July 31, 2006

Early Voting has begun

Get out there and vote. Remember, during Early Vote you can vote at ANY location you want to. On election day, you will have to vote at the location indicated on your Sample Ballot (mailed on 7/28...you should get it soon).

Here's where and when you can do it in Lyon County:

Yerington Polling Location - Office of the Lyon County Clerk/Treasurer, 27 South Main Street
Saturday, July 29th, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, July 31st to August 4th, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 5th, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, August 7th to August 11th, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m

Smith Valley Polling Location-Smith Valley Library, 22 Day Lane, Smith, Nevada, Wednesday, August 2nd and Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Dayton Polling Location:-Lyon County Administrative Office, 801 Overland Loop, Suite 201, Dayton, Nevada; Monday through Friday, July 31st through August 11th, 2006; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fernley Polling Location-Fernley City Hall, 595 Silverlace Blvd, Fernley, Nevada, Monday through Friday, July 31st through August 11th, 2006; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

More on the minimum wage

Whoa, I actually got a comment to one of my posts...thogek asks:

Many opposing minimum wage increases have cited basic economic supply-and-demand behaviors to explain their opposition. Raising legally-required minimum wages would artificially force an increase in the market cost of labor, which would resultingly force a decrease in the market demand for labor (as demand for a service goes down when the price goes up), thus contributing to a raise unemployment rates (since there become fewer jobs available for employment). I'd like to see the Democratic Party's (or anyone else's contesting) response to that argument.

Many supporters of minimum wage increases cite cases of Americans struggling to to support a family on minimum wage as motivating reasons, to help these families from falling deeper into poverty. I'd like to see statistics on what proportion of the American population makes only minimum wages, and see those numbers broken down by age, marital status, dependant status, and other groups. Such information would provide great insight into the extent to which Americans truly are attempting to support a family on minimum wage (i.e., whether or not this is actually as significant a problem as has been asserted), as opposed to (e.g.) cases of high-schoolers working part-time after-school jobs for extra pocket money. Those statistics may very well have been compiled by someone somewhere...

So, I thought I ought to find some cites for him. A quick Google search for "minimum wage increase" popped up this site which provides a lot of facts and figures. Under the Frequently Asked Questions link there is this:
Who are minimum wage workers?
An estimated 14.9 million workers (11% of the workforce) would benefit from an increase in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 by 2008. Of these workers, 6.6 million would be directly affected and 8.3 million would indirectly receive raises due to the spillover effect of a minimum wage increase. Of the total affected workers, 80% are adults and 59% are women. Over half (54%) work full time and another third (30%) work between 20 and 34 hours per week. More than one-quarter (26%) of the workers who would benefit from an increase to $7.25 are parents of children under age 18, including 1,395,000 single parents. The average minimum wage worker brings home over half (58%) of his or her family's weekly earnings.

[...]

Does the minimum wage cause job loss?
A 1998 EPI study failed to find any systematic, significant job loss associated with the 1996-97 minimum wage increase. In fact, following the most recent increase in the minimum wage in 1996-97, the low-wage labor market performed better than it had in decades (e.g., lower unemployment rates, increased average hourly wages, increased family income, decreased poverty rates). Studies of the 1990-91 federal minimum wage increase, as well as to studies by David Card and Alan Krueger of several state minimum wage increases, also found no measurable negative impact on employment. Finally, a recent Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) study of state minimum wages found no evidence of negative employment effects on small businesses.

New economic models that look specifically at low-wage labor markets help explain why there is little evidence of job loss associated with minimum wage increases. These models recognize that employers may be able to absorb some of the costs of a wage increase through higher productivity, lower recruiting and training costs, decreased absenteeism, and increased worker morale.
Here's a chart giving just the breakdown of workers affected by minimum wage, both directly (those actually earning minimum wage) and indirectly (those earning low wages who will benefit from the spillover effect of raising the minimum wage). Guess what? The vast majority of workers affected by a minimum wage increase are age of 20 or older. See? The answers are out there. I am not going to do any more of thodek's homework.

Republicans muddying the waters

First it was Move America Forward - a rightwing group using a name that sounded very much like America Coming Together or MoveOn.org, take your pick. Over at Vegas Pundit, Jon Ralston posts about a mailer a Republican front group is sending out in Clark County. It comes from a group called the Leadership Group PAC. Sounds like it is coming from Harry Reid's Searchlight Leadership PAC. You don't think Republicans would be trying to fool Democrats into believing that Harry endorses these judges would you? You tell me. A pdf of the flyer is posted at the link above.

