(Nancy Dallas) – Joel Hansen is longtime conservative activist an Independent American Party candidate for Attorney General.
1. You are a relative unknown in Nevada politics. Why did you decide to enter the Attorney General’s race? What campaign training/experience have you had?
When Catherine Masto first ran for attorney general, she was totally unknown in Nevada politics. And she had only 12 years experience as an attorney and had been a government lawyer for most of her career, with little if any administrative experience.
I have been actively involved in Nevada politics here in Las Vegas since 1992, and I am well known among people who truly want to restore our constitutional form of government. In fact, I have quite a following around the state of Nevada, as shown by the fact that I have supporters and campaign workers in virtually every county. Besides, I ran for Supreme Court in 2006, and I was polling ahead of Judge Douglas for a significant part of that race, so my name is known throughout the state.
I have been counsel on several tax limiting petitions, including TASC, PISTOL, and most recently, Sharron Angle’s Property Tax Cap petition. And I served as Sharron Angle’s attorney on a case in Carson City challenging questionable polling procedures in Reno, where she was running for office.
I have sued the Secretary of State on several occasions, representing conservative and constitutional candidates, parties, and tax limiting petitions. These have made me well known among many voters and political activists, and among Nevada taxpayers who would like someone to represent their interests.
Compared to Travis Barrick, I’m relatively famous in Nevada political circles. Travis is totally unknown because he only recently moved (back) to Nevada, and he has only been a lawyer for about five years. He’s never owned or managed his own law firm, and his legal experience is very limited. He has never run for office in Nevada before, and as far as I can tell, has never been active in Nevada politics before.
I’ve been supporting conservative, constitutionally oriented candidates and causes for many years, so I’m no newcomer to Nevada politics. I have many years’ experience in running and working in campaigns, including my own and others’, and I have been to various seminars over the years on how to run an effective campaign. And I have plenty of on the job training.
I decided to enter the Attorney General race because Nevada needs an experienced, successful, and tough attorney who is willing to stand up to Washington, to Wall Street, and to the tax and spend liberals, and truly represent Nevadan’s interests. I am uniquely qualified to be the AG, because I not only have 32 years legal experience, I have almost that many years experience as an administrator, having run my own law firm for many years, served as administrator for a private charitable organization, and served in various executive capacities for the Boy Scouts of America.
The Attorney General needs to be an experienced attorney and administrator, and I can fill those shoes much better than either of my opponents. In fact, I have more experience than both of my opponents combined.
2. How do you respond to those who say your entering the race as an Independent American Party candidate will only make it easier for the incumbent to win – by splitting the conservative vote between you and the Republican candidate, Travis Barrick?
See my answer to #1.
In addition, Mr. Barrick has absolutely no chance of beating Ms Masto, due to his lack of experience and being completely unknown. Mr. Barrick has demonstrated no original ideas or even actions in this race.
By contrast, I have actually filed a class action lawsuit against Obamacare in Federal Court, I originated the idea of suing the federal government to recover the money Nevada has spent on free services for illegal aliens, and I plan to hold Wall Street accountable and recover money on behalf of Nevada investors. Plus I plan to review all local and state gun laws for constitutionality in view of the recent US Supreme Court cases holding the right to keep and bear arms to be a personal right, and I will seek to invalidate unconstitutional gun laws, such as Clark County’s requirement to register all hand guns.
Mr. Barrick has thought of nor done any of these things. In other words, I’m by far the better candidate to challenge Ms. Masto, yet Mr. Barrick insists on running. I called him and asked him to drop out of the race, so that we wouldn’t split the conservative vote, but he refused, so he is the real spoiler in this race.
So far, Mr. Barrick has run an extremely weak and ineffective campaign. In addition, it is my experience that an Independent candidate pulls many votes away from Democratic candidates, because even though Democratic voters may detest the Democrat in the race, they are loath to vote for a Republican, but they will vote for an Independent.
On the campaign trail, I’ve had many people ask me what party I’m with, and when I say Independent American, they respond, “Good. The Democrats and Republicans have really messed things up to this point, and I want to try something new.” That is the angry mood out there, and I’m in a perfect position to exploit it.
3. Sharron Angle was once a member of the Independent American Party and an outspoken, practicing conservative. Why is the IAP running a candidate against her in the race against Harry Reid?
I can’t speak officially for the IAP, nor for Mr. Fasano. I can just give you my personal view.
When the IAP nominated Mr. Fasano for Senator, that was long before the Republican primary, and at that time it looked like Sue Lowden was going to win and the IAP wanted a truly conservative constitutional candidate in the race against Harry Reid.
