Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

GOP Political Consultant Predicts Obama, Heller Victories

By Sean Whaley | 2:45 pm October 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – A long-time Republican political consultant said today he sees Nevada voters supporting President Obama on Nov. 6 while at the same time giving Republican Sen. Dean Heller a victory against Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley in the hard fought U.S. Senate race.

Pete Ernaut, president of government and public affairs for R&R Partners, said he believes there is an Obama-Heller voting bloc in Nevada.

“If Gov. Romney carries Nevada, without a doubt Heller will win the Senate race,” he said during an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television show. “I don’t think there is a Romney-Berkley voting bloc. But there is clearly an Obama-Heller voting bloc.

Political consultant Pete Ernaut.

“And I actually made the prediction that I think the margins of victory will be similar,” Ernaut said. “That I think Obama will carry the state somewhere, one, three points, something like that. And I think that’s about the margin of victory for Heller.”

A similar situation occurred in Nevada in 2010, when Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid won re-election while GOP governor candidate Brian Sandoval won as well.

Ernaut said the potential of a split result should make Nevadans feel good in some respects because it shows that voters are so independent that such a vote-switching scenario could occur on election day.

“I think that makes me feel good about Nevada; that that type of result is possible,” he said.

Ernaut, a former state lawmaker, also weighed in on the closely watched state Senate 15 race, where Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, faces former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno. Ernaut said Brower, appointed to fill out the term of the late Sen. Bill Raggio, has an advantage.

But Leslie’s former state Assembly seat is located entirely within the Senate district, which could make the race close, he said.

“It’s going to be a closer race that it probably should have been, given the registration and given the dynamics of that district,” Ernaut said. “I think though that Brower still has a slight advantage.”

Ernaut said he has also reconsidered Washoe County’s critical role in the statewide election contests because of the huge Democratic voter registration edge that has emerged over Republicans in Clark County.

Democrats have 390,227 active registered voters in Clark County, compared to 262,806 Republicans, for a 45.8 percent to 30.9 percent split. Another 151,490 voters, or 17.8 percent, are nonpartisans.

“But I think that this is going to be a race that is going to be very, very affected by the turnout of Democrats in Clark County,” he said. “And that, I think, will determine the relevancy of Washoe in this statewide race.”

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Audio clips:

GOP political consultant Pete Ernaut predicts an Obama and Heller victory in Nevada on election day:

102312Ernaut11 :26 victory for Heller.”

Ernaut says Greg Brower has a slight advantage in the state Senate 15 race:

102312Ernaut2 :11 a slight advantage.”

Ernaut says the strong Democratic voter edge in Clark County has potentially affected Washoe County’s influence in the statewide races:

102312Ernaut3 :16 this statewide race.”

 

 

 

New Retail Association Poll Shows Presidential Race Tied, Others Favor Obama

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 11:49 am September 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Retail Association of Nevada’s (RAN) latest installment of its semi-annual survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, shows the presidential race in a tie and U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., opening up a lead against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. in the Senate race.

With early voting beginning in just 26 days, the race for president is tied with 46 percent of voters indicating they would reelect President Obama and 46 percent of voters indicating support for Gov. Mitt Romney. Only 2 percent of those polled said they were undecided. The survey results come just days before both Obama and Romney visit Nevada yet again this season.

Two other recent polls show much different results, however, with both favoring Obama in Nevada.

Author: David Ball, via Wikimedia Commons.

The RAN results show Heller opened a five point lead over Berkley with 44 percent of voters preferring him to Berkley’s 39 percent. Four percent of voters in that race remain undecided and nine percent opted for “none of the above.” The poll’s margin of error is 4.38 percentage points.

RAN will be releasing full poll results on Wednesday. Additional topics covered in the survey include Nevada voters’ thoughts on Gov. Brian Sandoval, the Nevada Legislature, the economy, education, taxation and more.

The poll was conducted September 19-20 and used a sample size of 500 likely voters including 100 cell phone interviews.

Results today show that more Nevadans are optimistic about the direction of the state than in previous surveys. Thirty-seven percent say Nevada is heading in the right direction, with 54 percent finding the state is on the wrong track. Only 17 percent thought Nevada was headed in the right direction in RAN’s September 2010 poll, while 76 percent said the state was on the wrong track two years ago.

RAN commissions their surveys from Public Opinion Strategies twice a year which allows trends to be identified and provides an historical context to some of the toughest challenges facing Nevada.

Public Opinion Strategies (POS) is a national political and public affairs research firm. Founded in 1991, POS has conducted more than five million interviews with voters and consumers in all fifty states and over two dozen foreign countries.

A separate poll released today for the League of Conservation Voters showed much different results, with Obama up 9 percent over Romney 52 percent to 43 percent. The survey of 501 likely voters taken Sept. 18-20 by Public Policy Polling was an automated response poll, requiring those contacted to press the telephone keypad to indicate their responses.

The results, which also show 48 percent supporting Berkley and 44 percent Heller, were first reported by political commentator Jon Ralston.

Yet another poll released by the American Research Group puts Obama at 51 percent to 44 percent for Romney with 4 percent undecided.

The survey of 600 likely voters was conducted Sept. 20-23 and has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

Nevada Jobless Rate Ticks Up To 12.1 Percent In August

By Sean Whaley | 10:57 am September 21st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percentage point to 12.1 percent in August from July, the second month of increases in the jobless rate after hitting a three-year low in May, a state agency reported today.

The increase in the seasonally adjusted rate, coming after a jump of four-tenths of a percentage point in July, continues to make Nevada the state with the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

The rate is still well below the 13.8 percent jobless rate reported in August of 2011, the report from the state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) shows.

The Las Vegas area had an unadjusted jobless rate of 12.3 percent in August, while Reno-Sparks saw a 11.5 percent rate and Carson City stood at 11.6 percent.

Nevada’s economy is front and central in the presidential race, and will be a topic of comments in Mitt Romney’s visit to Las Vegas today. Both Romney and President Obama have made several trips to Nevada over the past few months. The frequent visits highlight Nevada’s importance as a battleground state in the race.

