Diluting the democratic process

To the editor:

The move at the Legislature to have the Board of Regents, state judges and the State Board of Education appointed rather than elected is an attempt to dilute the democratic process. I am very much in agreement with your Sunday editorial about why voters should continue to make these decisions. How can we fight for democracy in other nations when we hand over those hard-fought rights here at home?

Appointing provides a neater process, but democracy is messy and noisy. And yes, we do get some strange representatives, but usually this is the result of voter apathy or voters not being informed or taking the time to become informed.

An appointing process provides members of the public another excuse for not exercising their responsibility to be informed voters. I am concerned our democratic process continues to be diluted by moves to appoint elected officials and/or remove their responsibilities and by the public’s continued apathy toward voting privileges.




Insurance costs

To the editor:

On May 2, you published an Associated Press article on pending state legislation that needs to be fully exposed for what it is — an insurance rate increase for most of your readers and insurance consumers throughout the state.

The bill is Assembly Bill 404, which would severely restrict insurers from using credit history information to underwrite auto and homeowners policies. Yet studies show that there is a direct correlation between poor credit histories and insurance risks.

Most Nevadans — as many as two-thirds — have good credit, and as a result they are charged lower rates. If AB404 is enacted, these same residents will end up paying higher rates to subsidize others with poor credit. As a Nevada resident and insurance consumer, I don’t think that’s fair.

AB404 has already passed the Assembly. The bill is now pending in the Senate as this year’s session winds down to its scheduled June 4 adjournment. Unless your readers want less accurately priced and more expensive, insurance rates, I strongly urge them to contact their state senator and urge a “no” vote on Assembly Bill 404.

David Phillips


Traffic deaths

To the editor:

Five more dead on the valley’s roadways (Review-Journal, Monday). Can I ask what exactly Las Vegas police are doing?

It takes me a half-hour to get to work every day, and I could write more than 10 tickets on the way. But ask yourself: When was the last time you saw a Las Vegas police officer handing out a ticket to anyone?

I bet the number of potential tickets written in a month could assist Nevada’s budget shortfall.

Here in Las Vegas, we could fund the entire state budget on traffic tickets alone. Las Vegas police need a no-tolerance policy on traffic offenders.

Jay Petrick


Straight talk

To the editor:

Hats off to MGM Mirage Chairman Terry Lanni for telling it like it is (Friday Review-Journal). Talk to any casino employee about February’s NBA All-Star Game weekend, and you will get the same thing: The NBA fans acted like wild animals.

Mayor Oscar Goodman, are you listening?

Instead of Mayor Goodman pandering for an NBA All-Star Game or trying to get an NBA team for Las Vegas, why doesn’t he put more of his energy into securing a second NASCAR race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway? Ask the casino employees about the NASCAR fans. They are well-behaved and actually spend money in Las Vegas.

Also, check the crime statistics. No need to say more.

Richard Laster


Pay up

To the editor:

Friday’s front page displayed statewide poll results indicating that teacher pay is the most important of 10 legislative issues presented to respondents. Twenty-five percent chose education/teacher pay as the No. 1 issue facing the Legislature, while 9 percent selected traffic as the issue of most import.

Yet you devoted several columns beginning on the front page to the results of a poll on traffic, and several more columns headlined on page one of the Nevada section to the results of a poll on full-day kindergarten and empowerment schools.

The multi-column article on teacher pay, an issue obviously on the minds of many state residents, seems to have gone missing.

Betty Buehler


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