Mr. Fasano is not running against Sharron Angle, he is running against Harry Reid, who is the real bad guy in this race. Besides, Mr. Fasano is actually helping Sharron Angle because he personally filed the suit against Scott Ashjian, the phony “Tea Party” candidate who stole the Tea Party name and lied on his declaration of candidacy that he was a member of the Tea Party while he was still a registered Republican.
Mr. Fasano had the standing to do that because of being a Senatorial Candidate. Scott Ashjian will pull votes away from Sharron Angle because Tea Party people may think he is endorsed by the real Tea Party, which he is not. Of course, he is also competing with Mr. Fasano for votes.
There are 60,000 registered IAP voters in Nevada, and they have a right to have their party’s candidate on the ballot. The Ashjian case is on appeal right now before the Nevada Supreme Court, and I am representing Mr. Fasano in that case. We hope to prevail and get Mr. Ashjian off the ballot.
4. What are your qualifications for this position? Why do you feel you are a better candidate than the Republican, Travis Barrick?
See my answer to #1 and #2.
In addition, I was made a member of the Bar Register of Preeminent Attorneys in the United States back in the year 2000. I have numerous jury trials and Supreme Court appearances under my belt, as well as appearances before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. I am licensed to practice before the United States Supreme Court. One prominent Las Vegas attorney said I was the toughest attorney he had ever faced. Many of my colleagues call me “The Bulldog.”
In other words, I have been a very successful attorney for the past 32 years. Now I want to serve my native state as its attorney general.
5. Explain your opinion in regards to how the current Attorney General handled:
a. The Brian Krolicki charges
b. The Bob Loux charges
c. The refusal to follow Governor Gibbons’ request to file a lawsuit in regards to the Federal Healthcare bill
A. With regard to Brian Kroliki, Ms. Masto not only abused the powers of her office to prosecute and persecute a political adversary of the Reid dynasty, she did so incompetently. Mr. Kroliki had sought the advice of the former attorney general on how to conduct his program, and then the new attorney general turned on him and filed felony charges against him. That may be a conflict of interest, filing criminal charges against your own client.
After Mr. Kroliki had spent a half a million dollars defending himself, the judge dismissed the charges and lectured Ms. Masto that she had failed to even allege the elements of a crime in the indictment. That’s incompetence, and it’s an abuse of power.
B. The Bob Loux charges: Masto recommended the state spend $20,000 to hire private lawyers to defend Bob Loux, the former Agency for Nuclear Projects administrator who admitted adding to his salary and those of his staff without knowledge of the Legislature. If his name had been Krolicki, or some other political adversary of Harry Reid, she probably would have filed charges against him.
Seems like she must be playing politics. And why couldn’t the AG’s office defend him if she thought he was innocent? Isn’t that what the AG is getting paid for with our tax money? Isn’t the AG competent to handle a defense like this? Apparently not.
C. Refusal to file suit against Obamacare: The Nevada Constitution says that the duties of the AG shall be defined by the legislature. The statutes say that the AG must file suit when directed to by the Governor, and that failure to fulfill her duties as AG constitutes a misdemeanor.
Because of Ms. Masto’s failure to file this suit on behalf of the State of Nevada, I filed a class action suit in Federal Court to stop Obamacare. (At the time, it was unclear whether Nevada would join in the Florida suit.) Tom Mitchells editorial in the Sunday Review Journal sang my praises for doing this and said that my complaint stood head and shoulders above the one filed by the States because I alleged violation of individual rights protected under the Bill of Rights, particularly the right to privacy.
Neither of my opponents has done anything to stop Obamacare. Obviously, I am leading the way here representing private citizens whose rights are being violated by Obamacare, which is probably the most unconstitutional legislation ever passed by Congress. It violates 60% of the Bill of Rights, the right to privacy, the 13th amendment (against involuntary servitude) and the prohibition against a capitation (head) tax, besides violating the commerce clause.
I haven’t seen either Travis Barrick or Ms. Masto come up with that type of thinking or doing anything at all to stop Obamacare.
6. What is the role of the Nevada State Attorney General? Has the current AG veered from this definition? Explain.
In today’s politically charged environment, and the liberals in control in Washington, and with the Federal Government usurping more and more of the powers reserved to the States under the 10th amendment, the Attorney General needs to be ever vigilant to protect Nevada’s interests against federal bureaucrats who think they can exercise arbitrary power over the State and its Citizens.
