As 2014 comes to an end—I reflect on what’s been a difficult year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be a downer but this one really has been tough! We all know that life brings us challenges; some more than others. We also know that adversity builds character and allows us to find our own unique ways of dealing with it; I could do without some of the character building!
It just seems that 2014 was a year that lumped a lot of things together; compounding into an array of events that frankly I would like to forget. Most of what occurred this year was loss; the loss of friends and family. It’s never easy dealing with loss, but when there is so much in one year it can make it especially difficult. It started off this past summer with the passing of our neighbor across the street. She was a dear friend of ours—we spent most holidays at her house and enjoyed laughing as our dogs played. She was a sincere, kind, and empathetic person; she had a smile that would brighten anyone’s day. We were neighbors for almost 5 years and I can recall how her and her husband welcomed us. How my fiancé and I miss seeing her, hearing her voice, and enjoying special moments together.
Later on in the year, one of my Grandmothers through marriage passed away peacefully at her home in Pioche, Nevada. When I got the call informing me of her passing—all the memories started reeling through my mind. I remembered all the holidays spent at her home, and the amazing lavish meals she would cook. I remembered how every school year she would buy my Sisters and I clothes. She was a generous woman who had a lot of love to give—so many memories I would like to relive.
Last month, about a week before the Thanksgiving holiday we suffered another loss; my fiancé lost her Grandmother. I remember meeting her almost 5 years ago and remarking how happy she was to be around her family. After living in Montana for many years, she was brought to Las Vegas so her family could attend to her illnesses. My fiancé’s Mom moved her into their house, and I know she was happy to be there. There are so many fond memories of watching her smile during family dinners, celebrating holidays and birthdays. I feel fortunate that I was able to spend some time with her; that I was able to share some special moments in my life.
It’s been said before, but we can never prepare for the loss of someone. Whether it be a friend, a relative, or a pet; it all hurts the same. What I know we can do is appreciate the time we had with those that are no longer with us. We can reflect, cherish, and honor the memory of those who are now in heaven. This year particularly has made me appreciate my family and friends that much more. Through tough times, I saw how truly blessed I am. Sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we forget to notice those most precious things right in front of us.
So as we close this chapter known as 2014—may we all be humbled by the blessings we have in our life. I end with one of my favorite quotes, “Live every moment, laugh every day, and love beyond words.”
When I thought about writing this column, I really didn’t know where I was going to start. So, I figured why not share my own experience with this years Presidential race. First, let me start by saying that as a voter it was amazing that we started out with over 10 candidates–all of which I might say would do a better job than our current President. It was almost like going into Baskin-Robbins and having a hard time choosing which flavor you wanted. I mean one day it was Perry, the next day it was Newt, and then Cain, and so on and so on…
For me I started with liking Governor Perry–I had followed his career in Texas and respected his accomplishments. Then, like many Americans I was disappointed with Gov. Perry’s debate performances. I started to think, could Gov. Perry go head-to-head with the President and succeed? The answer I came to was maybe; maybe not. For me, it wasn’t worth taking that chance–we need someone strong to contrast with the President this fall during the debates!
Now, we all have our favorite candidate now–with only 4 left most of us have made our choice. What’s most interesting and even entertaining is all the different winners in the primaries and caucuses. Who would have thought that Santorum for example would sweep 3 states in one day–not very many folks I talk to. Then most recently, we had Rep. Paul put on an impressive showing in Maine. With each week comes a new twist and turn, and ultimately new polling numbers showing someone else on top.
Most of the folks in the media are more than happy that our primary process is dragging on. I also suspect that the Presidents campaign is loving the back and forth in this GOP contest. When you think about the stark contrasts between the final 4 candidates, it does somewhat amaze me that the Republican Party is still so divided when it comes to who they support. For me, it comes down to leadership, style, and substance. Yes, I’ve made my choice, but I’m not getting into that for the sake of this column.
While we have another debate this month–I believe on Feb. 22nd, I’m not sure it will change anyone’s mind on who they want to see win the GOP nomination. However, I think it will help to solidify ones mind on their respective choice. No matter what happens, I do feel that this race is nearing its end during the next 30 – 45 days. Its been a circus this GOP race, but in the end I hope it helps us make that right choice. My pledge is to get behind our nominee–whoever that is. In the meantime, we’ll all just have to sit back and watch the show that is the 2012 Republican Primary!
Yes, I hate to remind everyone that a week from tomorrow our taxes are due–the IRS is patiently waiting for our money! It seems that the beautiful spring weather of April is always shadowed by the call of the Federal Government for our hard-earned money. A truly depressing way to kick-off the season of flowers blooming, trees sprouting their leaves, and cool breezes. While I’ve always been the eternal optimist, trying so often to look at the bright side of things; I can’t come up with the bright side of writing a check to the “Internal Revenue Service.”
I recently spoke with a very good friend of mine who like myself is self-employed. Our discussion was about how many months of each year we work to pay the IRS. It was a rather disturbing conversation, since we know that the more money we make the more money we pay the IRS. In many ways it seems that the Federal Government doesn’t give anyone the incentive to work for themselves and strive to be successful. If you think about it, why in the world would you want to increase your income if it just means that you will have to write a much larger check to the IRS?
Don’t get me wrong, anyone who works for themselves will give you a list of the advantages of doing so. You’ll hear the standard replies like, “I like being my own boss”, “I like being able to set my own hours”, and “I like controlling my own destiny”. What we rarely hear are the many down-sides to owning your own business. However, during the month of April you will hear the cries of many self-employed as they mail those tax returns!
While the anxiety levels of the self-employed tend to rise this month, there are many resources to assist those looking for answers. One of the questions I often get from my clients is, “what do I do if I get audited?” My first answer is “always cooperate with the IRS”, and my second answer is “always cooperate with the IRS.” The worst thing you can do is appear evasive when confronted by an IRS Agent. Hopefully, small-business owners have a good CPA and a knowledgeable Attorney to assist them through the process should it arise.
Recently, I read a great article written by Karen Klein of Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “How to Handle a Tax Audit.” This article contained some extremely valuable information on how to deal with the IRS if you’re being audited. I would encourage you to read this–not only does it offer great advise on how to handle an audit, but there are some great tips for business owners.
Let me be clear when I say that American’s do need to pay their fair share to keep the country running. We all know that our Troops need to be paid, our mail needs to keep coming, and Congress must function. What I do not believe is that our government is running as efficiently as it could, and much of our tax dollars continue to be spent on waste, fraud, and abuse. I would imagine that many of us would feel better about writing the check to the IRS if we knew our money was being spent wisely, and that we had real budget hawks looking out for our best interests. Today, this isn’t the case and on April 18th, Uncle Sam will have his hand extended; show me the money!
It should come as no surprise that Americans are getting pinched hard at the pump! I had my own sticker shock the other day when I spent over $60.00 to fill-up my truck that used to cost me $40.00! Our country and our society is feeling some pains that haven’t been felt in over 25 years. With the price of goods on the rise, a trip to the grocery store costing the average family and extra $25 – $50, and an energy crisis that’s driving up our electricity bills–Americans are wondering when it’s going to end!
The immediate issues that appears to be driving up the price of oil is the turmoil in the middle-east. First there was the scare in Egypt that threatened access to the Suez Canal, and then the upraising in Lybia! We all know that we’ve been too depended on foreign oil, and that our economy is tied too closely to the world economy. I’m starting to wonder when our government is going to actually do something about this?
