(Mike Chamberlain) – With his new campaign slogan, that’s what former North Las Vegas mayor Mike Montandon wants to convince GOP voters he is. Montandon participated in a conference call with journalists and bloggers moderated by the Nevada News Bureau this afternoon.
The slogan grew out of what Montandon said is the disenchantment of conservative groups he’s met with on the trail who claim to agree with Governor Jim Gibbons’s principles but say they will not vote for him again.
NNB Editor and blogger Elizabeth Crum has an excellent report on how Montandon’s campaign is employing new media tools, in combination with the shoe-leather efforts that he utilized in three successful mayoral races, to maximize the bang for its relatively few bucks.
Montandon is hoping to capitalize on conservative voters who may be disenchanted with the current governor but not certain of leading contender Brian Sandoval by attempting to present a consistently conservative message.
Addressing the projected shortfall the incoming governor will face in the next biennium, Montandon stated, “We’re going to have to make pretty serious cuts” in expenditures.
“What we’re going to have to do is find a radically different way of delivering our K-12 education. It’s the biggest single expense in government and it’s delivering a product that’s unacceptable,” he said. “We’ve got to bring choice in, we’ve got to have the money follow the student so that we can have some competition. The schools and the delivery system that are failing have to be faced with either shutting down or changing the way they do things.”
When asked about budget specifics, Montandon stated, “You’re not going to see a specific budget proposal prior to the primary.” He promised, however, that, if he is the Republican nominee, voters “will definitely see” a budget proposal from him before the general election.
Montandon was asked to address the issue of prevailing wage rates for public works construction projects. Some industry insiders believe this greatly increases the costs of government projects by forcing contractors to pay labor rates that are significantly higher than on most private projects, increased costs that the companies pass on to the government. He declared, “We’ve obviously got a flawed system.” If, as both contractors and government agree, the imposition of these wage rates make government projects 25-30% more expensive than private projects, he said, the prevailing wage “is definitely not the prevailing wage. It needs to be calculated in a completely different manner.”
The former mayor expressed his support of Governor Gibbons’s rejection of $60 million in federal funds for the state to participate in a high-risk insurance pool. “It’s $60 million but the cost of that high-risk pool will be far greater than $60 million,” he said. “It’ll be like taking on…another program that is simply financially unsustainable.”
With respect to the immigration law recently passed in Arizona, Montandon said, “I’m in support of what Arizona has done and I believe we’re going to have to do something in Nevada if federal action isn’t taken.”
Is Mike Montandon the only electable conservative? His message seems to indicate that the latter half is accurate. As for the former, we’ll know for certain in June or November.
(Mr. Chamberlain writes and publishes the Cranky Hermit blog in Nevada)