Candidates spar on education

Rory Reid can fire zingers with the zest of a Vegas lounge act, and Brian Sandoval can stay as cool as a professional poker player.

Whether either man seeking to be the next governor of Nevada can really deliver meaningful education reform without spending more tax­payer money still isn’t clear, even after their first debate on the subject Sunday evening.

Reid, the Democrat, was the aggressor throughout the 60-minute event while Sandoval, the Republican, kept cool despite being called a weak leader and being compared to Gov. Jim Gibbons and U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle, two of Nevada’s most un­popular politicians, according to polling.

"Brian Sandoval is a nice man, but he is a weak leader. Brian says he is for education, but his budget proposal would cut our schools more than Jim Gibbons ever did," Reid said. "He even supports Sharron Angle, who would abolish the Department of Education."

Reid’s cracks set a feisty tone for his delivery and were among the most memorable moments of the event. But they didn’t appear to bother Sandoval, who smiled, called his opponent "Mr. Reid" and maintained a pleasant demeanor.

"I think there is one thing my opponent and I do agree on, that education is incredibly important," said Sandoval in opening remarks that focused on his experience as a legislator, attorney general, gambling regulator and federal judge.

"Our education system is in peril, I think that we need to do something tough, we need to challenge the system, we need to shake up the status quo," Sandoval said.

Neither Reid nor Sandoval appeared to change the dynamic of the gubernatorial race, according to observers.

That’s good news for Sandoval, who polls show is the favorite among Nevadans by double-digit percentage points.

Still, even without a knockout punch, Reid did manage to land jabs on a couple of issues that could help him gain ground on Sandoval later.

"It was rehearsed, it was structured; really in the end I don’t think it changed the landscape of this race," said Robert Uithoven, a Northern Nevada Republican political strategist who worked on Gibbons’ 2006 campaign.

Charity Stevens, director of operations for Organized Karma, a Las Vegas-based political consulting firm that works with Democrats, said the debate lacked substance.

"I think both candidates did well; they obviously hit the points they wanted to make," Stevens said. "But I really feel like there was a lot of sticking to their talking points."

Early in the debate, held in the gymnasium at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, Reid used a black marker to write $533 million in large, thick print on a yellow legal pad and held it up to the cameras and Sandoval.

"If this isn’t the right number, how much would you cut?" Reid asked Sandoval.

The Republican responded, "Rory, I read your plan, and you don’t know your own budget plan because it seeks to cut education as well."

Reid based his accusation on Sandoval’s stated plans to seek salary reductions from all state workers, including teachers, to balance a budget that could be $3 billion in the red for the 2011-13 biennium, according to budget analysts.

Sandoval based his accusation on Reid’s plan to balance the budget without raising taxes, a plan that includes extending furloughs for state workers, a group Sandoval said would include university and school personnel.

Uithoven said the candidates’ determination to stick to rosy campaign budget assumptions and wishful education goals didn’t do much to enlighten viewers about how either would grapple with the looming budget shortfall and the costs and obstacles associated with improving the state’s troubled schools.

"Some people’s eyes might have glazed over a little if they were able to stay tuned for the entire thing," he said. "Rory is saying Brian’s numbers don’t add up. Brian is saying Rory’s numbers don’t add up. Neither of these guys know exactly what the budget situation is going to be."

David Damore, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said both candidates accomplished their stylistic goals but didn’t do much to prove to voters they can achieve lofty education goals in the face of a drastic budget shortfall.

"I think it undermines the credibility for both of them. Where is that money coming from?" Damore said. "But you don’t win elections promising tax increases."

One of the moderators, Dave Courvoisier of 8NewsNow, also noted the lack of any new substance.

"You both said, ‘Let’s be very specific,’ but none of you have," Courvoisier said at one point.

Still, the debate had its moments.

Uithoven said Reid raised questions about Sandoval’s school voucher proposal that the Republican will have to answer.

Reid said that by offering money to parents to pay private school tuition, Sandoval would be diverting about $100 million in taxpayer money to benefit the 4 percent of Nevada students who attend private school.

"The Sandoval task going forward is coming up with a better answer to the political question of: ‘If it is good enough for a select few, why isn’t it good enough for everybody?’ " he said.

Stevens said the front-runner Sandoval "didn’t go off point and say anything that is going to come back to haunt him."

She added that Reid did a good job emphasizing his promise not to cut education funding. But she doubted voters would believe such a promise could be kept without increasing revenue from taxes.

