hamilton, 63, says his nickname is “Fast Eddie” because he knows how to get things done. He called for a return to fiscal responsibility in Washington, saying he won’t take his Senate salary ($168,500 a year) until the federal budget is balanced. He said he’ll also ask the president, vice president and federal judges to take a 10 percent cut until that goal is reached.

As an example, he said, he has a plan to lower gasoline prices by putting the federal government into the oil futures market which he said is now manipulated by unregulated speculators he compared to Enron’s management of energy several years ago.

“The Federal Reserves or Treasury Department should take portfolio positions and trade them wisely to drive down the price of oil,” said Hamilton.

He called for the immediate withdrawal of federal troops from Iraq and creation of a system of helicopter strike bases along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration which he said is endangering U.S. sovereignty.

“The U.S. would become a Third-World country, by 2040, if we allow an additional 100 million illegals and their families or relatives to be here due to lax of immigration law enforcement or legalization process,” he said.

He said he supports the Tax and Spending Control Amendment.

Finally, he said, Nevada should lower its legal drinking age to 18.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.