Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Halseth’

Nevada Political Season Gets Under Way Today With Dozens Of Candidates Filing For Office

By Sean Whaley | 6:21 pm March 5th, 2012

CARSON CITY – There was a flurry of candidates filing for office and some political maneuvering today as Nevada’s 2012 election season officially got under way.

Over 90 candidates filed for a variety of offices in Clark County.

Another 17 filed with the Secretary of State’s office and others filed in their respective counties around the state.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who faces a strong challenge from Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., filed in Carson City for election to a full term in the Senate. He was appointed to the position in May by Gov. Brian Sandoval. Berkley is expected to file next week.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

Dozens of other candidates filed on the first day of the two-week filing period, including Danny Tarkanian, a Republican who is seeking the newly created 4th Congressional District seat in portions of Clark County and rural Nevada.

And state Senate Republicans, looking to win back a majority in the 21-seat Senate for the 2013 legislative session, backed a new candidate for Senate District 9 in Clark County to replace Elizabeth Halseth, a Republican who resigned in mid-term.

Las Vegas physician Vick Gill, who had earlier this month announced as the GOP candidate for the seat, withdrew from the race, paving the way for third-generation Nevadan Mari Nakashima St. Martin to run for the seat instead.

Republicans need to hold on to the Senate 9 seat if they are to win the majority. Democrats have an 11-10 edge and are fielding a slate of candidates with the goal of maintaining control of the Senate for a third consecutive legislative session.

“I am running for the state Senate not just as a concerned citizen but as a new mom,” St. Martin said in announcing her candidacy. “I know our city, our state and many of the residents of the 9th district have seen some hard times in the last few years but I want my daughter to experience the opportunity and growth of the Nevada I knew growing up.”

St. Martin graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and currently works for a local small business as a sales and community outreach representative. Her past experience includes working as communication director for Congressman Joe Heck’s campaign, communication director for the Nevada Republican Party and as an aide in Washington, DC to Heller when he represented Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District.

Justin Jones, a Democrat, also filed for the Senate 9 seat today.

In a statement released on his filing, Tarkanian said a December poll shows him as the clear front-runner in a Republican primary for the seat and one who can beat expected Democrat candidate Steven Horsford, currently the state Senate majority leader. Several other Republicans, including state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, are expected to file as well. Cegavske has a major fund-raiser set for this Friday in Las Vegas and another tomorrow in Washington, DC.

“Nevada needs to refuel its economy through job creation, innovation and deregulation,” Tarkanian said. “By utilizing the resources Nevada has at her very fingertips, we can infuse new business into our economy and revitalize dormant industries; all while saving taxpayer dollars.”

The U.S. Senate race saw other candidates file as well today, including former university regent Nancy Price, a Democrat.

The primary election will be on June 12 to select one candidate from each party to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. If only one candidate files from a party, that candidate automatically appears on the general election ballot.

The general election will see races from U.S. President on down to local Nevada races.

Las Vegas Physician, Small Business Owner Announces GOP Candidacy For Senate 9

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:01 am February 22nd, 2012

CARSON CITY – A Las Vegas physician and small business owner today announced his GOP candidacy for Senate District 9, a seat formerly held by Republican Elizabeth Halseth, who resigned in mid-term last week for personal reasons.

Vick Gill is a managing partner of CVR Management, a privately held company that owns an ob/gyn practice and a farming operation. At CVR Management Gill employs over 65 workers.

Gill will try to hold on to the seat for state Senate Republicans, who are trying to regain the majority in the 21-member body for the 2013 legislative session. Democrats currently hold an 11-10 advantage.

Gill said he believes that with the current state budget deficit, Nevada needs lawmakers who have lived in the real world and can balance budgets and create jobs the way many small businesses do. One of his first priorities will be to put Nevadans back to work, he said.

“As a small business owner, I know how to create jobs and balance a budget,” Gill said. “We need transparency and accountability. We cannot spend money we do not have on programs that do not work. I will focus on reining in spending and eliminating waste.

