AD19 - Edwards-05-26-16Chris Edwards running for Assembly District 19

Incumbent Chris Edwards (R) is running for re-election in Assembly District 19. He was first elected to the seat in 2014. He lives in North Las Vegas.

During the public forum, May 9, Edwards said his priorities for the upcoming legislative session in 2017 will be the same as his first session in 2015: jobs, education reform, veterans and accountability. Edwards pointed out his successful legislation that allows the de-centralization of Clark County School District and “we passed 17 bills for veterans.”

He also voted in favor of the Education Savings Account (ESA) program that will direct state education funds to individual accounts from which parents can draw money to pay for private schooling. He was also proud of the work he did in the last legislative session to expand the opportunity scholarship program.

However, those programs do little for rural areas like Mesquite and Moapa valleys that don’t have alternative schools. During the public forum, he said “we have to have alternatives like charter schools. School buses should be able to travel to alternative schools to help those kids. There are ways we can change policies and programs.” He added that school district deconsolidation may provide more alternatives. Edwards also said he would work to quadruple the size of opportunity scholarships if the ESA program stays bottled up in the courts.

During the private interview he said that any deconsolidation of the Clark County School District (CCSD) had to include equitable funding among the new divisions. Edwards said he hoped efficiencies that could be created would help keep possible financial hits to rural areas down citing the use of local businesses in Mesquite for maintenance as an example.

On jobs Edwards said that he had worked with Mesquite Regional Business (MRBI) to connect them with funds and projects that may result from the proposed Faraday plant in Apex. He’s also worked with Nevada State College and College of Southern Nevada to help create a workforce development program in Mesquite that will train workers for local jobs.

He said he tried to establish an office of Inspector General in the last legislature but to no avail. “That would be the one mechanism that would truly control costs and waste across the state and save us millions upon millions of dollars.”

Edwards said “I did not vote for the commerce tax. When it came to the floor I voted against it. I believe it sets a dangerous precedent because the rates can be changed rather quickly.” Edwards suggested that money could be saved in the education budget by outsourcing things like transportation to get a more competitive and cheaper system.

He also called for more accountability by school systems for how they spend money they already have. “For instance, how much do they spend on salaries, maintenance, classrooms, and landscaping? If you don’t know where the money is going, you don’t know where you can save it.”

Later he added that should the commerce tax be repealed, someone will get taxed someway or something is going to be cut.

He said it’s a matter of government being the right size doing the right amount of work. “For example, increasing the size of the Department of Motor Vehicles would cost more money but it would also improve services to the people who wouldn’t have to waste their time standing in line,” Edwards said.

Edwards was not eligible to vote specifically for a Clark County tax although his opponent said he did. He did vote to approve giving authority to Clark County to institute the tax however.

In the interview Edwards said getting the state demographer to change the state census-taking from summer to winter “is a no-brainer and it should be simple.” That move would add about 4,000 people to Mesquite’s population count that could increase the amount of tax revenues the city receives from the state.

He believes cities should have more local control over issues now handled by the state. “Local government control is generally better as long as they are doing their job. That’s the challenge of self-government,” he said. “That’s where my idea of an inspector general comes in because that office would make sure local governments were running efficiently and correctly.”

“It’s important that we have good policy,” Edwards said in the forum’s concluding remarks. “Taxes are one aspect but good policy is also important. I look forward to fulfilling my four campaign policies of jobs, education, accountability and veterans.” He added that the next legislation needs to “pay more attention to the jobs that are already here rather than worry about businesses coming in from out of state.”

He said that much still needs to be done in education, especially at the post-secondary level. He said he would put forth the inspector general bill again. “As a fiscal conservative I’m the only guy that came up with a way to save $1.5 billion during the last legislative session.”


AD19 - Foust-05-26-16Connie Foust running for Assembly District 19

Connie Foust (R), who has lived in Mesquite since the mid-2000s, is running for the first time for Assembly District 19.

Foust stressed her opposition to new taxes saying “taxes are inhibiting prosperity in our country.” At the public forum on May 9, she agreed with a panel question about the need for taxes saying “We have to have taxes, and I pay them and have no problem with that, but I believe in the free market system.” Foust said she did object however, “to putting good money after bad particularly with our school system.” Foust said that she would like to see reforms done rather than putting more money into the education system. However, she did not define the reforms she would encourage.

