By: Lewis Whitten & Mike Zigler
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Republicans certainly have some name brand heavyweights to consider. Each candidate owns a strong suit the others don’t: Danny Tarkanian, name recognition; Sue Lowden, charisma; and Sharon Angle, consistency.
If issues and representation matter much to Nevada Republicans, Angle owns the upper hand.
Angle eloquently gives Harry Hell, “Harry Reid has no idea what makes America work. We were told that passage of this massive deficit-spending bill would slam the door on rising unemployment, but it didn’t happen. Manufacturing got slammed. Construction got slammed. Retail got slammed. America got slammed. Next November, it’s Harry Reid’s turn to get slammed.”
As for the competition, they have their flaws. Anti-tax candidate Sue Lowden for instance raised taxes “several times in 1993, during her first session in the Legislature, Lowden voted to impose higher taxes or fees on everything from limited liability corporations to water distribution to slot machines.” As reported in the Review-Journal.
Then there’s Danny Tarkanian. His views on education are troublesome. In a channel three interview he says, “Government was created to do a select few things and we should do them great, such as with the state education system.”
Was Tarkanian saying that government was created to provide a government-run education system? Or that Nevada’s current state education system is “great”? Angle’s views on education are much more enlightened.
“As a mother, grandmother, and former school teacher, I am passionate about education,” Angle said. “I support incentives that promote competitive excellence, and the rights of parents to choose public, private, or at-home education.”
Angle authored The Freedom for Homeschooled Children Act (now law) that other states are using as a model for their own Home-School legislation. She also authored legislation that trains teachers to teach reading proficiency skills based on scientifically based reading research (Phonics) to Nevada’s school children.
On the plus side, Tarkanian signed the audit the Federal Reserve petition and, like Angle, signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge. Angle, however, is also calling for an audit of the Fed.
“After nearly 100 years of existence, you would think that the taxpayers would have the satisfaction of knowing how the Fed operates,” Angle said. “I call on Harry Reid to stop fleecing the taxpayers of that knowledge and fully support the passage of a broad audit of the Federal Reserve now.”
While Angle’s legacy as a Nevada assemblywoman revolves around her small-government mindset, many wonder what will come of her decision-making should she join the Senate. Angle is a devout Christian whose principles on social issues seem to conflict with her small-government philosophy on taxation and business regulation.
Several issues at the forefront of the national picture gravitate around morality: abortion, stem-cell research, the War in Iraq, the War on Drugs and the War on Terrorism. During Angle’s 2006 run for congress she spoke about these issues with Liberty-Watch.
“My faith is very dear to me,” Angle said. “I’m not sure it influences my political decision making as much as it influences who I am as a person. My values, my character and my integrity are glued in that faith.
“My agenda in Washington will be the same as I’ve had here in this state — less government regulation.”
But take, for example, her vocal applause over the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision on medicinal marijuana. The high court ruled doctors can be blocked from prescribing marijuana for patients suffering from pain caused by cancer or other serious illnesses. The decision means that federal anti-drug laws trump state laws that allow the use of medical marijuana. Over a dozen states have such laws, including Nevada.
Angle directed her opinion to the fact that marijuana is an illegal substance and she cannot support anything that is illegal. Furthermore, the decision reinforces what was always true in the first place with Nevada’s law allowing marijuana use for medical purposes — no state law protects marijuana-toking Americans.
“My greatest problem with marijuana is that it’s illegal, which gives Nevadans a false sense of security in this whole thing,” Angle said. “If the DEA has the manpower and wanted to go after this, there is no place in Nevada state law that can protect people because federal law supersedes state law.”
Her opinion, though, ignores states’ rights and individual freedom. Also, Angle’s faith quickly surfaced, extinguishing her argument that she disapproves of medical marijuana primarily on the elementary premise that it’s illegal.
“I would tell you that I have the same feelings about legalizing marijuana, not medical marijuana, but just legalizing marijuana,” Angle offered. “I feel the same about legalizing alcohol.
“The effect on society is so great that I’m just not a real proponent of legalizing any drug or encouraging any drug abuse,” she continued. “I’m elected by the people to protect, and I think that law should protect.”
So how far should government go in legislating morality? Angle believes there’s no way around it. Each and every lawmaker, from city councils to the president’s office, brings their moral convictions to the legislative table. In one way or another, from business practices to war, morals are going to be influenced and legislated.
“I don’t think you can get away from that; people just make value judgments,” she said. “We’re not a neutral society. Politics, especially, are not neutral and no one can come to the table value-less or moral-less.
“I have a very well-developed sense of right and wrong,” she continued, “so I would say to you that it’s not a political thing with me, but a character thing.”
It’s that character Angle feels will send her to Washington. She’s aware of Tarkanian’s experience in campaigning, but unlike Tarkanian she’s a winner, winning three consecutive assembly races. Tarkanian has lost two runs for office.
She’s unsure what to expect as far as attacks go during her campaign, but Angle said she can back anything thrown her direction.
“We’re not without flaw,” Angle finished. “I’m not perfect. I tried to maintain as consistent a voting record as I could on the issues that are really important to me and to my district. I represented them the best that I could. And I will stand on my record.”