Vote with your brain

Have you noticed? It’s an election year. We’ve decided not to endorse in the primaries, although maybe there’s some races that should be called. Many of the people in this office, like many of our readers, are registered non-partisans, so we don’t get to play in the corrupt reindeer games that do little except ensure that incumbents and rich people get to win political office.

We’ll give you some clues, though, as to how we’d recommend you vote.

First, don’t vote just because it’s your habit. If you don’t know who you’re voting for, skip the race. You don’t have to vote in every single race. The fact that you may recognize their names but don’t really know what they stand for should be a giant red flag.

Do a little research online on our website, or on, and you’ll be able to figure out for whom you actually want to vote—as opposed to who’s really been good at spending money on campaign advertising or asking rhetorical questions on Facebook and Twitter.

It’s become very obvious, particularly in the Reno City Council races, that the good old boys have opened up the pocketbooks for their development candidates. These are people who represent the very ideas that have the city of Reno on the verge of bankruptcy. You’ll note as you go through endorsements and campaign contributions who has alliances with money and power. (Best site to view campaign contributions is Nevada Secretary of State’s office, Frankly, Ross Miller’s form is pretty crappy, but just select the race you want and also type in the year 2012, and check to see who has the big money and who the big donors are. You’ll see patterns pretty quickly.

You watch. We’re putting our cynical chips right on our shoulders, but few people here at the RN&R will be surprised if these independent “business” candidates don’t get right in line to spend a few more STAR bonds or other subsidies on a development project just off downtown.

For Reno City Council, the most important characteristic a candidate should have is integrity. In every single race, there are candidates with strong connections to the human community, strong connections to the business community and a long history of private volunteer efforts.

In some races, like the school board trustees, District E, it’s clearly a contest of who has the best qualifications for the job. Look at their campaign websites to determine who is best qualified. For example, in this year’s District E race, there are three candidates running to decide how your children are educated. One has an associate’s degree from Truckee Meadows Community College. One has a bachelor’s from the University of Nevada, Reno. One has a doctorate in education and 17 years teaching. We’re just saying. You probably want someone to administer your children’s schooling who has had enough respect for education to bother to get one.

Many of these races are just plain old partisan politics. If you didn’t bother to go to the caucuses, and this is the first time you’ve given a thought to who you’re going to vote for, then maybe you should just stay home. On the other hand, for those who’d care to investigate, this editorial should give you enough direction to choose for yourself who you want deciding the future of this city, county and state.