Gubernatorial candidate courts speeders to raise state revenue

CARSON CITY — Independent candidate for governor Eugene "Gino" DiSimone insists people don’t call him a kook when he talks about his pie-in-the-sky $6 billion plan to bail out state government and put the unemployed back to work.

"What I hear is, ‘Wow that is innovative.’ And the next thing they say is, ‘How come we never heard of you?’ "

Once he moves into the Governor’s Mansion, political newcomer DiSimone, 52, of Reno, plans to pick up an extra billion dollars a year for the state by letting people drive as fast as 90 mph on selected roads for a $25-a-day fee.

He intends to collect another $3.6 billion by paying all state debts in gold or silver. Nevada would buy the minerals from companies willing to give a 20 percent price discount — and then mint its own coins.

In exchange for giving the state the discount, the state would give the land where the precious metals are found to the mining companies.

DiSimone also believes he can secure another $1.4 billion by pulling the Nevada National Guard out of the control of President Barack Obama and order it to round up illegal residents.

With illegal residents gone, the state would not incur the expense of providing emergency hospital care and public school education for them, now required by a U.S. Supreme Court decision and federal law.

Controlling illegal immigration is solely a state responsibility, according to DiSimone.

Once Nevada is rid of them, plenty of jobs will be left for the state’s unemployed, he said.

"The laws are on our side," he said. "We haven’t had a governor with a backbone. Governors have wishbones. They need backbones."

Nevada has had its share of unusual candidates.

In the 1991 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Harry Reid decisively beat a candidate named Almighty God.

In 1962, Gene Austin, a singer whose fame once rivaled that of Bing Crosby, ran a distant second to Grant Sawyer in the Democratic primary for governor.

But an independent never has been elected governor.

A couple dozen in­dependents have been elected to the Legislature, but none since 1941.

DiSimone is an intelligent man. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in executive management. He is a product development manager at GE Energy in Douglas County.

In normal times, DiSimone said, he would have sought a seat in the Legislature and tried to work up the ranks. But with the state in a mammoth recession, he felt compelled to run for governor so he can implement his plan to return Nevada to prosperity.

If he cannot turn the Nevada economy around in 24 months after winning the governorship, he pledges to resign.

But DiSimone never has run for any public office or argued with a Legislature. He was a Republican until after the 2008 election, when he switched to the Independent American Party, thinking that meant he was an independent, not a member of a minor political party with its own set of principles. He registered as a nonpartisan, or independent, on Jan. 6.

DiSimone said he has raised about $30,000 in contributions, but the official report he filed in late May with the secretary of state showed just $11,000 in contributions. That’s below the $50,000 threshold that the Review-Journal and KLAS-TV, Channel 8 decided is the minimum needed before a candidate’s name will be listed on gubernatorial polls they conduct.

In contrast, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid reported at the end of May that he had raised $984,000 since the beginning of the year. He reported in January he raised $2.65 million in 2009.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval reported in late May raising $901,000 since the beginning of the year. He reported in January raising $903,000 in 2009.

DiSimone won a spot on the November ballot through a state law that allows people to run as independents as long as they collect at least 250 signatures on petitions.

People who know about highways, the military and mining question whether DiSimone can deliver on his promises.

Scott McGruder, a spokesman for the Nevada Department of Transportation, said his agency would be concerned about the 90 mph speed limit because of safety concerns. Roads such as U.S. Highway 95 between Reno and Las Vegas are narrow and not conducive for high speeds, he said. There also might be problems for police in trying to enforce two sets of speed limits, he said.

"What if you get pulled over four times driving to Elko?" Magruder asked. "That kind of defeats the purpose of paying $25 to speed."

DiSimone’s speed plan would rely on electronic transponders that would let police know whether the speeding motorist has paid in advance the $25 fee. He assumes 170,000 people, or about 10 percent of the state’s drivers, would pay the speed fee every day.

"Everybody speeds," DiSimone said. "I go 90 to 95 (on Interstate 80) to Elko. I will go 90 to 95 to Vegas (on U.S. 95) except through towns or where the known speed traps are."

Alan Coyner, administrator of the Nevada Division of Minerals, said DiSimone’s plan to buy gold at a discount would not generate near the amount of money he expects, if his idea is legal in the first place.

"About two-thirds of the gold in Nevada comes from private land," Coyner said. "What would be the incentive for these companies to give us a discount?"

Capt. April Conway, a spokeswoman for the Nevada National Guard, said at least one governor has tried to take control of the National Guard from a president, but lost in court.

"Federal law trumps state law," she said. "It is true the commander of the National Guard while in state service is the governor. But once federalized, the National Guard is owned by the president as commander in chief."

In 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to block moves by nine black students to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock. President Dwight Eisenhower then federalized the Arkansas National Guard and also sent in the Army to ensure the students could attend the school.

DiSimone said he was allowed three minutes to explain his plan to a panel of legislators in Reno in February before the special session.

While he said he isn’t going to pick a fight with them, he also insisted that as governor he would not need legislators’ approval to carry out most of his plan’s provisions.

"Governors report to the people, not the Legislature," he said. "The governor is the CEO. He is responsible for the economic health of the state. He has to create jobs and improve the economy. I come from Silicon Valley. It is the duty and responsibility of the CEO to increase value to the shareholders."

Besides turning around the state, DiSimone intends to challenge Obama’s right to be president.

Unlike the so-called "birthers" who allege Obama was not born in Hawaii — though officials there say his birth certificate is genuine — DiSimone said Obama cannot serve because his Kenya father was not an American citizen.

"I am going to challenge his eligibility through an executive order," he said. "The governor wants proof of his eligibility to command my National Guard. He has five days to respond. If he doesn’t, I will order them home immediately."

Eight years is long enough fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he said. The troops are needed to control illegal immigration in Nevada, he said.

"Most people don’t know I exist," DiSimone said. "But the reception I get at small gatherings is overwhelming. If people knew about me, yes I would win."

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at evogel@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3901.

ad-high_impact_4
News
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.
Record number participate in Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony
Three hundred sixty-five medical students received their white coats during the Touro University Nevada White Coat Ceremony at the M Resort in Henderson Monday. The ceremony was developed to honor students in osteopathic medicine, physician assistant studies, nursing, occupational therapy and physical therapy as they accept the professional responsibilities inherent in their relationship with patients. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stop for school buses, urges CCSD
Clark County School District Police Department hold a mock traffic stop at Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Work Begins at Las Vegas Community Healing Garden
Crews moved the wooden Remembrance Wall at the Las Vegas Community Healing Garden on South Casino Center Boulevard Monday. Construction on a permanent wall is set to begin within the week. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @MadelynGReese
Man wounded outside Cottages apartment
Las Vegas police don't have a motive after a man was shot early Monday morning outside a northwest valley apartment. The man's mother called police to say her son had been shot. She called police around 1:15 a.m. Other people were inside the apartment but no one else was injured. Police are still looking for the shooter.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like