(Ryan Hamilton) – Possessing all the qualities that drive liberals wild, Jodi Stephens is young, talented, and outspoken. Stephens is also a family woman who finds value in her home life. She is the Executive Director of the Nevada Senate GOP Caucus and the principal at Stephens Consulting. She can be found on Twitter @JodiStephens.
NN&V: What has been the biggest laugh line in a movie you’ve seen?
Stephens: My daughter and I recently watched National Treasure together,
Ben Gates: “Do you know what the preservation room is for?”
Riley Poole: “Delicious jams and jellies?”
I am a fan of funny one-liners that both my daughter and I can enjoy.
NN&V: If you were making a mix tape for your life, what would be the opening song for your youth, the song that for where you’re at right now in life, and the song that represents your hope for the future?
Stephens: For my youth: “I Was Born in a Small Town” by John Cougar Mellencamp. I was born and raised in Hawthorne Nevada and I cherished every moment I spent there as a child. There is nothing like a small town or tight-knit community to give you a sense of right and wrong as well as prevent you from taking yourself too seriously.
For right now, I have to pick “In My Daughter’s Eyes” by Martina McBride because my daughter brings me clarity, strength, and faith that I have never known before.
The song that represents my hope for the future: I asked my daughter Reagan for her opinion on this question. She gave it some thought and asked me if I wanted to be a grandma and I said of course – after you graduate from law school. Without missing a step, she suggested “Grandma Got Ran Over by A Reindeer.” Since I do not want to drink too much and die in a hit and run, I finally settled on Toby Keith’s “Made in America” in the hope that more people will be proud to sing this song.
NN&V: On the drive from Reno to Vegas on the 95, what’s your favorite place to stop?
Stephens: Easy, I grew up in Hawthorne and my parents still live there. Walker Lake is our favorite summer hangout and you can’t beat the high desert surrounding Hawthorne for quad rides and playing in the mountains. Although, I must confess that the Lobster Farm outside of Mina was always a fun place to stop before it was shut down.
NN&V: A lot of people have gym playlists to get them pumped up – what is a song that you listen to if you want to get pumped up?
Stephens: There is nothing like a little “Iron Man” from Black Sabbath or something by Sir Mix-A-Lot to get the blood pumping.
NN&V: Do you have an iPod?
Stephens: I do. My iPod is loaded with a rather eclectic mix of Pop, Rock, Classic Country, Metal and Contemporary genres. In fact, I am quite sure that it has enough heavy metal, rap, and alternative on it to send Tipper Gore into anaphylactic shock!
NN&V: What is the most listened to song on your iPod?
Stephens: I was surprised by this one, but the most played song on my iPod is “(I’m Gonna be) 500 Miles” by the Proclaimers. I start every run listening to “Funky Cold Medina” by Tone Loc, so naturally I assumed that would be the most played song. Clearly I don’t run nearly as much as I thought.
NN&V: What is a book that should be required reading for all Nevada students?
Stephens: Rather than suggest a specific book, I would recommend that Nevada students spend more time studying the U.S. and Nevada Constitutions. A thorough understanding of our history and how these documents serve as a framework for our state and our country will benefit our students (and our country) for their entire lives.
NN&V: If Nevada had a Darth Vader, who would it be?
Stephens: I could go for the obvious choice and declare that Senator Reid is the Darth Vader of Nevada, but I won’t. Instead I will give that honor to Nevada’s economy. Now hear me out—just like Darth Vader, our economy has its ups and downs. We start off aggressive, hopeful that things will continue on a path of success. Then we have a slump where we make every wrong decision and do everything in our power to destroy all that is pure and good in the world. Finally, we realize the error of our ways, vanquish the evil that lead us to this bleak place, and once again have a bright future where the sky is the limit.
NN&V: What would you say is the biggest challenge for the Nevada GOP in remainder of 2011?
Stephens: Apathy and division within the party are the biggest challenge facing the Nevada GOP in 2011. Many assume the GOP will enjoy victories across the board next fall due to President Obama’s low approval ratings. However, if we rest on our laurels and do not mount an aggressive GOTV effort we will squander this opportunity to take back control of not only the White House, but state and local seats as well. We must remember that we are not all going to agree with each other on 100% of the issues and that we must work together to ensure we do not let this opportunity pass us by.
“Pop Quiz” is a regular feature of Nevada News and Views, providing a more personal look at political figures, public policy officials and other movers-and-shakers. We’ll be asking the tough questions about music, art, pop culture, and life. After all, when they’re done with casting the important votes and organizing support, our leaders are still people.
(Ryan Hamilton is a native Nevadan and a graduate of the Catholic University of America. He is pursuing a Master’s degree at the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies. He can be found on Twitter @ryanmfhamilton.)