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson, in commenting on today’s August report, said that Nevada is mirroring the nation with its labor market having softened in recent months.

“Job growth has eased, and the unemployment rate has ticked up,” he said. “Still, year-over-year improvement is evident. Taken as a whole, labor market barometers point to the tenuous nature of the current economic environment, both nationally and here in Nevada.”

Based, at least in part, upon the results of a monthly survey of Nevada businesses, total nonfarm payrolls fell by 1,000 jobs in August, Anderson said. In every month this summer, employment fell on a month-over-month basis, resulting in a summer decline of 3,600 jobs. (The June to July change in non-farm payroll jobs was revised from a gain of 2,100 to a loss of 1,100.)

“As a result of falling job levels throughout the summer, Nevada’s over-the-year employment comparison appears less impressive,” he said. “Nonetheless, Nevada still has 5,200 more jobs than in August of last year, with a gain of 6,500 in the private sector partially offset by public sector losses.”

Gov. Brian Sandoval, who has made economic development and job creation a centerpiece of his administration and who is currently on a trade mission to the People’s Republic of China and South Korea, said: “While I am disappointed that Nevada experienced another slight uptick in the unemployment rate, I am encouraged by the fact that we continue to see signs of modest economic improvement, measured on a year-over-year basis, in these numbers.”

Sandoval acknowledged, however, that the slight improvement is not enough to sustain Nevada’s economy, “which is why we must continue to work to diversify our state’s economy and bring jobs to Nevada.”

As has been the case, throughout the 2012 election season, the candidates have weighed in on the latest jobless numbers.

Mason Harrison, a spokesman for the Romney campaign, said: “Today, we received more bad news from the Obama economy – more and more Nevadans are finding themselves unemployed. Nevada has seen unemployment continue to rise, despite President Obama’s promises to stop the bleeding of jobs.

“Mitt Romney will succeed where President Obama has failed by implementing a 5-point plan that will strengthen the middle class and create 12 million jobs across our country in his first term alone,” he said.

But U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement, said: “Today’s numbers highlight the critical importance of creating jobs. The best way to do that is to strengthen Nevada’s middle class and our small business community.

“I have been working with my Democratic colleagues to provide tax relief to middle class families, and to help small business owners expand and create jobs for hard working Nevadans. However, these commonsense measures have been met with unconditional obstruction by Senate and House Republicans, regardless of their potential to spur economic growth.”

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Audio clips:

DETR Chief Economist Bill Anderson says the national softening of the jobs market is affecting Nevada:

092112Anderson1 :16 the Nevada numbers.”

Anderson says Nevada’s rate of improvement is diminishing:

092112Anderson2 :30 of improvement diminish.”

Democrats Continue To Outpace Republicans In Voter Registration, Gain 100,000 Edge In Clark County

By Sean Whaley | 12:38 pm September 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats continue to out-register their Republican counterparts, with the latest data from Clark County now showing a more than 100,000 voter advantage as the deadline to participate in the Nov. 6 general election draws ever closer.

Today just before noon the Clark County website, which updates registration totals regularly, showed 346,703 Democrats registered to vote compared to 246,479 for Republicans, a 100,224 advantage.

Nonpartisans totaled 132,529 and other minor parties totaled 41,910 for a total registered population of 767,621 in Clark County.

Early voting will begin in just a little more than a month.

The consistent outpacing of Democrats over Republicans in the voter registration race could spell trouble for the GOP from the presidential race on down to state legislative races.

In addition to the presidential contest between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, an important Senate race pitting U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., is at stake.

And Republicans in the state Senate are engaged in a concerted effort to win control of the 21-member house in November. Democrats now hold an 11-10 edge.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said Democrats are doing well in the registration race because the message of the party on improving education and creating jobs is resonating with voters.

“We thought the economy was going to be the No. 1 thing, but education is and so, I think the message – better educating our children, trying to diversify our economy in different sectors, trying to do things that bring job here – I think those are all messages that are resounding with folks and they’re choosing to register Democrat,” he said.

Denis said Democrats in Nevada have a history of strong turnout for elections, which will also aid the party and its candidates. While nonpartisans will be a big factor in the races, many of those voters are expected to vote Democratic as well, he said.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said Republicans have the edge despite the registration difference.

“Well look, obviously we don’t want to see the numbers getting more divergent than they are in some of these races, and it’s unfortunate, but the reality remains that these are very winnable races for us,” he said. “We have a superior candidate, we have a superior organization, we have superior funding. So in that way, we still feel confident in each and every one of these districts that we’re fielding the better future state senator. So in that way I believe that we’re going to win every one of them.”

Contrary to Denis’ view, Kieckhefer said he believes nonpartisan voters are going to break Republican in the election.

Republican Senate candidates “are right on the messages, they are right on the issues,” he said.

“They have the position that is more in line with the majority of voters in their district,” Kieckhefer said.

The deadline to register to vote in the election is Oct. 16. The last day to register without appearing in person at an Election Department office is Oct. 6.

“I encourage everyone to visit our website to make sure they are registered to vote or to ensure their registration information is current,” Clark County Registrar of Voters Harvard Lomax said in a recent news release. “Individuals with a Nevada driver’s license will be able to take advantage of our online registration services and there is still time to register through the mail.”

Early voting for the election begins on Saturday, Oct. 20 and extends through Friday, Nov. 2.

A check of the Clark County website at noon each day for the past few days shows Democrats continue to consistently out-register Republicans.

On Thursday, the site showed 342,293 registered Democrats, 244,963 registered Republicans and 130,789 nonpartisans.

On Friday, Democrats had added 1,196 registered voters in Clark County from Thursday, Republicans added 322 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 478.

On Saturday, Democrats had added 287 voters from Friday, Republicans added 104 voters and nonpartisans rose by 98. The numbers were not updated on Sunday.

On Monday at noon, the Clark County site showed Democrats had added 1,970 voters from the weekend report, Republicans had added 610 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 674 voters.

