The right to run

There’s an unfortunate movement to keep people who have government jobs from holding elective office. There’s only one way to characterize this movement, and it can be said in one word: crap.

Supporters of this idea say that government employees are conflicted; they may have to vote on things that will either give themselves higher salaries or better benefits. This is true, every politician comes to places where he or she has to say, “I’ve got too much self-interest in this one, and I’ll have to abstain from voting.” It happens in every jurisdiction in the country.

Everyone who is elected to office is conflicted; they all have potential to create law that will favor themselves. For one, they have to vote on whether to raise or lower taxes. They have to decide whether money will remain in their pockets or go to the government.

Depriving people of their constitutional rights to participate in government—simply because some agenda-ed groups don’t like their employment—is wrong.

Secretary of State Dean Heller went to Nevada Attorney General Brian Sandoval asking for an opinion on this matter, despite the fact that there are already two attorney generals’ opinions saying that government employees can run and hold office. This smacks of someone who’s trying to get a different answer than has been given before. It was, at least, unusual.

Let’s get one thing straight: The scales to political ascension are already weighted on the side of nuts and liars. These far-right clowns who support depriving private individuals of their constitutional rights are the worst kind of hypocrites. They don’t want a level playing field, they want a playing field without competitors. They figure if enough qualified, educated people are unable to run for office, perhaps they’ll be able to win a race.

The other half of the equation is the majority party in this state. They showed their true colors during the last legislative session, and they’re going to have to pay the piper in the next election. If they can deprive certain people of their opportunity to hold public office (or perhaps shift the focus of the voting public), maybe their upcoming losses won’t change the balance of power in this state. Again, it’s smoke and mirrors—their argument isn’t about protecting the residents of this state, it’s about protecting their own hold on power.

If you follow this bogus reasoning to its illogical conclusion, no incumbent could run for re-election because every legislator is paid by the government.

It’s hard enough to get decent, educated, hard-working people to run for office in this state. Holding a legal job should not deprive a person of his or her constitutional rights.