Yes, we have heard the mantra “drill baby drill” from Sarah Palin and other American politicos–however it seems no one in Washington, D.C. is listening! In 2008 a report was released from the U.S. Geological Service that stated in North Dakota, South Dakota, and extreme Eastern Montana existed enough oil that Americans could be entirely independent of foreign oil. In fact, the Energy Information Administration stated that over $503 billion barrels of oil could be found there–this would equate to a value of over $5.3 trillion dollars.
Oil is not the only resource that Americans should be pursuing when tackling our energy crisis. For years now, I along with many Nevadans have spoke to politicians, organizations, and local governments about making Nevada the clean-energy capital of the world. Nevada is unique in the sense that we the ability with our abundant supply of sun-rays to create massive amounts of solar energy. In addition, Nevada has over 80% of barren land we can use to generate this energy. Unfortunately, the Federal Government owns most of this land and without the Feds as partners much of this will never happen. Just another example in my opinion why big government and specifically a Federal Bureaucracy out of touch with the states shouldn’t have too much power!
Nevada is also poised to become the nations leading geothermal energy producer. In a 2009 article writing by Las Vegas Sun reporter Stephanie Tavares she states, “…anticipated growth in production in Nevada is expected to be triple the growth of California. Nevada is expected to produce more than 3,600 megawatts of geothermal energy in the next 10 years…”. So, I ask again why we as a nation are not being more aggressive in obtaining energy independence? I can speculate about our politics and the complications of foreign relations, but none of this will move us any closer to a solution.
It is my opinion that states need to take a more proactive approach to this very important issue. We can’t rely on our Federal Government to make the important decisions that have such a profound effect on our citizenry. We also must encourage individuals to advocate on behalf of this issue to their Legislators, Governors, and Congressional Representatives. I took the step several years ago to join former Shell Oil CEO John Hofmeister’s group called Citizens for Affordable Energy. This has allowed many Americans the ability to be informed about the realities of energy independence. Groups like CFAE are not only great sources of information, but networking tools for activists to share information on the developments of alternative energy projects. I would urge anyone interested in seeing our country become energy independent to engage yourself in the public arena. Talk to your Lawmakers, write your Congressman and Senators, and most of all urge your government to pursue sources of energy in our own nation. It is time we stop sending our money over-seas and instead create jobs here in America that can help us lower our prices at the pump.
During the last week or so I’ve been talking to a lot of my neighbors and friends about the upcoming November 2nd elections. Yes, we talked about some of the candidates and who we would be voting for, but mostly we talked about how sick and tired we are with all these negative ads on television!
As most political commentators will tell you, “the majority of voters had their minds made up weeks ago.” So, like many of you I’ve been asking myself why so many of these candidates are spending all this money on television attacking their opponents with the election almost 1 week away? The answer to this questions seems to be that many of these campaigns are trying to spend the rest of their campaign cash–leaving nothing on the table. In addition, the top tier campaigns like the Reid v. Angle and the Heck v. Titus race are trying to sway any last minute undecided voters. However, I find it very hard to imagine there are very many undecided voters left.
You would think that I wouldn’t be surprised about all the happenings in an election after spending over 15 years of my life involved with politics–that’s not the case! The negative campaigning and lack of discussion on the issues hasn’t been more prevalent than this campaign season. Candidates have chosen personal attacks and examples of “foot in mouth syndrome” to make their points on why we should vote for them. How cynical of me to think that candidates should be talking about the important issues facing out state. How naïve can I be to think that candidates should be presenting to the people of Nevada real solutions and ideas for fixing our job crisis, education crisis, budget crisis, infrastructure crisis, high energy cost crisis, etc., etc.
The reality is that we’re running out of time for any of these candidates to make the case that they have better ideas than their opponent. In fact, they won’t be doing anything over the next week other than trying to demonize their opponents. We’ll get another week of negative ads and character assassinations from bloggers and media outlets. With all this negativity you can understand why decision 2010 can’t get here soon enough!
EARLY VOTING BEGINS TOMORROW OCTOBER 16, 2010
As we all know, there are a large number of important top of the ballot races in Nevada this year. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be concerned with some the down-ballot races that have immediate impact on our daily lives. The Las Vegas Constables Office has an important and direct impact on us as citizens. Just some of the operations the Constables Office is in charge of: Listed on the Clark County Website: Work on Behalf of the Courts:
- Small Claims
- Bank Account and Wage Garnishment
- Other processes which a suit is commenced in civil cases
- Civil Complaints
- Work with all law enforcement agencies
- Work with all community outreach agencies, i.e., Veterans, Social Services, etc.
We can see that this office is very important to our city and community! Please take the time to look at Peter Gariano’s website to read his MANY qualifications for the job as Las Vegas Constable. This is a time when experience really matters! Vote Peter Gariano for Las Vegas Constable
As 2010 begins to tick down and we get closer to the new year–so does the American tax burden. If you haven’t heard yet, the Bush tax cuts along with the moratorium on the Death Tax will expire on December 31, 2010. During an election year when governments out of control spending has been highlighted by so many candidates–this tax will certainly be on the minds of many voters this coming November.
Just to give you an idea of what will happen beginning on January 1, 2011, if your family has an estate valued at more than $1 million dollars you may see a levy of up to 55%. I know, this is some pretty shocking stuff, but it’s our reality! Pretty sad to think that wealthy Americans that die before the end of this year will be dancing in their graves for saving their family members so much money!
A notable American that died this year was New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner–who has an estate estimated to be over $1 billion dollars. While his family, friends, and many fans were sad to see him go…his death in 2010 saved his estate hundreds of millions of dollars.
Republicans have been talking for years about the negative effects of the tax and spend liberals. In today’s society we are seeing the ramifications of out of control government spending. Instead of tightening their belts in Washington, D.C., they just want more of our hard earned money! Yes, Washington, D.C. wants more of our money so they can pay their bills and spend more of our money…pretty sick I say!
Last month columnists J.D. Longstreet of The Silent Majority wrote this: “…yes, the wealthiest still have money. Maybe not as much as they did before the recession hit us so hard, but they still have an ample supply. But they are not spending it on plant expansions, new operations, purchasing new equipment, building up their inventory, etc., etc. When that money they are sitting on is static, when it is not working, then it is not creating jobs As a result Americans can’t find work.”
This commentary makes my point that we shouldn’t cut off the hand that feeds us. Inherently, big companies who get hammered with taxes and regulations have the benefit of expensive lawyers, accountants, and strategists. The first thing many of these companies do is find out where they can cut in order to minimize the negative impact on their bottom-line. Often this results in downsizing, or in other terms LAYOFFS.
I hope that Congress decides to act before the end of this year to not only preserve the estates of the Americans who have been successful, but keep in place the tax cuts that are allowing companies to employ so many of our citizens. We can’t afford to have government increasing the tax burden–this will only add to our unemployment roles and run business and industry out of our nation. If we truly want to see our economy grow, we must offer incentives to businesses who stay here and hire our people. Hitting them with more taxes and increased regulations will only contribute to our demise!
During much of the course of this year, I’ve been asked by many friends and acquaintances what my thoughts are regarding the Tea Party movement. At first, I didn’t have much of an opinion because I didn’t know much about it. However, as 2010 has moved on–so has the Tea Party movement.
It is almost daily now that we see some news media outlet doing some kind of story about the Tea Party. Whether it’s a story about a Tea Party candidate or a story about the movement itself, we just can’t get away from its popularity.