During a private interview she listed her three priorities: good paying jobs, education, and water for future development.

She would work with the Mesquite Regional Business (MRBI) and Mesquite City Council on the jobs issue saying “we haven’t seen much recovery from the recession. The new I-15 Exit 118 interchange will help so we can get more businesses into the industrial area.”

While discussing the deconsolidation of the Clark County School District, she said that Mesquite is only one of several rural schools in Assembly District 19. “All of them have different needs. Most of the funds from the last tax increase go to administration rather than the children,” she said. “Children shouldn’t be lab rats. If I’m elected I will submit a Bill Draft Request to get back to the basics in education and do away with so much bureaucracy. We need less emphasis on children who don’t want to be there. We spend too much class time on discipline.”

When discussing the Education Savings Account (ESA) she said “I think they’re wonderful but they don’t help the rural areas. They don’t benefit poor children because parents have to drive them to the school and they can’t afford that. It’s not a good all-round program. It needs tweaking.”

When asked how she would tweak it she said “I don’t know, I’m not there yet. I haven’t studied the ESA program.”

She also said she didn’t know how she would tweak it for rural areas. “That’s an unfair question. How will I know until I get up there (Carson City)? We’re not going to raise taxes to remedy anything. I want the parents of Mesquite to tell me what they want for their children.”

She added that she wants to get rid of common core education programs and to pass a “pupil privacy act” that would prevent governments from gathering data from students’ computer devices.

“I’m concerned about water,” Foust said. “I don’t know a lot about water but we need to be serious about the future for water in this community. Some of that is due to Las Vegas where they keep drawing water out of the aquifer and Lake Mead. I believe it will affect us. I know we’re not running out of water.”

The commerce tax on businesses passed by the last legislative session was a target for Foust. “The commerce tax is going to affect every business person regardless of whether they gross four million dollars or not. They are already talking about dropping it to one million dollars and it is going to put people out of business.” Foust argued that taxing on gross receipts which the commerce tax does “just doesn’t make sense.”

Foust contends that her opponent, incumbent Chris Edwards (AD-19), voted for an amendment to the commerce tax in committee but later he voted against the bill in which it was passed. “It was a John Kerry moment. He voted for it before he voted against it,” she said. “It was pure politics.”

When asked how she would fund education absent the commerce tax, she did not give specifics saying only “we’ll have to look at it.”

Asked about other taxes Foust said “I will not raise taxes while in office, of any sort.”

When she was asked during the forum about her position on the Clark County fuel index tax Foust pointed at Edwards saying “Ask him. He voted for it.” The question was generated to determine her overall knowledge of taxing structures.

However, Edwards was not eligible to vote specifically for a Clark County tax. He did vote to give authority to Clark County to institute the tax however.

She said it’s terribly unfair for the state demographer to complete Mesquite’s census in summer months when its population is about 4,000 people fewer. The census impacts the amount of consolidated tax revenues Mesquite receives from the state. “I will try to get it changed,” Foust said about moving the census-count to winter months.

“I want to see people prosper and be happy,” Foust said when asked about her overall philosophy of state government. “The hard-working, middle-class is going away in Nevada. We have a cultural problem in the state. I am a fiscal conservative and social conservative without apology. We have to pay attention to taxes and spend our money wisely.”

In her wrap-up during the forum, Foust explained that she supported Edwards in the 2014 election but said “it’s not my fault he let me down” If elected, she said she would form a citizens committee to advise her on how they want her to vote on legislative bills.


Mitch3_1CD4 democrat primary advancer

By Thomas Mitchell

There are eight candidates in the crowded race for the Democratic nomination for the 4th Congressional District — three of whom have served in the Nevada Legislature. The incumbent is Republican Cresent Hardy.

The primary election is June 14 and early voting starts soon.

State Sen. Ruben Kihuen has the endorsement of U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, as well the backing of the Culinary union. In announcing for Congress he called Reid his mentor.

Kihuen immigrated from Mexico with his family and became a state assemblyman at the age of 25. He says his family came to this country in search of well-paying jobs, an education and home ownership, but, “Today Nevadans from all walks of life see the reality of that American dream slipping away. Families work harder for less. Everyday Americans can’t afford to send their kids to college. Women earn less for doing the same jobs as their male colleagues.”

