Posts Tagged ‘Parson’

Economy, Health Care and Harry Reid Hot Topics at GOP Senate Debate

By Sean Whaley | 1:36 pm April 24th, 2010

RENO – Half a dozen candidates in the crowded GOP field seeking to take on Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate race in November debated here Friday, with responses showing more agreement than discord on issues ranging from immigration reform to the need to reduce the size of the federal government.

Businesswoman and front-runner Sue Lowden, Las Vegas businessman Danny Tarkanian, former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, current Assemblyman Chad Christensen, investment banker John Chachas, and military veteran Bill Parson, all participated in the 90-minute exchange sponsored by Anger is Brewing, an active group in the Nevada Tea Party movement.

Polls show several of the GOP candidates defeating Reid in a head-to-head match-up.

Candidates were asked what the federal government’s role should be in rebuilding the economy.

Chachas, who grew up in Ely, said the best way for the federal government to help would be to get out of the way.

“We have an economy that is enormously dynamic, and the more the government imposes itself on it, the worse this recession will be, the longer it will last,” he said. “The government trying to decide which industries we want to invest in is a bad idea.”

Creating short-term government jobs won’t work either, Chachas said, adding that it’s important to control the “head count” of public employees which is the nation’s fastest growing employment sector.

Lowden said government needs to get out of the way, but it should cut taxes as well to spur economic growth.

Cutting the corporate tax, the payroll tax and zeroing out capital gains are all ways to help the country get back on its feet, she said.

Christensen said the first objective to restoring the economy is replacing Reid, the Senate majority leader.

“I will take the fight to make sure that the federal government stops meddling in Nevada,” he said. “We have to make sure our entrepreneurs have a home and it’s here, and that we’re able to attract industry to this business mecca and magnet called the state of Nevada.”

Angle said her economic policy is called “pay back, cut back and take back.” It stands for pay back the deficit, cut back on taxation, spending and regulation and take back by repealing the federal health care law.

“Our government shouldn’t be involved in our economy here in Nevada,” she said. “I have a record of no new taxes as your state legislator.”

Angle said her first bill would be to “unfund Obamacare.”

Tarkanian said his economic plan talks about reducing taxes, but also seeks to lessen burdensome federal regulations.

“We have to reign in the power of the EPA, OSHA, and some of these other agencies that are costing our businesses so much money where they can’t compete internationally and preventing them from expanding and increasing,” he said.

Tarkanian said he also supports turning Yucca Mountain into a site for reprocessing of nuclear waste, which would generate jobs for the Nevada economy.

All the candidates said they support tax reform with numerous references to abolishing the income tax and going to a “fair tax” or “flat tax” system.

The candidates were also asked to comment on the federal health care legislation.

Christensen said the law puts a $600 million burden on the state of Nevada that the citizens cannot afford to pay at a time of economic crisis.

“We absolutely have to repeal,” he said. “It is a crying shame that our senior senator Harry Reid called that his bill and that’s why he has got to go.”

Chachas said repealing the law is a simple matter of introducing legislation in Congress, but Republicans have to offer an alternative.

The way to bring health care costs down is to put consumers in charge of their purchasing decisions, he said.

Lowden said legislation to repeal won’t work if there isn’t a president who will sign such a measure. In the meantime, Congress should stop funding elements of the bill such as the hiring of 17,000 IRS agents to enforce the law, she said.

Tarkanian said he supports repeal as well and that a court challenge is the best option. One key to reducing the cost of care is tort reform, he said.

Angle said as a state legislator, she sought a repeal of the mandated coverages required in Nevada for a health care policy to lower costs. Angle said she also introduced tort reform legislation.

Parson said the states should sue to overturn the law, but must also look at a long-term strategy.

“We must say that we the people, will not tolerate this type of disrespect towards the Constitution,” he said.

Following the health care question was a discussion of state’s rights and the 10th amendment.  All the candidates said they believe the federal government has to some degree over-stepped its Constitutional authority and that the states need to fight for more sovereignty in policy making.

The candidates were also asked what their major weakness would be if they win the primary and face Reid, who is expected to have a campaign war chest of $25 million

Chachas said Reid will try to make his 25 years of experience in the private sector a liability, but said it is actually his biggest asset.

