With local, state and federal candidates in Nevada filing for election beginning today, there is no better time to see how the political parties are doing in furnishing information online to potential voters.
Let’s look at their websites and see which sites are kept up to date, provide sufficient information about their candidates, provide links that make it easy for the public to get their viewpoints on issues and help the public contact party leaders and legislators.
The grades are ours and represent an attempt to be objective.
The Web addresses are in case you want to see for yourself. What we are watching for mostly is whether the parties keep their websites up to date. Many don’t.
NEVADA DEMOCRATIC PARTY: (nvdems.com) Grade B+. Has up-to-date news about the party. Lists all party candidates and links to their webites. Only negative is it is difficult to find names and email addresses of party officers. They are listed under “about us” and include their office telephone numbers but not home numbers.
NEVADA REPUBLICAN PARTY: (nevadagop.org) Grade C. Boring front page about contributing to or volunteering for the party. Nice listing of news stories. Provides email links for party officials. Difficult to find Republican legislators because it links to the overall legislative website, not to individual legislator sites.
INDEPENDENT AMERICAN PARTY: (iapn.org) Grade C-. On front page, Chairman John Wagner mentions the party registration total from 2010. Site explains how to get the party newsletter—from 2012. Nice links on how to reach party leaders and explanation of party principles.
NEVADA LIBERTARIAN PARTY: (lpnevada.org) Grade A-. The best political party website. Everything is kept up to date. Imaginative design. Provides easy contact links to reach party leadership. Good explanation of its positions on issues with great photos, including a young Barack Obama smoking what appears to be marijuana.
NEVADA SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: Grade B. (nvsenatedems.com) Attractive front page with smiling senators. News link is way out of date, most recent stories are from last October. Nice links to contact senators, showing both email addresses and phone numbers. Would receive an A if it were kept up to date.
NEVADA SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: (nvgopsenate.com) Grade B. Attractive front page with smiling senator and even the caucus director, Jodi Stephens. News link is way out of date, most recent stories are from last year. Good link to find out how to reach senators by phone or email. Would receive an A if it were kept up to date.
NEVADA ASSEMBLY DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS: (nvassemblydems.com) Grade D. Hopelessly out of date. No news stories, no press releases, key issue page has not been updated since before the beginning of the 2013 Legislature. Good links on how to contact legislators by email and phone. Disappointing.
NEVADA ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN CAUCUS: (nvgopassembly.com) Grade C. Attractive website with nice photographs but also hopelessly out of date. The newsroom link has not been launched. The news releases date to the last legislative session. Would have scored as badly as the Democratic site for its lack of current information, but whoever put it together knew how to design a pretty website.
NEVADAGOPCAUCUS: (nevadagopcaucus.com) Grade F. Someone clearly is playing a game on Nevada Republicans through a website that advertises wrinkle cream for ladies. It does advise people to eat right and be healthy, however, which would be good advice for all politicians.
— Ed Vogel
JUST CALL ME JOHN
Las Vegas Township Constable John Bonaventura poked some good-natured fun at Clark County for screwing up his name in a courtroom filing.
Bonaventura is taking the county to court over the County Commission’s decision to abolish his office when his term ends in January 2015. And he couldn’t resist when a Review-Journal reporter inquired about a recent county filing in the case.
The constable pointed out that the county screwed up his name in its motion filed with the Nevada Supreme Court.
“Also look at how the County filed the response; it’s not even in the right name,” Bonaventura wrote in an email to a reporter.
Court records show he’s right. The document’s front page naming the case calls him: “Joseph Bonaventura.”
“… The last I checked my name was John, but I do have (a) cousin named Joseph who is a sitting judge,” Bonaventura said.
By now, he is used to being mixed up with his uncle and cousin.
Both are named Joseph Bonaventure, with the last name spelled slightly differently. The elder Bonaventure is a retired Clark County District judge, and the younger one, his son, is a Las Vegas Township justice of the peace.
It’s believed that the name similarity helped Bonaventura beat out incumbent Robert Gronauer in the 2010 election for constable. To run for constable again, he first will need to win the court case.
— Ben Botkin
HICKEY: NO RENO MAYOR RUN
While he says he has been approached to run for Reno mayor, Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno, said Wednesday he can do more to help Reno and his party and caucus by running for re-election. He is Northern Nevada’s only legislative leader.
Hickey is giving up a golden opportunity since the state Supreme Court ruled former City Councilwoman Jessica Sferrazza cannot run for Reno mayor because of the term-limits amendment. The race, therefore, is without a known favorite, and as a conservative Republican in Republican Reno, Hickey might have had a good chance.
He also knows the statistics. In the Assembly, Democrats outnumber Republicans 27-15, and that makes it nearly impossible for the GOP to pass any sort of a partisan bill. Even if the party picks up seats in November, it will remain a decided minority, as it has in every session since 1985. The two parties tied in membership in the Assembly in 1995. Republicans have not controlled both houses of the Legislature since 1929, the year that brought the national Depression.
— Ed Vogel
ADELSON FINDS AN ALLY
Sheldon Adelson might have found an ally in Congress as he seeks to outlaw gambling over the Internet.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, confirmed last week he is working on legislation to ban all forms of online gaming.
“I don’t think it is a good idea for the country,” Graham told the trade publication GamblingCompliance. “South Carolina is not a big gambling state.”
The senator, who is up for re-election this year, outlined his plan on the same day that the governors of Nevada and Delaware signed an agreement to pool online poker players — and their wagers — from their states.
The deal takes gaming a step further into the online world as Congress still struggles to find a consensus on how or even whether the federal government should become involved after a landmark Justice Department ruling in 2010 threw open the doors for states to legalize online betting within their borders.
Adelson, the billionaire Las Vegas casino owner, has funded a public campaign to persuade Congress and state officials to take a pass on online gambling. He contends it’s corrosive to society, and he questions whether it’s a smart business model for the casino industry.
A three-page draft bill outlawing online gambling has circulated on Capitol Hill but has yet to find a sponsor. It was not clear whether Graham has picked it up or is working with something else.
The senator said he has spoken with Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller of Nevada. Heller said this month he and Reid still hope to introduce a bill that would legalize and regulate Internet poker on the federal level while outlawing other forms of online gambling.
— Steve Tetreault
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau chief Steve Tetreault at STetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Follow him on Twitter @STetreaultDC. Contact reporter Ben Botkin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-405-9781. Follow him on Twitter @BenBotkin1. Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at email@example.com or 775-687-3901. Follow him on Twitter at @edisonvogel.