It is certainly a curious movement with names like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck having thrust themselves into de-facto leadership roles. The Tea Party movement is passionate, thoughtful, colorful, and often entertaining. While many of us now know so much about the Tea Party, there is still so much we do not know.
In particular, we have seen the effectiveness of this movement across the nation in many of the Republican Primary Elections. Sarah Palin backed Tea Party Candidates have won a great number of primary elections across America, and Tea Party backed candidates have also shown the ability to oust the establishment. However, what we still do not know is how these Tea Party Candidates will fare in the November elections.
General Elections are nothing like primaries–folks on both sides often run toward the center on ideological issues. Having said that, the Independent vote will be crucial this year and if a candidate is unable to court this constituency they’ll be in a lot of trouble! With all the important issues facing Americans right now, speaking about real solutions and presenting a plan may be the difference between winning and losing. In addition, a lot of the races across the country will be decided by overall turn-out. If Democrats can rally their base in some of the close races they’ll pull off some wins–if Republicans can energize their supporters and put a great get-out-the-vote effort on; they have a chance.
As a Republican, I can tell you that much of what the Tea Party stands for I support. As an American I love seeing a new breed of citizen become involved in our political process. As a realist however, I wonder if this movement will in the end accomplish what’s its set out to do…whatever that may be? If you read the many Tea Party websites you’ll see things like…“uphold the Constitution, speak out, stop excessive government spending, return government to the people, etc.”
What I find interesting about the movement is that it’s generated a huge number of supporters–into the many millions! What they haven’t done is come even close to equaling the numbers of dedicated Republicans and Democrats in this nation. I know Republicans and Democrats that both believe in protecting the Constitution of the United States and making government more efficient. Many of these folks are not members of the Tea Party movement, but still serve to make America a better place to live, work, and raise their families.
In Nevada, we have over 16 independent Tea Party organizations. Many of which have no direct communication with each other–in fact, some of these groups are backing different candidates in legislative and judicial races. If not for websites and social media, you wouldn’t even know some of these groups were linked to the Tea Party. In my opinion what’s most disturbing about the movement is that it lacks a leader. Often we are hearing from multiple individuals that speak in conflict with each other on issues linked to the Tea Party cause.
There are some who argue that the Tea Party represents the little guy, the disenfranchised citizen who just wants the old guard out. It’s true that this grassroots organization has brought some new folks into the political mold–people who have never been involved in politics before. However, what I fear as a Republican is a high jacking of our party! I’m one of those Republicans who believes that we as a party can represent all Americans. I believe that we need to be the party of Lincoln and Ronald Reagan. I believe that we must have a big tent and welcome all Americans regardless of race, religion, or gender into the Republican Party.
Only time will tell how effective this Tea Party movement will be. In November we’ll have an answer and history will be made one way or the other. I can only hope as an American and citizen who cares deeply about this nation that folks make the right decision when they go into the ballot box. The status quo isn’t getting the job done anymore, and we face too many challenges to not put the right individuals into public office.
Before I get into my commentary on this, I’d like to provide you with the definition of “Gerrymandering” as defined on Wikipedia. This word best describes the process following the U.S. Census work; conducted every 10 years
“is a form of boundary delimitation (redistricting) in which electoral district or constituency boundaries are deliberately modified for electoral purposes, thereby producing a contorted or unusual shape. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander; however, that word can also refer to the process.
Gerrymandering may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular group of constituents, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious or class group.
When used to allege that a given party is gaining disproportionate power, the term gerrymandering has negative connotations. However, a gerrymander may also be used for purposes that some perceive as positive, notably in US federal voting district boundaries which produce a proportion of constituencies with an African-American or other minority in the majority (these are thus called “minority-majority districts”).”
Lets rewind to the year 2001, when I participated and worked on the redistricting efforts at the Nevada State Legislature. What many folks may not know is that “Districts” including, but not limited to Legislative Districts, Congressional Districts, City Council Districts, School Board Districts, County Commission Districts, and others are decided by State Lawmakers. This means that your State Senate and State Assembly ultimately decide how each district will look for the next 10 years. Let me tell you that this process is not only complex, cumbersome, and insanely tedious, but it’s VERY political.
Having said that, if you’re a Republican in Nevada right now and you care about where the state is heading–you may want to be looking into how you can help with redistricting efforts next year. In the interim you should be worried about the fact that Republicans will most likely not control the Nevada State Assembly, and though we’ve got an outside shot at taking back the Nevada State Senate and if trends remain the same we’ll have another GOP Governor–our big problem is that Democrats in the State Assembly can do a lot of damage to our redistricting prospects.
Not to bring you doom and gloom, but having been involved in this process 10 years ago I know it’s tough! Having a “balance of power” in Nevada is very important to the citizens of the state. Even if we win the Governor’s race and Brian Sandoval becomes the next Chief Executive of our state–Sandoval may be facing a veto-proof majority of Democrats in the State Assembly. So, if history tells us anything the Democrats may do what they did 10 years ago and “Gerrymander” district boundaries so folks like Shelley Berkley can forever hold onto her Congressional seats, and draw the State Assembly lines as such to not allow a Republican to get elected in much of the Greater Las Vegas area; we’re in trouble!
What do we do?
My advise right now would be to work your neighborhoods, talk to your friends, and do what you can to elect some Republicans in Nevada’s State Assembly Districts. If we can pick-up a few seats in the State Assembly it will give us a much better chance at a fair and equitable redistricting process. If Republicans however, decide to remain complacent and fail to get out the vote this November–we’ll be looking at 10 more years of Legislative Democratic rule.
I was talking with a friend the other day about the rigors of politics and government , and the below quote came to mind. The political process is very brutal and those who seek public office sacrifice so much! I know, because I’ve been there and I’ve seen what the battlefield in politics looks like. It is not easy and sometimes it can be very thanks-less. However, I can tell you that I find so many rewards by being involved in our political process. The ability to make a difference in someones life is why I stay so steadfast in my commitment to activism. We must remember that a silent voice is not a voice at all–saying something is better than saying nothing.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt Speech at the Sorbonne Paris, France April 23, 1910
Let me first say that it truly pains me to have to write a criticism of one of my fellow Republicans. Especially, considering the fact that I respect Mr. Goicoechea’s position as an elected Nevada State Assemblyman.
However, when I read the article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal titled “Republican Legislative Leader Suggests Sales Tax On Food”, I just about fell out of my chair! So, I then started reading and came across the Assemblyman’s quote, “I believe that we should have had a 2 percent sales tax on food on the ballot this fall,” Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, said on KRNV-TV’s Nevada Newsmakers. I guess you can see why I would be so shocked–you mean to tell me that we have a Republican in the Assembly that’s proposing one of the most regressive tax increases our citizenry could face!
I called Assemblyman Goicoechea after reading the article and said that I wanted to respectfully disagree with his idea of adding a 2% tax on food. We had a very frank and respectful discussion on this, and we decided that we would just have to agree to disagree on this. I’ll also say that as Republicans and citizens we need to be having more of these types of discussions–I don’t know anyone that has all the answers to our problems, but we need to talk about them and work toward meaningful solutions.
During the discussion with Assemblyman Goicoechea, I made it very clear that this kind of tax would hurt the middle and lower-income families in our state. I also informed him that during a time when we are seeing record unemployment, inflation, and costs of basic services on the rise; a tax like this is destructive. Families throughout the state of Nevada, and more specifically in cities like Las Vegas and Reno are experiencing “Depression” like effects of this current economy–a tax on food would just add to their pain!
