Clark County, Nevada, 2018 Republican Primary Election Endorsements

When I withdrew from the Republican party earlier this year, I knew I wouldn’t be able to vote in the primary election, and I decided to publish recommendations for as many offices on that ballot as I could, to still do my part in the process. These recommendations are from a very traditionally conservative mindset, fiscally and socially, which means more like Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley than like the current neocons or populists, such as Donald Trump, about whom I’m very skeptical. For each candidate, I tried to find and survey their website, social media, YouTube, and any local media mentioning them, such as the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In some cases, I also consulted people who would know more about these candidates and issues than I do, though all final endorsements here are solely my own. I welcome any constructive discussion in the comments.

 

UNITED STATES SENATE

A lot of conservatives are mad at Dean Heller for not supporting a full repeal of Obamacare–I understand that, but I don’t see him as a Trump lackey or as a rabid anti-Trumper. Heller is his own man, who does what he thinks is best for Nevada. I admire that independence. He’s surely done far more good than harm. We should keep him.

Vote for: Dean Heller

 

REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS, DISTRICT 1

Joyce Bentley is an unqualified amateur, and Fred Horne is just a little better, but it hardly matters. Neither one of them stands a chance against either Democratic nominee. Why would anyone agree to be set up as a token sacrifice by the state party like this? It’s just an embarrassing waste. This would be a good place for my regular rant about the local GOP’s consistent failure to find strong people to run for office…

Vote for: Mickey Mouse

 

REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS, DISTRICT 3

Scott Hammond is solidly experienced and qualified, to a degree far above anyone else in this race. I enthusiastically endorse him!

I’ve mentioned before on this blog how much I like Annette Teijeiro, and I wish she’d run for something more realistic. I know a previous primary win must have emboldened her, but a county commission / city council seat would be a much better fit than these statewide races–please, Ms. Teijeiro, focus and develop your political career on smaller races.

I notice that Danny Tarkanian is running for this office as well, so this would be a good time to remind the world that I wouldn’t vote for him for dog catcher. He’s an obnoxious wanna be, and I hope we can all agree to encourage him to disappear from politics.

Vote for: Scott Hammond

 

REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS, DISTRICT 4

This is another easy one: I’ve always liked Crescent Hardy, and there’s no one else in this race with anywhere near his credentials–certainly, none of his opponents stands a chance of beating either Spearman or Horsford in the general election, so he’s our man.

Vote for: Crescent Hardy

 

GOVERNOR

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Five Election Truths

Yes, about 90% of Mormons will vote for Mitt Romney.  About 90% of Mormons always vote for a Republican.

Yes, about 90% of blacks will vote for Barack Obama.  About 90% of blacks always vote for a Democrat.

Stop complaining about negative attack ads.  If we didn’t actually respond to them, then campaigns would stop making them.  Blame the voters, not the candidates.

Stop complaining that everybody’s talking about the election.  Huge decisions about the future of our jobs, military, and health care, among other things, hinge on who wins.  I think we can put our favorite sitcoms on the backburner for one more week for that.

Too much political talk on Facebook?  See above.  You have three options: drop all of your friends, don’t check Facebook for a while, or realize that living in a free democracy means being surrounded by citizen debate which you may not like or be interested in.  Deal with it.

Mr. Kettle, Meet President Super Pot

By far my favorite ad in the presidential campaign so far has been this recent Obama commercial.  It’s hilarious.  It slams Romney for, allegedly, racking up a lot of debt and failing to create jobs.

So, um…is the Obama camp saying that if someone doesn’t create jobs and especially if they run up a ton of debt, that person is unfit to be president?  Because…yeah.

Santorum and Obama Make the Same Awful Claim

On Monday, Rick Santorum and President Barack Obama said essentially the same thing in campaign speeches they each gave: that if the other party wins in November, the America that their supporters love will disappear forever.

Santorum said, “If Barack Obama is re-elected, then America as we know it…as we know it…will be gone. We will be a statist country.”

Obama said, “The very core of what this country stands for is on the line — the basic promise that no matter what you look like, no matter where you come from, this is a place where you could make it if you try. The notion that we’re all in this together, that we look out for one another — that’s at stake in this election.”

The fear-mongering here is identical: “my opponents will destroy our way of life.”  Neither man has the respect for his supporters to be any more subtle than that.  There are no shades of gray, no agreeing to disagree, no benefit of the doubt and credit given for the values and motives of others.  The message is that those who don’t fall in line are simply evil.

This isn’t much different from what the actress Cameron Diaz said on Oprah in 2004, that if George Bush were reelected, rape could become legal: “We have a voice now, and we’re not using it, and women have so much to lose. I mean, we could lose the right to our bodies. We could lo–if you think that rape should be legal, then don’t vote. But if you think that you have a right to your body, and you have a right to say what happens to you and fight off that danger of losing that, then you should vote…”

People vying to be the leader of the free world now use language not far removed from that of hysterical starlets.  Shame on both Santorum and Obama for such cheap, shallow demagoguery.