He accuses congressional Republicans of serving the wealthy and elite who fund their campaigns.

Kihuen supports a $15 an hour minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, gun control, ObamaCare, comprehensive immigration reform and combatting climate change.

Former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores is running an aggressive campaign and has already launched television ads touting her progressive platform, which includes expanding Social Security, debt-free college, protecting women’s health, comprehensive immigration reform, gun control and LGBT rights. She has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy For America and MoveOn.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders sent out an email in April urging his supporters to make donations to her campaign.

“In Congress, I will focus on investing in our workforce and our future,” Flores says in her campaign literature. “I will fight, as I always have, for an increase in the minimum wage and to hold down health care costs. I will fight for small businesses and fight to bring good paying jobs with benefits to Nevada. I know that the jobs of the future require strong schools for our children and access to affordable debt-free college education.”

She earned her law degree at UNLV Boyd School of Law. She freely talks about having an abortion at the age of 16.

Candidate Morse Arberry Jr. of North Las Vegas served in the Assembly from 1984 to 2010, when he was term limited.

In 2011 Arberry pleaded guilty to fraudulent misappropriation for depositing $120,000 in campaign contributions into his personal bank account. Arberry’s deal dropped six felony counts and he agreed to pay the state the money he pocketed and a $1,000 fine. He was given a six-month suspended prison sentence.

When he announced for Congress in March, the Las Vegas newspaper reported that he still owes the state $121,545 from the 2011 plea bargain.

Arberry, who has an MBA from UNLV, retired from a job with the city of Las Vegas after 25 years. He was criticized in 2001 for drawing sick leave pay from his city job while serving in the Legislature.

When she announced a year ago that she was contemplating filing for Congress, Susie Lee was described as a Las Vegas philanthropist and community leader but a political novice. Her campaign describes her as having dedicated the majority of her adult life to improving the lives of Nevada’s neediest children, women, and homeless families.

Lee is the head of the Communities in Schools of Nevada, which is described as the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization. She also is a founding member and past president of Nevada’s Women’s Philanthropy and has served on numerous boards, committees and task forces, including the Guinn Center and the Lincy Institute.

She supports ObamaCare, increasing the minimum wage, paid family leave, LGBTQ rights and equal pay for equal work.

“As your congresswoman, I pledge to have a guiding principle that puts the economic mobility of ordinary families and citizens first,” Lee says. “For too long, many government policies make it harder for the middle class to get ahead. The economy within the home is most critical and Congress can do more to help working families in their struggle to regain the ground they lost in the recession and to manage their work-life balance.”

Dan Rolle moved to Nevada in 2009 to start a wireless broadband service and serve as a small business consultant. He touts his business experience by saying, “Unlike many of my opponents, I know what it is like to be in the signing side of a paycheck. I’ve had years of leadership and executive experience and I know what it is like to have to make a decision that affects someone’s ability to feed their family.”

Also unlike most of his Democratic opponents, he calls the $15 an hour minimum wage short-sighted and says he will focus on creating high tech clean energy jobs. He was critical of the Public Utilities Commission for raising connections fees and cutting the rates paid for rooftop solar power uploaded to the grid and said he would work with the governor to overturn the decision.

Rolle favors a single payer health care system, would work to overturn the Citizens United court decision that allows unions and corporations to spend money on election campaigns, expand the use of solar power and end deportations and create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. But mostly he is about high tech solutions.

Where perennial candidate Mike Schaefer parts company with other Democrats is his strong support for opening a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. He says it will create thousands of jobs and generate income for Nevadans.

“Yucca Mountain is the most studied land in the world and its radiation level is far-less exposure than having a dentist’s X-ray,” Schaefer writes. “For 50 years nuclear waste from military activity has been on Americas highways en route to existing New Mexico nuclear storage without any incidents or hazards. Modern technology assures our safety and we all deserve a bonanza like all Alaskans get for use of their oil fields ($2,000 in 2015).”

Also unlike other Democrats, he says the federal government controls too much public land in Nevada and there should be periodic public auctions at which that land is sold and put on the tax rolls.

