Archive for July, 2010

Governor Kenny C. Guinn 1936 – 2010 “A Great Man”

Governor Kenny C. Guinn

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”!

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Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 Nevada No Comments

Truly a Very Busy Couple Weeks of 2010

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!

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010 Human Interest No Comments

Young Americans and Entrepreneurship

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”

http://budurl.com/77g9

Monday, July 12th, 2010 Business No Comments

Happy 4th of July 2010!

I am wishing all of my friends and family a very happy and safe 4th of July 2010! As we celebrate Independence Day, I can’t help but think about what this holiday means to me.

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!

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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 Human Interest No Comments
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