There’s only one tiny word to quibble with in Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager’s first ad in her bid for re-election. See if you can spot it in the quote below:
For Susan Brager, public service is a way of life. A progressive voice for our middle class, Susan raised her family right here, as a single mother working full-time. She’s one of us. As county commissioner, Susan fought for thousands of good-paying jobs for our working families, and for dozens of road rehabilitation projects, and for hundreds of acres of new parks. Susan will never stop working to improve our neighborhoods. Democrat Susan Brager: Honesty, integrity, results.
See it? It’s right there, in the second line.
Progressive. That’s the word that just doesn’t fit.
First, Brager has been one of the key votes against raising the sales tax to fund Metro Police officers. Although the Legislature authorized the commission in 2013 to increase the sales tax by 0.15 percentage points, Brager has steadfastly refused to vote for that. She has agreed to a compromise that would see a 0.075-percentage-point increase, but she won’t back the full amount.
Second, Brager voted in favor of allowing developer Jim Rhodes (remember him?) to build a massive subdivision atop Blue Diamond Hill, against the wishes of hundreds of her constituents. (Brager later led efforts to help Rhodes trade the controversial land for other federally owned parcels, eliminating the chances of the subdivision being built.)
And third, Brager was one of the votes on the commission to allow Republic Services to get out of its contractual obligation to pick up garbage in the county twice per week, in favor of a once-weekly schedule.
It’s not to say that Brager is a bad person, or has done a bad job on the commission, or isn’t correct in lauding her road repairs, new parks and family-raising. It’s just to say the word “progressive” just doesn’t fit her political style.
A progressive member of the commission would have fought harder against the Rhodes project and Republic, and voted in favor of the Metro Police sales tax increase. (Or maybe not: Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who is the commission’s most progressive member and who did vote against the Republic deal, has also been steadfast in voting no on the sales tax.)
Brager faces a Democratic primary June 10 against former state Sen. Mike Schneider, Susan Bonaventura and Ellen Nakamura. The winner will have a hefty advantage heading into the November general election, as Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 8.500 voters.