Copening no longer an ‘A’

Democratic state Senate candidate Allison Copening used to have an A rating from the National Rifle Association. Not anymore.

The pro-gun lobby lowered its grade to B last week after learning that Copening agrees with the slew of independent ads on her behalf that slam her opponent, incumbent Republican Bob Beers, for his proposal to allow grade-school teachers to carry weapons.

Carrie Herbertson, the NRA’s state liaison, said local members wanted to know why Copening deserved an A given all those Democratic Party-sponsored television and mail advertisements.

The A was based on Copening’s answers to the NRA’s candidate questionnaire, which the association keeps confidential but which included a question about guns on campuses. Though the question specified universities, the association believes it should also apply to grades K-12, Herbertson said.

“One of our big issues is allowing concealed carry on university campuses,” Herbertson said. “If you’re a trained concealed-carry permit holder, you should be able to carry everywhere. Safety is safety, and if anything, our younger kids are more vulnerable.”

Beers, who in 2007 sponsored the gun bill in question, has an A+ rating from the NRA and the group’s endorsement. The Democrats’ ads call him dangerous for wanting to “allow kindergarten teachers to carry loaded weapons in the classroom.”

Herbertson talked to Copening to give her a chance to explain herself and was “disappointed” with her answers.

“Obviously she did not put the ad out, but she did not repudiate it, and if you are not repudiating it, you’re endorsing it,” Herbertson said.

Copening said she agrees with the NRA that adults who have concealed weapon permits should be able to take guns onto university campuses, but “there’s a vast difference between that and a situation with children. I respect the NRA and their members, but at the very core of my being, I don’t believe there should be guns in elementary school classrooms.”


Anyone attempting to referee that state Senate race between Beers and Copening would have tired arms and a worn-out whistle by now. Another dispute centers on whether Beers can claim to be supported by law enforcement.

A recent mailer to some Beers constituents stamps a “FALSE” legend on one of Beers’ own mailers and says, “Senator Beers would like you to believe he has the support of the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday to keep our community safe. But it is simply not true.” The pro-Copening flier is from the Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, or SNCOPS, an umbrella organization of Clark County law enforcement.

The mailer tagged with the “FALSE” stamp features Beers and the badge logo of the Peace Officers Research Association of Nevada, or PORAN.

Another Beers mailer contends, “In the race for state Senate District 6, law enforcement is split. Peace officers endorse state Senator Bob Beers. Unions endorse PR spokeswoman Allison Copening.”

Beers does indeed have PORAN’s endorsement, but David Kallas, president of SNCOPS, said he is making too much of it.

“He has an endorsement from PORAN, a Northern Nevada group, none of whose officers work in or live in our community,” Kallas said. The “peace officers” of the group’s title, he said, include fish and game wardens, cattle brand inspectors and gaming control board agents, but not police officers.

“He does not have the support of a single police organization in Clark County for one reason, and that’s that he does not support us,” Kallas said.

Beers’ crusade against public employee salaries has long drawn the ire of police and other government unions.

Beers said he sees a distinction between police associations that are concerned mainly with salaries, which he sees as essentially labor unions, and those that are “concerned about policy issues.”

PORAN, he said, includes many enforcement agencies that “function statewide,” and he considers them police. “They carry badges and guns,” he said. “They’re post certified. To say no police support me is silly.”


He may be a member of the same political party, but Sen. John Ensign of Nevada didn’t mince words last week about what he thinks of President Bush’s Department of Justice.

During an appearance Tuesday at the National Press Club, Ensign lambasted the department’s handling of its case against Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, who is charged with lying on Senate financial disclosure statements to hide $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts.

Stevens is in a tight race for re-election. Ensign is chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and his job is to save Stevens’ seat.

“They’ve had this evidence way ahead of time and to wait, and to have this happen right during the election when there’s really no time to defend yourself — I thought it was pretty outrageous for our Justice Department to do that,” Ensign said.

Ensign also said the department waited until the last day it could to press charges against Stevens, “and I thought that that was pretty unfair.”

This is not the first time Ensign has lashed out against the Justice Department.