July 30, 2006

Are the gods smiling on us?

I just folded the whites. And, miracle!! All the socks matched! The Sock God did not demand sacrifice!

Quick call the news crews. Perhaps we can set up a shrine in the front yard.

More on the minimum wage atrocity

Desert Beacon has been doing the yeoman's work on following the shenanigans in the Republican controlled House of Representatives. Give DB a click and get yerself up to speed.

Sunday Morning musings...minimum wage

Well, the House passed it's winimum wage increase, sure to be defeated in the Senate. Really, this is a two-fer for them, as they will go out and bally-hoo how Republicans are looking out for working Americans and how the EVIL Democrats blocked it. Of course, they will not mention that the actual wage increase isn't actually a stand-alone bill but merely an amendment to the odious Estate Tax and Extension of Tax Relief Act. This is typical of the Republicans...attach good legislation to a bill that is awful, and then use Democrats' votes against the bill in campaign ads, a la, (cue deep voice and sinister music) "Evil, liberal, Democrat John Doe SAYS he wants to increase the minimum wage. But when given the opportunity to do so, he voted AGAINST it."

I hope the Democrats come out with an ad that lists every attempt made by Democrats to increase the minimum wage in EVERY session and the Republicans party line votes to defeat said Democratic proposals. A quick search of the House of Representatives web site using "minimum wage increase" pulls up this page. Hmm, just a quick survey of those articles shows that Democrats have been fighting for a minimum wage increase for years and then there is a lot of bloviating from Republicans this month. Interesting chart showing Congressional pay raises over the years vs minimum wage increase for America's workers (pdf). And just who has been in charge in Congress lo these many years? Lest we all forget, the House has been under Republican control since 1994.

Couple of more links. This one from the DNC blog about this "poison pill" includes a link to a pdf entitled, Killing the Minimum Wage - A Report on the Republican Poison Pill Parade documents just a few of the times Republicans have blocked any honest and clean attempt by Democrats to raise the minimum wage.

Okay, let's say that this bill gets to the Senate and perhaps they do pass a version of the bill. So it goes into conference whereby the Senate and the House work out their differences on the bill. Any takers as to whether the minimum wage increase actually stays in the bill? Bueller? Bueller?

On the recent Senate vote

Love — blinding, misguided love — I would like to believe, is the chief reason why so many mothers and fathers support parental notification laws for girls seeking abortions and did not rise up and cry foul this week when a shockingly cruel and girl-hating piece of legislation passed in the Senate.

I was on the road with Jack Carter when I heard the results of the Senate vote making it illegal to take a minor across state lines for an abortion without notifying a parent (for the record, both our senators voted for this bill). And I kept thinking, wow, if only it were this easy, just tell a parent and everything will be fine. The thing is, if a girl feels that she can't tell her parents that she is pregnant, that family has worse problems than the mere fact that said daughter is pregnant. I realize that most families function well, with at least one parent able to handle problems like these. My daughter and I have a great relationship, she can tell me anything she wants to, though as a normal autonomous human being, there is a lot she keeps to herself. But we have had enough happen in our family that I know that if she were in bad circumstances, she would come to us for help. But not all families are like mine. Are we not going to protect girls who aren't fortunate enough to come from a loving, stable family? Are children really just property of their parents until they reach eighteen, no matter what poor excuses for human beings their parents might be? Of course, as soon as that kid turns eighteen our society is really good at cutting them loose - even when parents don't want to - witness that most health care plans that dump eighteen-year-old children from their parents' health care plan unless they are full-time college students (none of this part-time school, part-time work stuff!) But I digress...

Back to my point: Having seen some pretty sick and dysfunctional families in my lifetime, I couldn't figure out how this legislation does anything to protect minors in unspeakable circumstances. I came across this July 29th NYTimes commentary that puts it so much better than I. Published in full here under the fair use doctrine. From behind the firewall:
When the Parents Can’t Know
By JUDITH WARNER

Spring Adams, a 13-year-old sixth grader from Idaho, was impregnated by her father. On the morning she was to have an abortion, he came into her room and shot her.

This awful story, which was brought to the Senate floor this week by Dick Durbin, the Illinois Democrat, isn’t the kind of thing that most parents, fortunately, can relate to. Most parents, surely, love their children and believe that if they learned that a daughter was pregnant and seeking an abortion, they’d treat her with kindness and concern.