Let me say that the Assemblyman listened to my concerns and while we disagreed, I appreciated his time in allowing me to discuss my feelings. Assemblyman Goicoechea is a nice-enough guy, and I don’t have any issues with him personally. All I can say is that we need to be talking about how we are going to diversify our local economy, fix our education system, continue implementing cuts on state services that will NOT impact low-income families, the disabled, and our veterans. It is true that we may not be able to cut $3 billion dollars out of the state budget–however, we need to offer solutions that will not hurt Nevada families. Taxing our food is just a bad idea and I can’t support it.
Today, Nevada and America lost “A Great Man” in Governor Kenny C. Guinn. The former Governor died today at his Las Vegas home, in what is being called an accident.
I just recently saw my friend and former Governor–we had coffee together, and as always he offered his advice to me on a variety of issues. It’s difficult for me to write about this because Kenny was such a dear and respected friend. Having been born and raised in Las Vegas, NV, I’ve known Kenny Guinn since I was a kid. It was only until my adult life when I got involved in Nevada Politics that I became close friends with Kenny.
I know that everyone has a Kenny Guinn story, and they are all light-hearted and reflect what a great person he was. In the days and weeks to come, you’ll hear from so many that will tell you Kenny Guinn was a down-to-earth, kind, sincere, and respectful man. Kenny Guinn loved his family and friends, and would always did whatever he could to help someone out. The Governor leaves behind his wife Dema, his two sons Jeff and Steve, and his many grandchildren. He also leaves a void for his many friends like myself who will miss his friendship and council.
I was sitting here thinking about which story I wanted to tell about Kenny, but I have so many–however, I was able to narrow it down to two that I think you will appreciate. The first is when after a many years I hadn’t seen Kenny Guinn; the year was 1996. At that time, I was a Board Member of Rebuilding Together (Formerly Christmas In April), a non-profit organization that helps low-income, elderly, and disabled persons rebuild their homes.
This year, we were renovating a home for a women in West Las Vegas. If one were to name the problems someone could possibly have their home, this women had them. Everything from appliances not working, electrical problems, water leaks, etc. When I was putting together my team of volunteers and started making phone calls to garner donations for the project, I added Kenny Guinn’s name to the list. I remember that phone call like it was yesterday, and remember his aide Judy picking up the phone. I asked Judy if I could speak with Kenny about a project I was working on–she informed me that he was unavailable and took the message. Hours later my phone rings, I answer and hear, “hello, this is Kenny Guinn returning your phone call”, I about jumped out of my chair. I said “hello Mr. Guinn, I am working on a volunteer project and wanted to know if you wouldn’t mind helping me”? After explaining the project to him Kenny said, “I’ll not only help you out with a contribution, but I’ll be there to help fix her house.”
As you can imagine, this meant a great deal to me, and to all the volunteers of the project. Indeed, like he always did Kenny was true to his word and showed up on Renovation Day! Kenny approached the driveway in jeans and a t-shirt with a tool-belt buckled around his waist. He said, “alright, I’m ready to get to work.” Kenny was there for a many hours that day and rewired all the electrical sockets in the entire house! Before leaving, Kenny shook all the hands of the volunteers and gave the women who owned the home a big hug–wishing her the best in her newly renovated home.
The real story of Kenny Guinn is that he was a giver–an unselfish man who did what he could for others. Those who knew Kenny could always count on him. There always stood a humbled man, who worked hard for what he had and cared so dearly about his family, his state, and his community.
Now the second story is one from 5 years ago, when I needed Kenny Guinn more than ever! At the time, Kenny was still Governor and I was the State Chairman of the Nevada Young Republicans. I was also an active member of the National Young Republican Federation. In 2003 Nevada won our bid to host the 2005 Young Republican National Convention. One of the deciding factors for the National Federation choosing Nevada as the host state was the strong support we had from our Governor; Kenny Guinn.
Naturally, hosting a National Convention for any organization is a daunting task. It was going to be especially difficult for Nevada due to our small membership. During this time, Nevada was one of the smaller federations in the nation with only about a couple hundred members state-wide. So, the support of our Governor and Republican Party Leadership was going to be crucial to our success.
Once Nevada received the nod to host the National Convention, I quickly called the Governor. I remember the excitement in my voice, “Governor, we got the convention!” Kenny’s response was, “good job Nathan”. I thanked the Governor, and reminded him that it was his involvement and support of our efforts that really put us over the top. It was then that I asked the Governor if he would be the Honorary Chairman of the 2005 Young Republican National Convention. Without hesitation the Governor said, “yes I will”. Throughout the next two years Governor Guinn made countless calls on our behalf, and made himself available whenever we needed him.
In 2005 Governor Guinn showed me what a true and amazing friend he really was. Without going into too much detail, there was a dust-up in the Young Republicans. I had been pulled into the mess and frankly the survival and success of the National Convention was put on the line. After a false media report about myself, in which the Governor’s name was mentioned–I heard from Kenny Guinn. After explaining the circumstances of the news report, instead of distancing himself from the controversy the Governor said to me, “Nathan, I’ll continue to support you and the Young Republicans in any way that I can”.
In ways that I can’t even describe, this touched my heart and was one of the best examples of what it meant to be have Kenny Guinn as your friend. Kenny’s continued involvement in the convention made it a true success. A couple fond memories of the convention was first the Welcome Reception that was hosted by the Governor. I remember he stayed for several hours and spoke to almost everyone there. Attendees kept coming up to me saying “you have the coolest Governor in the world”! I of course knew that already and thanked them for their comments.
Finally, I remember myself and a couple of our convention volunteers sharing some time with the Governor prior to his speech. We all had a beer and just talked about what was going on in our lives. Kenny was always easy to talk to and like I said before, folks just loved being around him.
My last conversation with Kenny Guinn is one I’ll never forget. I talked to him about my campaign for the State Assembly and asked him to explain some details to me regarding the Nevada State Budget. Those who worked with Kenny while he was Governor will tell you he was a Master when it came to crunching numbers and working through state finances. He explained to me the dynamics of the state budgeting process and gave me some great ideas on how we could cut the budget without raising taxes and hurting the less-fortunate.
What many including myself will miss most about Kenny Guinn is his smile and positive attitude. Kenny was such an optimist, and when confronted with an issue or a problem he was always quick to find a solution. Those who knew him have lost a good friend, a true leader, and what many will say of him “A True Statesman”.
May God Bless you Kenny C. Guinn, we’ll all miss you! May God Bless The Guinn Family. Thank you Kenny for being “A Great Man”!
I was giving a lot of thought this week about what I would write about–I was so conflicted and undecided about all that happened this week in the news I decided to touch on a variety of issues.
First, let me just copy my commentary posted at http://budurl.com/7wdn this is my business website, where I often post opinions of happenings in the business world. Below are my thoughts on the passing of the Financial Industry Overhaul Legislation passed by Congress:
Today the U.S. Congress passed the most sweeping Financial Overhaul Legislation since the Great Depression!
I believe that we are systematically seeing the destruction of capitalism and free-market in our country. I’ll leave the final decision of this legislation to those on Wall Street, Corporations, and Investors. However, I believe we’ll find this legislation will ultimately lead to more layoffs in the financial industry and less access to American Business for obtaining capital.