Schaefer moved to Nevada in 1972 and, though he has a law degree from Georgetown University, he has been disbarred from practicing law in Nevada. He served on the San Diego City Council before coming to Nevada and has since run unsuccessfully for numerous offices.

He was kicked off the Democratic primary ballot for state controller in 2014 because he did not meet a two-year state residency requirement, since he voted in California in 2012.

North Las Vegas resident Rodney Smith highlights his 26-year Air Force career as the experience that qualifies him to serve in Congress. The first priority the Purple Heart recipient lists on his website is working for active duty military personnel, veterans and their families. “No veteran should wait for the benefits they’ve earned and deserve,” he writes.

He vows to improve education by focusing on an all inclusive curriculum, rebuild the nation’s infrastructure with a WPA-style program, make Nevada the capital of solar power, help minority-owned businesses revitalize their communities, fight for fair and equitable pay and support collective bargaining rights.

Smith also vows to shut down private prisons, reduce recidivism and cut the number of people incarcerated by half.

Brandon Cassut of Las Vegas, a licensed pilot, says he represented his church in Japan for two years, where he learned to speak fluent Japanese. Upon returning to   the U.S. he became vice president of foreign affairs for a small airline company. He is the president and owner of B.J.C. Enterprises.

He wants to protect our families and provide for their health and educational needs. He supports accessible and affordable health care and calls for cutting the cost of medicine.

The district includes part of northern Clark County, the southern part of Lyon County and all of White Pine, Nye, Mineral, Esmeralda and Lincoln counties.


CD4 republican primary advancer


By Thomas Mitchell

Fourth Congressional District incumbent Cresent Hardy of Mesquite is expected to pick up the Republican Party nomination in the June 14 primary, for which early voting begins in days. He faces two low-profile opponents.

Hardy describes himself as a fifth-generation resident of Mesquite, noting that his grandfather was the first baby born in the town. He has served as the Mesquite Public Works Director, a member of the Virgin Valley Water District, a member of the Mesquite City Council and served two terms in the Nevada Assembly. He grew up on a ranch and is a licensed contractor.

Hardy notes that Nevada pays more to the federal government in taxes than we receive in federal services. “Nevada has been a ‘donor state’ for far too long,” he writes. “We have essential services that need our resources, and Nevada can better decide how to spend our money than the federal government.”

Speaking of that federal government he declares that Congress needs to balance the bloated budget and work toward reducing our trade deficit. “As a long-time businessman, I have had to keep a sharp eye on the bottom line of my businesses to ensure that employees and vendors are paid on time,” he writes. “The government should operate by this same basic standard. We cannot spend money that we do not have.”

He opposes ObamaCare and said health care policies should be determined at the state level, as should decisions about education. He said the nation must be strong militarily without being the policeman of the world.

Las Vegas builder Mike Monroe is making another bid for the Republican nomination in CD4. Two years ago, after running a nearly invisible campaign and spending negligible cash, Monroe inexplicably won 22 percent of the vote in the primary and actually won in two counties.

Monroe said he hopes to win even more votes this time with his unconventional campaign that largely involves driving to various meeting places. He said he only wants to serve a single two-year term so he can push for anti-methamphetamine legislation. He said that is his whole campaign.

Pahrump electronic technician Wayne Villines says he doesn’t want to be congressman but is running because Hardy told him he could not help with a problem because he did not sit on the committee that dealt with that issue.

“Unless I see real proof that Congressman Hardy is willing to fight for the Constitution, including calling for impeachment processes against sitting Congresspersons, then I cannot support him as Congressman,” Villines writes. “I cannot trust any Democrat, since every elected Democrat has betrayed their promises, so far as I can see. That leaves only me as the only real choice for a pro-Constitution candidate.”

He lists one of his priorities as increasing the quality and quantity of representatives in the House, saying each congressman represents too many people, noting CD4 includes 667,000 people. He also advocates fixing the economy and reducing the tax burden.

The district includes part of northern Clark County, the southern part of Lyon County and all of White Pine, Nye, Mineral, Esmeralda, and Lincoln counties.


Senate democrat primary advancer

By Thomas Mitchell

Former two-term Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is Harry Reid’s hand-picked choice to fill the Senate seat he is vacating after 30 years, during which he has served as both majority leader and minority leader of that exclusive 100-person body.

