(Chuck Muth) – Finally, game time. Here are my picks this election cycle. Note, not all races are included. Let the balloting begin!
Question 1 takes away the right of Nevada citizens to elect the judges who rule over us. This is a definite “No.”
Question 2 would establish an intermediate appellate court because our existing courts are supposedly too crowded. But this would add another layer of judicial bureaucracy which will only drive up costs to taxpayers and litigants and extend the already lengthy legal process.
If the courts are too crowded, a better solution would be to stop wasting court time prosecuting simple marijuana users and throwing out frivolous slip-and-spill lawsuits brought by greedy ambulance chasers. I’m a “No” on this one.
Question 3 is a very technical question regarding the sales and use tax that almost no ordinary citizen can understand. But at its core, it would allow the Legislature to make certain changes to how sales and use taxes are applied and collected which currently require voter approval.
What is not noted in the language of this initiative is that it really has everything to do with taxing Internet sales some time down the road. I fear the Legislature is trying to slip something past us with this baby. So I’m a “No” on Question 3.
Question 4 waters down the property rights constitutional amendment Nevadans have already passed in two successive elections and is now the law of the land. It would also impose a “loser pays” burden on the average Nevada citizen trying to save his property from a hostile government take-over. This is a definite “No.”
Federal races: Sharron Angle (R) for U.S. Senate. Ed Klapproth (L) for Congressional District 1. Dean Heller (R) for Congressional District 2. Joe Heck (R) for Congressional District 3.
Constitutional offices: Brian Sandoval (R) for governor. Brian Krolicki (R) for lieutenant governor. Joel Hansen (IAP) for Attorney General. Steve Martin (R) for Treasurer. And Kim Wallin (D) for Controller.
In the Secretary of State’s race, no way can I support incumbent Ross Miller after how he mishandled the Scott Ashjian/Tea Party fiasco. He’s also proved hostile to the citizen ballot initiative process.
On the other hand, the Republican nominee has lawsuits, assault charges and ethical questions coming out the wazoo and seems to believe all his troubles are the result of some gigantic conspiracy theory that doesn’t even involve black helicopters.
Meanwhile, John Wagner, the IAP candidate, is a nice enough fellow – but I can’t discern any particular political experience or management qualifications he possesses for this particular office. So I’m going with “None of the Above” on this one.
State Senate: Washoe District 2, Don Gustavson (R). Clark District 5, Michael Roberson (R). Clark District 7, Tony Wright (R). Clark District 8, Barbara Cegavske (R). Clark District 9, Elizabeth Halseth (R). All of these candidates have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
In the Capital District, an endorsement with some reservation for James Settelmeyer (R).
Settelmeyer was a solid conservative vote last session in the Assembly; however, although he signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge while in the Assembly he has opted not to resign it as a Senate candidate – without explaining why. So on this one I’m taking a trust-but-verify position.
In Washoe District 4 the Republican candidate and government employee, Ben Kieckhefer, is highly suspect of being a moderate under the control of the “establishment,” but he’s gonna be elected so we just have to hope for the best.
In Clark District 12, taxpayers don’t have much of a choice.
As a member of the Assembly, Republican Joe Hardy, the GOP nominee in this race, voted for the largest (2003) and third largest (2009) tax hikes in Nevada history and yet has the gall to send out a mailer this week claiming “we can always count on Dr. Joe Hardy to vote against job-killing tax increases.”
On the other hand, his Democrat opponent will do whatever his party’s leadership tells him to do on tax hikes and every other issue. And the IAP candidate is a ghost who apparently doesn’t even have a campaign website. So I’ll probably just throw my vote away on this one. Hardy’s gonna win regardless.
State Assembly: District 2, John Hambrick (R), District 3, Eric Morelli (R), District 4, Richard McArthur (R), District 5, Tim Williams (R), District 10, Tyler Andrews (R), District 13, Leonard Foster (IAP), District 15, Stan Vaughn (IAP), District 16, Bob Irwin (R), District 22, Nathan Santucci (L), District 31, Randi Thompson (R), District 33, Janine Hansen (IAP), District 36, Ed Goedhart (R), District 39, Jim Wheeler (R), District 41, Jan Porter (R), District 40, Peter Livermore (R), and District 42, Kathy Njus (R).
UPDATE: October 18, 2010 at 4:15 pm – Add District 34, Richard Deeds (R)
All of these candidates have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Now there are a number of races where the Republican candidate has a shot to retain a seat being vacated by an existing Republican or pick up a seat currently held by a Democrat incumbent. However, none of them have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. And as we’ve seen over and over and over and over again, Republicans who refuse to sign the Pledge are far more likely to end up voting for tax hikes.
Seriously, if you can’t get the tax hike issue right and are unwilling to take a firm, principled stand on it, odds are you’ll get a lot of other issues important to conservatives wrong, as well. As the saying goes, if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
Some of these Republicans candidates will probably come through on most issues that will come before the Legislature next year, but their unwillingness to take tax hikes off the table when tax hikes will be THE #1 issue in the 2011 session disqualifies them from any endorsement from me.
That said, I’ll list the Assembly districts where the Republican has a chance and would at least be better than the Democrat incumbent or challenger, but I can’t bring myself to naming names. You’ll just have to look these up yourself: District 20, District 21, District 24, District 25, District 26, and District 29.
Now as for Assembly District 32, both candidates are Republicans. Yet neither candidate has signed the Tax Pledge. So I’m not endorsing either. However….
The tax-happy GOP “establishment” has clearly lined up behind Jodi Stephens in this race, while movement conservatives, including incumbent Assemblyman Gustavson (a Tax Pledge signer), are backing Ira Hansen. That ought to tell you what you need to know to make an informed “lesser-of-two-evils” choice in this race.
University Regent: Kevin Page.
Since I am NOT a fan of early voting, let me disclaim here that I reserve the right to change my mind on these endorsements and non-endorsements right up through election day; however, if I do so I will certainly note those changes where these will be posted at www.MuthsTruths.com.