In the past 6 months, we have seen now two pieces of Federal Legislation that possess over 2,000 pages. Between the healthcare overhaul and now the new financial industry regulations, our government has never been bigger! If you’re a free market capitalist and you believe in making your own choices then this legislation should scare you!
Again, let me just say that I believe our government is getting too big! The Federal Government continues to inject itself into the business of the States!
There can be no better example than the current Illegal Immigration Legislation passed by the State of Arizona. Now, whether you agree or disagree with the legislation Arizona passed, the bottom-line is that Arizona has a right to pass its own laws. Congress and the White House getting involved in Arizona’s business is in my opinion a travesty, and another example of a Federal Government out of control.
I’m sure everyone heard about BP Oil plugging the well that’s been leaking in the Gulf Coast. This was great news for the folks living in the Gulf Region and I pray they have the best of fortunes with the clean-up efforts. The leak went on way too long and it is my hope that the truth will come out in regards to the incompetence we witnessed during this tragedy.
The longest serving United States Senator died; Robert Byrd. Byrd was known for his speeches on the Senate Floor, and as much as I disagreed with his politics, his patriotism will be missed. Those of us who watched him all these many years remember his holding a copy of the United States Constitution in his hand to make many of his points. So now we have the U.S. Senate having lost its Lion in Ted Kennedy and the self described “Hillbilly” in Robert Byrd.
The sports world, along with the famed New York Yankees lost their owner George Steinbrenner. Everyone knew George to be fiercely dedicated to his team and to the sport of baseball. While many times throughout his career he was controversial, one item of note following his passing was that the players always respected him and appreciated his commitment to them as well as the game itself.
Finally, I wanted to provide a link to a story written by Andrea Peyser of the New York Post: http://budurl.com/3m82 If you haven’t heard, Muslims have received a thumbs up to build a Mosque near Ground Zero in New York City. This has enraged neighbors in the area, as well as New Yorkers who feel this is a “…insult! It’s a stab in the eye of America”, says Pamela Geller.
My feelings have and always will be that the only thing that should be built on Ground Zero or near Ground Zero is a Memorial to those lost on 9-11 and new towers. Those towers should have been rebuilt years ago, but politics and greed have delayed construction. I know that we as Americans are better than this–we must demand more from the politicians and business community in New York City!
I came across this story in Business Week and it made me think back to my younger days. It’s always been difficult for young Americans to start their own business, and for a variety of reasons. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I remember working for my cousin on his landscaping business. My Uncle bought the business for him and sent him out on the road to get new clients. Had my Uncle not invested the capital in starting the business, my cousin would never have been able to grow the business to what it is today.
A few years later, I decided to start my own Car Detailing business. It didn’t take much capital to start, and with the help of friends and family I had an instant clientele. Many entrepreneurs in American history have started with next to nothing. Some had the fortune of inheritance and others the connections to bring in investors.
However, if you read this story you’ll find that in today’s world it is much harder for young people to start their own businesses. With the typical income of someone under 35 in America being $11,800, you can see how massive the challenge is!
Click this link to read the Business Week Story: “Why So Few Young People Start Businesses”
More than anything, I’m so thankful to be an American. To live in a free land where people can vote, debate, and participate in our government. America is a place where dreams are made and people have the opportunity to be anything they want to be.
What makes all of this possible though is the great men and women of our Military. The sacrifices made by these brave souls is what allows us to have our freedoms. If it were not for our United States Military we would be unable to enjoy everything our country has to offer.
I constantly pray for the troops who are fighting over-seas to keep the terrorist out of our country. The battle they are fighting has been long and extremely deadly for our soldiers. We’ve lost almost 15,000 young Americans in the War On Terror, and another 13,500 have been badly injured. It’s hard to not have such gratitude and respect for a Military that works everyday to keep Americans safe!
I’m so proud to call myself an American and know that while we’re still a young nation, we have managed to accomplish so much in a short amount of time. As we approach another election cycle this coming November we have the opportunity to once again change the balance of power. The American people know now that more than ever we need smaller government and less regulations.
It is my hope that we do what we can as a nation to once again support small-business owners and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs. The constant intervention of increased government taxation and intervention in the private sector needs to stop. While we expect our government to provide basic service and needs to our people, we must demand more freedoms with respect to the free-market.
This 4th of July, lets be proud of who we are and what we’ll be as a country in the future. Our nation is an ever-changing society always looking to achieve more for ourselves. To remain a leader in the world our passion, our innovation, and our respect for others must be steadfast.
God Bless America!
General McChrystal has become a hot topic over the past couple days, and with his departure comes the opinions of many–including mine.
Initially, when I heard about the prospect of President Obama firing General McChrystal I was outraged. I knew the General had made some disparaging remarks against the Presidents Administration, but I felt it was the Generals right to speak his mind.
Then I gave it some more thought and realized the consequences of a General not standing with his President and the lasting ramifications to our government. We must as a Nation, stand together and move in the same direction when we are at war. Clearly, General McChrystal violated the chain of command and put President Obama in a tough position.
The real debate here is whether or not the President should have fired McChrystal? After much thought, my opinion is that firing the General was NOT the right move. While I understand why the President did what he did; I offer an alternative.
My view is that the General should have been made to apologize to the President publicly. I believe that in that apology General McChrystal should have stated the importance of the United States Military Standing by their President during a time of war. The fact is that civilians ultimately control and run our Military. It is a long-standing tradition and deals with the balance of power.
I can appreciate the General offering his opinion to the media, but in doing so he really put the President in a bad position. Maybe all we can hope for now is that something is learned from this. What I hate the most is seeing an Honorable, Patriotic, and Brave American end a respectable career on this note.
I thought many of you would enjoy my telling you about my experience this year running for the State Assembly. There are so many folks that just don’t quite know what it’s like to run for office–it’s a lot of hard work!
First, there is the decision to run for office in the first place, which wasn’t an easy decision. I remember like it was yesterday sitting at my campaign managers house talking about the prospect of me running. After much thought and discussion, we thought it best for me to start making phone calls to those in Nevada Politics that I’ve known for the past 15 years. We thought it was really important to discuss my becoming a candidate with some very well-respected and longtime friends.
I made those calls, and after a few coffee meetings and much prayer–I decided to enter the race. At that time, I was the first one to enter the race for Assembly District 13. However, we knew that with the district being an open-seat there would be plenty more candidates entering the race. Indeed, at the end of the day we had a field of 5 candidates.
One of the most difficult tasks was raising money for a campaign during these tough economic times. On top of that, with so many candidates in the race there were a great many that just didn’t want to contribute in such a crowded primary. We were able to raise over $11,000.00 and the majority of our money went to voter outreach efforts. In fact, out of the 5 candidates, we were number 2 in fundraising–something I am very proud of.
From day one of the campaign, my team decided that we would run an issues based campaign that focused on grassroots and voter contact. The idea was for me to knock on as many doors as possible, and allow voters to hear from me about what I would do for them in Carson City. This strategy proved very effective and was reflected in our garnering almost 20% of the vote on election day. The winner of our primary received 30% of the vote and only beat us by 1,226 votes in the largest Assembly District in the state! To say that I’m proud of our showing and the work we did would be an understatement.
I believe that one of the best decisions my campaign team and I made was to NOT run a negative campaign, but to focus on the issues that are so important to Nevadans. We did just that and all of our mail-pieces discussed my ideas for fixing our state budget, creating jobs, and improving our education system. I still believe that my campaign presented the best ideas for handling much of the states problems, but if anything at least those ideas are out there for others to entertain.