“Nevada is hurting; we have the highest unemployment rate in the country, the highest foreclosure rate of any state, and the highest high school drop-out rate in the nation,” he said. “These may be sobering statistics to some, but this is reality for many here in Nevada. I am running for state Senate to bring common sense solutions to these everyday issues.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Gill earned his medical degree from Xavier University School of Medicine.



Senators Sit On Floor In Impromptu Debate With Camping Activists

By Andrew Doughman | 5:18 pm May 17th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Senate Republicans gave new meaning to the legislative jargon “floor debate” today.

Several lawmakers sat on the floor outside their offices today as they talked to activists who have been camping on the Capitol lawn since yesterday night in support of new revenue.

The impromptu, hour-long debate featured a variety of popular budget topics including teacher pay, textbooks in schools, higher education tuition and taxes.

It all started when about two dozen campers requested an audience with Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, who did not have room for them in her office. So she stepped outside, and they sat on the floor together.

Several other Republican senators joined her soon after, and Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, offered shortbread Girl Scout cookies all around.

“I’ve never seen this before,” said Warren Hardy, a former legislator and current lobbyist who watched the debate. “It’s a great dialog. If I were still a senator, I would be right in the middle of it because I think that’s the respect these people deserve.”

Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, speaks with Michael Flores, a ProgressNOW organizer, outside her office in the halls of the Legislature. //PHOTO: Andrew Doughman, Nevada News Bureau

Republicans fielded a variety of questions from tough critics, some of whom are from organizations like Progress NOW Nevada and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. Those groups have supported Democratic plans for new taxes and have opposed Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget.

One girl asked about a shortage of textbooks in her Clark County School District high school.

Responding, Roberson said that many Clark County School District employees earn six-figure salaries and he wants more money going into the classroom.

Bob Fulkerson of PLAN called the response a “good sound byte,” but not a solution for poor rural school districts.

Roberson, in a familiar line, said that collective bargaining is “bankrupting the state,” after which several people shouted: “no.”

“If every teacher makes concessions, you will not have one teacher laid off,” Roberson said.

Republicans touted reforms to collective bargaining and advocated for the governor’s recommendation to cut teacher and state employee salaries by 5 percent, saying that it is the same suffering that private sector employees have had to bear during this recession.

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, listens to a young girl ask him a question about the K-12 system as he sits outside legislative offices with a group camping outside the Legislature to show support for taxes. //PHOTO: Andrew Doughman, Nevada News Bureau.

The conversation was mostly an exercise in disagreement: over taxes, over the influence of public sector unions, over teacher pay, over tuition.

“If you want taxes to happen immediately, why can’t reforms happen immediately?” asked Sen. Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, as Roberson, Cegavske, Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and Senate Minority Leader Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, looked on.

McGinness had met with the group of campers earlier.

“They talked to me about taxes and I talked to them about the governor’s budget,” he said. “We agreed to disagree.”

Similar disagreements are happening behind closed doors as McGinness and other legislative leaders from both parties are talking about taxes and the governor’s budget. McGinness said he thinks it is likely legislators will meet almost every night to reach a budget compromise.

Seated on the floor, no Republican had a sudden revelation that taxes will save Nevada and none of the campers disavowed taxes, but both groups seemed pleased with the debate.

“I’m so proud of you for sitting on the floor with us,” Cegavske said. “This is awesome.”

Michael Flores, a Progress NOW organizer, said it was “amazing” to talk to legislators for that long in an open-forum debate.

“This is what Democracy looks like,” he said.

In Surprise Vote, Motorcycle Helmet Choice Bill Passes Committee

By Andrew Doughman | 7:37 pm April 14th, 2011

CARSON CITY – Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, had written off his bill as dead when he learned this afternoon that Sen. Shirley Breeden, D-Las Vegas, was giving it a vote.

The senator was even more tickled when he realized his bill had the votes to pass out of committee.

The bill would let people ride motorcycles without helmets if they are 21 years of age or older, have had a motorcycle license for more than one year and have completed a safety course.

Gustavson has introduced the bill for the past five legislative sessions.