"I don’t see how either one of them can stand up there and say they can accomplish anything and not raise taxes," she said. "I don’t think that is a valid argument, and I think they need to be honest about that."

The debate was sponsored by 8NewsNow, the Review-Journal, Vegas PBS and the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

Retired tennis champion Andre Agassi had high hopes for the event.

"By the time we leave here tonight, I expect we will all have a clear idea of how each of these men will answer those questions," Agassi said.

Not many observers said it lived up to Agassi’s high hopes.

"They’re refusing to talk about the revenue, and the people asking questions didn’t push them on that," Damore said. "They know that is disingenuous."

Review-Journal writer Laura Myers contributed to this report. Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at or 702-477-3861.

Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
Nevada Task Force One Cheers Golden Knights
1 dead, 1 wounded in North Las Vegas standoff
A woman was hospitalized with serious injuries on Thursday morning after being shot inside a North Las Vegas house. Police responded about 11 p.m. to a shooting at a home on the 5600 block of Tropic Breeze Street, near Ann Road and Bruce Street. The wounded woman, police believe, was shot by a man, who later barricaded himself inside the house. SWAT was called to assist, and when officers entered the house, they discovered the man dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Las Vegas Teen Makes Clothing Resale His Side Hustle
Las Vegas resident Reanu Elises, 18, started buying and selling streetwear online when he was a high school junior. Like many other young adults, the world of online resale applications like Depop and Mercari have made selling clothing online for a profit easy. Now, Elises spends his free time at thrift shops looking for rare and vintage clothing he can list on his on his shop. Now in his freshman year at UNLV as a business marketing major, Elises hopes to open a shop of his own one day and start his own clothing brand. He estimates that he's made about $1000 from just thrifted finds in the past year, which he'll use to buy more thrift clothing and help pay for expenses in college. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Fruition Vineyards Encourages Young Entrepreneurs to "Buy, Flip, Dream"
Once a month, young adults gather at Fruition Vineyards on South Maryland Parkway near UNLV to dig through a stack of rare, vintage and designer clothing that's marked down well below it's resale value. Shop founder Valerie Julian began the vent, dubbed "Fruition Vineyards" in August after running her streetwear shop since 2005. The event gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to "buy, flip, dream" according to Jean. Meaning that they're encouraged to buy the clothing for sale and find a way to resell it for a profit, then reinvest that into whatever dream they pursue: college, a hobby or their own resale business. Shoppers lined up starting an hour before noon on the last Saturday in April for the opportunity and spoke about what they hoped to do with their finds and profits. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Local man goes under cover searching for answers to homelessness
Licensed mental health therapist Sheldon Jacobs spent 48 hours under cover posing as a homeless man in an attempt to gain perspective on the complex issue.
Social Work UNLV Lecturer's Calling
Ivet Aldaba-Valera was the first person in her family to graduate from both high school and college. The 33-year-old UNLV lecturer is now pursuing her Ph. D in public policy at the school and has used her degree in social work to engage with the young Latino and Latina community of Las Vegas. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
The world's longest racetrack could be coming to Pahrump
Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club in Pahrump might be the first racetrack in the world longer than 16 miles long once the expansion is complete. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Gold Point townsperson talks about why he choose to live in a ghost town
Gold Point townsperson Walt Kremin talks about the ghost town in Nevada he calls home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Search for missing 3-year-old boy at Sunset Park
Las Vegas police and Red Rock Search and Rescue team search for a missing child at Sunset Park in southeast Las Vegas on Sunday, Sept.2, 2018. (Chitose Suzuki/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai speaks at Las Vegas tech conference
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban on her way home from school in Pakistan after advocating for girls' education, spoke at VMworld 2018 at Mandalay Bay. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Father recalls the night his 14-year-old son died jumping into moving traffic
From the Clark County Detention Center, Ezequiel Anorve Serrano talks about the night his 14-year-old son, Silas Anorve, died jumping into moving traffic on U.S. 95. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Palace Station unveils new sports book
Palace Station talks about the new sports book Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
One of world's longest racetracks planned in Pahrump by 2020
The racetrack will be 16 miles long by the year 2020 according to Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club owner John Morris. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Henderson police bodycam footage of officer-involved shooting
Henderson police released body-worn camera footage of an officer-involved shooting in a grocery store parking lot at 2667 Windmill Parkway on Aug. 12, 2018. (Henderson Police Department)