Love — blinding, misguided love — I would like to believe, is the chief reason why so many mothers and fathers support parental notification laws for girls seeking abortions and did not rise up and cry foul this week when a shockingly cruel and girl-hating piece of legislation passed in the Senate.

The new bill, the Child Custody Protection Act, like its even more draconian House counterpart, would make it illegal for any adult other than a parent to take a minor across state lines to get an abortion. If the bill makes it into law, an incest victim, a rape victim or any other vulnerable pregnant teen who lives in a state that requires parental notification for abortion will no longer be able to seek the help of, say, a grandma, if she’s too frightened or ashamed to tell her parents that she is pregnant.

For many loving parents, this is all well and good. The problem is, though, that there are parents who do not behave toward their daughters with love. There are also teenage girls who don’t believe their parents’ love is strong enough to overcome whatever shame or disappointment or disgust they may feel upon learning that their daughter is pregnant and seeking to abort. Some teenage girls — even those from the “best” of homes — resort to desperate measures under such circumstances.

I think, first, of Becky Bell, who in 1988 died of an illegal abortion because she was too ashamed to comply with Indiana’s requirement that she notify her parents of her intent to end her pregnancy. Then, in 2004, there was the teenage girl in Michigan who, desperate to avoid telling her parents she needed an abortion, allowed her boyfriend to beat her belly with a baseball bat until she miscarried. She was six months pregnant.

Becky Bell’s parents and the parents of the boy in the baseball bat incident have since become outspoken critics of parental notification laws.

It does not particularly shock or surprise me that extreme right-wing ideologues would be willing to sacrifice girls’ lives on the road to their greater goal of making Roe v. Wade a dead letter; empowering girls to take control of their bodies and their lives — through, for example, reality-based sex education and access to contraception — has never been high on their list of priorities.

What I find much more disturbing now is that the mainstream public is going along for the ride. I think this is happening, in part, because radical Republicans — always so adept at finding the inner dark spots in Americans’ hearts and minds — have cleverly linked this particular anti-abortion effort to one of the most basic beliefs of mainstream parenting today: namely, that parents have a right to know everything about their children and to control every aspect of their lives.

It is not unreasonable for parents to want to know what’s going on with their kids. I would just suggest that parental rights have limits. Children — including teenagers — have a fundamental right to love and decent caretaking. That right sometimes conflicts with and outweighs their parents’ rights to control them.

That clash of rights is what plays out, often enough, when non-parents intervene to help minors cross state lines to get the medical attention they need. Most, I am sure, don’t do it because they want to meddle or lead young girls astray. They do it because the girls desperately need their help. No one knows how many of these girls are incest victims, fleeing fathers or stepfathers or brothers or uncles who abuse them in families where there’s no one stepping forward to protect them.

For our society to deny these girls access to freedom from forced pregnancy, I believe, is to abuse them further. I don’t want to be a party to that abuse, and neither, I imagine, would most loving parents — if only they’d think to extend their kind caretaking beyond the borders of their own backyards.

Judith Warner is the author of "Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety" and a contributing columnist for TimesSelect.

July 22, 2006

One incredible rant

SusanG never ceases to amaze me at being able to bring the truth out. She asks what many of us have, why do Americans keep electing people to run our government when those very people don't believe in government? But she really boils it down.

Would you hire a babysitter who hates children and thinks they should be eliminated? Or who declares for years in your hearing that children are irritants who should be starved to be small, unseen and mute?

Would you hire cops who think laws are stupid and useless and should be abolished?

Would you hire a conductor for your orchestra who believes music itself an abomination?

Then why would you hire - and you did hire them, America; they are your employees, after all, not your rulers, despite their grandiose pretensions - members of a political party who think government is useless, ineffective, bloated and untrustworthy?

...

If you put people in charge of running a project they are ideologically committed to proving a failure, it will fail.

Seems pretty straightforward to me. But hey, I'm a Democrat. You know, one of those people who think universal quality public education is a massive good to society, that maintaining our highways and levees and bridges and dams is part of what makes this country great, that paying first-responders and nurses what they're worth helps guarantee our public health and safety, that providing for fellow citizens who fall on hard times is not only the ethical thing to do, but the pragmatic one, ensuring that this country does not incubate a permanently inflamed and disgruntled underclass ready to drop a match on a pool of social gasoline.

