(Nancy Dallas) – Brian Sandoval is running for Governor. He has two Republican primary opponents – incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons and Mike Montandon. You can learn more about Brian at www.briansandoval.com
1. You have been endorsed by many of Nevada’s Republican ‘political establishment’. Do you feel this has given you an edge over your opponents?
This election will be about the voters of the state of Nevada, where they want the state to go and who they believe can get Nevada working again. I hope to be that candidate.
2. What personal attributes do you feel best qualify you for the position of Governor?
I have served in all three branches of government – as an Assemblyman, as Attorney General and as a Federal Judge. I believe the depth and breadth of my experience there and as a small businessman qualify me to be Governor. I’ve had to balance a budget, gather facts, listen to all sides of an issue and make tough decisions. These experiences will allow me to bring a unique and broad-based perspective to the Governor’s office.
3. You appear to have a well-organized campaign team in place. What is your basic ‘game plan’ to reach out to the voters in the state? What do you estimate the Governor’s race will cost? Are you investing your own money in the campaign? To what degree?
My plan is to engage the generous individuals who are willing to give of their time to help our campaign be successful. We estimate the race will cost approximately four million dollars. I’ve found great success through social networking, campaign and coalition events and grassroots events. It’s refreshing to see so many new and old faces come together to get Nevada working again.
4. You have two announced Republican opponents in the race for governor. Why should the voters of Nevada select you over them?
I believe the voters of Nevada should select the candidate they believe best represents their values. I’m the only candidate in the race who put forward a plan to solve our state’s budget crisis without raising taxes. My agenda as Governor will be to get Nevada working again by creating new jobs, recruiting new businesses, enhancing our education system, and not raising taxes.
5. You left the Assembly in mid-term to be appointed to the Gaming Commission. You left the Attorney General position prior to the end of your term to be appointed Federal District Court Judge. You resigned as Federal District Court Judge to run for Governor. Please elaborate on your reasons for these career moves. If elected Governor will you complete your term if other opportunities are presented?
My adult life has been dedicated to public service and to helping out where I can be of most assistance to the state. My lifetime commitment is to the people of this state, not the security of a lifetime paycheck. I believe that if all of us do our part we can get Nevada working again. That’s why I am running for Governor, and it will be an honor to serve for a full term.
6. You are native of northern Nevada and served in the Legislature as an Assemblyman from the north. The large, disproportionate concentration of population in Clark County creates unique concerns and issues for this area. What do you perceive as some of the unique differences between northern and southern Nevada? With your limited political experience, why do you feel you are qualified to deal with them?
I have an extensive record working with Northern and Southern Nevada issues as an Assemblyman, Chairman of the Gaming Commission, as Attorney General and as a Federal Judge. I’m very familiar with the issues in virtually every area of this state and I’m comfortable working with Nevadans no matter where they live or work to help find solutions to our common challenges.
7. You have openly attacked the Governor’s budget proposals. You have stated you will not raise taxes. How, as Governor, will you specifically address budget shortfalls?
I am the only candidate in the race for Governor to put forward a plan to solve our state’s monumental fiscal crisis without raising taxes. My plan can be viewed here. That said, our state will face many tough decisions in the future. As Governor, I will not support a corporate income tax and I will not raise taxes.
8. As Governor, you will be dealing with the State Legislature, which could still be dominated by the Democrats in 2011. How do you intend to address and succeed with your agenda under these circumstances?
As a former member of the Legislature and a former federal judge, and the only candidate for Governor who has served in all three branches of government, I know firsthand that to get things done you have to be prepared to work with people of all backgrounds and viewpoints. That said, with the massive challenges we face ranging from high unemployment to the budget crisis, we cannot afford to get bogged down in partisan bickering. To break through the gridlock, I think a Governor needs to stay true to his core principles yet be able to listen carefully, help find a new balance to old problems and to lead. My agenda is to get Nevada working again.
9. What will be your primary legislative agenda? To what degree should the Governor participate in the legislative process?