On Tuesday at noon, the site showed Democrats had added 1,024 voters, Republicans had added 509 voters and nonpartisans increased by 520 voters.

In 2010, at the close of registration, Democrats only held a 91,633 advantage in Clark County. In 2008, at the close of registration, Democrats held a 125,218 advantage in Clark County.

Democrats have been outpacing Republicans in the statewide numbers reported monthly by the Secretary of State’s Office as well. Even nonpartisan registrations have exceeded Republican registrations in recent months.

As of the end of August, there were 463,229 Democrats registered statewide, 407,513 Republicans and 186,941 nonpartisans. The Democratic advantage stood at 55,716.

As of Saturday, Democrats had 471,585 registered voters statewide and Republicans had 411,525, giving Democrats a 60,060 edge, up by 4,344 voters since the end of August.

The push to control the state Senate is one of the bigger Nevada election stories this year. There are five seats considered competitive, and Republicans need to win four of them to take an 11-10 edge.

But Democrats keep making headway in the four Southern Nevada districts. As of last week, Democrats had a 4 percent edge over Republicans in Senate seat 5, 5.1 percent in seat 6, 6.1 percent in seat 9, and trailed Republicans by 2 percent in seat 18.

Seats 5, 6 and 9 now have larger Democratic edges than even in 2008.

In another closely watched contest, the race for the 4th Congressional District seat between state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Republican Danny Tarkanian, Democrats now have an 11 percent edge, or 30,000 more voters, than Republicans.

“This is only the latest sign that Nevadans are rejecting Mitt Romney and Dean Heller’s plan to outsource jobs and end Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies,” said Zach Hudson, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Nevadans across the state are excited about re-electing President Obama and sending Shelley Berkley to the Senate to create jobs, protect Medicare, and strengthen the middle class.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Mo Denis says the Democratic Party message is resonating with potential voters:

091812Denis1 :24 to register Democrat.”

Denis says Republicans have disenfranchised voters, which is why many are registering as nonpartisan:

091812Denis2 :16 as a Republican.”

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer says he believes Senate Republicans are still favored to win because they are the better candidates and are better funded:

091812Kieckhefer :23 one of them.”

 

 

Romney Calls To Keep American Military Strong In 9-11 Anniversary Remarks In Reno

By Sean Whaley | 12:45 pm September 11th, 2012

RENO – GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told about 3,700 members of the National Guard Association of the United States here today that now is not the time to weaken the nation’s military.

On the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Romney said the return of the country’s troops from Iraq and the impending return of troops from Afghanistan in 2014 cannot be used as an excuse to impose devastating cuts on the Defense Department.

“It is true that our Armed Forces have been stretched to the brink, and that’s all the more reason to repair and rebuild,” Romney said. “We can always find places to end waste but we cannot cancel program after program. We cannot jeopardize critical missions. And we cannot cut corners in the quality of the equipment and training we provide to our men and women in uniform.”

Mitt Romney speaks to the National Guard Association in Reno today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Romney was referring to impending military cuts that could come due as a result of a stop-gap deal reached in Congress earlier this year. The agreement will require significant cuts in both military and domestic spending if a budget reduction deal cannot be reached.

The military starting next year would see funding cuts of $492 billion over 10 years, with an equal size cut coming to domestic programs. Romney criticized President Obama for these cuts, called sequestration, in remarks to attendees of the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here in Reno in July but did not levy a similar attack today.

He also defended the benefits received by veterans, especially given the high rate of suicide among the military.

“The unconscionable waits for mental health treatment need to be dramatically shortened, and the suicide rate among active duty soldiers and veterans must be treated like the emergency it is,” Romney said. “Veterans benefits are not a gift that is given, but a debt that is due.”

Romney, who spoke for about 16 minutes, also recalled where he was when the terrorist attacks occurred at the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon 11 years ago. Romney said he had planned to be at Battery Park in New York, but found himself instead in Washington, DC, to discuss security for the upcoming Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Romney said he left Washington and was driving toward Alexandria when he passed close by the Pentagon.

“I could smell burning fuel and concrete and steel,” he said. “It was a smell of war. Something I never imagined I would smell in America.”

Romney said the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks show why a strong military must be maintained.

“As you know too well, our world is a dangerous place, and the attack on our homeland and citizens on Sept. 11, 2001, reminds us that the mission of the guard is ever more critical, and ever more deserving of our support and honor,” he said.

Both Romney and President Obama addressed the Veterans of Foreign Wars at the Reno-Sparks Convention Authority in July.

Obama has another political event set for tomorrow at the Cashman Center in Las Vegas, having visited both Reno and Las Vegas at campaign events in August.

The visits, including a political rally held this past Friday in Sparks with GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, point out how important both parties view Nevada in the upcoming Nov. 6 general election.

The four-day association conference has brought Army and Air Guard officers, their spouses, defense officials and industry representatives to Reno from all 50 states, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

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Audio clips:

GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney says the country cannot afford to weaken its defense:

091112Romney1 :22 women in uniform.”

Romney says veterans benefits are not a gift but a debt that is due:

091112Romney2 :18 that is due.”

 

 

Romney Hammers Obama On Foreign Policy, National Security Leaks, In Comments In Reno

By Sean Whaley | 2:30 pm July 24th, 2012

RENO – Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney went on the attack against President Obama today in a speech to attendees of the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention here, criticizing him for national security leaks, weak foreign policy and a failure to seize on political opportunities in such countries as Iran.

Romney, speaking to the same group that Obama addressed on Monday, spent his 27-minute talk focusing on his foreign policy views and the need to maintain a strong military presence.

He called Obama’s first term a “time of declining influence and missed opportunity.”

Mitt Romney speaks at the VFW convention today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

The nation’s economy has not recovered and at the international level, the world faces an increasing likelihood of a nuclear-armed Iran, Romney said.

“These clear measures are the ultimate tests of American leadership,” he said. “And by these standards, we haven’t seen much in the president’s first term that inspires confidence in a second. The president’s policies have made it harder to recover from the deepest recession in 70 years. Exposed the military to cuts that no one can justify. Compromised our national security secrets.