Angle said she would be painted as too conservative, but that she will lead a broad coalition of groups, from the Eagle Forum to gun owners, who all say Reid has to go.

Christensen enumerated the many reasons why he believes he has the best chance to defeat Reid, including the fact he has won every political race he has run. He got a laugh from the crowd when, asked to answer the question about his liabilities, Christensen said he didn’t know of any.

Lowden said she has already been attacked by Reid on a variety of issues, and that those attacks will intensify if she advances in the primary. But Lowden said she defeated the state Senate majority leader in 1992 and so knows how to deal with political attacks.

Lowden drew laughter and applause when she said that if Harry Reid spends $25 million in Nevada in the general election, it would give the state “the best stimulus” he’s provided yet.

Tarkanian said Reid will trot out the discredited opposition research used against him in previous races, but said he can deflect it because it has been proven in court to be false and defamatory. Tarkanian said he will focus on Reid’s poor record as a senator.

Candidates agreed that immigration reform is needed and were generally opposed to amnesty while differing slightly in their policy focus.

Chachas emphasized the need to enforce existing laws, while Tarkanian talked about removing incentives to illegal immigrants such as taxpayer funded welfare benefits, education and medical care.

Christensen congratulated Arizona on their new immigration law, and Angle agreed Arizona needs to “stop the invasion” of illegal immigrants into their state.

Lowden said she “absolutely agrees with what Arizona is doing.”

Parson suggested giving all illegal immigrants 90 days notice to leave the country or sending law enforcement to remove them forcibly.

A Look at GOP U.S. Senate Candidate Endorsements Thus Far

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:04 pm March 26th, 2010

Here’s what I have on endorsements of Republican hopefuls in the race-to-beat-Harry-Reid so far:

(Note:  This is not an exhaustive list for all candidates. I will post updates as I find them or as campaign staffers politely email to inform me of my oversight.)(Ha!)

– Jeri Thompson, wife of former Senator and 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson, today endorsed U.S. Senate Candidate Sue Lowden via a column in American Spectator online.

– Lowden also has a fundraiser luncheon on deck (see here: Lowden_Fundraiser_Invite) that features former Thune campaign manager Dick Wadhams and lists supporters including:  Bill and Dale Raggio, Assembly Minority Leader Heidi Gansert, Senator Randolph Townsend, former Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich, former Governor Bob List and Mayor Bob Cashell, among others.

– Sarah Palin’s dad endorsed Tarkanian earlier this month (on/around March 15).

– Erick Erickson of RedState fame had endorsed Danny Tarkanian on February 28. (Lowden had expressed surprise when told about that endorsement, saying, “Well, I don’t know Erick and have never even talked to him, so I’m a little surprised by that.”)

– Former Michigan GOP chair and RNC chair candidate Saul Anuzis endorsed Lowden in a column cross-posted at both the Spectator and The Corner on National Review Online on February 5.

(Note:  I get daily calls and emails from out of state people asking “who can beat Harry Reid” and “who do you like?”  For the record, the Nevada News Bureau does not endorse candidates, and neither do I.)

Nye County GOP Straw Poll Results

By Elizabeth Crum | 6:12 pm February 15th, 2010

Update (7:50 a.m.): Diane George emailed me this morning to say the Nye County results for the governor’s race were incorrectly reported due to a typo.  Brian Sandoval received 21, not 2, votes.  The count has been corrected below.

From 2nd vice chair Pat Kerby of the Nye County Republican Party, the recent Pahrump straw poll results.

U.S. Senate

Mark Amodei – 1

Sharron Angle – 7

John Chachas – 0

Greg Dagani – 0

Sue Lowden – 24

Bill Parson – 34

Terry Suominen – 0

Danny Tarkanian – 8

Chuck Flume – 0

Governor

Jim Gibbons – 38

Mike Montandon – 11

Brian Sandoval – 21

Clark County Republican Party, Grassroots Leaders Organize for 2010 Elections

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 9:23 am October 26th, 2009

Las Vegas — Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) event organizers packed the house for their “Flip the House” kick-off coalition meeting Saturday afternoon.   Approximately two-hundred and twenty attendees filled the auditorium at the Clark County Public Library on East Flamingo Road.

