We who live in the ‘Silver State’ love our lives, especially in the northern part of the state. We have four seasons, which are usually mild. Whatever your passion for outdoor sports, it is available within a short drive. Your life can be remote; your closest neighbor can be an hour’s drive away. Or you can live near the city of Reno, and yet be removed from the traffic and noise, unless that is your choice of lifestyle. We are a diverse and independent group of people, and that makes life interesting. However, Nevada politics is an ugly thing to watch.
I know we’re not unique; most intelligent Americans have an innate hatred for politics and politicians, but this year’s political ads are exceptionally brutal, and offer less than five percent information about what the candidates stand for and what they will do if elected.
For those of you who are unfortunate enough to live in one of the other 49 states, I should clear up just a few misconceptions about our politics.
Of all the states in the union, Nevada is the least ‘party loyal.’ In 2012 President Obama received a large number of our state’s votes; Republican Dean Heller received just as many ballots to secure a Senate Seat.
Nevadans resent extremism. Former Nevada Lieutenant Governor Sue Wagner recently left the Republican Party because she believed they were leaning more to the extreme right and the philosophy of the Tea Party.
Politicians attempted to have a unique ballot provision removed. A federal judge upheld our right to vote for ‘none of the above.’ (I’ve frequently used that option myself).
Only 14 percent of the voters in the state of Nevada were born here. We are a great mix. There is a higher percentage from California than Nevada at 20 percent.
The least talked about race in our state is for Governor. In fact, on the Democratic side ‘none of these candidates’ won the primary. Brian Sandoval is popular, and the Democrats chose not to waste time and money on a challenge they could not win.
Two particular races are highly contested; Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. And they are both bitter and mean-spirited.
The race for Lieutenant Governor is between Democrat Lucy Flores and Republican Mark Hutchison. Flores is serving in the State Legislature, and Hutchison in the State Senate.
Hutchison’s campaign is accusing Flores of using contributor and taxpayer money for her personal use. Sandoval supports Hutchison, with an ulterior motive.
If Hutchison wins, the Governor’s Office will be entirely under Republican control. This will allow Sandoval to run against Harry Reid in 2016.
The Attorney General’s race is also more about the future than the present.
Secretary of State Ross Miller, the Democratic candidate, has plans to follow in his father’s footsteps and reside in the Governor’s mansion in the not so distant future. He claims that Adam Laxalt, the Republican candidate and grandson of a Nevada Governor, is unqualified and was discredited by his own law firm.
Laxalt’s camp attacks Miller claiming he used taxpayer’s funds to provide entertainment to the tune of $75,000; which Miller claims are gifts.
Today Miller’s campaign reported that several members of Laxalt’s own family support Miller claiming he is the more qualified candidate. He has received campaign donations from some of them according to the office of the Secretary of State.
I’ll be celebrating November 5th when the never-ending and evil-spirited commercials cease to muddy the airwaves; I’m certain many of you will be joining me. Because Nevada politics is an ugly thing to watch, I have a problem. I have promised myself not to vote for any candidate who uses attack ads and centers their campaign on negative ideas. Who can I vote for now?
By James Turnage