Pike’s 2010 mid-term election picks

Vote early and, well, only one time

Washoe County Registrar’s site lists exact locations and hours for early voting: www.co.washoe.nv.us/voters.

I’m going to take advantage of early voting Oct. 16-29. Voting machines will be set up at local libraries, the University of Nevada, Reno’s student union and Scolari’s stores. Now … what ballot boxes to check? This will probably take two columns so hang in there.

Media coverage—local and national—is fixated on the U.S Senate race between Republican Sharron Angle and Democrat Harry Reid. Rightly so. I think Nevadans would be shooting themselves in the foot not to vote for Reid, who has the kind of clout in Washington that we’ll need to pull our sorry butts out of economic disaster.

The governor’s race is harder. Neither candidate seems to want to offer any real solutions for how we’re going to turn this downturn around. I’m voting for Rory Reid over Brian Sandoval simply because I trust Reid’s commitment to education slightly more. Reid is also endorsed by the Nevada Conservation League.

For U.S. Representative District 2, I say Nancy Price over Dean Heller. Price’s views on government spending mirror my own. To save dough, she supports bringing our troops home, closing tax loopholes taken advantage of by companies like Exxon and ending bailouts for fraudulent financial firms. That’s a great start.

In other state races, Jessica Sferrazza makes sense for lieutenant governor. As a Reno City Council member, she’s worked toward redeveloping distraught areas of the city. Most recently, she’s been involved in a Reno Housing Authority project to buy foreclosed homes, making them available to needy families. Cool plan.

Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada attorney general) is endorsed by Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Nevada Conservation League, AFL-CIO, police organizations and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, to name a few. Masto’s Republican challenger Travis Barrick is also pro-choice—with regard to helmet laws. I love the photos of him on his Harley. Voting for Barrick would be a great way for Nevadans to make sure we get our share of mocking on late-night comedy shows.

A few of the state senate races stand out as key ones. For starters, Sheila Leslie’s by far the best choice for District 1. In her many years in Carson, Leslie’s done so much for our state—fighting for women, children, minorities, small businesses, tax equity … sanity—that I wish she were running for governor. Between sessions, she’s already proposed a number of useful bill draft requests involving child welfare agencies, nursing and drunk-driving prevention. Need more convincing? Take a look at the list of awards she’s received from veteran’s organizations, women’s groups, social service advocates, education associations and mental health advocates, to name a few. Hands down best choice for any elected office in the state, including this one.

Running for Nevada Senate in District 2 is Republican Don Gustavson, a Nevada Assemblyman from 1997-2004 and 2008-2009. Gustavson and Sharron Angle worked together to cap property taxes, benefiting a base of rich homeowners at the expense of public schools. And if you like Arizona’s anti-immigration laws—requiring brown people to produce citizenship papers on demand, you’ll like Gustavson. He’s already filed a Bill Draft Request for a similar immigration law in Nevada. Angle’s been bragging about it in Elko. For District 2, I prefer Allison Edwards, who’s committed to building the kinds of schools in Nevada that might actually attract businesses here. She’s particularly interested in green biz.

Edwards, along with Joyce Woodhouse (Senate District 5) and Tammy Peterson (Senate District 8), are endorsed by the Nevada Conservation League, the Nevada State Education Association, Nevada State AFL-CIO and the Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada. They’re green. They care about social justice issues, women’s rights and the environment. Hey, so do I!

Next week: Debbie Smith rocks my canoe and more.