“And in dealings with other nations, he has given trust where it is not earned, insult where it was not deserved and apology where it is not due,” Romney said.

The audience at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center broke into applause frequently during Romney’s remarks. After his speech, Romney was set to leave on an overseas strip starting in London and including visits to Israel and Poland.

Romney criticized Obama for impending across-the-board budget cuts set to take effect for the military next year if a deal is not reached in Congress on a deficit reduction plan. The military would see funding cuts of $492 billion over 10 years, with an equal size cut coming to domestic programs. The cuts are the result of the failure of Congress in 2011 to come up with a deficit-reduction plan.

The cuts will weaken an already stretched Veterans Administration, and Romney said he will not let them take effect if elected president.

“This is no time for the president’s radical cuts in our military,” he said.

But Obama, in his remarks on Monday, noted that  most Republicans in Congress supported the automatic cuts, and he urged Congress to reach agreement on a deficit reduction plan. Obama has proposed eliminating tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest residents as one way to help reduce the federal deficit and avoid the automatic cuts.

Some of Romney’s most blistering comments focused on national security leaks in the Obama administration. He called the leaks “contemptible.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Monday called for President Obama to stop the flow of information out of the White House.

“This isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a national security crisis,” he said. “It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation by a special counsel, with explanation and consequence. What kind of White House would reveal classified material for material gain? I will tell you right now, mine will not.”

Romney also criticized Obama for congratulating Vladimir Putin for winning the Russian presidency in a “corrupt” election and for failing to take advantage of a public uprising in Iran that could have led to political reforms.

“That terrible misjudgment should never be repeated,” he said.

Romney also said the U.S. needs to do more to support Israel, its closest ally in the Middle East, and work with its allies to ensure Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.

“It’s a mistake, and sometimes a tragic one, to think that firmness in American foreign policy can only bring tension or conflict,” he said. “The surest path to danger is always weakness and indecision.”

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Audio clips:

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney says President Obama’s achievements in his first term don’t make a strong case for reelection:

072412Romney1 :26 national security secrets.”

Romney says Obama’s foreign policy is full of failures:

072412Romney2 :11 is not due.”

Romney says the Obama administration foreign policy leaks require an independent investigation:

072412Romney3 :12 explanation and consequence.”

 

President Obama Touts His Accomplishments For Veterans, Military In Reno Visit

By Sean Whaley | 4:27 pm July 23rd, 2012

RENO – President Obama told members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars today that he has fulfilled the promises he made four years ago to make America safer, strengthen jobs programs for returning military personnel and fight homelessness, suicide and posttraumatic stress disorder among the nation’s veterans.

Obama, appearing at the 113th convention of the group, acknowledged in a 30-minute speech that more needs to be done to help returning military personnel find jobs. He took the opportunity to announce a major overhaul of the transition assistance program.

President Obama speaks to the VFW in Reno today.

“We’re going to set up a kind of reverse boot camp for our departing service members,” he said. “Starting this year, they will get more personalized assistance as they plan their careers. We’ll provide the training they need to find that job, or pursue that education or start that business. And just as they have maintained their military readiness, we’ll have new standards of career readiness.”

He also urged Congress to find a solution to the nation’s deficit spending to protect the military budget from automatic cuts set to take effect next year without an agreement.

“Because people in Congress ought to be able to come together and agree on a plan, a balanced approach that reduces the deficit and keeps our military strong,” Obama said. “It should be done.

“If the choice is between tax cuts that the wealthiest Americans don’t need and funding (for) our troops that they definitely need to keep our country strong, I will stand with our troops every single time,” he said. “So let’s stop playing politics with our military.”

Obama said he promised four years ago, to “take the fight to our enemies and renew our leadership in the world.”

“As president, that’s what I’ve done,” he said.

Not only did his administration kill Osama bin Laden, but it has also taken out more top al-Qaeda leaders than at any time since 9-11, Obama said.

Obama also highlighted his decision to withdraw troops from Iraq in what he said was a responsible manner, and the administration plan now under way to withdraw all U.S. military from Afghanistan, completing a transition to Afghan military control by 2014.

Obama received a number of cheers and applause from the crowd of men and women, some young and others veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Korea, among other conflicts.

He took a few minutes at the beginning of his remarks to talk about those with military connections who were victims of the Aurora, Colorado, shooting rampage Friday, including Jonathan Blunk, a 2004 graduate of Hug High and a Navy veteran.

His appearance, the second visit to Reno this year, will be followed tomorrow by remarks from Mitt Romney, his presumed GOP rival in the November general election.

Romney has attacked Obama’s record on the military. On his website, he says: “President Obama came into office with a military in serious need of modernization. However, instead of rebuilding our strength, President Obama has put us on course toward a ‘hollow’ force. President Obama has repeatedly sought to slash funds for our fighting men and women, and over the next ten years nearly $1 trillion will be cut from the core defense budget. This budget cutting enterprise is proceeding while American troops are in combat in Afghanistan, returning from their mission in Iraq, and fighting the remnants of al-Qaeda worldwide.”

In a response to Obama’s remarks, Romney campaign spokesman Mason Harrison said: “In no region of the world is our country’s influence any stronger than it was four years ago. President Obama has failed to restore our economy, is weakening our military with devastating defense cuts, and has diminished our moral authority. Governor Romney will restore the pillars of American strength to secure our interests and defend our values.”

Obama’s Nevada visit focused on his record of accomplishments in the military and Veterans arenas, but still brought him to a battleground state viewed as critical by political observers for victory by the candidates in November.

He won Nevada in 2008, but with the highest unemployment rate and one of the highest home foreclosure rates in the nation, the state is considered to be a toss up. Washoe County in particular is viewed as critical to which candidate will win the state’s six electoral votes.

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Audio clips:

President Obama urges Congress to come up with a deficit reduction plan to avoid mandatory cuts to the military budget next year:

072312Obama1 :14 should be done.”

Obama says he will fight for military funding rather than lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans:

072312Obama2 :14 every single time.”

