Archive for October, 2010

Reid ‘mans-up,’ Angle belly up

October 28, 2010

By David Farside

Oct. 25th, 2010

A week from today, the seeds of democracy will sow a new crop of political leaders both locally and nationally. The results will be disappointing to some and will energize others. The defeated candidates will remove their yard signs, say they really didn’t think they could win in the first place and return to their normal routines in life. The winners will reap the harvest of a victory that will change their lives, have a direct effect on the community and could set an example for future elected decision makers. Meanwhile, the rest of us can watch television without the lies, personal attacks and ugly rhetoric of deception we teach our children to avoid.

Locally, the outcome of the Assembly District 31 race could be interesting. Democrat Richard Daly faces a worthy Republican challenger, Randi Thompson.

Daly, a journeyman laborer before becoming business manager for Laborers’ Union Local 169, said, if elected, he would look for every federal dollar available to create good-paying jobs quickly, probably referring to union jobs paying the prevailing wage on government projects. He also is in favor of attracting renewable energy projects to the state and wants to diversify our economy to stabilize the state budget.

Thompson has served on numerous boards, such as the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, Food Bank of Northern Nevada and University of Nevada, Reno’s Pack Paws. She is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business and has been involved in fundraising for the Red Cross, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Nevada Humane Society.

She wants to strengthen the Olmsted Act, which provides access to home health care for the mentally and physically challenged. Rather than just exist in institutions and nursing facilities at a high cost to taxpayers, the act mandates a humane, more comprehensive and much less expensive health care program at home. It improves the quality of life for the patient and saves the taxpayer money. I hope she keeps her promise if she’s elected.

The Nevada State Senate District 1 race could also be interesting. Longtime Republican Sparks City Councilman Phil Salerno is running against Assemblywoman Shelia Leslie, a lifelong Democrat. Salerno’s website notes his community involvement as Reno Rodeo director, a small-business owner, member of the Kerak Shrine and the Reno Elks Lodge. He also represents Sparks on the board of the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority.

Leslie has served as administrator for community services at the FBNN, executive director of Tahoe human services and executive director of the Children’s Cabinet dealing with the needs of at-risk children and dysfunctional families. Currently she is the specialty courts coordinator for the Second Judicial District.

District 1 includes sections of both Sparks and Reno. The question I hear from Reno voters is will Salerno represent Reno’s interest or the agenda of John Ascuaga’s Nugget in downtown Sparks?

Leslie’s 10 years in the state Assembly, winning the Golden Pinecone for environmental leadership and the veterans hero recognition from the Nevada Veterans Service Commission, gives her more experience dealing with the collective needs of both Reno and Sparks on a state level.

Mayor Geno Martini should be re-elected, leaving more time for his challenger, Councilman Ron Schmitt, to lobby for a high-paying job somewhere in government.

Sen. Harry Reid will barely make his return trip to the political trough in Washington, D.C. despite the gutter-dwelling, no-holds-barred tactics of Sharron Angle’s supporters from the Tea Party, extreme right of the Republican party and some out-of-touch Democrats.

Reid will get enough support from the Hispanic voters to put him out of Angle’s reach. A political ad from the conservative Latinos for reform is encouraging Hispanics not to vote in November. They claim President Obama didn’t keep his word on immigration reform and they were betrayed by empty promises. They also claim the Democrats are “all talk and no action.” Since the majority of Hispanic voters are Democrats, the Republicans are asking them to stay home and abrogate their voting rights as legal American citizens to ensure a Republican victory. So much for their view of democracy.

Angle challenged Reid to “man up” and admit his mistakes supporting health care, entitlement programs and President Obama’s agenda. Reid defended himself against the political low blow on national television saying he never had to prove his manhood in the ring as a boxer or in his personal life.

Staunch Republican Jim Murren, CEO of MGM Resorts International, is crossing over party lines in support of Sen. Reid. He said when his CityCenter project couldn’t secure a needed loan Sen. Reid called Las Vegas banks on his behalf. Because of his intervention, the project was saved and over 10,000 workers remained on the job. He said Angle’s statement to the contrary is “absolutely ridiculous.”

So after the elections, it appears Reid will still be manning up on the floor of the U.S. Senate, while Angle’s political career will go belly up.

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