“The Man In The Arena”, by Theodore Roosevelt

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

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 Politics No Comments

GOP Assemblyman Goicoechea WRONG On Tax Increase

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.

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Wednesday, August 25th, 2010 Politics No Comments

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

The Departure of General McChrystal

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.

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010 Government No Comments

My Experience On The Campaign Trail

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!

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Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 Politics No Comments

NATHAN TAYLOR ENDORSES SCOTT HAMMOND FOR ASSEMBLY 13

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

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Thursday, June 10th, 2010 Government No Comments

Happy Memorial Day 2010

us-flag-640x480
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

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Monday, May 31st, 2010 Human Interest No Comments
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