The bill passed out of committee on a 4 to 3 vote with three Democrats voting against, three Republicans voting for and Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, casting the tie-breaking “yes” vote.

Despite being against the bill, Breeden said she wanted to give the bill a chance.

“I believe we vetted all the bills and I thought it should have an opportunity for folks to vote on it,” she said. “…I know how it’s going to come out, but I still thought it was the right thing to do.”

The chair of the committee decides whether to bring up a bill for a vote. In Nevada’s case where the majority of legislators in the Senate and Assembly are Democrats, all committees have a Democratic chairperson.

Often, the bills brought forward to a vote reflect the political hue – red or blue – of the chairperson.

Republicans voiced their support for Gustavson’s bill.

Sen Elizabeth Halseth, R-Las Vegas, called the bill a “great liberty bill.” She also said the bill could be a way to bring jobs to Nevada, echoing Gustavson’s earlier arguments that motorcycle events and interest in riding will grow if the law is repealed.

Sen. Michael Schneider, D-Las Vegas, disagreed.

“This is a great jobs bill for the medical community,” he quipped. “There’s a huge, huge expense in this. I would dispute what Sen. Halseth is saying.”

He said that helmets provide protection from more serious injuries when motorcycle riders are involved in accidents. Removing a requirement to wear one could lead to gruesome injuries and more fatal crashes, he said.

Lee said wearing a helmet or not wearing a helmet was a “personal right.”

Schneider said that society ends up paying for that personal right.

“It costs society so much money that, you know, the cheap way out is that people die,” he said. “They hit their head on the curb and die. That’s cheap.”

Otherwise society pays the medical bills for people in assisted living homes, he said.

In the end, Nevada Sens. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, and Dean Rhoads, R-Elko, joined Halseth and Lee to pass the bill out of committee.

The bill is now headed for the Senate floor.



New Senator Says Mining “Lobbyists May Live To Regret” Ignoring Her, Sparking Mining Industry Reaction

By Andrew Doughman | 3:39 pm February 16th, 2011

CARSON CITY – It took less than a day before Sen. Elizabeth Halseth had the attention she was looking for.

Tim Crowley, a lobbyist for the mining industry, said he called her this morning to schedule a meeting after she asked in a Tuesday night blog post, “did mining just hit a brick wall?”

“During the 2010 election cycle, the mining industry didn’t take the southern Nevada Republican senate candidates very seriously,” wrote Halseth, a freshman Republican from Las Vegas. “Considering the legitimate and penetrating questions posed by Sen. [Michael] Roberson, that may be a calculation the industry’s lobbyists may live to regret.”

She referred to the questions Roberson, one of those “southern Nevada Republican” Senators, posed to Crowley on Monday.

This morning, more than the snow in Carson City, her blog post had legislators abuzz with talk of Halseth openly advertising a “pay to play” strategy.

“I’m trying to think of how we want to say this,” she said outside of her office this morning. “They [the mining industry] didn’t take the time to talk and … meet with me. If I’m not informed about their side, how can I make a decision?”

Crowley said he saw the blog post Tuesday night.

“I don’t care what her motives were … it sends the signal that we need to be talking more,” he said during a phone call today. “I called her this morning; I think that’s what she wanted.”

Halseth’s blog post was later edited to tone down the rhetoric by replacing Republicans with “Clark County candidates” and adding a clause that clarified that it was meetings, not money, that mattered.

“During the 2010 election cycle, the mining industry didn’t take some Clark County candidates very seriously, by being unwilling to meet with some candidates regarding issues pertaining to mining,” the new post reads.

Roberson, a freshman Republican from Las Vegas, has also criticized the mining industry.

On Monday, he grilled Crowley over the rate of the state’s mining taxes. He felt like he didn’t get a clear answer.

Today, he signed on to a bill that would remove the mining industry’s eminent domain privilege, which allows the industry the same power the government has to take private land for market-value compensation.

Las Vegas Review Journal reporter Benjamin Spillman blogged yesterday that Halseth and Roberson come from a set of fiscal conservatives who do not always agree with representatives from Nevada’s powerful industries.

