(Nancy Dallas) – Tibi Ellis is a candidate for the Assembly District 5 seat (Las Vegas), currently held by Democrat Marilyn Dondero Loop. You may learn more about Tibi’s background and political views at www.tibiellis.com
• You have never run for elective office. Why do you feel you are qualified to run for the State Assembly? Why do think you have a realistic chance of beating the Democrat incumbent?
I have been a Nevada resident for over a decade and have helped pioneer innovative business practices over my career. I have owned and managed my own successful businesses…in both strong and weak economic times. With our troubled economy I believe we need leaders with business experience now more than ever. As a 25 year healthcare and business professional I bring an incredible amount of qualifications to this campaign and will bring them to the Nevada Assembly in 2011.
Defeating an incumbent is never easy but I am committed to working hard, running a strong campaign full time, and talking about issues that matter to the voters. Times are tough in Southern Nevada, for families, workers and businesses alike. If the voters of AD 5 are happy with the direction our state is going and happy with the results they see from government, then they should vote for the incumbent. I for one am not happy with the direction our state is heading or the results from government and that is why I’m running for office.
• Why should the voters in your district elect you over your Primary opponent? Describe your political philosophy.
My life or career is not in politics nor does it depend on it. I am a successful professional and business owner who wants to help make things better by bringing my knowledge and experience to the legislature and help Nevada be a state where residents can thrive.
I am fiscal and social conservative. As the government continues to suffocate small businesses through increased taxes & regulations, I will be the person who stands strongly on the side of the local small businesses and employers who keep our economy moving forward. I will work to:
• Encourage a pro-jobs / pro-economic development environment;
• Focus on job creation as a top priority;
• Reduce the burdens placed on small businesses;
• Support local small businesses across our district.
• What are the demographics of your district? What are the greatest concerns of residents in District 5 and how do you intend to address them if elected?
As of the census of 2000, there were 117,390 people living in the Spring Valley area, 47,964 households, and 29,929 families residing in my district. The racial makeup of the district was 72.60% White, 5.29% African American, 0.60% Native American, 11.21% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 5.14% from other races, and 4.67% from two or more races.
As of today there are 20,881 registered active voters – 9,149 Dem – 7,444 Rep – 3,352 NP – 104 LIB – 738 IN – 94 OTHERS
As mentioned above, the economy and jobs are the most important areas of concern for voters in AD5 and I will address those as a fiscally conservative business owner.
• What do you see as the best means of providing sustainable, affordable energy to Nevada? Do you support nuclear energy? Elaborate on this position.
I had the opportunity to meet with the Nevada Commission on Economic Development in Nevada and learned more about how our state is in the process of putting Nevada as the leader in our nation for clean energy. I was also pleased to learn that this is the fastest-growing industry in our state. Our abundant natural resources, high tech companies make it an ideal location for energy businesses.
I support a diversity of clean energy sources and opportunities for Nevada, like solar, geothermal, wind and Biomass.
Solar – We are the leading state in the nation in solar watts produced per capita, therefore represent an excellent location for developing solar power. In fact, two of the world’s largest solar projects operate near Las Vegas.
Geothermal – We are rich in geothermal resources. We are second in the nation in generating electricity from geothermal sources and have world-class geothermal research facilities. Our strategies must continue to include the expansion and research in Geothermal.
Wind Energy – Wind power is the youngest of the alternative energy sources utilized in Nevada. The state has abundant wind resources. The United States Department of Energy studies show that Nevada has wind resources consistent with utility-scale production. The largest contiguous lower elevation areas of good-to-excellent resource are located in southern Nevada near Las Vegas and near Ely. Good-to-excellent wind resources are also located on the higher ridge crests throughout the state.
Until there is an operable option for the waste resulting from nuclear power, continuing to expand nuclear power seems an ill-advised endeavor.
• How would you propose to address the issue of Nevada’s growing budget crisis? Will you support the legislatively implemented sun-setting in 2011 of those taxes imposed by the 2009 legislature? Elaborate.
I believe in conservative economic principles where government plays a minimal role, unlike to what we have seen in Nevada where the size of government has increased exponentially in the last 10 years. I believe we should cut taxes when there are budget surpluses,, not increase spending to lock in the “extra” money. If the tax raising legislators would have understood and during boom cycles implanted tax cuts, and cut in spending during downturns we would have diminished the negative effects of the business cycle we’re in. The states that are fairing best in this economic downturn are not those with the most elaborate tax schemes or biggest spending programs, they are those that managed their books prudently during the boom and did not expand government each and every year.
I have taken the time to learn and study the several analyses prepared by the Sage Commission and other organizations and will be advocating to the adoption of these recommendations with my colleagues in the assembly.
Yes, I support the sun setting of the taxes imposed by the 2009 legislature.
• Does the state need to revise its property tax guidelines? Explain.
I support low taxes, with the growth in housing prices we’ve experienced earlier this decade, people’s taxes were skyrocketing. The proposals in place smoothed that out. There has been growing scrutiny of the way Counties have appraised and assessed values on property owners and it does appear each county may have been operating outside the law. This needs to be addressed and remedied.
• What are your views in regards to the federally mandated Real ID program?
I am a strong believer in the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Nevada’s sovereignty in its own matters is paramount. My driver’s license is issued by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, not the US Department of Transportation. I believe Real ID is just another example of the numerous unfunded mandates that Washington DC pushes onto the states.
