Another Nevada Day (Actual) has passed, a holiday which schoolchildren in Nevada used to get off from school so they could dress in costumes and go door to door making extortionate demands for treats until the Legislature decided in 1999 that our schoolchildren were perhaps getting mixed messages. In the spirit of our state holiday, here are some short and spooky facts and opinions about the state of our state.
One of the legislators who voted for Nevada Day to become Nevada Day (Observed) a mere 18 years ago, Bob Beers, is currently running for state treasurer. Barbara Cegavske, another yes vote, is running for re-election for secretary of state. Chris Giunchigliani, another yes vote, lost in the Democratic gubernatorial primary against Steve Sisolak. One of the legislators who voted against Nevada Day, meanwhile, was David Parks, who was re-elected to the state Senate in 2016. Another no vote was Gene Segerblom, Clark County Commissioner candidate Tick Segerblom’s mother.
Carson City is still a small town.
If you live in or near Reno, you may have traveled on Ralston Street. If you hunt for Nevada ghost towns, you may come across Ralston, or the empty patch of desert where the camp may have been. Contrary to popular myth, these are not named after our esteemed editor — instead, they are named after William Chapman Ralston, a 19th century San Francisco financier and founder of the Bank of California.
You know, that state that the Virginian running for governor swears we should steer clear from if we want to Make Nevada Nevada again.
Speaking of Virginians running for governor with poor grasps of Nevada history, I attended the Nevada Day parade with a few of my friends. All the gubernatorial candidates were there — but only one petted my friend’s dog. Was it the Virginian that declined a request for an interview? No. Was it the candidate that rode through in an imposingly large zombie survival truck? No, though to Ryan Bundy’s credit, at least he’s lived in Nevada long enough to think he practically owns the place.
The candidate that petted my friend’s dog was Steve Sisolak.
We’re still not going to vote for him. My friend was born and raised in Reno and categorically refuses to vote for candidates from Las Vegas (or acknowledge Las Vegas’ existence, or acknowledge the legal annexation of Clark County from Arizona Territory, or — and I’m not making this up — use the bathroom in Clark County because his “water is too good for that place.”)
As for me, I’m voting for Jared Lord because I know the guy personally, know he’s a good man, and think he’ll do a better job of respecting all of our freedoms — even the ones Republicans and Democrats are both a little fuzzy about — more even-handedly than the rest.
Even so, my friend viewed Sisolak’s willingness to approach his dog favorably, though he also promised to give his dog an extra thorough bath because it had been touched by someone from down there.
Now that I say that out loud, I’m starting to think I may have some strange friends.
The Washoe County School Board races are a solid argument for appointed school boards.
I’m not kidding. When you have elected school boards, you end up with stupid hot-button issues becoming the issue-du-jour. This year’s big issue, which the Reno Gazette-Journal asked every school board candidate about? Gender-neutral bathrooms.
I have a confession. When I was six, I went awhile between haircuts. Applying first-grader logic, I decided that since my hair was long, it was time to use the girl’s bathroom. Surprisingly, no little girls had “heart attacks” (sorry, Ellen Minetto), though the girl that was serving as hall monitor talked to my teacher about it, which led to a brief but adequate explanation about how hair length isn’t the only difference between boys and girls.
You know what would have totally helped? Government bureaucracy and rules demanding that I use the boy’s bathroom or face zero tolerance punishments because a bunch of busybodies that are old enough to have children with their own children in the school system don’t like the way their kids are raising their grandkids.
For reference, the following Washoe County School Board candidates are vocally opposed to gender-neutral bathrooms:
- Andrew Caudill
- Ellen Minetto
- Jefferey Church
Having said that, if you’re voting in District F, the alternative to Jefferey Church is a food server with no website and “few immediate plans if elected.” The good news is Jefferey doesn’t talk about gender-neutral bathrooms on his fairly exhaustive issues page; perhaps he’d be willing to accommodate if supporters were willing to help him audit WCSD’s ballooning capital expenses?
Otherwise, I recommend voting for the Sweet Meteor of Death.
The Libertarian Party of Nevada recently released our 2018 Voter Guide. In the process of preparing the voter guide, we interviewed several candidates over the phone and also conducted a “speed dating” event, in which several candidates were invited to talk to Libertarian Party members and answer questions from them. Then, we took the results from all of the questions and answers and made some recommendations.
No, Adam Laxalt didn’t show up. (He doesn’t answer questions from us, either.)
Some of the more… colorful people that showed up, however, included:
- State Senate candidate Calvin Border, who “decided to run because no other Republican filed” and whose campaign motto is, “God, Guns, Guts.”
- Valerie Weber, another state Senate candidate, who declared that it was impossible to disagree with her about abortion in good faith (she’s anti-choice) and asserted that “Trump aligns with the founders.”
- Ron McGinnis, another state Senate candidate, declared that he was pro-choice: “The choice for women to keep their legs closed.”
- One state Assembly candidate, Gianna Miceli, tried to incite mob violence against David Hogg.
- Stan Vaughn, another Assembly candidate, is obsessed with chess logo porn and issues all-caps VOTER ALERTs that declare people should call Metro if they see someone handing out political literature that disagrees with him.
- Then there’s Assembly candidate Michael McDonald, who has been arrested twice since filing for office.
- Then there’s Paris Wade, another Assembly candidate, whose claim to fame was running a sensationalist tabloid that harvested bias confirmation for clicks and ad revenue.
They were all Republicans.
Don’t get me wrong, we talked to some amateurish Democrats, too. Most of them will lose, as well. However, none of them were anywhere near as openly cruel, malicious, or filled with misanthropic bile as the bottom-benchers the Republican Party is throwing at Nevada’s voters these days.
The Republican bench in this state isn’t weak. It’s worse than that — it’s openly hostile to many Nevadans. And humanity. Weak would frankly be an improvement.
On a lighter note, I’ll leave with this: Nobody runs a harder race in politics than Reno City Councilman David Bobzien. By that, I mean he placed 7th in the Nevada Day Classic 8K, far ahead of any other Nevada politician present. For comparison’s sake, David Bobzien’s 32:26 was considerably faster than Governor Sandoval’s 45:39 in 2015.
Maybe we should make Washoe County School Board candidates run. It would be far more useful than asking them which bathrooms their grandchildren should use.
David Colborne has been active in the Libertarian Party for two decades. During that time, he has blogged intermittently on his personal blog, as well as on the Libertarian Party of Nevada blog, and ran for office twice as a Libertarian candidate. He serves on the Executive Committee for both his state and county Libertarian Party chapters. He is the father of two sons and an IT professional. You can follow him on Twitter @ElectDavidC or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.