(Nancy Dallas) – Randi Thompson is a Republican candidate for the Assembly District 31 seat (Sparks, southeast Reno), formerly held by Democrat Bernie Anderson (term-limited out). You may learn more about Randi’s background and political views at www.randithompson.com
• Give a brief summary of why you believe you are qualified to run for the State Assembly. Describe your political philosophy.
I have owned and operated businesses in this state, so I understand the impact taxes and regulations have on business. I’m an active volunteer in my community and understand what resources our community needs and what ones are duplicated by our state government. I have common sense and solid ideas to diversify our economy, attract new business, and get Nevadans working again. I don’t belong to any organization or profession that benefits from the legislature, unless you count that I’m a taxpayer.
My political philosophy is less government is better.
• You have twice run unsuccessfully for this position. Are you doing anything differently for this campaign? Why should the voters in your district elect you over your opponents?
I ran twice against a long-time incumbent who was liked by the voters and well funded. Raising enough money to adequately get my message to the voters was tough, and getting people to switch their votes was a challenge. With the open seat, the playing field is level.
I have more practical business, political and community experience. I’m not tied to any one industry, nor is she a member of a union. I have no loyalty to any special interest groups, except the citizens of Nevada.
• What are the demographics of your district? What are the greatest concerns of residents in District 31 and how do you intend to address them if elected?
This district has many retired Nevadans and hard working families and small business owners. Jobs and taxes are their greatest concern. I will help them by seeing that the legislature creates jobs and doesn’t raise taxes.
• You state a desire to “get Nevadan’s working” and help ‘businesses grow”. How do you specifically intend to address these issues?
We need to aggressively pursue businesses in Oregon (where they just passed tax increases) and California that can benefit from Nevada’s tax structure and excellent logistics infrastructure. I also support fully restoring funding to Yucca Mt and rehire the 1500 Nevadans who lost their jobs there. Getting the project back on track means over 3000 construction jobs to build road and rail lines over the next three years. I support the State’s Energy Economic Strike Force and their goal to attract renewable energy companies. We need to change the law that bars the state from providing tax abatements or financial incentives for economic development, as we have lost many renewable projects the past two years to neighboring states that are offering incentives.
• How would you propose to address what you refer to as a problem of a “growing state budget”?
By cutting it.
• What are your views in regards to the federally mandated Real ID program?
Nevada seems to be complying with it by issuing the new drivers’ licenses
• Do you believe the Nevada legislature should address the illegal immigration problem in the same manner as Arizona recently did? Elaborate.
Arizona is experiencing direct impacts from illegal immigrants. The state’s economy is under attack, as are their citizens. Over 50% of the illegal aliens that enter the United States and 50% of the illegal drugs that are brought into this country from Mexico now come across the Arizona border. So they had no choice but to take such action. It seems Arizona’s law mirrors the federal law, but federal law is not being implemented. So the law seems appropriate for them. I am willing to consider appropriate legislative action, but I don’t know what action that would be just yet.
• To what degree should the state support those students attending Charter schools and schools of choice? Do you support these programs?
Yes. Our education dollars should follow the child.
• How would you address improving the performance of Nevada’s public school students?
Improving education will take fundamental changes to our system, but few want to tackle those changes. We need more charter schools, empowerment schools, virtual schools, and magnet schools. We need to consider consolidating school districts across county lines in the rurals. We need to streamline administration. We need to eliminate programs like class-size reduction that have increased costs but not improved student performance. There are successful educational formats that we should be adopting, like those at the Andre Agassi Academy in Las Vegas or the Uncommon Schools charter school organization back east.
• Do you support Nevada’s Right-to-Work law? Should Nevada State employees be allowed to unionize?
• What do you see as the best means of providing sustainable, affordable energy to Nevada? Do you support nuclear energy? Elaborate.
I support pursuing renewable and nuclear energy in Nevada. We have a great economic resource in our vast amount of remote land, and we can utilize it for energy production while protecting it from environmental degradation. I have been leading the charge for making changes to Yucca that include a reprocessing facility to use the nation’s stock pile of spent fuel to generate power. It can be done, and we can be a net exporter of energy.
• If elected, will you vote to uphold the legislated sunset clause on many of the tax hikes approved by the 2009 legislature? If so, how do you propose addressing a revenue deficit of between $2 to $4 billion?
Yes. I would start with the 2001 budget of $3.8 billion. Education would receive about $1.6 billion in 2011, down from $3.5 billion this year. HHS would receive about $1.3, down from $1.9 billion for this year.
• Do you support ‘prevailing wage laws’ for state and local government construction projects? Elaborate.
I support paying people a salary based on what the market will bear.
• State tuition support of in-state students at Nevada’s two universities ranks far above the national average. Would you support reducing the amount of this support in an effort to reduce budget deficits? Elaborate.
Yes. Nevada taxpayers pay 86% of the costs of higher education. We need to encourage our universities to bring in more money through patents, intellectual property rights, and research grants.
• There have been legislative efforts in Nevada and other states to allow voter registration up to the day prior to or on voting day. Elaborate on you position in regards to this issue.
No. Voter fraud is too popular these days, and elections have been manipulated. I support the current two week cut off to give registrars the opportunity to verify the residency of the voter. I also support a picture ID to vote. I need one to get my own money out of a bank, why should we not require to one to elect our government.
• The Missouri Plan for electing/appointing judges will be presented to Nevada voters in November 2010. Do you support the Missouri Plan? Elaborate.
I’m not really sure at this point. There are good and bad aspects of it that I want to further study before I personally vote on it.
• Is there an issue you would like to elaborate on that I have failed to address? Go for it………..
No, I think you have asked just about everything… Thanks for the opportunity.