Obama announces a “reverse boot camp” to help returning military personnel find work:

072312Obama3 :24 of career readiness.”

 

Party Officials Agree Washoe Is Critical To Battleground State Nevada In 2012 Presidential Contest

By Sean Whaley | 2:24 pm June 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Washoe County Republican and Democratic Party leaders may disagree on who the best choice is for president, but they agree on one point – Washoe is the “battleground” county in the battleground state that is Nevada.

Clark County is expected to go big for Democrats and President Obama, while Nevada’s rural counties are expected to go strong for Mitt Romney. But Washoe County, where Republicans lead in voter registration by 3,700, has gone for both parties in past elections.

Courtesy of Malwack via Wikimedia Commons.

In 2008, Washoe County helped Obama win Nevada and the presidency, giving him 55 percent of the vote.

In 2010, the county went strongly for Republican Brian Sandoval in the governor’s race, although U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., won over GOP challenger Sharron Angle. The county also went for incumbent George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

Today on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, county Democratic Party spokesman Chris Wicker and county GOP Chairman Dave Buell discussed Washoe’s influence in Nevada in the 2012 presidential contest.

Buell said the fact that Washoe County voters have gone in different directions in past elections make it the flashpoint in Nevada.

“So Washoe County is the place where Nevada is going to be decided, and there will be all types of resources, both on the Democrat and Republican side in this county to make sure that they carry the day for their candidate,” he said.

Wicker said Washoe is winnable by either side if some side “drops the ball.”

“It all boils down that either side, given the right circumstances, could win Washoe County,” he said.

President Obama is aware of Washoe’s importance, making an official visit to Reno last month to talk about a mortgage refinancing plan he wants Congress to approve. Nevada is clearly important overall, with the president scheduled to make another stop in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Romney was also in Las Vegas last week and campaigned around the state ahead of the February Republican caucus.

Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston, among others, has noted Washoe County’s importance in the 2012 general election.

Strong support for either candidate could also provide coattails either to U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., or his challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in the Senate race. Control of the U.S. Senate is also up for grabs this election year.

Buell was asked if Washoe Republicans might support Obama over Romney this year as many did for Reid over Angle in 2010. Buell downplayed any such idea, saying it was more dissatisfaction with Angle than support for the Democratic agenda that was a factor in the race. The other factor was a belief that Reid could deliver for Nevada as Senate Majority Leader, he said.

Wicker said Democrats will work to ensure a strong turnout for Obama in Washoe County by talking more about the successes of his first administration, including positive job creation numbers nationally over the past several months.

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Audio clips:

Dave Buell says either party can win Washoe in 2012:

060412Buell :23 for their candidate.”

Chris Wicker agrees that Clark County will go for Democrats and the rurals for Republicans:

060412Wicker :16 in the rurals.”

 

GOP Political Consultant Sig Rogich Says Legislature Needs To Take Serious Look At Collective Bargaining Reform

By Sean Whaley | 2:08 pm May 24th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Long-time Republican political consultant Sig Rogich said today the 2013 Nevada Legislature has to take a serious look at collective bargaining reforms so that situations like the impending layoff of hundreds of Clark County teachers can be avoided in the future.

“I think we’ve got to look at collective bargaining in a real way in this legislative session,” he said. “We’ve got to stop some of these nonsensical things that are going on. You can’t tell me that it’s good government or good policy to lay off 1,200 teachers down here when you’ve got to stop a pay increase to do so.

Sig Rogich.

“And I don’t think their fellow teachers agree that that’s the right thing to do as well,” Rogich said. “But this teachers union has dug its heels in to the detriment of those they represent.”

Rogich, interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, was referring to the layoffs anticipated in the Clark County School District as a result of a binding arbitration decision requiring the district to provide pay raises to teachers.

The school district lost an arbitration battle worth $63 million over teacher salary increases for education level and longevity. The district says the decision will force as many as 1,000 teacher layoffs  unless money can be found to reduce the number.

Rogich said he believes there is a disconnect between the teachers union and teachers themselves.

Rogich, who was involved in the campaigns of Ronald Reagan and both Bush presidents, also weighed in on the national and Nevada political scenes.

Of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, Rogich said his campaign needs to do more to tell voters how he would run the presidency differently from President Obama in order to attract independent voters in November.

The average voter might describe Romney as a Mormon, a successful businessman, governor of Massachusetts or mention his work on the Salt Lake City Olympics, he said.

“To get independent voters to look at him seriously they are going to have to offer reasonable alternatives and differences between the way he would run the presidency as president and what President Obama is doing,” Rogich said.

Romney will do well in Nevada with a strong turnout expected from the Mormon community on his behalf, he said.

“I think that it’s going to be very competitive in Nevada,” Rogich said.

He also expressed no objections to the amount of third party money in the presidential campaign.

“Why shouldn’t people be overwhelmed by TV commercials that have messages that are important for them to know about,” Rogich asked. “What does it harm as long as you disclose it fully and you play by the rules?”

On the race between U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., for the Senate seat, Rogich said it is a tight race but that it is Heller’s to lose because Romney should run strong in Nevada.

Rogich was also asked about the state Senate race between Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, a Democrat, in Washoe County. The Senate 15 race is one of five in Nevada expected to determine which party controls the Senate in 2013.

Rogich said Leslie has to be the favorite, given her long track record of successful campaigns.

But Brower is extremely capable and cannot be counted out, he said.

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Audio clips:

GOP political consultant Sig Rogich says the Nevada Legislature needs to take up collective bargaining reform:

052412Rogich11 :09 to do so.”

Rogich says the Romney campaign needs to differentiate his positions with President Obama:

052412Rogich2 :11 Obama is doing.”

Rogich says he has no problem with the influence of third party political advertising:

052412Rogich3 :11 by the rules.”

 

 

 

Rep. Berkley Announces Plan To Permanently End Federal Travel Ban To Las Vegas, Sen. Heller Joins Effort

By Sean Whaley | 3:31 pm April 25th, 2012

CARSON CITY Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., today said she will introduce legislation to permanently end a Bush era ban on cities -  including Las Vegas and Reno – from hosting federal agency and executive branch conferences and conventions.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said he will join Berkley in the effort.

