At the risk of beating a dead horse, I was presented with yet another example of just how badly the Sharron Angle campaign did on election day, especially in her home county which, as has been widely reported, she lost big-time – I think around 7,000 votes. But here’s an even more telling set of figures:
In Nevada state Senate District 2, within Angle’s Washoe County home base, Don Gustavson – a conservative many consider to be an Angle clone – won the seat formerly held by term-limited conservative state Senator Maurice Washington by some 5,000 votes. In other words, this is extremely friendly territory for conservative Republicans.
Yet Angle lost to Reid in that district by around 400 votes. Now that’s just plain embarrassing.
I hear that Nevada GOP Chairman Mark Amodei recently told a group of party leaders that either Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval himself, or someone close to his incoming administration, was pushing Amodei to give Mike Slanker, Sandoval’s campaign manager, a $250,000 contract. For what purpose isn’t exactly clear, but I’m told Amodei made it perfectly clear he wasn’t having any of it.
If I understand Amodei’s position correctly, if Sandoval and Friends can raise $250,000, they ought to raise it for the party, not to keep a favored consultant in business. Indeed, $250,000 would allow the party to hire some FIVE new staffers – including a Communications and Finance Director – to prepare for next year’s legislative session, the presidential caucus and the 2012 election cycle.
This appears to be a good call by the party chief.
Continuing with our ongoing “Personnel is Policy” series, Gov.-elect Brian Sandoval, who expressed support for school vouchers as part of his education reform proposals during his campaign, this week tapped Clark County School Board President Terri Janison to run his Las Vegas office.
“I have pledged to make education a centerpiece of my administration,” Sandoval said in announcing Janison’s hiring, “so Terri’s experience as a school trustee will be invaluable as we reach out to engage the community in reform efforts.” Sandoval added that he believes our “education system is in peril” and that “we need to shake up the status quo.”
OK. Then why hire Janison?
Look, Terri Janison is competent and an extremely personable woman – unless, of course, you’re a citizen wishing to exercise your free speech rights at one of her school board meetings. But she’s a known opponent of vouchers and more often than not you’ll hear her complain, like most government-school bureaucrats and officials, about our so-called lack of education funding.
Terri Janison IS the status quo; she’s no agent of serious reform. Another troubling personnel decision by the incoming Sandoval administration. If you’re a conservative, that is.
And speaking of our government-run public schools, Clark County announced yesterday the start of its much-ballyhooed “open enrollment” school choice program in which you can go to any school you want….as long as it’s a public school…and not one of the good public schools which are already overcrowded and, therefore, have no seats available.
But other than that, you can choose away to your heart’s desire. Which is kinda like being given a choice between broccoli or cabbage for desert.
Oh the other hand, Colorado is now studying the possibility of allowing individual counties to offer school vouchers in an amount equal to 75 percent of per-pupil funding the state provides, with the local school district keeping the remainder. That’s something Nevada should definitely consider, as well. If we allow individual counties to charter schools, why not allow them to try vouchers at the local level, too?
By the way, if government-run public schools need more money, why aren’t they selling advertising “wraps” for their school buses the way many private bus companies do?
While there are a dozen or more potential GOP presidential candidates out there for 2012, Stephen Moore of Political Diary says a successful candidate will need to raise at least $50 million just to compete in Iowa and New Hampshire (not to mention Nevada and South Carolina).
That figure would appear to narrow the field considerably at this early juncture. If $50 million is the buy-in, we’re probably looking at Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and possibly Haley Barbour. This ain’t penny slots we’re talkin’ ‘bout here.
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith has little good to say about the touchy-feely TSA gropers at the Checkpoint Charlie stations in American airports, but he describes today’s planned “National Opt-Out Day” – in which passengers will slow down airport screenings by opting out of having their naked bodies ogled by government screeners on the new porno-scanners and choose the more time-consuming procedure of a full-body feel-up – as a “dopey idea.”
“No one has to tell me the new TSA procedures are intrusive without doing much to improve security,” Smith writes. “But clogging the nation’s airports on one of the busiest travel days of the year is simply loony.”
Au contraire, mon frere. Mounting a protest action at a time and place when it will cause the most disruption to the general public is a time-honored practice perfected by….organized labor. Consider as just one example the New York transit worker strike on December 20, 2005 (from Wikipedia):
“The 2005 strike, which took place during the busiest shopping week of the year, had significantly affected the local economy since many people had then chosen to avoid shopping in New York by either shopping online, or by postponing purchases.”
If you want to bring maximum attention to your cause, you cause maximum inconvenience to the general public. Conducting National Opt-Out Day on the day before Thanksgiving to bring attention to the TSA’s new screening regimen isn’t dopey or loony; it’s brilliant. I mean, if National Opt-Out Day were to be held on, say, January 12th, would anyone really care or notice?
“Medical-marijuana dispensaries are now putting hundreds of thousands of dollars a month into state and city treasuries in Colorado,” the Denver Post reported on Tuesday. “So far this year, the state has collected more than $2.2 million in sales tax from dispensaries.”
I’m assuming all those Nevada legislative folks who insist that everything, including tax hikes, has to be “on the table” to deal with the state’s overspending deficit are putting medical-marijuana dispensaries on the table, right? Right?
And finally, “As usual, you can always rely on government officials to screw things up,” writes longtime NN&V reader Bruce Feher. “Take the latest nonsense that the TSA has devised. With a little creative thinking and some policy changes they could turn lemons into lemonade and maybe even make a few bucks from the flying public.
“How? Simple! Have different layers of pat-downs. For those willing to pay an extra fee, you could be frisked by a beautiful female or a handsome guy depending on your preferences. It would certainly make the process more enjoyable and if it were implemented I might even consider flying again!”
You know, I think he might be onto something here! Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.