Another newly-elected southern Nevada Republican, Assemblyman Crescent Hardy, R-Mesquite, signed on to a similar bill in the Assembly.

Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, is sponsoring the Senate bill. That bill has not only received support from Democrats, but also from free-market think tanks like the Nevada Policy Research Institute.

Halseth said she still hasn’t made up her mind about whether to add her name to Leslie’s bill.

Adieu, O Self Destructive Senator

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:30 am May 27th, 2010

Not sure whether the End will come by resignation or defeat at the polls on June 8, but either way, as cleverly hashtagged by @RalstonFlash on Twitter this morning, #youcantfixdumb.

How so?

State Senator Dennis Nolan this week left a voice message (for the sister of the rape victim of his convicted friend) that sounds an awful lot like a bribe.

In the way of an after-explanation, Nolan told the RJ he never intended to actually pay the woman — just to trick her into talking while he secretly recorded her.

Yeah, that’s a much more noble pursuit.

Here is the voice message (complements of Elizabeth Halseth’s campaign website).

Here is the RJ’s story.

And here is Heidi Harris’ interview with the parties this morning (it’s the top item on her “On Demand” list on the right side of the page).  The sister-in-question’s commentary is compelling it its passionate delivery.

And so it is that in one of the more astounding events in an already amazing, surprising campaign season, Senator Nolan has handily handed the primary race to his challenger.

After thought:

Ms. Halseth must feel just delighted (and perhaps grateful) that she was pressured and persuaded by the Powers-That-Be to switch from the AD-13 to the SD-9 primary race in the final hours of filing.  While all the CD-1 GOP candidates are wound-licking after their respective primary and general election losses, Elizabeth Halseth will be all a-glow in her role as a brand new state senator.

Nolan v. Halseth, Round Two

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:34 pm May 19th, 2010

For round one see my post yesterday.

Elizabeth Halseth was also on Heidi Harris’s show earlier this week with the father of the sexual assault victim whose attacker was a friend of state Senator Dennis Nolan.

Tomorrow, Dennis Nolan will be on with Heidi to refute the claims made by both.  He will be live at 5:30 AM.

Halseth v. Nolan, Part Deux

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:15 am May 19th, 2010

Listen, I didn’t get to this yesterday, Dear Readers.  Because, listen, I am really busy.  And now that it’s already today, listen, I think I’ll just encourage you to check out segment 4 of F2F and figure it out for yourselves.


Senate 9 Primary Race Gets Nasty, Halseth Goes After Nolan on Rape Case Testimony

By Elizabeth Crum | 1:39 pm May 18th, 2010

If you missed last night’s back-and-forth between GOP primary challenger Elizabeth Halseth and state senator Dennis Nolan on Face to Face, you can watch the show’s last two segments here. A few notes and comments on the first segment (hope to get to the rest later today):

First, for background, you should listen to Halseth’s latest radio ad –  Ehalseth_Ad_2 — roasting senator Nolan for his 2008 testimony in a rape case involving a minor.  The ad ends with this from the alleged victim’s father:

“What kind of a person defends a child rapist who sexually assaults our kids?”

“Tell [Dennis Nolan] that defending child rapists is not OK.”

Also check out Halseth’s recent mailer:

You are now filled in.

Ralston kicked off the first segment with this comment to Halseth:

“This has gotten unusually nasty, and I am really stunned, actually, by the radio ad that you’re running right now.  You’re criticizing Senator Nolan for testifying as a character witness for a friend who was charged with the sexual assault of a teenager.”

And then turned to Nolan for comment who said:

“I think this is typical, sleazy Washington-style politics.  I was asked to… I wasn’t asked, I was actually subpoenaed by the public defender’s office, to come and testify on behalf of a friend who I’ve known for years, who grew up with my kids. I was subpoenaed; I testified; I appeared in court; I told the truth; and that’s all I can do.  That’s all anybody can expect of a citizen in our judicial system.”

