Battle for Carson

Low-budget legislative campaigns are every bit as big as the congressional and gubernatorial races at the top of Nevada’s ballot.

They’re so big the state Democratic Party is blasting a handful of legislative districts with maliciously false advertisements targeting Republican candidates, as it did in 2008. The end game for Democrats: amass a two-thirds supermajority in both houses for the 2011 session, giving the party absolute power to pass tax increases, override vetoes, protect public employee salaries and benefits and redraw congressional and legislative district maps to their advantage for the next 10 years.

Democrats currently hold such a supermajority in the Assembly, 28-14. They are two seats short of the two-thirds margin in the Senate, at 12-9. And no tactic is too dirty if it gets them complete control of Carson City.

So the smears are landing in mailboxes almost daily, from Summerlin to Green Valley, assailing Republicans with fictional fear-mongering.

If Democrats achieve two-thirds supermajorities in the Assembly and Senate, there will be tax increases targeting battered businesses, threatening job creation and economic diversification. Not only would there be no reforms to the collective bargaining laws that are allowing public-sector unions to bankrupt local governments, but those same laws would be expanded to cover state government workers. Their retirement benefits, which have unfunded liabilities of at least $10 billion? Status quo.

And the gerrymandered district boundaries that have given government employee unions so much power in Carson City would be renewed for another decade.

Ten legislative races in Clark County will decide whether Democrats can run the Legislature without compromise, or whether Republicans will have the votes to block tax increases and ensure the interests of the private sector are heard.

In Assembly District 5, Republican Tim Williams has our endorsement over incumbent Democrat Marilyn Dondero Loop, a retired educator who opposes school reforms.

In Assembly District 10, voters should oust incumbent Democrat Joe Hogan, a public-sector loyalist, in favor of Republican Tyler Andrews, a business attorney.

In Assembly District 13, voters should go with Republican schoolteacher Scott Hammond over Democrat Louis DeSalvio, a local union political director.

In Assembly District 16, Republican Bob Irwin, a business owner, is an easy choice over incumbent Democrat John Oceguera, a firefighter and his party’s speaker-in-waiting.

In Assembly District 21, perhaps the most important swing race in the lower chamber, uninspiring incumbent Democrat Ellen Spiegel is way over her head. Republican Mark Sherwood, a businessman who actually understands how taxes affect businesses, is the no-brainer here.

In Assembly District 22, incumbent Republican Lynn Stewart deserves another term over Democrat Kevinn Donovan.

In Assembly District 29, incumbent Democrat April Mastroluca should be removed in favor of Republican Dan Hill.

In Senate District 5, Republican challenger Michael Roberson, a business attorney, is a much better choice than the weak incumbent, Democrat Joyce Woodhouse.

In Senate District 8, incumbent Republican Barbara Cegavske, the taxpayers’ best friend in Carson City, is the clear choice over Tammy Peterson, the Democrat.

In Senate District 12, experienced, common-sense Republican Assemblyman Joe Hardy is a better choice than Democrat Aaron Ford.

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