Las Vegan Cortez Masto is cut from the same liberal cloth as Reid and is largely in lock step with him on issue after issue. Her three Democratic primary opponents have not mounted noticeable campaigns. Early voting starts soon and the primary election day is June 14.

One of her most notable deeds as attorney general was to reject then-Gov. Jim Gibbons’ directive to join the lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare.

“I also have the responsibility to decide how and when litigation is conducted,” she told Gibbons in a terse letter, even though state law says that the attorney general shall commence legal action whenever the governor directs.

She also has been an assistant county manager for Clark County, a federal prosecutor in Washington and chief of staff for Gov. Bob Miller.

Cortez Masto boasts in her campaign literature of her track record of fighting to protect Nevada families, women and seniors.

“I’ll work to lower the tax burden for the middle-class and push Washington to start being responsible in budgeting taxpayer money,” she states on her campaign’s website. “I’ll fight for more transportation funding like the I-11 highway from Las Vegas to Phoenix, which will create jobs, spur commerce, and encourage tourism between these two major cities. We also need to continue to diversify our economy by investing in Nevada’s emerging clean energy industry. Nevada has an abundance of solar, wind, and geothermal energy. It is vital that we capitalize on this, which will bring good-paying, middle-class jobs to our state that can’t be outsourced.”

Cortez Masto supports so-called comprehensive immigration reform, equal pay, all forms of renewable energy, an increase in the minimum wage, LGBT rights, opposes Yucca Mountain as a nuclear waste repository and would overturn the Citizens United court ruling that allows unions and corporations to spend freely for free speech — calling it anonymous “dark money.” She also promises to oppose efforts to abolish the $70 billion a year Department of Education.

Also seeking the Democratic nomination to the Senate is Bobby Mahendra, a CPA who has lived in Las Vegas since 2011.

Mahendra explains his candidacy by writing, “I looked at the candidates that were offered on the political landscape, and I didn’t feel that any candidate offered what I wanted. I wanted a politician that would stand for the anti-corruption movement … that was socially liberal, but fiscally conservative! Eventually I realized that it’s better to be part of the solution than to be part of the problem by complaining all the time.”

Mahendra says he will not take money from special interests, super PACs or corporations.

His website says he will seek to reduce personal and corporate taxes, protect Medicare and Social Security, reform immigration, legalize marijuana, support gay marriage, support abortion rights and the Second Amendment.

Las Vegas candidate Liddo Susan O’Briant lists her occupation as inventor. The website she posted with the Secretary of State when registering to run is for something called a Tree Bulb, a Christmas decoration. Her Twitter account has only two tweets, both on April 18. The first says “Hello Twitter,” and the second, “I’m running for Nevada U.S. Senate. Please share your questions, comments and concerns. Thank you.”

Allen Rheinhart of Las Vegas describes himself as a Black Lives Matter activist and a foreign affairs writer.

Rheinhart calls for a minimum wage of $22.20 an hour, universal health care as a basic human right, ending deportations and supports gay marriage.

“A Bernard Sanders presidency will be that much needed paradigm shift (a “Tea Party Movement of the Left”) … with a go-to senator in myself to bring quality legislation to the floor of the Senate,” he writes. “A Bernard Sanders presidency will need all the help it can get to get our nation off this hamster wheel we’re currently on. I know the world I live in, I have a foreign policy knowledge that my opponent, Catherine Cortez Masto is totally lacking in. I’ve heard Ms. Masto speak on foreign policy issues, I doubt if she could find the Levant region on a map — much less expound on what ails it.”


Senate republican primary advancer

By Thomas Mitchell

The race to become the Republican nominee to fill the Nevada U.S. Senate seat that has been held by Harry Reid for 30 years features an incumbent congressman, the woman Reid defeated in the 2010 election and what can best be described as seven others.

Early voting is about to start and the primary election day is June 14.

Three-term congressman for southern Clark County, former emergency room physician and Army Reserve brigadier general Joe Heck is widely considered to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination and is expected to advance to the November General Election and face presumed Democratic nominee Catherine Cortez Masto, Reid’s hand-picked successor.