During campaigns, candidates seek endorsements to lend credibility to their election. When there is a crowded primary, those endorsements are that much harder to obtain. It was very important for me to obtain endorsements that were directly from the people and assisted my goal of gaining coalition support. The result was that I was endorsed by The Nevada Conservation League, Northwest Residents For Responsible Growth, Save Red Rock Coalition, and The Nevada Chiropractors Association. I was extremely humbled by those endorsements and appreciated all the support these organizations provided my campaign.
After 15 years of involvement in politics and working on over 40 campaigns, I’ve learned to expect the unexpected. One of those things you need to expect is DIRTY CAMPAIGNING and what I call THE POLITICS OF PERSONAL DESTRUCTION. Often these attacks come from those inside your own party and unfortunately only helps Democrats in their efforts during a general election.
One of my primary opponents went as far as having one of his friends and volunteers file and erroneous and frivolous complaint against my campaign with the Nevada Secretary of State‘s Office. The complaint was dismissed immediately once the Secretary of State received it, and in-fact they sent a letter to the complainant telling them they basically needed to read the NRS (Nevada Revised Statues) before alleging violations against a candidate. Those of you that followed my campaign know that we did not discuss this with the voters or the media during the race. It was our decision to not allow these types of attacks to derail our campaign in any manner. We chose to ignore this behavior and move forward with our message to the voters in Assembly District 13.
While we cannot confirm nor deny that one of our opponents was involved in another attack against my person and character, I can confirm that one of my former co-workers was involved in a blatant politically motivated attack against myself and one of my best friends. This is truly the kind of stuff that most of us only see if movies, but this stuff really happened!
So, a former co-worker of mine by the name of Dan Hoffman decided that since I exposed unethical behavior of Clark County Business License employees and mainly himself, he would engage in politically motivated attacks to derail my election. Dan Hoffman filed a TPO (Temporary Protective Order) against one of my best friends–Juan Rivera. In the TPO, Hoffman alleges that Rivera a Marine and decorated Veteran of our Nation is a “dangerous individual”. Let me just clearly say this is the biggest crock of bull…. I’ve ever seen! Rivera is one of the greatest men I’ve ever met in my life! A man who has served his country–however I believe his greatest accomplishment is being an amazing father.
To make this long story short, during the campaign I appeared in court with Mr. Rivera and Dan Hoffman (the complainant). I decided to attend the hearing because I always support my friends and I also wanted to make a request to the Judge. During this hearing, the TPO against Mr. Rivera was dismissed and information contained in the complaint regarding myself was sealed. This was a failed attempt by power-hungry bureaucrats with a vendetta to use the system for their own gain–it didn’t work!
None of the actions by these immature and desperate individuals stopped our campaign. Like I said, we ran our campaign on the issues and focused on meeting as many voters as possible. I’m so very proud of what were able to accomplish and while we didn’t win, I’ve got so much to be thankful for. God has blessed me with some of the greatest friends in the world and without their support, I would have never been able to do this.
Thanks again to all of you who stood behind me in so many ways. Your love, your friendship, and your contributions all meant so much to me. Let me make a promise to you that I’ll keep on fighting the good fight!
Tonight I want to thank all of my friends and supporters who worked so hard on my campaign this year. I would also like to take this time to give my full support to Scott Hammond for State Assembly in District 13.
Scott Hammond won the primary election tonight in Assembly District 13, and he is a wonderful family-man, teacher, and concerned citizen. I now urge all of the big money donors who supported other candidates in this primary to now back Scott Hammond. Now is a time for unity and support of our Republican nominee.
This primary was a very well-spirited race and now that Scott Hammond has won, we must come together as fellow Republicans to support Scott. I believe that if all of the other 4 candidates in this primary come together to support Scott, we’ll win this election in November.
I’m giving my full support to Scott Hammond, and will ask all of those who supported me in this race to now back Scott. It’s time for everyone to come together and back our GOP nominee.
To learn more about Scott Hammond, please visit his website at: www.hammondfornevada.com
As we stand here looking
At the flags upon these graves
Know these flags represent
A few of the true American brave
They fought for their Country
As man has through all of time
Except that these soldiers lying here
Fought for your country and mine
As we all are gathered here
To pay them our respect
Let’s pass this word to others
It’s what they would expect
I’m sure that they would do it
If it were me or you
To show we did not die in vein
But for the red, white and blue.
Let’s pass on to our children
And to those who never knew
What these soldiers died for
It’s the least we can do
Let’s not forget their families
Great pain they had to bear
Losing a son, father or husband
They need to know we still care
No matter which war was fought
On the day that they died
I stand here looking at these flags
Filled with American pride.
So as the bugler plays out Taps
With its sweet and eerie sound
Pray for these soldiers lying here
In this sacred, hallowed ground.
Take home with you a sense of pride
You were here Memorial Day.
Celebrating the way Americans should
On this solemnest of days.
by Michelle Keim
A Prayer for Easter Morning
0 Lord Jesus Christ, who upon this day did conquer death and rise from the dead,
and who are alive for ever more, help us never to forget your Risen Presence forever with us.
Help us to remember,
That you are with us in every time of perplexity to guide and to direct;
That you are with us in every time of sorrow to comfort and console;
That you are with us in every time of temptation to strengthen and to inspire;
That you are with us in every time of loneliness to cheer and befriend;
That you are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of your side.
Make us to be certain that there is nothing in time or in eternity which can separate us from you,so that in your presence we may meet life with gallantry and death without fear.
You turn our darkness into light, in your light we shall see light.
Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Christ the Lord is risen today!
Candidate–Assembly District 13
Loving Father, Help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the song of the angels,
the gladness of the shepherds,
and worship of the wise men.
Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessing which Christ brings, and teach us to be merry with clear hearts.
May the Christmas morning make us happy to be thy children, and Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
It isn’t easy explaining all the things I love about Christmas, because there is so much about it that I truly love!
Christmas for me always brings back great memories of my childhood–all the cool presents I got, and the awesome food my family made. Helping my Mom and sisters decorate the tree was also a fun and exciting event in our home. Like many families, we drank eggnog and listened to Christmas carols. There is just something about traditions that strikes a cord in my heart.
As we get older things change, but some of the traditions remain the same–for me, there is still the tree decorating, even though I don’t put up as many decorations now as I used to. There is still the occasional night of listening to Christmas music, and thank goodness Mom’s food is still amazing!
In recent weeks as we have gotten closer to Christ’s birthday–the reason we celebrate Christmas, I’ve thought about the importance of the holiday, and what it means for so many of us. While the religious fact of the holiday is the most important, one of the results of this celebration is the gift of fellowship.
As many of us attend holiday parties and company gatherings, we’re able to see many of the people we deal with during the year in a different setting. Somehow the stresses of work, and responsibilities escape us, if only for a few hours. Christmas gives us a warm feeling of giving and selflessness. This is a time when many of us give to local charities, feed the less fortunate, and think about others.
Christmas in my opinion is the best way to finish out each year. It is a time of fun, but also a time for reflection. While times have been tough for all of us this year, now we can put it behind us and enjoy being with our family and friends. Remembering that often the simple things in life are the most important, and most enjoyable.
So laugh a little, love a little, and remember that Christmas is a time to celebrate–for there is much to celebrate in our lives!
This was the first year NASCAR hosted this event in Las Vegas–in years past it was held in New York City. Las Vegas was the perfect backdrop for Sprint Cup drivers and fans. As I walked the parade route next to the drivers and fans, all I could hear was folks saying how awesome it was to be in Vegas!