A similar effort in 2009 by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., did not pass.

Heller and Berkley are both seeking the same U.S. Senate seat, filled by Heller in 2011 when he was appointed to the post by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The announcement by the two Nevada members of Congress comes as the fallout continues from a now infamous conference held by the General Services Administration (GSA) in Henderson in 2010.

In remarks on the floor, Berkley said some GOP members of Congress are seeking to attack Nevada’s tourism industry because of the abuses reported regarding the GSA conference.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“These Republicans are trying to bring back the last administration’s so-called ‘blacklist’ of resort cities like Las Vegas and Reno – prohibiting federal agencies from traveling to hold conferences and seminars,” she said. “This policy has damaged the reputation of my state, hurt our economy and killed jobs.”

Berkley said the blacklist has been lifted by the Obama Administration, but that it is time to make such a policy permanent.

“Las Vegas wasn’t the problem, the irresponsible behavior of the GSA was,” she said. “And that’s why I am going to introduce legislation to prohibit the blacklisting of any city in America.”

Later in the day Heller said he would join in the effort.

“Despite our differing views on the bailouts for Wall Street and Detroit, Obamacare, and stimulus spending that has left many Nevadans out of work, I am pleased to join Congresswoman Berkley in the effort to end the blacklist process by the federal government,” he said.

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

“Nevada offers the best hospitality and convention services in the world, and Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been favorite destinations for millions of visitors,” Heller said.  “I have always taken pride in the Nevada delegation working together on Nevada issues, and plan to introduce legislation in the near future.”

While Berkley praised President Obama for ending the federal travel blacklist, she did not bring up his controversial remarks made in 2009 when he told companies receiving federal bailout money that they should not “take a trip to Las Vegas” on the taxpayer’s dime.

Then-Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons, among others, criticized Obama’s remarks, saying they helped stall the state’s economic recovery.

Obama later compounded the controversy when he remarked that responsible people don’t “blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

Nevada is one of several “battleground” states where the 2012 presidential election is expected to be played out in November.

Several congressional committees have held hearings into the GSA conference, which resulted in the resignation of GSA chief Martha Johnson after she dismissed two deputies and suspended other career employees over the incident.

The $823,000 conference was held at the M Resort and Casino, and included a clown and a mind reader. It was the subject of a critical report by the GSA Office of Inspector General.

 

National Republican Party Officials Say Obama Vulnerable In Nevada Because Of Tough Economy

By Sean Whaley | 2:25 pm February 3rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – A national Republican official said today Nevada’s economic landscape has changed dramatically since the state went for President Obama in 2008, and increasing GOP voter registrations in the battleground state are evidence of dissatisfaction with his administration.

Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Committee, said in a telephone conference call that Nevada has the highest jobless rate in the nation and has suffered through 60 months of the highest foreclosure rate in the nation.

2008 presidential election by county. / Image courtesy of Robert Horning via Wikimedia Commons.

While Nevada’s economic woes didn’t start with the Obama Administration, the president has said his performance on the economy should be evaluated by voters when considering his bid for a second term, Wiley said.

The comments come the day before as many as 60,000 Nevada Republicans are expected to participate in the state’s First in the West GOP caucus. The four Republican candidates have made numerous appearances across the state in the past few days.

Nevada’s jobless rate has started to improve, however, and declined to 12.6 percent in December. The national unemployment rate for January announced today also declined, to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent in December.

Nevada was one of nine “battleground” states that went for Obama in 2008 that President Bush had won in 2004.

But Wiley said 53 percent of independent voters in Nevada in a recent poll said they disapprove of his performance, and 17 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

The voter registration numbers are reflecting this disillusionment, he said.

“For months now the Republicans have been gaining on the Democrats there,” Wiley said. “We had an advantage of about 3,200 in the month of January and we continue to make gains to catch the Democrats.

“They had a huge margin after the 2008 Democratic caucus where they invoked some same-day registration,” he said. “And we’ve narrowed that gap down to about 47,000 now which just proves the point that Republicans are getting very enthused about not only voting against Obama but voting and supporting our eventual nominee.”

The Nevada State Democratic Party dismissed the Republican voter registration gains in January. The January numbers were released Thursday by Secretary of State Ross Miller.

“With their voter registration efforts at full throttle in anticipation of their competitive caucus, the Nevada Republicans were only able to register less than 4,500 new voters during the entire month of January – barely making a dent in the nearly 50,000 Democratic voter registration advantage in the state,” said Senior Communications Adviser Zac Petkanas.

“When Nevada Democrats held a similar competitive caucus in 2008, we registered 30,000 new voters in one day alone,” he said. “There’s a word for Republicans bragging to cover up an embarrassing month in voter registration: pathetic.”

RNC Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclán said during the conference call that a majority of Latinos believe the economic downturn has hit them hardest.

“It is especially true for Latinos in Nevada,” she said. “They are facing an unemployment rate of 18.6 percent in the state and 10.5 percent nationally and they are ready to change the direction in Washington.”

Inclán said there are about 224,000 eligible Hispanic voters in Nevada, about 14 percent of the total.

-

Audio clips:

Rick Wiley, political director for the Republican National Committee, says Republicans are gaining on Democrats in voter registration:

020312Wiley1 :13 catch the Democrats.”

Wiley says the huge margin after the 2008 Democratic caucus is closing:

020212Wiley2 :21 our eventual nominee.”

RNC Hispanic Outreach Director Bettina Inclán says Latinos are ready for a change in Washington:

020212Inclan :16 direction in Washington.”

Rove Predicts GOP Control Of Congress In 2012 General Election, Says Presidential Race Outcome Uncertain

By Sean Whaley | 1:56 pm February 2nd, 2012

RENO – Former Sparks resident and George W. Bush presidential adviser Karl Rove predicted today the both houses of Congress will go Republican in the November general election, but said the presidential election is up in the air even with President Barack Obama’s low approval ratings.