Ralston referred back to Nolan’s comments about pressure (at the time of the case) from the DA’s office re: his testimony and asked him if he had regrets.

Nolan said he did not regret giving the testimony.  He said he knew both the accused and the victim, and that he told the truth.

Nolan also said that although there was a conviction in the case, the state Supreme Court has found merit in the appeal (which has not yet been decided).

Ralston to Halseth:  “I have a simple question for you.  What’s the point of this ad?  Why should he not have done what he did?”

Halseth defended the ad saying it was factual. Ralston then asked her why the ad is relevant.

Halseth:  “You don’t use your position as a state senator to influence a jury, especially in a rape case against a minor.”

Ralston asked her how Nolan used his influence to sway the jury.

Halseth:  “Listen.  As a state senator… You know… It is bad, that is bad judgment…  And inappropriate for a state senator to take the stand to defend a rapist.”

Ralston:  “Did he not respond to a subpoena?  He can’t help the fact that he was a state senator, could he…?”

Halseth:  “Listen.  It is bad judgment to do what he did.”

Ralston:  “So he should have just said, “I’m not going to respond to a subpoena?”"

Halseth:  “Well, you know, show me the subpoena.”

Ralstont to Nolan:  “So she doesn’t believe you had a subpoena.”

Nolan:  “Well, she can check with the Public Defender’s office.  When you’re subpoenaed, regardless of why, good citizens respond to a subpoena.”

Ralston pressed Halseth once more as to why she would criticize Nolan on this matter vs. on the issues, especially as he was subpoenaed in a criminal case.

Halseth:  “Listen as a sexual assault victim myself, if one of my state senators got on to a witness stand and said, and testified on behalf of my attacker, and then said the attacker was a good guy, and that the attack was consensual, I do not know how I would feel.”

So in addition to putting out these very incendiary ads and mailers, Halseth is now also saying she doesn’t believe Nolan was really subpoenaed?

I am hoping to hear back in response to my call to the public defender’s office before I am ready to click “Publish” on this post, but I assume Nolan would not lie about something that could so easily be disproved.

And if Nolan was subpoenaed, as I believe he was, what else would he do but show up and testify?  Can’t imagine a situation where someone looks forward to testifying in a rape case, but citizens must answer the call.

However, that is all beside the major point and question, one which Ralston repeatedly asked and Halseth never answered:

Why is any of this relevant?

What does any of this have to do with Dennis Nolan’s ability to fulfill his duties as a state senator and/or his position on the issues?  And/or why should anyone find Elizabeth Halseth a preferable alternative and/or what are her positions on the issues?

I wish I could say Halseth answered any of those questions (which Ralston also asked) in segment two, but she didn’t.

More on that later.

Update (2:45 pm): Public defender, Philip Kohen, confirms that yes, there was subpoena for Nolan in the 2008 case.  And he had an interesting question about Halseth:

“Here is someone who says she wants to hold a constitutional office, but yet questions someone’s obligation to answer a subpoena?”

Politico: Harry Reid Fights Low Polls With Cash

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:01 pm February 3rd, 2010

Read all about it here.

Halseth Announces Run for Assembly 13

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:33 am September 29th, 2009

Republican Elizabeth Halseth announced today as a candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 13 in Las Vegas. The seat is currently held by GOP Assemblyman Chad Christensen, who has told people he will be running for the Nevada State Senate seat in District 9 next year against fellow Republican and incumbent Sen. Dennis Nolan.

Halseth’s top issues, according to her website (, are education, taxes and spending, economic growth, public safety and health care.

“Everyday we see the failures of the liberal Democrat’s tax and spend policies,” Halseth said in a press release announcing her candidacy. “I have decided to run for this seat because I want to restore Nevada to a government that applies traditional common sense approaches to the issues we face as a state; a government that gets out of the way of hard working Nevadans and allows them to achieve their dreams.”

Halseth is a mother of three and finishing up her college degree in adult and family studies. She plans a campaign kick-off this Saturday at 10:00 am at Exploration Park in Las Vegas.