Here's a thought - just a thought, mind you, beloved America: Perhaps it's time to return to government the party that has an ideological stake in making it ... you know ... succeed. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to raise our sights a wee bit and elect people who think public service is more than an opportunity for the "Biggest! Fire Sale! Ever!" for their friends and loved ones. Perhaps it's time to insist on greater - if not great - expectations from the employees we decide to hire or fire every two years to carry out our will under the constitution.

As one-party Republican rule has clearly shown, when you expect incompetence, corruption and deceit from your government, you get exactly what you vote for. In spades.

Amen, Sister.

July 20, 2006

Just Say No to Maurice Washington

JWH over at Say No to Jim and Dawn Gibbons highlights a Las Vegas City Lights article about Maurice Washington. I am not going to excerpt anything. Click on the link above to go to JWH's post and follow the links in his article.

July 17, 2006

Nobody told me there'd be days like these

I am feeling very bleak today. It would be so easy to lay my emotions at the feet of my recent surgery and my recovery. In some circles that's called 'denial.' It's not something as simple as that and able to be repaired by rest, good nutrition and care.

The Middle East is going up in flames, India is recovering from it's own home-grown terror, BushCo is systematically claiming imperial powers and a complacent Congress goes along. Even when they weakly raise a hand to object, they soon reverse direction and roll over, proposing laws that will legitimize his law-breaking and/or abdicating their Constitutional duty of oversight. Our (MY) country is disappearing, and no one seems to give a damn. Bob Herbert lays it out pretty well (from behind the NYT firewall):

The Definition of Tyranny

Congress is dithering and the American public doesn’t even seem particularly concerned as the administration of George W. Bush systematically trashes such fundamental American values as justice, due process, respect for human rights and submission to the rule of law.

In the kangaroo courts that the administration concocted to try detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a defendant could be prevented from seeing the evidence against him, would not have the right to attend his own trial and would not have the right to appeal the sentence to a civilian court.

That’s slapstick justice, a process worthy of the Marx Brothers.

“You have been accused of being a terrorist.”

“Where is the evidence?”

“We can’t show it to you.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“So is this court. We find you guilty. Take him away.”

The Supreme Court now says, in a vote that was closer than it should have been, that this sort of madness cannot be permitted. In its recent decision striking down the tribunals for terror suspects at Guantánamo, the court said of the defendant, Salim Ahmed Hamdan: “He will be, and indeed already has been, excluded from his own trial.”

The court said, in effect, that this is not the American way, that ours is not a Marx Brothers republic. Not yet, anyway. (It most likely will be if Mr. Bush gets to appoint one or two more justices to the court.)

The Bush-Cheney regime believes it can do whatever outlandish things it wants, including torturing people and keeping them incarcerated for life without even the semblance of due process. And it’s not giving up. The administration now wants Congress to authorize what the Supreme Court has plainly said was wrong. White House lawyers, in a torturous (pun intended) interpretation of the court’s ruling, seem to be arguing that the kangaroo courts, otherwise known as military commissions, will be quite all right if only Congress will say so.

They’re not all right. They’re an abomination (like the secret C.I.A. prisons and the practice of extraordinary rendition) that spits in the face of the idea that the United States is a great and civilized nation.

“Can you imagine if the Hamdan decision, among others, had gone the other way?” said Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has been waging an extraordinary fight to secure basic legal protections for prisoners at Guantánamo. “I mean we’d be looking at a dark nightmare.”

The court’s decision brought into sharp relief the importance of one of the most fundamental aspects of American government, the separation of powers. Checks and balances. The judicial branch put a halt — a check — on a gruesomely illegal practice by the executive.

Mr. Bush has tried to scrap the very idea of checks and balances. The Republican-controlled Congress has, for the most part, rolled over like trained seals for the president. And Mr. Bush is trying mightily to pack the courts with right-wingers who will do the same. Under those circumstances, his will becomes law.

Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the majority opinion in the Hamdan case, referred to a seminal quote from James Madison. The entire quote is as follows: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

As the center noted in a recent report, “The U.S. government has employed every possible tactic to evade judicial review of its detention and interrogation practices in the ‘war on terror,’ including allegations that U.S. personnel subject prisoners to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

There is every reason to be alarmed about the wretched road that Bush, Cheney et al. are speeding along. It is as if they were following a route deliberately designed to undermine a great nation.