• What is your view in regards to Initiative Petitions? Should the process be more strictly governed, or not? Should those petitions advocating a measure that would cause a tax or fee increase be required to pass under stricter guidelines than a simple majority?
The rights of the citizens to petition their government should not be abridged. Initiatives are more often decided in the courtroom today than the ballot box and that is an abuse of the system. We certainly don’t need more strict guidelines for lawyers to battle over before the voters get to vote on an initiative measure. Let the people vote.
• Do you believe the Nevada legislature should address the illegal immigration problem in the same manner as Arizona recently did? Elaborate.
Nevada already has some laws in place that address the presence and activity of illegal immigration through employers’ penalties and Clark County Metro Police’s 287(g) program. In our case the matter in Nevada is enforcing our existing laws. I have reviewed the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and commend Arizona’s legislature for not overstepping existing federal law. We American Latino’s are proud of our heritage and we equally honor the country that has offered so much to so many people. It is also important to recognize that Congress is given the power over regulating immigration and as long as state does not overstep that boundary, it is within their rights to enforce any law that is not unconstitutional within their borders. If the federal government fails to remedy the situation, as it has done for years and years now, more and more states like Nevada and Arizona will enact laws to address illegal immigration.
• To what degree should the state support those students attending Charter schools and schools of choice? Do you support these programs?
I support these programs and the state should be supportive of students attending these schools. Education is about the child, about the student, it’s not about whether a certain group of adults is happy or not. For far too long our education debate has seemed more geared along the lines of the impact on the adults in the education system, not the students. That needs to change.
• How would you propose determining and rewarding outstanding educators?
Based on student improvement. Educators can’t do everything. Parents, principals and a variety of factors go into a child’s learning, but the ability of educators to reach students and teach them the information and skills they need to succeed in life is how they should be rewarded. Washington DC is in the middle of a revolutionary program to reward outstanding teachers, an entire school was terminated recently in Rhode Island because of poor performance…and President Obama’s Secretary of Education praised the action, proving the belief I’ve always held actually is true and possible: Teaching students should not be a partisan issue.
• How would you address improving the performance of Nevada’s public school students?
Longer school day, longer school year, more accountability on the principals, teachers and system. The Agassi Academy is a model of an endeavor taking students who would be locked into failing schools and providing them an education worthy of their time. We need to replicate this. We also must give parents and students the flexibility to embrace the education that is right for them whether through independent study, charter or vocational schools, online or any number of other avenues.
• Do you support Nevada’s Right-to-Work law? Should Nevada State employees be allowed to unionize?
Nevada is a right to work state and it should remain as such. I think one need only look at the problems that the City of Las Vegas, and Clark County are having with in their ability to successfully navigate this economic downturn and adjust their personnel levels to see that a unionized state workforce would dramatically hamper the Governor and Legislature’s ability to respond to the needs of the state. Costs would likely be higher and flexibility would be diminished, I do not see how that is in the best interest of the taxpayer.
• 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 an estimated revenue deficit of between $2 to $4 billion?
Yes. By going item by item and eliminating or reducing all items that are not truly essential. Whether, employees programs or departments, the decision needs to be made whether it is necessary and whether it is working as well as it should be. Home prices are at mid 2000 levels right now, taking out the 2003 Nevada budget as a starting point budget may be an equivalent place to start discussion in the legislature.
• Do you support ‘prevailing wage laws’ for state and local government construction projects? Elaborate.
Prevailing wage is an artificial structure to ‘determine’ market wage. Well, the market will pay what it pays…supply and demand is basic economics, we should not have the government determining what the wage for an industry is, let the bidders determine that for a project. It adds billions in costs to construction projects that the taxpayers are forced to pay. Again, how is this in the best interest of the Nevada taxpayer?
• 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.
Difficult times bring difficult choices and that is where we find ourselves today. Subsidies do need to be looked at. For those who argue we need more tax revenue and this problem fixes itself…Google the activity of the California university system these past few years. They’re a mess.
• There have been legislative efforts in Nevada and other states to allow voter registration up to the day prior to or on voting day. What is you position in regards to this issue.
I’m opposed to it. Nevada has been ground zero in the voter fraud problems from ACORN, this would make that even worse. There are countless means and opportunities to register to vote and vote. At some point the citizen needs to take responsibility and actually do it. But reducing the ability of the registrar to verify a registration is legitimate is not a wise way to reduce voter fraud. Especially in a state where you don’t even need to show ID to vote.
• The Missouri Plan for electing/appointing judges will be presented to Nevada voters in November 2010. Do you support the Missouri Plan? Elaborate.
There are problems with direct election and with appointment, but anytime the rights of the voters are being reduced I get very nervous. If the voters of Nevada are willing and wanting to cede their ability to determine their judges to the decision of a few select people then that is their decision to make.
• Is there an issue you would like to elaborate on that I have failed to address? Go for it….
Nothing else matters if you don’t have a job. Until we get Nevada back to work, many of these issues are virtually noise in the debate, and once we get Nevada back to work many of these issues also become much easier to resolve. Regardless, your government is only as proficient as those who are leading it. I intend to be a strong voice in Carson City, a voice focused on putting Nevada back to work, enhancing the liberty of our citizens, businesses and families and promoting our ability to determine our own destiny. I came to this county with little more than a dream. I’ve achieved all I could have hoped for and that is what makes this nation and state so great. We cannot allow that potential for all of Nevada’s citizens to extinguish through stifling government growth and intrusion.