Among those in attendance were U.S. Senate candidates Danny Tarkanian, Sharon Angle, and Bill Parson.  Other candidate attendees included Joe Hardy, Lynn Stewart, Elizabeth Halseth, John Hambrick, Tibbe Ellis, Eric Morelli, Glenn Greener, Richard McArthur, Kathryn Njus, Geraldine Lewis, Matt Passalacona, Scott Neistadt, Joseph Tatner, and Barbara Altman who is running for the School Board.

Clark County Republican Party (CCRP) precinct administrator Duane Libbe opened the event and welcomed the crowd to enthusiastic applause.

“This meeting kicks-off our “Flip the House” action program.  We are going to take back the legislature.  With only eight months to the primary and thirteen months until the general elections, it is time for us to roll up our sleeves, stop talking about last year’s problems and get to work,” said Libbe.

CCRP coalitions director Frank Ricotta echoed Libbe’s comments and welcomed grassroots leaders from around the Las Vegas valley.

“I am encouraged to see so many grassroots organizations in attendance today.  Thank you for coming, and I hope this is a sign of things to come,” said Ricotta.

In attendance were representatives from Nevada Patriots, Citizens Awareness Network, Nevada Active Conservatives, Nevada Innovative Coalition for Education, Nevada Federation of Young Republicans, Nevada Conservatives for Freedom, Nevada Health Care Professionals Coalition, Las Vegas Republican Meetup Group, Sun City Conservatives, the Southeast Las Vegas Glenn Beck Meetup Group and the Las Vegas Sean Hannity Meetup Group.

Republican Assembly Caucus executive director Monica Moradkhan was the first guest speaker.  She warmly greeted the attendees and then addressed divisions within and between the party and grassroots groups by invoking Ronald Reagan’s “big tent” conservatism.

“We have to unite for the common good in order to elect Republicans in the 2010 general elections,” said Moradkhan.

“We cannot let divisions over single issues prevent us from supporting the best candidate available,” she said.

Nevada Senate-Minority Whip, Barbara K. Cegavske, also spoke at the event.  Cegavske is running for her third and final term due to term limits.

“I am saddened by what I see going on in Nevada right now,” she said.

“I am also tired of our ever increasing debt.  Of course, we have to make sure we have the essentials, but – just like Nevada’s families – the state needs to live within its means,” she said.

“We also need to create jobs to Nevada.  We need a strategy to bring businesses here, and we need to stop legislating mandates that drive up costs and fees to small businesses,” she said.

Cegavske then presented a seat-by-seat analysis of the state assembly and senate races in 2010.  She twice referred to the Democratic party’s desire to pick up two more senate seats and reminded attendees that fifteen Assembly seats are needed for veto power.

“There are seventeen term-limited seats up for grabs, in addition to all the others.  There is going to be huge turnover.  We need to strategize and capitalize where we can,” she said.

Cegavske also alluded to disagreements about candidate endorsement within her caucus.

“I did not agree with our caucus in endorsing candidates early  That was not my choice.  I thought we should have waited a little longer, for more good people to come out,” she said.

Cegavske received enthusiastic applause when she talked about the state of Nevada’s public education system, school choice and competition.  At one point she circulated a handout of the K-12 educational governance structure in Nevada.

“This so-called structure borders on the ridiculous,” she said.

“I have tried for two sessions to get a governance bill introduced, to change the educational structure in Nevada.  I will try again as I serve my final term.  This should be something both parties can agree on,” she said.

Frank Ricotta closed the meeting by challenging every attendee to commit to an action item.

“Help us find more candidates.  Volunteer to work for a candidate, or be a precinct captain, or knock on doors.  We need to work the precincts to sign up voters and collect email addresses.  We also need more volunteers to staff the CCRP office,” he said.

After the meeting, Ricotta said he was pleased with the turnout and pointed to the long line of people signing up to be volunteers.

“People are energized.  It’s good to see,” he said.

Sharon Angle talks with a grassroots activist before the meeting

Sharon Angle talks with a grassroots activist before the meeting