Of course, the AG represents all of the various departments and agencies of the State, in both civil and criminal matters, and as an experienced and tough attorney, I will be able to direct the efforts of the deputies aggressively and with knowledge of how the law works.
We need to put criminals behind bars to protect honest, law abiding citizens. I plan to vigorously prosecute child abusers and criminals who commit crimes against seniors. But I also think the Attorney General needs to be careful to avoid violating the rights of citizens protected under our
The current Attorney General has done nothing to protect Nevada from Obamacare or from illegal immigration.
7. What would be your #1 priority upon being elected? Would this priority differ depending upon who is elected Governor?
My #1 priority would be to continue the fight against Obamacare. The Attorney General has the right to pursue litigation on behalf of the state independently of the governor, and so it doesn’t matter who the governor is, I can fight Obamacare whether he approves or not.
My #2 Priority would be to file a Friend of the Court brief to help Arizona in its fight to uphold its anti illegal immigration law, and then pursue the federal government to recover Nevada’s money spent on free services for illegal aliens.
8. Are there any circumstances under which the AG would have the legal right to defy a Governor’s request/order?
The Attorney General, according to Nevada statutes, must file a suit when directed to do so by the governor, as explained above. But the AG is an independently elected constitutional officer who has the right to file suit if in his judgment it would benefit the State.
So if the governor ordered me not to file a suit, but I felt it was in the best interests of Nevada, I could legally defy that order and go ahead with the suit. I could join Arizona’s fight against illegal immigration, I could sue to stop Obamacare, I could sue to hold Wall Street accountable, I could sue to challenge unconstitutional gun laws in the cities and counties, and so forth, even if the governor didn’t approve.
So there is a balance of power between the governor and the AG. Also, I’m sure if the governor tried to order me to do something illegal, I would have the duty not to do it.
9. What is your view in regards to efforts by some to make rules governing the placing of initiatives on the Nevada ballot more restrictive?
I am personally acquainted with this issue, because I have litigated several cases brought to court under the anti-initiative legislation passed by our legislature.
The single subject rule, the right of adversaries to go to court to challenge the promoters’ description of their petition, the confusing requirements regarding signatures, and other technicalities which the legislature has created are all for the purpose of stopping citizen petitions. I think they are unconstitutional in that they improperly limit the intent of Nevada’s laws allowing such petitions and take away the rights of association, free speech, and the right to vote of Nevada citizens.
It is a shame that our legislators have been so hostile to the citizens’ right to petition the government.
10. What role, if any, should the AG play in the immigration issue?
The AG should join with Arizona by filing a friend of the court brief in that Appeal. The AG should promote the passage of an Arizona style immigration law in Nevada, and then vigorously defend it when the Obama administration tries to stop it. I will file a counterclaim against the federal government to recover all of the money Nevada taxpayers have had to spend on illegal aliens who were let in here by Washington’s failure to protect our borders.
11. You are the initiator and leader of the legal effort to get the U.S. Senate Tea Party candidate Scott Ashjian removed from the General Election ballot. To this point the courts have rebuffed those efforts. Why are you challenging his status on the ballot? What is your next step?
See my answer to #3.
I must be honest and say that Mr. Fasano initiated the suit and later asked me to be his attorney, to which I readily agreed. Judge Russell ruled that Mr. Ashjian had substantially complied with the statutory requirements. But we have argued on appeal that standard does not apply when you commit fraud on your declaration of candidacy, the way Mr. Ashjian did. Currently the case is on appeal, and the Supreme Court has agreed to hear it on an expedited basis.
12. Do you believe you have a realistic chance of beating the incumbent, Democrat establishment candidate? Why? How? How much money do you think it will take and do you have those financial resources?
Yes, I believe I can beat Ms. Masto.
She is very unpopular among voters, particularly over her refusal to sue to stop Obamacare, and because of the Brian Kroliki persecution for political reasons. In a three way race, I only have to get 34% in order to win. I am surprised at how many voters on the street know about her record on these issues and how much they dislike her on account of it. Since I am leading the private citizens’ suit against Obamacare, I have the best chance to beat Ms. Masto.
I have raised a considerable amount of money for my campaign, I have hundreds of signs all around the state, I have distributed thousands of brochures and other campaign materials, I have appeared in four parades in which Mr. Barrick did not show his face, and I will be in two more before Nov. 2. I continue my fund raising each day, and I have some very prominent and well to do backers who are helping me raise money. I will be airing radio ads, and when the money comes in, TV ads, before the election.