After watching this event last week, it is my opinion that this event will only get better in the future. With more than enough hotel rooms, plenty of space on the streets for Sprint Cup cars, Las Vegas has proven we are the best place in the country to host Championship Week.
Not only does Las Vegas have a driver favorite track in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but Las Vegas is able to attract fans from across the country. NASCAR has already said in so many words that the space Vegas has compared to New York City is enormous. NASCAR Champion Jimmy Johnson never could have done a burnout the way he did on the Las Vegas Strip in New York City!
You are cordially invited to attend my campaign kickoff for Nevada State Assembly › Continue reading
If you haven’t heard, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is for the first time bringing its Championship week to Las Vegas this year! After many years of having this weeklong event hosted in New York City, NASCAR has chosen to bring the drivers and all the fanfare that comes with NASCAR to the lights of Las Vegas. › Continue reading
As most of you know by know, the GOP pulled out some amazing victories Tuesday night–winning the Gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia. These are huge victories for the GOP in the off year elections, and give us some momentum leading into 2010. › Continue reading
It’s no secret that after this years legislative session in Carson City, fees and taxes increased. Some of those increases were a direct result of a state budget shortfall that threatened to all but dismantle crucial public services. While issues regarding some of the taxes and fee increases continue to be debated, one fact remains–Nevada needs to keep taxes low. › Continue reading
Often in the political process, you come across people who are very far left, or very far right. Politico’s call them liberals and conservatives–some crazy bloggers and media hacks call them socialists or neo-cons. These are buzz words used in politics, and most often they are used to garner attention. › Continue reading
It is pretty amazing and somewhat astonishing when I have to write a column about an ugly experience I’ve had with local government! Unfortunately, today I must write this column and speak of a real-life experience that myself and my good friend Juan Rivera are going through! › Continue reading
Alright, so the news is out that former State Senator Joe Heck has decided to switch gears and NOT run for Governor of Nevada. Instead, he’s chosen to launch a campaign for Congress, after GOP hopeful John Guedry dropped out of the race last week. After spending several months trying to run a credible campaign for Nevada Governor, it didn’t appear that Heck was gaining any traction in the crowded field. What makes Heck think anything will be different in his quest to unseat Congresswoman Dina Titus? › Continue reading
Well folks, Clark County Business License made the news again today–this time it was due to CCBL Director Jaqueline Holloway’s attempt to intimidate and harass me!
Las Vegas Review Journal Columnist John L. Smith did an awesome job telling to story and exposing the lies of Ms. Holloway. What I found most interesting about John L. Smith’s story was the fact that he printed Holloway’s statement she released to Clark County Security. Holloway actually contradicted a sworn statement by Officer Kaatz–she might as well just called him a liar! › Continue reading
Every once in awhile, I need to vent a little about what I see wrong with our nation and lend my thoughts. In many ways, I don’t even know where to start because there are so many issues that need fixing in America right now. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really sick and tired of all the nonsense that continues to come out of these politicians mouths–they need to shut-up and take some serious action! › Continue reading
I had the pleasure of sitting down to lunch with U.S. Senate Candidate Danny Tarkanian this past week. While Danny and I have been friends for many years, as a writer now I often have to sit down with friends and ask them tough questions. On this day, I wanted to know just a few specific things regarding his bid for the U.S. Senate. › Continue reading
The March of Dimes Signature Chefs Event of Las Vegas is coming soon! On October 3, 2009 you can have the chance to experience the cuisine of 30 top Las Vegas Chefs, bid on amazing auction items, sip luxurious cocktails but most of all help Nevada’s Babies. I am so passionate about this event and this is why: › Continue reading
The GOP Dream Team has been assembled for the 2010 elections, but unfortunately they’re all running against each other! We all woke up this morning to the news that State Senator Mark Amodei from Carson City is entering the race for U.S. Senate against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Alright…lets lists the candidates for this seat thus far: › Continue reading
In today’s world, it isn’t often that a politician makes promises to his constituents, and keeps them. More often then not, once elected politicians quickly forget how they got there and almost immediately begin breaking campaign promises. However, sometimes we get that rare soul who keeps their promises and delivers on their campaign rhetoric. › Continue reading
This is my final installment (For Now) of my story on the proposed SNWA water pipeline through rural Nevada. While I was contemplating this final piece, I thought a lot about my own thoughts on the growth of Las Vegas. › Continue reading
I’m going to go ahead and continue with my interview with Hank Vogler, since what he has to say is so very interesting.
I asked Mr. Vogler, “do you believe this project will have a negative impact on our environment, and if so, how?” › Continue reading
This isn’t just another story about folks fighting for some water rights and trying to hold onto the deserts most precious resource–WATER! What is really going on behind the scenes in Nevada, is what I believe is the BIGGEST political fight ever fought on these lands! › Continue reading
Clark County dedicated its new Shooting Park today a long needed addition to the Las Vegas community! There was no shortage of dignitaries at the event today, including but not limited to U.S. Senator Harry Reid, U.S. Senator John Ensign, Governor Jim Gibbons, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, and County Commissioners Tom Collins, Susan Brager, and Rory Reid. › Continue reading
Let us start with the obvious. Obamacare does not exist. President Obama has proposed reforms in health care, health care insurance reform, a desire that all the 57 million (his number) uninsured now be insured, and that he wants a plan that does not raise taxes on those making under $250,000 a year and will not kill Grandma. › Continue reading
This has gone on for way too long, and it’s looking like the GOP is going to cannibalize themselves going into the 2010 elections. At least in Nevada right now it is appearing as though the different factions are paving the way to beat each other up for the chance to call themselves king of the mountain. › Continue reading
The Nevada GOP’s “night in shining armor” emerged this week as news broke that former Attorney General and sitting Federal Judge Brian Sandoval is resigning his Judgeship! Just as commentators like myself were starting to get discouraged about Republican prospects for 2010, Sandoval changes the landscape. › Continue reading
Following U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s remarkable power-play this week know as the “Energy Summit”, I began to speak to some of my GOP friends to find out their thoughts on the energy issue. What Reid and some of the Democrats have been doing, is stealing the spotlight on the topic of energy. This is a huge mistake by the GOP to allow someone else to frame the debate and take credit for any progress.
While alternative sources of energy is a complex and highly volatile topic, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t engage in dialogue, and one of the two major parties in America, the GOP should be all over this! Look, we need to create jobs and we need to be doing whatever it takes to lower our energy costs. Politicians have been talking for years about our need to stop buying so much energy from foreign countries. One of my favorite slogans, coined by former Governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin was “Drill Baby, Drill!”
Can we keep going down the road we’ve been going down with regards to energy? Will the Republicans cultivate a plan on energy and start delivering it to the people before the Democrats take it over? I’m worried that our national GOP leadership has surrendered this issue to the Democrats, and if that is the case…we’re in BIG trouble! I know we are all embroiled in this healthcare debate, but PLEASE don’t forget about the importance of talking about ENERGY.
I read a very interesting story yesterday in the Las Vegas Sun about a company wanting to build a solar power plant outside Las Vegas. As always, the environmentalist started fighting the proposed project on account of some desert tortoises. I love turtles too, but not enough to jeopardize the advancement of technology and the search for alternative sources of energy. Maybe they can work something out, but these issues generally drag on for years!