A lot of Americans are like spoiled rich kids who take their wealth for granted. Too many of us have forgotten — or never learned — the real value of the great American ideals. Too many are standing silently by as Mr. Bush and his cronies engage in the kind of tyrannical and uncivilized behavior that has brought so much misery — and ultimately ruin — to previous societies.


A lot of Americans are like spoiled rich kids who take their wealth for granted.

Yep, this is the feeling I get. Everyone is too busy, too complacent, too confident that our hard won freedoms be there, always. And it won't be some god-forsaken cave dwellers that take our freedoms away. No, it will be us, who will let them be taken from us, we who are too easily distracted by the latest "new thing" and our unwavering belief that a democracy that has been the beacon of the world, needs no tending from its citizens. Like a campfire that will go out if left untended, so will our democracy dim and die without the people's vigilance. There are days I fear we have passed the point of no return.

July 16, 2006

What you won't hear on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX

Got this one in my email today. As the emailer said, "Today in Bagdad. Not quite the way it's reported to be by U.S. media."

Baghdad starts to collapse as its people flee a life of death

Ali phoned me on Tuesday night, about 10.30pm. There were cars full of gunmen prowling his mixed neighbourhood, he said. He and his neighbours were frantically exchanging information, trying to identify the gunmen.

Were they the Mahdi Army, the Shia militia blamed for drilling holes in their victims’ eyes and limbs before executing them by the dozen? Or were they Sunni insurgents hunting down Shias to avenge last Sunday’s massacre, when Shia gunmen rampaged through an area called Jihad, pulling people from their cars and homes and shooting them in the streets?

Much more at the link. I cannot imagine that kind of hell.

And then there is this. From the LA Times, July 15, 2006:

Is U.S. Winning? Army Chief Is at a Loss
It seemed like a routine question, one that military leaders involved in prosecuting the war in Iraq must ask themselves with some regularity: Is the U.S. winning?

But for Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff known for his straight-shooting bluntness, it proved a hard one to answer.

During a Capitol Hill briefing for an audience mostly of congressional aides, Schoomaker paused for more than 10 seconds after he was asked the question — lips pursed and brow furrowed — before venturing:

"I think I would answer that by telling you I don't think we're losing."

It was a small but telling window into the thinking of the Army's top uniformed officer and one of the military's most important commanders: Despite the progress being made by the new Iraqi government and the continuing improvement of local security forces, the outcome in Iraq, in many ways, is growing more uncertain by the day.

"The challenge … is becoming more complex, and it's going to continue to be," Schoomaker mused. "That's why I'll tell you I think we're closer to the beginning than we are to the end of all this."

Closer to the beginning than the end? What have we been doing for the last 3 1/2 years???

July 12, 2006

Oh Rahm...preach on!!

Just in case you haven't heard, the White House actually pays someone to be the Director of Lessons Learned. No, really. No, I am not kidding. Really. Rahm Emmanuel speaks...

Mr. Speaker, yesterday the President said we continue to be wise about how we spend the people's money.

"Then why are we paying over $100,000 for a 'White House Director of Lessons Learned'?

"Maybe I can save the taxpayers $100,000 by running through a few of the lessons this White House should have learned by now.

"Lesson 1: When the Army Chief of Staff and the Secretary of State say you are going to war without enough troops, you're going to war without enough troops.

"Lesson 2: When 8.8 billion dollars of reconstruction funding disappears from Iraq, and 2 billion dollars disappears from Katrina relief, it's time to demand a little accountability.

"Lesson 3: When you've 'turned the corner' in Iraq more times than Danica Patrick at the Indy 500, it means you are going in circles.

"Lesson 4: When the national weather service tells you a category 5 hurricane is heading for New Orleans, a category 5 hurricane is heading to New Orleans.

"I would also ask the President why we're paying for two 'Ethics Advisors' and a 'Director of Fact Checking.'

"They must be the only people in Washington who get more vacation time than the President.

"Maybe the White House could consolidate these positions into a Director of Irony."


Hoo boy...a Director of Fact Checking? In the words of Jon Stewart, "Wha???"

Hat tip to AMERICAblog.

Early voting in Lyon County

I must say I am a bit disappointed again with the early vote schedule for Lyon County. Early voting kicks of on Saturday, July 29th...that is, if you want to travel all the way to Yerington. AND...You can only only vote on Saturday if you are willing to make the trek to Yerington. If you live anywhere else in the county and you work a 8-5 job, you will just have to wait until August 15th when the polls will be open before and after working hours. Silver Springs is completely left out in the cold for a polling place for early voting. I wonder when the folks down south are going to notice that the bulk of the Lyon County population is up here in the north?