Rove, speaking at the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce event Directions 2012, predicted that the U.S. Senate will see Republican control with a minimum of 52 seats, but possibly as many as 54.

Karl Rove, former senior adviser to President George W. Bush, speaks at a Reno chamber event today. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Republicans could lose a handful of House seats but will maintain control, he said.

No president has won re-election with poll numbers as low as President Obama has now, but he is a tough competitor with $1 billion to spend, Rove said.

“It’s going to be difficult,” he said, predicting that the U.S. will see “the nastiest, ugliest general election campaign we’ve seen in our lifetime.”

The Obama campaign team will put the Republican candidate on trial and prosecute tough and hard, and with $1 billion in the bank, as often as they can, Rove said.

Winning 51 Senate seats is important if Republicans win the White House as well, because it will mean the immediate repeal of the federal health care law, he said. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed in the Senate using a process called reconciliation, which requires only 51 votes to reverse, Rove said.

In his comments to several hundred attendees at the event, Rove noted that the federal Health Care Law is the only major piece of social legislation since polling began in the 1930s that is less popular after it was passed.

“Why?” Rove asked. “Because every single promise made about it is turning out not to be true.”

He declined to pick a winner of the Republican presidential nomination, although he said, Mitt “Romney looks like he could be the guy.”

“You have a big role to play in that,” Rove said of Nevada GOP voters.

Nevada’s Republican presidential caucus, the first in the west, is Saturday. The four remaining contenders for the nomination are visiting Nevada to make their case with GOP voters. Romney is the favorite to win.

Rove, who lived in Sparks from age 9 to 15, served as senior adviser to Bush from 2000 to 2007 and deputy chief of staff from 2004 to 2007. At the White House, he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs and was deputy chief of staff for policy, coordinating the White House policy-making process.

Before Rove became known as “The Architect” of President Bush’s 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, non-partisan causes and non-profit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional, and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states. He writes a weekly op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Nevada’s GOP House Reps Disappointed At Short-Term Deal On Payroll Tax Cut, Jobless Benefit Extension

By Sean Whaley | 7:55 pm December 22nd, 2011

CARSON CITY – Nevada’s two Republican House representatives today said politics won out over policy on the newly announced deal for a 60-day extension on a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefit extension.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., said: “I will apologize in advance for what people are going to be going through 60 days from now because we have resolved nothing. And I predict the discussion 60 days from now will not only mirror this one, but you will also have a large revenue package which will be a condition to approving any sort of extensions for a year or two years.

“Nothing has changed, and it’s sad,” Amodei said. “We have done nobody any favors. As many commentators have said, you’re right on the policy but you’re wrong on the politics. Hopefully there will be a day when the policy rules the roost and not the politics but that’s probably a naive thing too.”

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., said he was prepared to remain in Washington to reach a long-term solution to the extensions.

Courtesy of Kmccoy via Wikimedia Commons.

“The whole time my primary concern was making sure that we had a one-year extension for the folks back home,” he said. “That was the No. 1 priority. And it seems that in typical Washington fashion that politics trumped out over doing the right thing.

“I don’t think folks back home should suffer because Washington wants to get home for the holidays,” Heck said. “I made no secret about my desire to stay and get the job done. I’ve been away from my family; I’ve been deployed over the holidays; it’s not fun. But doing the right thing isn’t always fun or easy.”

Despite his disappointment at the short-term fix, Heck said Congress worked collaboratively in approving the Defense Authorization Act, and he has confidence in the House conferees appointed to work on a more permanent solution to the tax cut and unemployment benefit extension by a Feb. 29, 2012 deadline.

Heck said that if the Senate sends over members who are willing to look at the policy reforms approved by the House in its Dec. 13 bill, “that we will be able to come to a conclusion hopefully by the end of January.”

Both Amodei and Heck are now back in Nevada for a recess that will run through mid-January.

Amodei said he is still in the process of assessing the deal announced earlier today that will lead to the House endorsement of the Senate measure to extend the tax cut and unemployment benefits. Amodei said he plans to issue a formal statement tomorrow after he is confident about the details of the deal.

The House may be able to approve the Senate legislation by a process called unanimous consent, which will not require House members to return to Washington, DC, for a formal vote.

The deal means the continuation of both a payroll tax cut for 160 million workers and a 99-week unemployment benefit for two million jobless Americans.

Other comments on the deal came from President Obama and other members of Nevada’s representatives in Congress.

President Obama issued a statement that said in part: “This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs. This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives.”

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., who supported the 60-day extension, said: “I am pleased the House is moving forward with the Senate’s bipartisan compromise. Extending the payroll tax and unemployment insurance will benefit Nevadans greatly. Now that Congress has moved beyond this impasse, we can work on a year-long extension.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: “I am grateful that the voices of reason have prevailed and Speaker (John) Boehner has agreed to pass the Senate’s bipartisan compromise.

“Year-long extensions of the payroll tax cut, unemployment insurance and Medicare payments for physicians has always been our goal, and Democrats will not rest until we have passed them,” he said. “But there remain important differences between the parties on how to implement these policies, and it is critical that we protect middle-class families from a tax increase while we work them out.”

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev. said: “While its good news this massive middle class tax hike has been averted, this is one more example of why Washington doesn’t work. This should have been a no-brainer, but instead Tea Party Republicans held Nevada’s middle class families hostage to their extreme Wall Street agenda. The middle class should not be a bargaining chip for DC political games.”

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Audio clips:

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., says the deal resolves nothing:

122211Amodei1 :32 or two years.”

Amodei says he believes a large revenue package will be part of the next round of discussions:

122211Amodei2 :27 naive thing too.”

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., says his goal all along was a one-year deal:

122211Heck1 :15 the right thing.”

Heck says Congress should have got the job done:

122211Heck2 :14 fun or easy.”

Heck says he is hopeful the conference committee will reach a deal by the end of January:

122211Heck3 :32 month of March.”

