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In the 2nd District: Mark Amodei

Those in the 2nd Congressional District who have not already voted early will repair to their polling places Sept. 13 in a special election to choose a replacement for Rep. Dean Heller, appointed to fill John Ensign’s seat in the U.S. Senate earlier this year.

The court threw out the planned 29-candidate congressional free-for-all, ruling the state Republican and Democratic parties could each nominate a single standard bearer, at which point state Treasurer Kate Marshall (Democrat) and former state Sen. Mark Amodei (Republican) became the viable contenders.

Thanks in part to ads run by independent groups, the brief campaign has not been a model of substance or decorum, but the best choice is still clear.

When the Nevada Public Interest Research Institute, a free-market think tank, ranked the 63 members of the 2009 Legislature on the impact of their voting records on Nevada taxes and spending, state Sen. Mark Amodei ranked seventh from the top, with a 74.2 percent positive rating.

No similar rankings are available for state Treasurer Kate Marshall, the Democrats’ designated standard-bearer, since she has no legislative experience or track record.

But while Ms. Marshall has done a fine job as state treasurer, her own summary of her command-and-control positions on national issues should give 2nd District voters plenty of cause for concern should she ever reach Washington. For starters, she favors not just retaining but actually expanding ObamaCare.

Ms. Marshall further favors the proposed Obama "Infrastructure Jobs Bank" (with which Mr. Obama seeks to channel FDR, who tried without success to spend the country out of the Great Depression with an eight-year array of public works projects); a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens (which she contends is "how it’s been done in this country since the inception"); and eliminating $100 billion in "federal subsidies" — which are actually depreciation tax writeoffs available to most companies — to America’s big oil companies.

Ms. Marshall further asserts there’s no need to do anything to shore up or reform Social Security, since the trust fund contains a huge "surplus … It’s only necessary to stop raiding it."

In contrast, Mr. Amodei, who can remember some lonely votes against tax and budget hikes in Carson City, says he wants to trim back the size of the federal government without reducing Medicare reimbursement rates.

Mark Amodei is the better choice to represent Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District.

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