I have always taken a hands-on approach to problem solving and I believe that the chief executive of the state must be involved at a level where he can provide leadership and get things done. Unlike the current administration’s approach to working with the Legislature, I look forward to engaging with elected leaders from around the state to build new and innovative solutions to our unique set of challenges. As Governor, my primary legislative agenda will be a simple one. We must protect our low-tax environment so that current Nevada businesses can continue to function and prosper and, at the same time, we need to send a message, which I will personally deliver, to businesses outside Nevada that they should relocate to our state, resulting in a better bottom line for them and a better bottom line for Nevada.
10. If the 2011 legislature votes to suspend the ‘sunset’ and continue the tax increases passed by the 2009 legislature, would you veto this action? Elaborate.
Yes, I would veto. Given the economic unpredictability swirling around us, I do not support extending the 2009 tax increases that are scheduled to sunset. At a time when we need to do everything we possibly can to create jobs and strengthen our workforce, raising taxes would be last on my list of the things to do as Governor.
11. Yes, there is a statute barring unfunded mandates to be passed from the State down to local governments; however, we all know the legislature has used various loopholes to skirt it. Would you support the State imposing unfunded mandates of any sort upon local governments and/or taking current local government revenue sources in order to alleviate the state’s fiscal woes? (Elaborate)
The crisis we currently face is unprecedented and does require us all to work together. Moving forward it is important to make sure the lines are clear so all levels of government can function and plan for the future. It is also important that we get capital projects that are approved and funded underway to help put Nevadans back to work.
12. The Governor has presented his education reform proposals. The Democrats and teacher’s union are uttering the usual words of criticism. You have criticized it. What is your position in regards to the following issues: What is your “education platform?” (Elaborate)
a. The current public school funding formula
b. Nevada’s current classroom reduction law
c. Full day kindergarten
d. Collective bargaining for public school educators
Hand in hand with my agenda to keep our low-tax environment, I’m committed to working to improve education in our state. I support empowerment schools and schools vouchers, including for private schools. I support accountability for teachers and schools and ending social promotion of our school children. With three children in Nevada’s public schools, I have great admiration for all the teachers in Nevada and I believe they have one of the most important jobs anyone could have, which is educating our children. I think full day kindergarten has proven to be a productive program in at-risk schools today and it is something we need to take a good long look at in terms of funding going forward. I also support giving our 17 school districts more autonomy to decide for themselves what works best for them especially when it comes to class size reduction.
13. What specific steps would you advocate to promote greater economic diversity and broadening of Nevada’s economic tax base?
The answer to promoting greater economic diversity and broadening Nevada’s economic tax base lies in keeping our tax climate attractive and our tax burden low. I think that most Nevadans would agree that our future depends on being a state where people want to do business. We have to be as good as or better than our competitors and that is especially true when it comes to economic development and diversification.
14. Would you veto legislation allowing for state employee collective bargaining? Elaborate.
Yes. I do not support collective bargaining for state employees. If collective bargaining were in effect for state employees, the Governor and the Legislature would forfeit almost all control over the state budget and I do not think that is a good idea.
15. What affordable energy producing programs would you promote and how would you propose implementing them? Do you support bringing nuclear power to Nevada?
I believe that nuclear energy must be a part of a fully balanced national energy policy and I think renewable energy should also play a meaningful role in that policy. In Nevada, I think we’ve gotten it right and are way ahead of the rest of the nation in terms of recognizing the importance of solar, wind and geothermal energy development. I strongly support the Legislature’s recent action calling for 25 percent of the power generated in this state by the year 2025 to be from a renewable resource.
16. Some strides have been made in creating greater transparency in Nevada government, particularly in regards to fiscal actions. What measures would you promote to further increase public access/visibility?
As Attorney General, I created the first Public Integrity unit to catch and prosecute officials who violated the public trust. I strengthened and support the open meeting law.
17. Health care reform is the hot topic of the day. What specific measures would you advocate in addressing Nevada’s health care concerns?
I am disappointed by the Attorney General’s refusal to join several other states in a suit against the federal government alleging the violation of state’s rights under the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitutional questions created by the health care bill are monumental in all future matters involving states rights and other constitutional issues. I believe they warrant review by the courts.
As a former Attorney General, I cannot recall a time when the office refused to take an important case at the request of the Governor. The AG’s decision excludes the citizens of Nevada from participation in a landmark case and I strongly urge the Attorney General to reconsider her position.