Vote for yourself

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I hope this is the second-to-the-last time I have to write about this year’s election in this space. As I’ve said before, I’ve been absolutely disgusted by the Reid/Angle race. I’d encourage everyone to vote for Wil Stand—one of the less-funded, but not necessarily less earnest, candidates for U.S. Senate. But I’m a pragmatist, and I think that anyone who votes for anyone but Harry Reid is putting their anger before their own self-interest.

And you know what’s weird to me is all that anger that’s being shunted toward Reid actually has places it should manifest. Two years ago, the Nevada Legislature had the opportunity to create a sustainable, less regressive, more predictable tax system, and they chose to put it off. They could have addressed the looming foreclosure crisis. Part of the reason legislators acted cowardly was because term limits would go into effect this year, so the hard decisions could be put off until the hard decisions couldn’t impact the candidates’ reelection efforts.

Look even closer to home. There are no financial problems that the city of Reno has that can’t be laid upon the shoulders of the current Reno City Council. When the tax base was better, they bought buildings they should not have (and no, the new City Hall was not a bad investment, but maybe the purchase of the YMCA to prevent its land from being redeveloped was). And you know what, that profligate spending goes back years. I wonder how many firefighters, how many police officers, how many services have been lost to the citizens. Is there a reason tax money couldn’t have been saved for a rainy day like the current torrential flood? Can’t cities earn interest when they don’t give money to the people who fund reelection campaigns?

Whatever the answer to these questions, I’m going to be glad to get past this election.