Former four-term Reno Assemblywoman Sharron Angle entered the Republican nomination race in March and has statewide name recognition after winning the nomination six years ago and then losing by 6 points to Reid after a number of prominent Republicans endorsed Reid and the liberal media ridiculed her fundamentalist and conservative values. There was also a heavy union turnout for Reid.

Dr. Heck has served three tours of duty in Iraq and promises to be a voice for active military and veterans. He chairs the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, where he worked on securing an adequate military retirement system.

He has pressed for the opening of the Laughlin VA Health Clinic and has been a critic of the VA health system’s lack of accountability.

As a physician, Heck has fought to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, known pejoratively as ObamaCare. “Premium increases on top of exorbitant deductibles make the ‘Affordable Care Act’ anything but affordable,” Heck says. “That is why I introduced and cosponsored legislation with the GOP Doctors Caucus to fully repeal the unsustainable ACA and start over with patient-centered solutions including the interstate purchase of insurance, individual health pools, expanded health savings accounts, tax credits for the purchase of coverage, and lawsuit abuse reforms to reduce the costly practice of defensive medicine.”

The father of three children is pressing to return more education control and funding and policy decisions to the states and local school districts. He pushed legislation that prevented the federal government from coercing states into adopting Common Core standards.

But he says his top priority is improving the Nevada economy and boosting job growth by curbing Washington’s overbearing regulations.

Angle has launched what she is calling her “Changing Hearts & Minds Tour” across the state, meeting with voters and pressing issues involving requiring proper identification before being allowed to vote, ending ObamaCare and protecting pupil privacy by making sure all the data gathered on public school children is kept confidential.

“My connections and history in Nevada run deep, I love meeting voters and talking about the real issues that are important to them, I love Nevada. If there is one thing

everyone is tired of is Washington, D.C., telling us what to do on every single thing you didn’t imagine,” she is saying. “When it comes to real Nevada, the people who work in the mines, own businesses, run family farms, they know first hand how much trouble Washington, D.C., can be in their lives. They want to hear ‘Our

Voice’ in the U.S. Senate, not D.C. insiders. That is why I am here, to bring national attention to these important issues.”

Over the years Angle has been a strong Second Amendment supporter, drawing scoffs and gasps from the liberal media when she says things like: “Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government.”

Candidate D’Nese Davis describes herself as an artist and small business owner. She is a regional director of “2 Million Bikers to D.C.,” who she says believe in God, country, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as written by the Founders.

Davis describes herself as an advocate for veterans, the Second Amendment and first responders.

Eddie Hamilton is a perennial candidate who describes himself as an original and unapologetic Donald Trump supporter who would work with a President Trump.

Hamilton is CEO of the Las Vegas Fund, which specializes in real estate, gaming common stock, and government Treasury bonds investments. He holds an MBA and attended law school.

On the issues Hamilton describes himself as a conservative who embraces supply-side economics. He supports building Trump’s Wall, overhauling the Veterans health agency, reforming the tax code and repealing ObamaCare and the Common core mandate. He said he would add private investment opportunities to Social Security.

Hamilton says he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and would defund Planned Parenthood. He supports the Second Amendment and separation of powers.

Thomas Heck makes light of the fact he shares the last name of the front-runner, saying in an online audio commercial, “Don’t vote for the average Joe. Did you know there’s another Heck running for United States Senate here in Nevada. It’s Tom Heck.

He registered with the Secretary of State to enter the race by listing his name as Thomas “SAD Tom” Heck and says he is saddened by the Republican and Democratic leadership “with their crony capitalism funding career politicians who ignore the voters!”

Thomas Heck is a graduate of the Air Force Academy who served 22 years in the Air Force before retiring in 1998 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Like the other Heck he stresses his military leadership.

His priorities are listed as improving job opportunities and the economy by cutting regulations and burdensome paper work and by cutting or eliminating the business tax, strengthening our military to protect Americans and destroy ISIS, stopping government intrusion into our personal lives, supporting a flat tax, secure our border and running government like a business.

Robert X. Leeds, 90, ran in the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District in 2012 and finished ninth of nine candidates. His online biography says he was in the Merchant Marines at the end of World War II, worked as a consultant for General Motors and partnered with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc to found a pet care firm. He says he managed to become embedded with a Cavalry unit in Iraq, but was wounded shortly after his 83rd birthday in 2009 and returned to the U.S. for treatment. He is retired.

