Sunday, March 11, 2007

Mixing Richardson and rurals could help turn Nevada blue

Erin Neff, one of my favorite columnists for the Las Vegas Review-Journal has a column Democratic Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson would probably love.

Neff writes, "Not only did Bill Richardson get a seasoned Democratic operative to lead his Nevada Team, he got one who knows how to fire a rifle."

What!? A Democrat who monkeys around with guns? Can't be. Democrats are opposed to guns aren't they? They want to take our guns away; I know that because somebody told me they did.

No so at all! The Nevada Democratic Party even has a plank in their platform which supports ownership and use of guns. Those people who think Democrats are opposed to hunting and guns are just plain mistaken. But, I digress.

Erin goes on, "When you travel outside Las Vegas and talk to voters in Elko, Lincoln and Nye counties, you find plenty who could go for Democrats if the candidate was fairly fiscally conservative and "doesn't try to take our guns."

"Kristian Forland is an Elko Democrat who goes to Lincoln Day dinners. Bipartisanship isn't a dirty word in Elko. And plenty of Republicans are planning to attend the Elko Democrats' Kicking Ass Skeet Shoot next month at the Wells Gun Club. The winners get shotguns."

Right on Erin. I wrote about Forland's "Kicking Ass Skeet Shoot" a few weeks ago suggesting the Nye County Democratic Central Committee do the same thing here in Nye County. It would counteract the misunderstanding of many people who believe Democrats are against guns. Might even, as Neff suggests, prompt some to "convert" to Democrats. My suggestion went like so many of them do, into cyberspace, never to be heard of again. I still think it's a good idea. If only I could find another Democrat who might agree with me and then badger the Nye Central Committee in putting on such a shoot here in Nye County. I doubt they're even aware of the suggestion.

Back to Neff. "You can't really get too more gun friendly," Forland said.

Richardson's new state director, Roberta Lange, is also a former rifle champion.

"Richardson, the New Mexico governor with the best resume to be president, knows the West. Democrats rightly believe the path to the White House in 2008 runs through the West, where voters like their guns and open space almost as much as they dislike taxes and government intrusion.

"Nevada has done nothing politically to suggest it doesn't fit that mold. Voters have declared the state pro-choice and approved medical marijuana at the same time they have sought to restrain taxes and have elected fiscal conservatives statewide," Neff writes.

Neff gives Democrats some advice. "But unless Democrats reach out to Republicans and independents in Elko and Esmeralda counties, you can forget about Nevada going blue. And unless Democrats reach out to all voters nationally, the White House isn't going to change parties.

"When you reach out to people who don't know you -- whether on Fox News or in Carlin -- you're more likely to open people's minds. The true believers won't budge, but there are plenty who will.

How else do you think Democrat Jill Derby came close to beating Republican Dean Heller last year despite having nearly 48,000 fewer registered Democrats in the 2nd Congressional District? And how else do you explain Fox News' ratings dominance nationally, even in the bluest of places?

More pertinent observations from Ms. Neff. "Forland thinks the candidate who comes to Elko, shakes some hands and looks voters in the eye will have the advantage in the Democratic caucus -- and possibly beyond."

She's right. During last fall's pre-election season I wrote criticizing Jim Gibson for ignoring Nye County in his quest of the Governorship. I commented, "You ignore us, we'll ignore you on Election Day." Sometime after that he did show up in Nye County a few times. But it was too few, too late.

The Presidential Candidates will be prudent if they heed what Forland is saying. You don't show up in the rurals, get some dust on your shoes, rub elbows with us rural hicks, then you won't get many votes in the rurals. We (the rurals) ain't Las Vegas or Reno but you're going to need our votes to get the nomination.

Theresa Navarro is Richardson's northern field director. According to Neff, Navarro has already "laid the groundwork for Richardson in Lyon County and is planning a traditional rural tour next week."

"Richardson is not only good on guns, he has rebated taxes and knows energy and water. He's also a heck of a hands-on handshaker if he decides to campaign in the rurals…."

John Cahill runs the Nevada Outdoor Democratic Caucus. "Cahill believes outdoors issues are critical not just in rural Nevada, but also to peel away Republicans gun owners in labor unions and other traditional Democratic constituencies."

Cahill is right. Nye County would be wise if they contacted Cahill and use his expertise in building up the Democratic membership in Nye County. There are some 1,500 more registered Republicans than Democrats in Nye County. There is a huge 3,000 group of Independents in Nye as well. A lot of them are union members. Nye County should be working on those groups.

Anybody paying any attention out there?

Las Vegas Review Journal
Post by Featheriver


Catmoves said...

Bill Richardson? Take it from a New Mexican who has had to suffer his political uselessness. Yuck! The man is never here when we need leadership and guidance, he has an attorney general who is, or should be, under investigation by the Governor's office, his lieutenant general could get lost going around the block his secretary of state was under investigation and on and on and on. You think Dubya takes a lot of time off from his real job? Wait'll you see Richardson. He's Mr. Carpetbagger in person.

Not Your Mama said...

I grew up in New Mexico. I LEFT NM because there was NO opportunity there whatsoever at that time. I was one of the thousands of kids that had no chance to go to college, no health care, no chance to get a job paying more than minimum wage IF I were lucky enough to find one at all with the overall lack of jobs.

NM has not suddenly become the "Land of Opportunity" but it has come a helluva long way under Richardson. ALL children under 5 now have health care, it isn't everyone but it sure is a good start. Especially considering the NM I grew up in couldn't afford a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of.

Richardson didn't start the states lottery funded college scholarship but he sure did seek to expand eligibility didn't he? He didn't forget about the hundreds or maybe even thousands of young people in NM who might not be able to go straight to college upon graduation. He also didn't forget about the ones who might have had to attend community colleges close to home and later wished to transfer.

Because of changes he has made in the state we are seriously considering retiring back to NM. Sorry but your argument isn't washing with me. I lived there and still know people living back there....Richardson has made a difference to many of the people New Mexico had always ignored.

I'm sorry Richardson took some of your valuable time to run off and attempt to negotiate a cease-fire in Darfur, engage in diplomatic talks with North Korean delegations, and negotiate for releases of US hostages. I can understand why you would feel those were matters of little importance.

Thanks for stopping by. Oh, and give Domenici the finger for me next time you see him.

Not Your Mama said...

BTW, the attorney general and secretary of state were elected by the voters of NM, not appointed as the lieutenant governor was also.

I assume you meant to say lieutenant governor since lieutenant general is a military appointment which Richardson has no say in either.

Vigilante said...

NY Mama, you're definitely the go-to source on Richardson. I'll definitely be choosing my words carefully whenever I'm in your earshot....

Not Your Mama said...

Heh, that initial comment if you read it carefully, had nothing substantive to say. It was just a drive-by potshot with no substance. I learned a long time ago not to "get up in someones face talkin' crazy" unless I want crazy back.

If someone said they opposed him because he issued an Executive Order providing state health insurance coverage for domestic partners, whether of the same or opposite gender....I'd disagree with them but at least it is a real reason and not simply complaining about other elected officials he had nothing to do with placing in office.

See the difference here?