Robotics takes off at Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy’s robotics team made it all the way to the world competition last year, the first year the team competed. Zackary Perry describes how they programmed their robot to compete. The team is an example of what Tesla wants to have in every school in the state. (Meghin Delaney/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bicyclist suffers major head trauma in hit-and-run
A bicyclist was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after a Thursday morning hit-and-run crash near the school formerly known as Agassi Prep. Police said the bicyclist was hit by a white SUV, which fled the scene. The injured man suffered multiple injuries including major head trauma. As of 9 a.m., Lake Mead remained closed between Martin Luther King and Revere Street while police investigate.
Las Vegas artist Dave Dave dies at 42
Dave Dave talks about his art and his life in 2016. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dave Dave, whose dad set him on fire in 1983, dies
Dave Dave, a respected Las Vegas artist who was badly scarred as a boy when his father tried to burn him to death in Southern California, died at Sunrise Hospital on July 15. He was 42. When he was 6, Dave's father tried to kill him by setting him on fire. He was given a sleeping pill and his bed at a Buena Park, California, motel was doused with kerosene. “I remembered being in a lot of pain,” Dave told the Review-Journal in 2016. “When stuff happens to you at that young of an age, you tend to block it out, but I remember the pain was excruciating.” Dave, who was born David Rothenberg, became close friends with Michael Jackson, who met him after the attack, which burned more than 90 percent of his body. “I wanted to meet him, and he wanted to meet me, and that just turned into a lifelong relationship that never ended,” Dave said. “It was amazing being friends with Michael Jackson. He was an amazing person.” Dave attended ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California, and collaborated with various artists around Las Vegas, eventually selling his art to private collectors. Despite his challenges, he continued to live, thrive and create. Dave Dave
Homicide detectives investigate woman's death
Las Vegas police were called to Tahiti Village Resort early Wednesday after calls that someone had been shot. Police found a woman’s body between a parking garage and boiler room on the resort's property. A guest first reported hearing gunfire. There are no witnesses, but police will examine surveillance videos and look for clues. The woman was not identified, but a purse was found near the body. She did not appear to be a guest at the resort.
LVMPD Discusses Ross Dress for Less Shooting
LVMPD Assistant Sheriff Charles Hank discussed the 15th officer-involved shooting of the year at a press conference at Metro headquarters on Tuesday, Aug. 14. The active-shooter incident took place at the Ross Dress for Less store at the 4000 block Blue Diamond Road in the south Las Vegas Valley. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County School Board president Deanna Wright on travel expenses
Clark County School Board President Deanna Wright says she followed proper expense protocol in trip to Florida last year.
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Shooting leaves 1 dead in southeast valley
A man was found fatally shot in the doorway of a squatter apartment after an argument ended in gunfire on Sunday night. Officers responded about 10:30 p.m. to the Silver Pines apartments and discovered the man in a breezeway in one of the buildings. The wounded man died at the scene, despite the efforts of another person, who tried to administer medical aid. Witnesses saw a man and a woman flee the scene, but were unable to give police a clear description.
North Las Vegas unveils new school crosswalk
North Las Vegas councilman Isaac Barron talks about the new school crosswalk in front of CP Squires Elementary School Monday, August 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
LVMPD Briefing on OIS #13
Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly held a press conference to discuss details of the 13th officer-involved-shoot for the department in 2018. Video shows the moments before the suspect was shot. The shooting, which has been edited out, occurred as the suspect lunged at an officer outside the apartment. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sedan and semitrailer collide in south Las Vegas
An early Wednesday morning crash has left one person in critical condition. A sedan and semitrailer collided around 4 a.m. at the corner of Spencer Street and Serene Avenue. Police do not believe impairment is a factor in the crash. Spencer has been blocked off north of Serene while police continue their investigation.
Cybersecurity Professionals Flock to Las Vegas for Black Hat
Black Hat USA, the largest annual cybersecurity conference, is expecting a record 17,000 attendees during its six-day run at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center this week. One thing attendees have in mind is making sure they don't get hacked while they're there. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Police chase ends with suspects captured in east Las Vegas
An early Tuesday morning chase ended with a car crash in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. Police were pursuing the vehicle, which they say was involved in robberies in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, when the driver crashed at Owens and Statz Street. A man was taken into custody. A woman was ejected from a vehicle and taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The intersection at Mojave Road and Owens Avenue was shut down while police officers searched for the suspect and investigated. The intersection will remain closed for most of the morning.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like