The big boys’ network panics

First they said she was too liberal to win a statewide race. Then they cut off her money. Now, they’re pushing the canard that a progressive woman cannot beat Adam Laxalt in November, no matter how qualified she is, so better vote for their candidate, Steve Sisolak, and forget about finally shattering Nevada’s glass ceiling and electing a woman as our governor.

Nevada, Inc. has decided they’re not ready for Chris Giunchigliani, and they’ll spend whatever it takes to make sure she doesn’t squeak through the primary on their watch. They’re counting on Democrats, especially in Northern Nevada, to pay little attention to the race, figuring they’ll shrug and vote for the person with the most commercials, or be persuaded by the whisper campaign of “She can’t beat Laxalt,” the presumed Republican nominee. The good old boys can’t accept a woman with the audacity to think she could be governor.

It’s a story we’ve heard before in Nevada and across the country in many of the top political races. But a record number of women are running for elected office this year, inspired by the #metoo movement, the misogyny and racism of Trump’s Republican Party, and a deep weariness at the insulting message passed down through the mostly male political insiders of “You can’t win yet. Better to wait for a few more years.” They’d pat us on the head if they thought they could get away with it.

It’s true that women have made a lot of progress at lower level`s of politics. In fact, Nevada is poised to become the first state to have a legislative body that is majority female. Women need only win five additional seats for a majority. Nevada currently ranks as the state with the second highest percentage of female lawmakers in the nation, at 39.7 percent. But that’s hardly 50 percent.

Nevada has a long history of shoving women aside politically. Women weren’t given the right to vote until 1914, after a long battle for suffrage, thwarted for decades by male legislators who argued that “women were both too morally fine and mentally frivolous” to vote. We’ve had trailblazers like Frankie Sue Del Papa, the first female attorney general and secretary of state, but when she wanted to run for governor, they cut off her money, too. Jan Jones and Dina Titus didn’t fare any better.

We know that Giunchigliani can win a Democratic primary, especially against someone whose record is not nearly as progressive as his TV commercials would have you believe. And if Nevada, Inc. wanted someone to motivate young people, women and independents to show up in November and crush Laxalt, Chris G. is the candidate who can do it.

When they say she’s too liberal, they really mean she might put an end to taxpayer handouts like the millions her opponent gifted to the Raiders for their new stadium. She might insist on collective bargaining for state workers or refuse to sell our public lands to the highest bidder. She might fix education funding and our mental health system, and, gasp, that might cost more money, and she might want to get it from big business instead of using the sales tax as a way to gouge the poor. She might even decide to lower the regressive sales tax and force new economic development projects to provide affordable workforce housing before moving in. She’s smart and hard-working enough to find a way to do it.

Please do your homework, Democrats. Ignore the petty, negative commercials and the suspect wisdom of the wealthy elite. Vote for a governor who will make Nevada better for everyone, not just for those at the top. Use your vote as your voice for women everywhere who are ready and perfectly able to lead.