 

Obama to Talk Home Refinancing in Las Vegas Following Romney’s Controversial Foreclosure Remarks

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:46 am October 24th, 2011

LAS VEGAS – President Obama will today announce he is expanding a federal aid program to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today’s low interest rates, said White House officials this morning.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s announcement on changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) includes enabling borrowers who are current on payments to refinance their mortgages regardless of the value of their homes, said  HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Director of the National Economic Council Gene B. Sperling on a White House conference call.

Under the previous program’s guidelines mortgage restructuring was available only to homeowners owing no more than 125 percent of their property’s present appraised value, a restriction that prevented homeowners in hard hit states such as Nevada and California from getting relief.

The revised federal program would also reduce the number of homeowner-paid appraisals during the refinance process, reduce the cost of title insurance and lien processing, and even possibly reduce closing costs in states hardest hit by the mortgage crisis, including Nevada.

The economic and political impact of the new housing initiative is iffy in light of the high foreclosure rate and 13.4 percent unemployment rate in Nevada.

The state continues to lead the country in distressed property rates, according to RealtyTrac’s most recent U.S. Foreclosure Market Report. Additionally, Las Vegas has five times the foreclosure rate of the national average in metropolitan areas with populations of at least 200,000.

The housing issue will likely be an oft-used political football in Nevada between now and the November elections.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney caused a stir last week when he suggested home foreclosures should be allowed to “hit the bottom” to help the housing industry recover.

In an interview published Tuesday ahead of the CNN presidential debate, Romney told Las Vegas Review Journal‘s editorial board he thinks the foreclosure crisis can best be ended by allowing banks to proceed against homeowners who have defaulted on their mortgages. New investors could then buy and rent out those homes until the market adjusted, he said.

“As to what to do for the housing industry specifically and are there things that you can do to encourage housing: One is, don’t try to stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom,” Romney said.

Democrats are criticizing Romney as being callous and out of touch with middle class Americans.

“Mitt Romney’s message to Nevada homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage bills is simple: You’re on your own, so step aside,” President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said in a statement last week.

Sen. Harry Reid also chimed in. “Nevada has the highest foreclosure rate in America, and it has for almost three years. And here’s what Mitt Romney said: He would just let them hit rock bottom,” Reid said during a press conference in Washington D.C. “I don’t know what’s more graphic than that, in how we have different views of what the world should be like than our Republican friends.”

Obama is also expected to talk about his jobs initiatives when he speaks to a struggling East Las Vegas neighborhood this afternoon.

The president has been urging Congress to pass portions of the American Jobs Act, a $477 billion package of tax cuts and new federal spending aimed primarily at creating or saving public sector jobs.

Obama is also today holding a campaign fundraiser at Bellagio.

White House officials said Obama this week will be announcing a number of executive actions on the economy during a Western states tour that includes southern California and Colorado.

American Jobs Act May Create Unfunded Burden on State

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 4:09 pm October 5th, 2011

When he visits Las Vegas on Oct. 24, President Barack Obama will continue his nationwide tour urging Congress to pass the Americans Jobs Act, his $450 billion plan to create jobs and stimulate the economy.

“Pass this jobs bill, and there will be funding to save the jobs of up to 13,000 North Carolina teachers, cops, and firefighters,” Obama said earlier this month to thousands of supporters at North Carolina State University.

The president has not, however, shared with voters that his jobs bill as presented would fund many of the proposed jobs for only one year, nor has he explained his plan for how the jobs would be paid for once federal funds run out.

A recent White House press release on the impact of the American Jobs Act in Nevada said the measure would help Nevada localities avoid and reverse layoffs, through an influx of $258.3 million to support up to 3,600 educator and first responder (police and firefighter) jobs.

Dividing the $258.3 million in federal funding proposed for Nevada by 3,600 jobs yields $71,750 to cover salary, benefits, and other costs associated with providing each position. Based on average teacher or first responder pay and benefits in the state, it is likely that funding from the jobs bill would, on average, cover no more than one year of total compensation.

For example, teacher salaries before benefits in Clark County School District range from $34,688 to $69,272. After benefits are added in, teacher pay packages range from $50,267 to $93,785, the median being $72,026.

Sections 204-209 of the bill as proposed include provisions requiring states to “meet the requirements” of the measure for an additional two years.

A White House spokeswoman has said the bill includes no unfunded mandates but unless Nevada picks up the funding for these positions after the first year or so, it is unclear how the teachers and first responders supported by it would be paid going forward.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has not taken a position on the proposed federal legislation but a spokesperson in his office said he “would encourage members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation to avoid any ‘maintenance of effort’ provisions that place a long-term burden on state resources, even in exchange for short-term relief.”

Should the state’s economy improve significantly, revenue would flow into the state coffers and enable a continuation of funding. However, recent economic reports and projections make the prospect of significantly increased state funds seem unlikely at present.

Another issue is that the traditional school year has begun, local school districts have hired teachers, and classes are under way. Even if the bill became law quickly, it is unclear how Nevada government agencies could accept and process the federal money and achieve the president’s job goals during the current school year.

The nation

Obama’s American Jobs Act includes $35 billion for state and local government employees: $30 billion to hire or preserve the jobs of public school teachers, and $5 billion for police officers, firefighters, and other first responders.

In the White House analysis for each state, the categories are combined. One-seventh, or 14 percent, of the money covers first responders.

An analysis of the planned allotment and estimated jobs from each state yields a nationwide average cost per job of $74,757.

Background information provided by the White House on the American Jobs Act bases the distribution of funds to each state primarily on population. The job estimates rely on public sector labor costs obtained from each state.

(Story continues after graphic generously provided by Carolina Journal.)

 

.

(For an Excel spreadsheet with the state-by-state breakdown, click here.)

An analysis places Nevada 22nd among the states in cost per job.

At the extreme ends of the rankings, South Dakota would receive the least money per job and New York the most.

South Dakota would get $77.6 million for an estimated 1,600 jobs, or $48,500 per job. New York, by contrast, would receive $1.77 billion for an estimated 18,000 jobs, or $98,322 per job.

California ranks second to New York with $3.6 billion for an estimated 37,300 jobs, $97,086 per job.