Here's the official notice from the Clerk/Treasurer's office:

NOTICE OF EARLY VOTING

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Office of the Lyon County Clerk/Treasurer, 27 South Main Street, Yerington, Nevada, is established as the permanent polling place for early voting by personal appearance for voters wishing to vote early pursuant to N.R.S. 293.356 through 293.3585.

FURTHER NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the permanent polling place for early voting will be open:

Saturday, July 29th, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, July 31st to August 4th, 2006 from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 5th, 2006 from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday, August 7th to August 11th, 2006, from 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Early Voting will also be available at the specified times and locations:

Smith Valley Polling Location-Smith Valley Library, 22 Day Lane, Smith, Nevada, Wednesday, August 2nd and Wednesday, August 9th, 2006 from 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Dayton Polling Location:-Lyon County Administrative Office, 801 Overland Loop, Suite 201, Dayton, Nevada; Monday through Friday, July 31st through August 11th, 2006; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Fernley Polling Location-Fernley City Hall, 595 Silverlace Blvd, Fernley, Nevada, Monday through Friday, July 31st through August 11th, 2006; 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

July 10, 2006

Leader-Courier articles of note

The Leader-Courier is doing a great job of covering the local races of import. Here's one, printed in full due to the fact that it will disappear into the archives soon.

Four vie for District II County Commission seat

SILVER SPRINGS — On Aug. 15, voters will go to the polls to send two candidates to move on to the general election in November.

Four candidates are vying for the County Commissioner seat currently held by Chet Hillyard, Republican, who has again thrown his hat into the ring.

Trying to unseat the long-time Commissioner are Democratic challengers Pat Geurts and Charles Lawson as well as Republican Larry McPherson.

The Commissioner District II represents Silver Springs, the north side of Stagecoach and parts of Fernley.

Early voting will take place from July 31-Aug. 11 in Yerington while also in Fernley and Dayton starting Aug. 2, with Lyon County Clerk Nikki Bryan indicating Silver Springs and Stagecoach voters can cast their votes in Dayton.

Electors can vote at Fernley City Hall on Silverlace Blvd., beginning Aug. 2-11, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or at Dayton at 801 Overland Loop, suite 201, the same dates, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

The primary will be held on Aug. 15 at various locations in Silver Springs, Stagecoach and Fernley (see other story).

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.


Pat Geurts:

“I was asked to run because the people are tired of the current administration ignoring the citizens’ voice,” said Geurts of the reason he decided to seek office.

The effects growth has had on the area’s quality of life are what motivated the 49-year-old resident to seek political office.

“Growth is the number one concern, its effect on our quality of life and little to nothing is being done to control its impact,” he said.

Geurts went on to cite impacts growth has had on traffic, schools, roads, infrastructure and also quality of life in the area neighborhoods.

“From Silver Springs to Dayton you can hardly get onto the highway without putting your life at risk,” he noted.

Geurts is also concerned about the water issues and noted it cannot be “ignored and/or denied.”

“The current administration sales pitch is to divert water costing millions by going outside the county and state. Their answer: use less water and pay more while they continue to allow uncontrolled growth. What’s the trade off, more development you get to pay for it again.”

He would also like to foster better relations with the City of Fernley as a commissioner rather than what he believes is a lack of communications between the current administration and citizens of Fernley.

Guerts is chairman of the Silver Springs Advisory Board, where he has served for the past seven years.


Chet Hillyard:

He has served for the past 14 years as County Commissioner and Hillyard said he wants to continue with a fifth term.

“I’ve been in there for quite a while and the more I work for the people the more we can get things done,” he said.

Hillyard said his reasons stem from the numerous accomplishments and progress that have been garnered while he has been in office.

He remarked in the Fernley area as commissioner he helped to bring industrial development to the industrial area of that community, which has given jobs to hundreds of people.

Prior to coming to Silver Springs, Hillyard was a trustee on the Vallejo Sanitation Board, in Vallejo, CA, and with his knowledge of the sewer system, as a commissioner he worked to bring the Silver Springs General Improvement District to fruition.

Throughout the years as Commissioner he fostered good working relationships and helped to improve the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Library system and each of the senior citizens centers.