He proposes term limits for federal judges, opposes allowing Sharia Law to be practiced here, would let each state determine the legality of abortions and would end the Electoral College and determine elections by popular vote.

Bill Tarbell of Sparks is calling for simplification of the 75,000-page federal tax code. He is opposed to abortion except to save the mother’s life and opposes requiring the Common Core to be taught in schools.

Tarbell says many important lessons should be learned from the standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and the Bundy family of ranchers near Bunkerville two years ago. “Perhaps most important is the intensity of the reaction triggered by the massive show of force presented by the BLM,” he says. “People coming from near and far with such speed and determination suggests that we are near a threshold of impatience with federal pressure of all kinds.”

Tarbell says restrictions on public and private land, such as the Endangered Species Act, have intensified resentment of the government.

Another perennial candidate is Carlos Poliak, who has run as both a Democrat and Republican. He ran four years ago for the Senate as a Republican and two years before that as a Democrat. He has twice run for governor.

Poliak, a sanitation company worker, four years ago added the nickname “Nakusa” to his ballot registration form. This year he has added “Mazunga.” Poliak finished fourth in a four-way race for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District in 2014. He listed no website when he registered.

Justin Preble is a Henderson resident in the insurance business. On his Facebook page he writes, “As a Candidate for the U.S. Senate my intentions are pure. I will protect our freedom and get us out of debt.”


Choice for Assembly District 19

 It’s unusual for a state legislative seat to have only candidates from the same party running for the office but that’s what voters in Assembly District 19 face this year when they will choose between two republican candidates, incumbent Chris Edwards and newcomer Connie Foust.

Whoever wins the primary on June 14 wins the seat.

After compiling responses to questions at both the public forum on May 9 and one-on-one interviews, the Mesquite Local News chooses Edwards as its candidate to win a return trip to Carson City in 2017.

It’s understandable that someone who has not been to the legislature before would be unsure of the process to introduce new laws or tweak the ones already on the books. But it’s unacceptable to not at least have an idea of what you would recommend if elected. So when the MLN asked Foust how she would change the Education Savings Account program that she said needed changes, all she could say was “That’s an unfair question. How will I know until I get up there (Carson City)?”

If she doesn’t like a law or program, she should at least have an idea of acceptable alternatives.

Edwards had two ideas: use existing school district buses to transport the students or quadruple the size of opportunity scholarships.

Foust used the same wait-until-I-get-there response when she said she wants reforms rather than more money in the education system. But she couldn’t define the reforms or how she would implement them.

She did offer that “If I’m elected I will submit a Bill Draft Request to get back to the basics in education and do away with so much bureaucracy.”

Edwards said he wanted the school system to account for spending by category and that he would work for efficiencies in the system to reduce costs. He started on that change in the last legislative session with some of the school reforms included in legislative action. He’s also on the right track when he says you won’t know where to cut money until you know where you’re spending it.

Foust is most vocal in her opposition to the commerce tax passed in the last legislative session almost to the point of being a one-issue candidate. However, when asked how she would fund education absent the commerce tax, she did not give specifics saying only “we’ll have to look at it.”

Edwards, on the other hand, suggested that money could be saved in the education budget by outsourcing things such as transportation to get a more competitive system. He also called for more accountability by school systems going so far as to justify his idea of a state inspector general office as part of that.

It’s one thing to be against taxes, all taxes it seems in Foust’s case, but you should at least have some alternative ideas for funding essential services. While Edwards’ ideas are weak in some cases, at least he has some.

Of course every candidate wants more jobs for the constituents. Foust says she would work with Mesquite Regional Business (MRBI) and Mesquite City Council to bring more jobs to the area. Edwards says he would also work MRBI but he went a step further expanding into working with Nevada State College and College of Southern Nevada to create workforce development programs in Mesquite that will train workers for local jobs. In fact, he’s already been doing that since December.

Throughout her campaign Foust’s focus has been more about I-hate-taxes and against Edwards because he supposedly lied to her and others about issues in the last legislative session rather than developing her strategies and ideas on how to fix state-level problems.

While it’s natural to denigrate your opponent for whatever reason, voters want and deserve some inside glimpse on how you’ll operate if elected.

Edwards provides that, Foust doesn’t.