Vote Lorton in the primary

Here's the word from Eddie Lorton:

Reno was debt-free 12 years ago, and now is $600 million in debt. That is Eddie Lorton’s campaign theme as he runs for mayor of Reno in the crowded primary field you are voting on now. From Detroit to Bakersfield, American cities are declaring bankruptcy. A businessman and music promoter, Lorton wants to cut spending to avoid the same fate here. Lorton appears regularly before the City Council in public comment to discuss his ideas to trim the budget. He is also a strong advocate for property rights, defending the rights of small businesses to operate without stifling regulations and fees.

His biggest impact on the Reno City Council so far came when Judge Hardesty agreed with his lawsuit that the mayor is actually a council member and so term-limited council members can’t run for mayor. Jessica Sferrazza’s anguished cries could be heard all the way up in Incline Village as she was now blocked from running for her father’s old job. Political office should not be a career but rather a temporary public service. In the era of Clinton, Bush and Kennedy political family dynasties, Lorton’s suit spared Reno what could have become a similar family entitlement.

Lorton has been endorsed by the Teamsters Union, the conservative Nevada Republican Assembly, and the Libertarian Party of Nevada. I talked with David Colborne, the Northern Nevada LP spokesman. Lorton is not a registered libertarian, but Colburne says he was endorsed because of his strong stands on property rights and his advocacy for medical marijuana when the city was on the fence about it. In these times in particular, Reno needs someone at the helm who can bring a businessman’s ability to go through budgets with a fine-tooth comb looking for ways to save money. But he is not just a green eyeshade pennypincher. He understands individual rights and free enterprise are necessary for Reno to grow. If Reno stifles innovation, people will not come over the mountain to play.

Lorton has criticized the monopoly contract granted to REMSA to be the sole provider of ambulance services. He wonders why the city wants to raise taxes for fire and police when REMSA does not pay a franchise fee for its monopoly contract. An actual Libertarian Party member, Ernest Walker, brought up the same issues in the 1990s when he was elected to the Sparks City Council. If the most important function of city government is the provision of public safety, that is fire and police, then why don’t city governments prioritize that in their budgets? Why go to the public for tax increases for what is their most essential services? The answer is obvious. City governments know that the public is far less likely to vote for a tax increase for pay raises and non-essential pet projects, but are more likely to be frightened into voting new taxes for a manufactured budget crisis over police and fire protection. A business runs into trouble when it doesn’t take care of its core products first, and Lorton believes cities should follow the same strategy. We need a straight shooter who will not use the same old shell games to trick us into voting for tax increases.

If you visit and listen to his public comments, you’ll see that unlike some activists, he is not abrasive and self-aggrandizing. He is polite and insists that he only wants to get the facts and help the council work together to save money and protect the rights of small businesses. Reno needs Eddie Lorton’s common sense approach to governance.