Hillyard remarked the upcoming Villages of Silver Springs project, which will bring over 800 homes to the area, will incite more economic development to the area such as a grocery store, bank and other needed services.

Further with development will come additional jobs to the area.

As the area grows, he would like to work with the Nevada Department of Transportation to improve transportation major routes.

“I have no special interests, only for the health, safety and welfare of the people of Silver Springs,” said Hillyard.


Charles Lawson:

Planning, traffic problems and youth programs are just some of the reason Charles Lawson threw his hat in the ring to seek the County Commissioner post.

The long-time Stagecoach resident feels planning and all that it encompasses are issues that need to be addressed in the county overall.

He says he would like to work on a system that alleviates the traffic problems with more easements designated as roadways. Lawson noted, for example, frontage roads are one such solution.

Also, he’d like to see more roads maintained throughout the county, which would alleviate some dust problems in some communities and offer a safer ride for motorists.

Although he acknowledged that maintaining roads is a very big issue, he’d like to see something done, nonetheless.

Further he would like to see more retail businesses established in the county.

“People have to travel so far away to work and to purchase necessities and even get medical care,” he said.

Lawson also is interested in working with various groups to provide “some sort of opportunity for young people in the county.”

He continued that as it is there aren’t many activities for youths to join. Larson remarked he is aware Yerington has a Boys and Girls Club and both Fernley and Dayton are looking into such clubs, but he feels the County Commissioners also need to be involved.

The 65-year-old man has been married to Susan for the past 42 years.


Larry McPherson:

Once he noticed no other Republican had entered the race to unseat incumbent Hillyard, McPherson said that was his calling.

“There were no Republicans running against Chet, so I did,” he said.

He added he simply wanted voters to have a choice and he is not making any promises or advocating for action as a means to earn a vote.

Still, McPherson said he would be a full-time commissioner and he noted for the past two years he has checked County Commissioner meeting minutes, which has indicated Hillyard had not attended a number of meetings or was late.

“It’s a full-time job,” he said, adding he was capable of doing the job.

He added if a commissioner is unable to attend meetings or is late they are not doing their job.

The long-time Stagecoach resident noted his statements sounded harsh but he didn’t have anything against Hillyard.

McPherson retired from the trucking business and he remarked after traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada he decided to steer his life course off the road.

McPherson is active in the Pony Express Association.

The Leader-Courier will publish additional profiles on each of the candidates prior to the early voting period.

Some choice...

I got contacted by a telephone survey last night. Took about half an hour and really cut into "Intervention" (a new episode may I add...thank goodness for TiVo's pause feature) Anyway, the survey was about Nevada politics, energy and Yucca Mountain in particular. I wonder what group sponsored this survey? First of all, when asking me if I had heard of any groups regarding the dump at Yucca Mountain, not once did they ask me if I had ever heard of Citizen Alert or any other group opposing the dump at Yucca Mountain. Every group they mentioned seemed to be corporate or government entities that are pro-Yucca.

And the survey questions seemed based on the premise that the dump was a done deal and that basically, they wanted to know how and by whom the dump should be managed, etc.

Secondly, in one part of the survey I was asked: "If the election for governor were held today, would you vote for the Republican Jim Gibbons or the Democrat Jim Gibson?" Uh...there are several other candidates for this office, I told the surveyor and refused to answer the question.

Oh yeah, when asked about what sorts of sources of energy I would like to see developed in Nevada I was given two choices: Nuclear or Coal. No mention of solar or wind or geo-thermal. So, you be the judge on who was behind this "survey."

Ensign...just as radical as the rest of 'em

Take a trip over to Desert Beacon who is doing an excellent job of showing just exactly what sort of 'compassionate conservative' John Ensign is. As DB puts it:

So, Senator Ensign, do you stand by your Republican colleagues on the Budget Committee and recommend that we cut food safety inspections, rural development grants, energy conservation, special education funding, employment training, and the Indian Health Service? It's one thing to speak in campaign generalities about "letting us poor folk keep our hard earned money...," it's another to have to take a position on specific programs that benefit some of us most of the time, and a few of us all the time. If Republicans want to haul out the "accountability banner" then it's only fair that they be held accountable for the specific legislation they'd enact during their terms of office. So, where are the Triumphant Trio of Ensign, Porter, and Gibbons on the provisions of S. 3521?

Read this post and then this post for the straight dope on what exactly those creeps in Washington are proposing and how it will hit us all.

Go Jack Carter!!! Go!!!