(John M. Beard) – I’m new to the political world. In fact, my current quest to unseat Rep. Dina Titus in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is my first run for public office. The entire process of running a campaign – hiring staff, finding campaign office space, designing a website and billboards, etc. – is new to me.
But when I had to pick a word or phrase to sum up what it is I most stand for, what I most deeply believe in, and what I feel is so sorely lacking in Washington today, the choice was easy.
Independence is more than a word to me. It’s the principle that founded our nation and it’s the cornerstone of our Democracy. Leaders, I believe, must be independent by definition. They must reject the influence of party bosses, campaign contributors and all the rich, powerful and influential political players a candidate or office holder encounters.
I don’t think most voters would consider a congressional representative truly independent if he or she voted with the political party in power a whopping 94% of the time. But sadly, that’s the reality for the people in Nevada’s 3rd District. Dina Titus casts party-line votes 94% of the time. Independence? I don’t think so.
I’m a Democrat and I’m proud of it. But I reject the big government, tax-and-spend philosophy that so many Democrats (and Republicans) embrace. It will only cast our economy further into ruin and burden future generations.
Instead, I’m one of only a handful of Democrats who was willing to reject that line of thinking, put the interests of Nevada before party politics, and sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Higher taxes on working families and small businesses is a blueprint for stagnation. The keys to an American economic renewal are faith, hard work, entrepreneurship, and yes, most importantly, independence.
We in Nevada are facing record high unemployment; our state revenue has plummeted to record lows; we have raised taxes and fees significantly and have still not been able to close the gap. The rushed work of an impatient Congress has not led to controlled spending and responsibility, but has shown why it is necessary to get money back into the taxpayer’s hands for them to spend as they choose.
Dina Titus represents the tired old tax-and-spend philosophy that stifles business, restricts freedom, and creates a government that feeds upon itself at the expense of working Americans. That thinking will not move us forward or return us to prosperity. We need independent thinkers, not rubber stamps for party leadership.
It is time that we in this generation take responsibility and secure the future for our children. It will take sacrifice and hard work, not unlike the sacrifice and hard work that our grandparents endured for us. The rewards we will pass on to future generations will be immeasurable. If we allow the status quo and stand-by as an out of control congress ravages our children’s future we will have only ourselves to blame. We must set an example for our children, and our children’s children, to work hard and save their earnings.
Independence. It’s more than a word to me.
(Mr. Beard is a Democrat candidate for Nevada’s Third Congressional District)