Last year, the senator charged the department “completely mishandled” the dismissal of Daniel Bogden, who was one of seven U.S. attorneys fired in a controversial move that led to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.


It is what they call the silly season in politics, and the campaign of Republican presidential nominee John McCain has cornered the market.

Today, the campaign is scheduled to hold an “Iron Chef Nevada” competition. Unlike the television show, the two competing chefs, a couple of campaign staffers, know the secret ingredient in advance: It’s pork, satirizing Democrat Barack Obama’s record on pork-barrel spending.

Over the past few weeks, the campaign has handed out tire gauges at gas stations labeled “Obama’s Energy Plan,” ridiculing the Democrat’s suggestion that monitoring tire pressure could save just as much gas as the United States could potentially get from offshore drilling.

It has held barbecues with 94-cent hot dogs (in honor of Obama’s 94 votes for higher taxes) and $1.30 hot dogs (mocking his nearly 130 “present” votes in the Illinois state Senate).

And lest you forget that Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, once said he thought it was “patriotic” for rich people to pay more taxes, the hot dog and hamburger prices were augmented with a “non-optional Biden patriot tax.”

McCain campaign spokesman Rick Gorka said, “You try to have as much fun as possible while conveying a serious message. When you get a serious message out there in a tongue-in-cheek manner, that allows it to be more memorable.”

The Obama campaign held a “Carve for Change” pumpkin-carving event last week, but that’s whimsical, not sardonic.

Obama spokeswoman Kirsten Searer said that there’s nothing wrong with lightening things up sometimes, but that the McCain camp’s stunts reflected a desperate campaign.

Gorka denied that stunts cheapen the political discourse. “We spend a lot of time talking about serious issues,” he said. “This is a way to have a little fun.”

If you’re interested, the Iron Chef contest is at 6 p.m. today at the campaign’s headquarters in Henderson. It’s at 8935 S. Pecos Road., near the intersection with Interstate 215.

Stephens Washington Bureau writer Tony Batt contributed to this report. Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball or 702-387-2919.

Vegas Homeless Remembered
Las Vegas vigil remembers 179 homeless people who died over the past year in Clark County. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A look inside Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory
Tesla's Gigafactory east of Reno produces the batteries that fuel the company's electric cars. Production has created more than 7,000 jobs, and the campus that includes one of the largest buildings in the world is expected to triple in size by the time it is completed. Tesla Vice President Chris Lister leads a tour of the facility. (Bill Dentzer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Garnet Interchange Ribbon Cutting
The Nevada Department of Transportation celebrated the completion of the $63 million I-15-US 93 Garnet Interchange project. The project includes a modified diverging diamond interchange and a 5-mile widening of US 93.
State Foresters Hunt for Record Trees
Urban foresters from the Nevada Division of Forestry hunt for record setting trees.
Rick Davidson directs NFR satellite feed
Rick Davidson directs the Wrangler NFR's live satellite feed from a production trailer outside the Thomas & Mack Center. (Patrick Everson)
Scott Boras, Bryce Harper's agent, speaks to media at baseball's winter meetings
Baseball agent Scott Boras updates media on the contract negotiations of his client Bryce Harper during baseball's winter meetings at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Dec. 12, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Achievement School District
The achievement district faced strong opposition from traditional schools back in its beginnings in 2016. But with schools like Nevada Rise and Nevada Prep, it's slowly and steadily growing. Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fresno State QB on record-breaking receiver
Fresno State quarterback Marcus McMaryion talks record-setting receiver KeeSean Johnson. Video by Mark Anderson/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The annual 'Shop with a Cop' event at Target
This year’s "Shop with a Cop" event gave about 40 children the chance to shop at Target alongside a North Las Vegas Police officers. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @Bizutesfaye
Melvin Dummar dead at 74
Melvin Dummar has died at 74. Dummar was famous for claiming to have saved Howard Hughes in a Nevada desert in 1967. Dummar claimed to have been left $156 million in Hughes’ will. The will mysteriously appeared after Hughes’ death in 1976. It was dismissed as a fake two years later. Dummar never saw a dime of the billionaire's fortune. Dummar died Saturday in Nye County.
Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like