Political Baloney Detector

In The Demon Haunted World, scientist Carl Sagan described a “baloney detection kit” that he would have liked to see taught in school, with such tools as skepticism and logical fallacies to help people keep from being suckered.  It’s a great idea, and I’ve employed something similar in my readings of current events in politics.

I won’t succumb to the pressure to declare myself “independent” or “moderate,” those new buzzwords that constitute the cool meme in the political mainstream; I’m a conservative through and through.  That being said, though, that hardly means that all people or parties calling themselves that are always correct.  As I employ my Political Baloney Detector, I can spot cheap shots and see many public statements and actions for the transparent pandering they are. 

Here’s how it works: whenever a politician criticizes someone with a differing view, I ask myself how authentic the complaint would sound if the roles were reversed.  By this method, I can almost always see the playacting, and the smoke and mirrors, and not get distracted from real issues by these silly tricks.

Don’t get me wrong–many things of substance get said in our public realm, by both sides of the aisle, but they also each spew enough manure that it’s useful to be able to discount it quickly.  If a statement addresses a legitimate issue, then it needs to be analyzed and discussed on its merits, measured against principles (and that’s what our conversations should really be about–the political principles that we give priority; that’s where our disagreements come from), and I think that such a focus is important enough and demands enough energy that we owe it to our principles, if we’re serious about them, not to let ourselves be taken by the cheap tricks along the way. 

Two examples:

In December, Democrats in Congress said they’d be willing to work on Christmas to finish their work.  Continue reading

At This Rate, Sharron Angle Is Going To Lose

I’ve been whining about this at home for a month now: in a race where Harry Reid should be about a zillion points behind, he and Sharron Angle are running neck and neck.  Why?  Because Reid has pulled out all the stops and Angle is running a weak, loser campaign that faithfully follows the mold of countless other GOP loser campaigns.  Who’s her manager now, anyway?  Bob Dole? 

Reid’s ads have capitalized on public fears in a big way.  He touts his pork projects as jobs “saved” (shifted, really, or bought with invisible federal funds, but I digress) and successfully paints Angle as a fringe freak. 

Angle, for her part, plays right along.  She spends her comparatively scant media dollars on ads that meekly counter Reid’s attacks, or that try to attack him on his own ground.  The very worst example is the string of ads that criticize Reid for failing to fix the economy and create more jobs.  Sharron!  You can’t claim (rightfully) that a senator’s job isn’t to create jobs, and then criticize your opponent for failing to create jobs. 

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Et Tu, Sue Lowden?

I previously criticized Republican Senate candidate Sue Lowden for a sleazy, mud-slinging TV ad which insinuated that fellow candidate Sharron Angle was in bed with the Church of Scientology and conspired with them to promote a cushy rehabilitative program for prisoners. 

Now that Angle has won the primary and is up against Harry Reid in November, the Reid machine has pulled out all the stops to incriminate her.  Sadly, the first major TV spot Reid launched against Angle last month featured footage  lifted straight from the Lowden ad! 

Please, correct me if I’m wrong–and I really do want to be wrong on this one–but I can only think of one way the Reid campaign could have legally used that footage: with the permission of the Lowden campaign that created it.  Is this right?  Did Sue Lowden help Harry Reid make a commercial to defeat the woman who defeated her?  Would she get Reid reelected just for a chance to keep smearing Angle?  I want to be wrong about this because that just seems too low for anyone to stoop. 

Here’s a screen shot of the older anti-Angle footage from the Lowden campaign, complete with the Tom Cruise picture in the corner, recycled in the Reid ad:

Here’s the whole Reid ad itself:

And, just to jog your memory, here’s the original Lowden ad with the same footage given to Reid:

Open Season On Sue Lowden

There’s large field of Republican candidates in Nevada looking to take on Harry Reid in November, but the consistent frontrunner has been Sue Lowden.  This has led to a flurry of vitriol against her, and it’s really disgusting.

Reid supporters and Democratic operatives have run wild with all kinds of mischief about Lowden supposedly having an idea about bartering with chickens to pay doctors.  Then, the typical anti-conservative meme comes out: this candidate is stupid (just like they said about George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Dan Quayle, etc.) and she’s just a pretty face who isn’t qualified for politics (just like they said about Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, etc.).  This attack is cheap, petty, degrading, and sexist.  Note to liberal critics: if a claim that appears to substantiate a Republican’s alleged stupidity seems too perfect, it is

Lowden didn’t say that we should try trading chickens for health care, she just pointed out that generations ago people used to do that kind of thing, and the new health care bill might lead to new rounds of bartering today (which many doctors have said they absolutely have had to).  That’s all.  Please stop all the Sue Lowden chicken jokes. 

Here’s the actual quote, by the way:  “You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor, they would say I’ll paint your house.  I mean, that’s the old days of what people would do to get health care with your doctors. Doctors are very sympathetic people. I’m not backing down from that system.”

But far worse than this is the attack ads coming from GOP second place candidate Danny Tarkanian.  I liked him, too, until these ads started running.  Continue reading