With the 2010 elections crucial to the power structure in our country for the next decade, there is a lot at stake. Redistricting is always a very political and highly controversial exercise for state legislators. I was fortunate enough to be involved in redistricting in Nevada during the 2000 U.S. Census–reaching out to voters and explaining positions on important issues will be paramount next year. If the GOP doesn’t formulate a message other than being the party of decent, it will be a long and very disappointing year for Republicans.
How can I resist commenting on Senator Harry Reid’s Energy Summit today at UNLV. In fact, the truth about today is that it was the official kick-off for Harry Reid’s 2010 re-election campaign! While it pains me to recognize that this was an amazing display of power–it truly was! › Continue reading
Only 1 day after I wrote my column about Congressman Dean Heller jumping into the U.S. Senate race against Harry Reid, well known businessman and former UNLV basketball player Danny Tarkanian announced his candidacy to challenge Reid. › Continue reading
Alright, I’ve waited entirely too long to write this column on the answer to getting rid of Harry Reid! Congressman Dean Heller is the answer to the nations problem known as Harry Reid. Polls show that Dean Heller could beat Harry Reid and as many of you already know, his approval ratings remain steady. › Continue reading
I spent this past weekend talking to a few senior citizens in Southern California, where the Democrats and Liberals have a strong-hold. I discussed with them their thoughts about Obama’s proposed healthcare legislation. › Continue reading
Recently there has been a lot of talk in Nevada about how down-and-out the GOP is. Truth be told, the Republican Party is in huge disarray, and has been going down hill for the past 5 years. › Continue reading
Ok, so the analyst are saying that they are seeing some increase in the amount of money investors are starting to put into the market. Many are starting to wonder if this means the bear market is starting to get a little more bullish. However, what many investors are doing, is putting their money into less volatile stocks–unlike the risks we saw investors taking in 2007, folks are still reluctant to back hedge funds and new technology. › Continue reading
The Associated Press released this information today regarding the positive number of the Dow Jones:
NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrials rose back above 9,000 for the first time since early January. Investors snapped up a broad range of stocks Thursday, sending major indexes up more than 2 percent, after existing home sales jumped for the third straight month in June. The 3.6 percent increase in home sales has investors excited that the hard-hit housing market might be improving. The National Association of Realtors said sales came in at 4.89 million, above the 4.84 million analysts had been expecting.
If we keep seeing people get back into the market, the tide could move in the right direction for all of us. The question is, have we hit the bottom? In my opinion if we haven’t hit the bottom in this bad economy, we are pretty darn close.
The Associated Press also released these numbers today:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. housing market has started to recover from the most far-reaching crisis since the Great Depression, data released Thursday show. Sales of previously occupied homes rose for the third month in a row in June, the National Association of Realtors reported. That hasn’t happened since early 2004, during the boom. “The turnaround in the housing market appears finally to be here and indeed may be gaining some speed,” wrote Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors Inc.
I find this latest news to be a truly encouraging considering all the negative data we generally see. I continue to put my faith in America’s economic recovery in the people of this great nation. I don’t believe that government will get us out of this mess, but however it will be the entrepreneurial spirit of our citizenry. I don’t believe that we can spend our way into prosperity and hope for positive results. In the end, these latest numbers can give us some optimism, that we will get through these tough times. As I publish this, I am watching the Dow Jones, and it currently sits at 9082.97…keep rising!
In my last article, I commented on the more than 12,000 jobs being filled in Las Vegas at MGM CityCenter–now we have the news that Hard Rock Las Vegas is filling more than 500 positions! It is my hope that when the analysts said that the Las Vegas economy would start to come back during the fall of this year–they were right! › Continue reading
Talk about the newest addition to Las Vegas Mega-Resorts MGM Grand’s CityCenter is starting to heat up! The property is expected to open in early December of this year and will begin employing over 12,000 residents in the Las Vegas area. In this economy, this is one of the best pieces of good news hitting Las Vegas and its over 125,000 residents currently unemployed! › Continue reading
There has been a lot of news lately regarding the proposed high-speed train between Las Vegas and southern California. I wanted to weigh in on this, because I know what a huge need there is for another mode of transportation between Las Vegas and Southern California. › Continue reading
When most of us turn on the news or read the newspapers these days, it seems all we see is negative forecasts on the business front. However, as someone who is on the ground in the business world here in Las Vegas, I’d like to bring you some positive developments on the business front! › Continue reading
It was a Saturday morning and generally I like to sleep in a little bit–however this Saturday was the 4th of July! Since I was a little kid here in Southern Nevada, I’ve enjoyed attending the Boulder City, NV 4th of July parade–what a great show! › Continue reading
What a week we had with all the deaths in the entertainment world–Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett and Ed McMahon. While the passing of these individuals is worth some attention, it astonishes me that our media seems to overlook the deaths of those whom I consider much more important! › Continue reading
Over the past week, we’ve heard of the shocking announcements of two high-ranking elected officials having cheated on their wives. The reality of these announcements is that I found in my discussions with people that they were not really shocked. Unfortunately, we’ve all become too accustomed to these types of actions by elected officials, movie stars, and corporate executives. › Continue reading
If for one second anyone thinks what’s going on in Iran right now is nothing like the Tiananmen Square of 1989, you would be sorely wrong! I watched the YouTube video of a girl in Iran who was peacefully protesting with her father right before being gunned down. What shocked me was that when I watched the video on YouTube, that there were only a little over 18,000 views. › Continue reading
I’m sure by now that many of you have heard about the shooting at the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. We all share our prayers and sadness for security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns, who while in the process of doing his job was shot dead by a domestic terrorist. › Continue reading
I don’t think there is anyone who would say that this year’s legislative Session was boring by any means. Truthfully, I’ve never seen or been a part of a legislative session that was–it’s always interesting and sometimes entertaining!Nevada’s 75th Legislative Session turned into one of the most important legislative sessions since 2003, when then Governor Kenny Guinn had to sign an $800 million dollar tax increase. I was fortunate enough to be serving my Public Service Internship in Governor Guinn’s office during the 2003 legislative session. One of the most remarkable things I witnessed while serving in Governor Guinn’s office, was his steadfast and unwavering leadership. As a 26 year old, you can’t help but be a little star-struck at watching the Governor walk into the office everyday, but I think I was more amazed at how calm, cool, and collected the Governor was during such a stressful time. › Continue reading
How apropos the title of today’s commentary…I mean if I was a terrorist I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be! There are some great views of the mountainside and on a sunny day you can even hear a few birds chirping! › Continue reading
I was reminded today while following up on some bills passed by the legislature of that old saying, “all government is local.” The reason I thought about this was because one of the bills passed by the Nevada State Legislature was SB 201. A summary of the bill reads:
AN ACT relating to taxation; authorizing certain counties to impose additional taxes on fuels for motor vehicles; providing for the administration, allocation, disbursement and use of the additional taxes; exempting the sale of revenue bonds secured by county fuel taxes from certain requirements; and providing other matters properly relating thereto. › Continue reading
JR Fent posted an excellent article on his site called “Helping someone to buy the best notebook computer is a great business exercise“. In his article, he makes the point – Sometimes selling isn’t about being all ‘sales-ey’. Sometimes it’s about making a recommendation to someone after you’ve taken the time to talk with the person and really listen to their needs. Helping someone to pick out their next computer is a great way to practice. Check it out. It’s a quick read with some great points. http://jrfent.com/selling/helping-someone-to-buy-the-best-notebook-computer-is-a-great-business-excercise/
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